An exact origin of the Spanish Water Dog is lost in time. It is assumed that representatives of the breed came to Spain from Turkey or North Africa. In past they were used mainly as guards of herds in cattle farms and helped owners in hunting waterfowl. Today, besides being perfect companions, they are good police and rescue dogs.
A new history of the breed started in 1980 when a woman – Mrs. Mesdag brought a Spanish Water Dog at an exhibition in San Pedro, Malaga. At a show was Antonio Garcia Perez, who proposed to judges and officials to help him find roots of the breed and create a standard. They all agreed and in 1983 they wrote a standard with two different types of the Water Dog (based on size). Later, they changed it and accepted the standard for a bigger one.
The Spanish Water Dog has a proportional body covered with thick and curly hair. Coloration occurs in different colors and combinations. Height of the dogs of this breed varies from 40 to 50 cm and their weight - from 14 to 22 kg. Head has rounded cheekbones, short, square muzzle, dark eyes, furry and dropping ears. Tail is docked.
Character and behavior
Spanish Water dogs are very friendly, active, social and fun, wonderful companions who are strongly attached to their owners and relate well with children and other pets in a family to which they belong.
They are confident in themselves, hard working and full of energy. They love hunting with their master and are always ready for games.
Training and education
The Spanish water dog is fairly easy to train. It is a smart animal that will learn commands and to obey its owner. Nevertheless, you should be consistent, confident and firm leader, to prevent a development of protective and territorial habits. With proper education and positive methods, you can achieve much. You may even train a champion in agility, obedience or any other dog sport.
The Spanish Water Dog is prone to hip dysplasia and eye problems, but generally enjoys good health.
Some representatives may suffer from ear and skin infections. In addition, you should be very careful with the puppies as these dogs are extremely active, even at a very young age and the newborn puppies can damage their joints while playing. Do not overload young dogs and don't let them bring you more than 2 or 3 fallen birds. Average lifespan is about 10 to 14 years.
Grooming and care
This breed can be grown in an apartment, but needs regular exercise to expend its energy. It lends itself to training easily and it is not necessary for owner to have experience in breeding dogs. Coat of the Spanish Water Dog does not fall, which makes it a very suitable pet for allergic people. It should not be brushed, and if the dog hunts, it is good to be clipped regularly.
Children and other pets
This dog is reserved with strangers. You should socialize your puppy from an early age with other animals and people to prevent shyness and aggressiveness in the future.Although it is a good pet and companion, and loves children, the Spanish Water Dog should never be left alone with kids. It is way too active and playful and may hurt them unwillingly.
Spanish Water Dogs are often used for rescue operations, narcotics detection, water sports, bomb detection, competitive agility, therapy work, herding, etc. Special teams of these dogs were sent to Mexico, Colombia and Turkey after the devastating earthquakes.