It is believed that the Spanish Water Dog is very old ancient breed, but there is not enough information about their origin. But we do have some theories. One says, that they were brought from North Africa by the Moors who occupied Spain during the 8th century. Another theory says, that they were brought to Spain by Turkish traders and that is why they were sometimes nicknamed as Turkish dogs. It is very probable, that they are related to other water dogs like Portuguese water dogs, French Barbet and Irish Water Spaniel.
2) Not a Water Dog
Okay, it is true that Spanish Water dogs are capable of performing good at water retrieving and they certainly like water, the breeds name is more of a historical record than a modern-day description. They are mainly amazing herders and unlike the American Water Spaniel or Irish Water Spaniel, they are not in the sporting group, but in the herding group. This is very versatile breed and next to water work and herding, they were also used for hunting, especially thanks to their sensitive strong noses.
Probably the most distinctive feature of the Spanish Water dog is its curly wooly coat. You can find them in many different colors, most commonly in black, brown, beige, white, bicolor, particolor or tricolor, and even though, the tricolor is prohibited, it certainly exists. Important thing to know is, that their coat should never be brushed or trimmed and you should leave it completely natural.
Spanish Water dog is not an agressive dog, you dont need to be worry about that, but because of their extremely high loyalty they tend to be very protective over their owners and family. Early socialization with people and other animals will help prevent protectiveness.
This is medium sized dog with athletic body and average height between 40-50 cm, which is 16-20 inches and weight between 14-22 kg, which is 31-49 pounds. The females are naturally little bit smaller than males.
If there is something important to know about this dog breed, than that it is very active breed which requieres a lot of daily physical and mental exercise. They really have tons of energy and they need to vent it off. Because they are very intelligent they need task oriented playtimes, good training sessions or some other kind of a job to be happy. You can also try some dog sport with them, they are very good at agility, tracking or flyball.
This is very intelligent dog with strong desire to please. If you combine those two traits together, you will always have a highly trainable dog. Not only that, the Spanish Water dog has strong work ethic and they just enjoy the training sessions. Its important to be firm and patient, but never harsh on them. They are definitely capable of learning a lot of tricks and commands.
The Spanish Water dog is herder in the first place, they just have it in their blood. And it is very likely, they will try to herd everything, including other pets, moving objects and even young kids. That is why you should always supervise them and not left them alone with other smaller pets.
This is relatively healthy breed with a good lifespan between 11-14 years, but of course, just like all dog breeds, they do suffer from some health issues. Most commonly from hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, Hypothyroidism, allergies, cataracts and cherry eye.
10) Living with
It is true that this is highly energetic breed and they need a lot of exercise. But if they are provided by enough exercise, they are very relaxed and calm indoors. They make great apartment companions. They are also very social and they will want to do everything with you and it is very likely they will follow you from one room to another. Yes, even to the toilet.