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Get to know the
Spanish Water Dog
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AKC Meet the Breeds®

The Spanish Water Dog (SWD) is a medium-sized, curly-coated dog. The SWD is a multi-purpose farm dog whose primary function was herding. Secondarily, it was also used for hunting and as an assistant to fishermen. Many SWDs enjoy swimming and diving. The SWD has a distinctively single, curly coat that may be solid shades of black, brown, beige, or white as well as parti-color with the second color being white. Its coat has a woolly texture that is never brushed or sculpted and may form cords when long; shaving takes place once a year or more, depending on the type of work the dog performs. Traditionally the SWD has a docked tail, but some are born with a naturally short tail that can vary in length.



A Look Back

The Spanish Water Dog’s origins are unknown and debated by many experts. What is known is that this rustic multi-purpose breed was developed in Spain many centuries ago to fulfill a variety of purposes including herding, hunting, water work and companionship. Starting in 1975, the breed was brought out from obscurity and in 1985, it was recognized by the Real Sociedad Central de Fomento de Razas Caninas en España.

Right Breed for You?

The Spanish Water Dog is faithful, obedient, lively, hardworking and watchful. He is highly intelligent with an outstanding learning ability. His loyalty and protective instincts make him a self-appointed guardian to his owner, his family and his property. He is not timid or shy, but is naturally suspicious of strangers. Properly introduced, and given time, the Spanish Water Dog will accept strangers. He is very affectionate with his own people.

If you are considering purchasing a Spanish Water Dog, learn more here.

  • Miscellaneous class; Herding group designation.
  • Ranging in size from 17½ to 19¾ inches tall at the withers for males and 15¾ to 18 inches tall for females.
  • Herding, hunting, fisherman's assistant.

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