The Spanish Water Dog (perro de agua español) breed dates back several hundred years and has its origins most likely in Turkey from where it was imported into Spain as a general purpose sheepdog and guard. It is also used sometimes as a gundog, and is skilled at retrieval from water. TheSpanish Water Dog has strong genetic links to other ancient water breeds such as the Portuguese Water Dog, the French Barbet and the Irish Water Spaniel.
The Spanish Water Dog is a medium size, athletic, robust dog that is slightly longer than tall. Their tails are usually docked in the US, but undocked tails are not a fault in conformation showing if the dog was bred in a non-docking country.
The head should be strong and carried with elegance. The skull is flat and the top is parallel with the top of the muzzle. The nose, eye-rims and paw pads are the same colour as the darkest part of the coat or darker. The eyes are expressive and set fairly wide apart. They should be hazel, chestnut or dark brown in colour, depending on the coat colour. The ears are set at medium height on the skull, and are triangular.
It has a distinctive curly coat which is woolly in texture and may form cords when long. The coat should not be clipped or groomed for aesthetic purposes. Instead, it should look entirely natural, as though it is not groomed at all. It should never be trimmed, but sheared down at least once a year. Spanish Water Dog puppies are always born with curly hair.
The Spanish Water Dog can be seen in a variety of colours. It may be solid black, beige, brown, or white; bicolour where the second colour is white; or particolour . Tri-coloured dogs are strictly prohibited by the currently held (worldwide) standards for the breed as are black and tan or brown and tan colour combinations.
Many different theories exist as to its origin and history. Records suggest water dogs have been around the main wetlands of the Iberian Peninsula since ancient times. Portuguese and Spanish water dogs are clearly related and have a common ancestor. The SWD has been known by many other names such as “Perro Turco”, “Laneto”, “Perro Patero”, “Perro Rizado”, “Churro”, “Barbeta”, and, most recently, “Perro de Agua Español” (literally Dog of Water of Spain, i.e., Spanish Water Dog)
Playful but also Work-Oriented. Very Active and Upbeat.Spanish Water Dog
AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 153 of 193
Height: 17.5-19.75 inches (male), 15.75-18 inches (female)
Weight: 40-49 pounds (male), 31-40 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 12-14 years
Group: Herding Group
The Spanish Water Dog was fully recognized January 15, 2015 as part of the Herding Group with the American Kennel Club.
In April 2011, the American Kennel Club (AKC) selected the Spanish Water Dog Club, Inc. as Parent Club for the breed as it progresses towards the Miscellaneous Class and full registration status. In addition, in October of 2011, the AKC informed the Club that breed had been designated to be in the Herding Group.
Since its inception in 2004 and its recognition by the Foundation Stock Service in 2005, the SWD Club’s membership has actively grown its efforts for the breed. In 2010, the UKC-affiliated Spanish Water Dog Association of America merged with the SWD Club, expanding the SWD Club’s community. In October 2013, the SWD Club changed its name to The Spanish Water Dog Club of America, Inc. as one of the requirements for full AKC recognition. It is incorporated in the State of Pennsylvania. The SWDCA extends a membership invitation to all Spanish Water Dog fanciers with the goals of forming a strong National Breed Club and improving the breed.Spanish_Water_Dog_club_flier
Please feel free to browse our website. If there is something you cannot find, please contact one of the SWDCA’s Board of Directors and let us know so we can assist you in finding the information you need.