The Spanish Water Dog is rustic, well proportioned of medium weight. The head is strong and carried with elegance. The Skull is flat with only slight marked occipital crest. Axes of skull and muzzle are parallel. The nostrils well defined. The nose is of the same color or slightly darker than the darkest one of the coat. The lips are well fitting; labial corners well defined. The teeth are well-formed, white, with well developed canines. The eyes are slightly oblique position, very expressive; of a hazel to chestnut color, should harmonize with the color of the coat. The conjunctiva is not apparent. The neck is short, well muscled, without dewlap, well set into the shoulders. The body is robust and the topline straight. The withers are hardly marked and the back is straight and powerful. The croup is slightly sloping. The chest is broad and well-let down-ribs well arched; diameter of thorax ample indicating considerable respiratory capacity. The belly is slightly tucked up. The tail is set at medium height. Docking must be done at the height of the 2nd to the 4th vertebra. Certain subjects show a congenital shortened tail (brachyouria). The forequarters are strong and vertical. The shoulders are well muscled and oblique. The upper arms are sturdy and the elbows are close to the chest and parallel. The forearms are straight and sturdy. The front feet are rounded, toes tight, nails of varied colors, resistant pads. The hundquarters are perfectly vertical with not too pronounced angulations and muscles capable of transmitting to the body a very energetic impulsion and the spring necessary for easy and elegant jumping. The upper thighs are long and well muscled. The skin is supple, fine and well adhering to the body. Can be pigmented brown or black, or be without pigment according to the color of the coat. The same applies to the mucous membranes. The coat is always curly and of woolly texture. Curly when short, can form cords when long. Clipped subjects are admitted; the clipping, always complete and even, must never become and (aesthetic) grooming. The recommended maximum length of the hair for shows is 12 cm (15 cm extending the curl) and minimum is 3 cm to see the quality of the curl. The puppies always are born with curly hair. Colors include white, black and chestnut in their different shades. Bicoloured: White and black or white and brown in their different shades. Tricoloured subjects and black and tan, as well as hazelnut and tan dogs are not admitted.
Faithful, obedient hard-working, versatile, well-balanced with total devotion to his family. Properly introduced they will get along well with other dogs and cats , excels with children. An active happy dog - always looking to please and willing to work . They are natural guardians and can be aloof with strangers. As with all breeds socialization is the key! never one to bark excessively- when they do alert, one should take heed. Puppies as with any other breed tend to chew however they are eager eaters and should not be fed table scraps ( as with any other breed ). The most versatile and multifaceted breed who can adapt to any household, they have been used for guardian , companion , water sports, retriever, and search and rescue. Teams of Spanish Water Dogs as rescue dogs were sent to Turkey after their earth-quake and some were also sent to Mexico as rescue dogs after their earth-quake. The Spanish Water dog needs a firm but gentle hand.
Height: Males 17-20 inches (44 to 50 cm.) Females 16-18 inches (40 to 46 cm.) Weight: Males 36-44 pounds (16.2-19.8 kg.) Females 25-36 pounds (11.16-20 kg.)
Please note that larger specimens (over 20" tall and exceeding 45 lb. in weight) are not uncommon, particularly in some lines. Some are as large as an average-sized Portuguese Water Dog, though always smaller than a averaged-sized Standard Poodle. While such specimens are not desirable, it is not considered a fault.
Usually a very healthy breed. However, there have been a few cases of Hip Dysplasia in the breed, so choose your breeder carefully. Although so far, eye problems have have not been seen in the SWD, it is advised that all breeders should test their breeding stock for PRA and other such genetic eye diseases. Like other Water Dogs and related breeds, they grow hair in their ear canals, which needs to be plucked about once a month, otherwise infection can set in. Because these dogs are (as a general rule) so active and energetic as puppies, they may seriously injure themselves from too much running and jumping when their skeletal structure is still developing.
The Spanish Water Dog will do okay in an apartment if it gets enough exercise. Like his cousin the Puli, the Spanish Water Dog can adapt to almost all environments or circumstances and is suitable for all climates. These hardy dogs can endure both extreme heat and cold with no problems.
The Spanish Water Dog should get plenty of exercise. They are energetic and lively and are in their glory when allowed to romp and play. As young puppies (from 1 month to 7 months of age), their exercise should never be over-taxed when they are young puppies, to avoid possible bone an joint problems later on, but rather let them satisfy their own exercise needs. They become more active and sleep less as they mature and by the time they are a year old, these dogs have endless stamina and are very fast, athletic and agile.
The thing that most attracts us to this breed is the sight of the dog going around the ring transmitting their energy through every single cord on it's body, what an electrifying sight. First one must determine what duties the dog will undertake. will he be used for hunting, water-sports, agility or some other form of work, or will he be a show dog. as a working dog you might want to shear the dog often as the coat will hinder his work in the bush while hunting, the hair will be broken of on the branches in the woods thus causing him to have an un-kept look, however if you shear him down he will always look clean and neat. A hypo-allergenic dog who requires bathing as needed, drying takes some time. Non shedding, consistent minimal work is needed to help develop the proper cording. If you want to show the dog then the care is very simple providing that you follow a few simple rules. Bathe the dog only when he is dirty, only with cold water. Do not use shampoo, conditioners, softeners or other chemicals on the coat Wash only with brown bars of the old fashioned laundry soap, rinse thoroughly with cold water do not blow-dry the dog, let him air dry. Once or twice a week one might look behind the ears and the area where he sits and with your fingers separate any cords that might bind together. if you follow the rules you will have cords like the dog pictured above.
The Spanish Water Dog is a very old variety of the of the Barbet or water dog family. It should not be mistaken for either the French Barbet or the Italian Lagotto. Although there are three breeds of water dogs with a curly coat, they each have distinct differences in type. Despite being a water retrieving dog, the Spanish Water Dog has been used to herd sheep. For hundreds of years, Spanish shepherds have used this breed as a herder and all-around working dog. This dog had been employed to move sheep from the south of Spain to the north in the summer time - since the southern part of the country was too hot for grazing. In the winter, the dogs would move the sheep back to the south. Working in conjunction with the Spanish Mastiff, who guarded the royal cattle paths, the Spanish Water Dog led the way for the Shepherds. Today this trip is principally undertaken by train, so the dogs have found different jobs. This breed is very rare but is exhibited in Europe. Closely related to the Portuguese Water Dog (which in term, is a likely decedent from old Spanish Water Dog lines, which eventually split off into a separate breed by being selected for its own distinct physical and mental characteristics, after crossing in to neighboring Portugal long ago) and perhaps to the Poodle. It is suggested that this breed's ancestor was a Poodle-like sheep and goat herding dog that originated in North Africa long ago and was later brought in to Spain by the Moors or Carthaginians before the Middle Ages. It is also thought that this breed descends from dogs that the Turks brought to the country centuries ago: hence that in Spain, this breed has long been known as "El Turco Andaluz" (The Turkish-Andalusian or Turkish Dog), although it is not clear whether or not the SWD is descendent from these dogs, the name stuck. This breed is still almost unknown outside Spain. It has always been a multipurpose breed, assisting in herding, hunting and fishing. The Spanish Water Dog has not received much attention from professional breeders. One consequence of this is that both coat color and body size vary considerably; another is that inherited defects are less common in the Spanish Water Dog than in other dogs that have been more selectively bred. Although these dogs can be found on the north coast of Spain, the majority live in the south, where they are now being used primarily for goat herding, and also for retrieving ducks.