|Sensitivity to strangers|
|Affection for family|
|Suitable for first-time owners|
|Ease of grooming|
From Spain, of course, the Spanish Water Dog is a four-legged friend of ancient origins.
Undoubtedly, the Spanish Water Dog is a rustic animal with a well proportioned body and long limbs; compared to similar breeds, this dog does not weigh much; and it has a harmonious shape. From its origins, this breed belongs to the categories of pointing dogs, searching dogs and water dogs.
Athletic and muscular, it is striking, but it is not only beautiful on the outside. It also has a well-developed sight, a sharp hearing and a powerful sense of smell. In the past, it was thought that its origin was Turkish-Andalusian. Nowadays, it is known that the Spanish Water Dog is undeniably Andalusian, and from there it has spread through the rest of the Iberian Peninsula.
These dogs are very cheerful and obedient; they learn quickly thanks to their acute intelligence. They adapt easily to different environmental and psychological situations.
Spanish Water Dog: Origins
An ancestor of the Spanish Water Dog has been documented since the 10th century. The general characteristics described match the description of the contemporary Spanish Water Dog.
Consequently, we may consider the hypothesis that states this dog is possibly the genetic base of some European hunting and companion breeds (French Water Dog and Poodle) and it is related to some Spaniels, such as:
Some historians place this breed during the period when Moors occupied the Iberian Peninsula; others place it at the end of 18th century and at the beginning of the 19th century, when there was a great business activity based on sheep with Australia; these dogs may have arrived on board of Turkish boats involved in commerce.
The movement of livestock necessarily involved the use of dogs able to lead the flock, in this case, make the sheep get into the store compartment, and agile enough to jump over the flock and get down before the ships left the port.
Be it as it may, time has turned this dog into an Andalusian water dog, and this breed has reached the Cantabrian Range.
An Incredibly Versatile Dog
It seems that its diet consisted mainly of rabbits, and this is shown in its predominant hunting character. However, due to its intelligence, and the ability to adapt to any kind of situation (these dogs can dive up to 3 meters deep during 2 minutes), it has been used for all kinds of tasks.
Twenty years have passed since the Spanish Water Dog started to spread and its first club was founded. Nowadays, the greatest number of Spanish Water Dog are on the south of Spain and the Cantabrian coastline, and you can find fewer through the rest of the country.
Spanish Water Dog: Use
Thanks to its history and great qualities, this breed was used in several areas as mining dogs, herding dogs, maritime rescue dogs, etc.
Today, thanks to its excellent sense of smell, it is used by Civil Defense for investigation tasks and rescue of people buried under wreckage.
In addition, it is ideal as a companion dog: loyal to its owner and a great observer, plus an excellent home guardian.
Spanish Water Dog: General Appearance
It has a lot of hair, it’s unbelievable, but it is actually very thin, the torso is thin and strong. The croup is slightly sloping and it has a wide chest.
It has muscular, solid and perpendicular limbs, which give this dog a fast and firm gait, especially when it trots.
It possesses a distinguishable rectilinear profile and a marked standing. The muzzle is elegant and robust. The nose, which has a wide open nasal cavity, is not always black, it may have other colors but it is always darker than the coat.
Also, the color of the eyes, usually hazel, should harmonize with the color of the coat. They are always in a slightly oblique position and they are very expressive. Finally, the ears are triangular and drop fine despite being set at medium height.
A Spanish Water Dog will always have curly hair of a woolly texture, so it should be well groomed to avoid tangling and dirt. It can be homogeneously shaved, and not for aesthetic reasons, on average the hair is between 12 to 15 cm long, even puppies have curly hair almost since birth.
Standard Size of the Spanish Water Dog
- Male: 17 to 19 inches (40 to 50 cm)
- Female: 17 to 18 inches (40 to 46 cm)
Deviations of two centimeters are tolerated when the dog is well developed.
- Male: 39 to 48 lb (18 to 22 kg)
- Female: 30 to 39 lb (14 to 18 kg)
They may come on the following colors:
We can find Spanish Water Dog with solid colors:
Or even bicolored:
- White and black
- White and brown
Three colors are not allowed, it may be difficult to understand for non-experts, but the standard has been established this way.
Spanish Water Dog: Temperament
It is a loyal, obedient, happy, hard-working, talented and well-balanced dog. It learns quickly, thanks to its great ability of understanding. It is a dog that can adapt to every situation and condition.
Spanish Water Dog: Care
Every Spanish Water Dog puppy has to be shaved (have a haircut) when it is 3 or 4 months old, whether it lives in the north or the south. The second haircut should be done after the first year; this is when the dog is 15 to 16 months old. This process should be repeated every year until you manage to give the dog an annual haircut during spring.
These dogs do not need sophisticated food. This breed may live for 18 years, with few vet appointments, it is resistant. It only needs affection, and it will give it back “completely”. It needs a lot of exercise to stay healthy.
How is their hair cut? Preferably with a clipper and it should have the same length through all the body, cutting only as necessary, this is, keeping the length of the hair at 1 cm to avoid sunburns. We must remember that the coat is used as protection, and it is always necessary, even if it is short.
Nowadays, farmers cut the hair of the muzzle (from the forehead up to the nose), arguing it helps the dog to see clearer and prevents the food from getting stuck on the muzzle.
The same is done to its legs, to avoid thorns that may hurt its paws and cause very painful injuries.
Spanish Water Dog: Price, and Puppies For Sale
To know the price of a puppy of this breed you need to find a breeder specialized on Spanish Water Dogs. Maybe, it is worth having some vacations on Andalucía, a place where this breed is very popular and loved, so you can ask for the right price.
How much can a Spanish Water Dog puppy from a reliable breeder cost? It is worth mentioning, this dog is not very expensive. It is around 800 dollars, or 650 English pounds.
The most recurrent defects of this breed are the straight or wavy coat, albinism, uneven temper, shyness or aggression. You can always ask for the pedigree, which is essential: it allows you to check the purity of the dog’s breed. An animal with pedigree has certain characteristics of its breed that differentiate it from the rest.
Now that we have mentioned the most important aspects, you can go in search of your new 4-legged friend, who is certainly waiting for you.
You may be interested in reading another article related to other dog breeds such as:
- Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
- Cocker Spaniel
- Berger Picard
- Colombian Fino Hound
- Skye Terrier
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- English Springer Spaniel
- Welsh Corgi