Spanish Water Dog

Spanish Water Dog

Spanish Water Dogs are delightful, curly, and poodle-esque canines originally bred as working dogs. And guess what? They’re not even Spanish! While Spanish Water Dogs were brought over to Spain around 300 years ago, they can trace their heritage to the Ottoman Empire, or modern day Turkey. They were relatively unknown outside of Spain until the 1970s and didn’t have a “breed club” until the 1980s. They were only recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2001.

Illustration courtesy of the American Kennel Club

Quick Facts


Height

Male: 17-20in

Female: 15-19in

Weight

Male: 40-49lb

Female: 31-40lb

Fun Fact

Because the Spanish Water Dog has so many talents, giving them a group to belong to at dog shows was tricky. Were they a sporting dog, a herding dog, or a working dog? The verdict came in during the summer of 2015: The Spanish Water Dog is officially categorized as a “herding” dog!

About this Breed

Spanish Water Dogs are delightful, curly, and poodle-esque canines originally bred as working dogs. And guess what? They’re not even Spanish! While Spanish Water Dogs were brought over to Spain around 300 years ago, they can trace their heritage to the Ottoman Empire, or modern day Turkey. They were relatively unknown outside of Spain until the 1970s and didn’t have a “breed club” until the 1980s. They were only recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2001.

Despite being a relative newcomer to the “official” dog world, Spanish Water Dogs are attractive little dogs with a very impressive résumé.

Spanish Water Dogs, despite what the name might suggest, are not even primarily dogs who work in water. They were originally bred to be herding dogs and to watch over their flock. They are also talented gun dogs and will assist their owner in hunting and retrieving land fowl. If hunting ducks, the Spanish Water Dog can assist there, as well. While many dogs will hesitate before entering a body of water, Spanish Water Dogs likely get their name because they do exactly the opposite! While hunting or herding, they will jump eagerly into water if necessary to complete their task. Their curly, dense hair keeps them insulated from the water, and because they are not as heavy as some other dogs who do similar jobs—Labradors, Golden Retrievers, etc.—they are buoyant and quick to return to land.

Spanish Water Dogs have a very strong instinct to herd: They were experts at herding sheep and other livestock back on the farm, so they might carry on that tradition in the home and herd family members and other dogs. While they mean no harm, herding dogs will occasionally nip at people’s ankles to get them to go where they want them to go. Because of this tendency, it’s best to introduce Spanish Water Dogs to children when they are young so they will see them as members of the family rather than little sheep to be bossed around.

While they are not especially large dogs, Spanish Water Dogs aren’t really suited to apartment living. They will do best in the suburbs or rural homes, where they have plenty of space to run. If bored, Spanish Water Dogs can become destructive and might “herd” people around the house even more! And because they can initially be distrustful of strangers, early socialization is important so that they can grow up to be confident and easygoing companions.

Spanish Water Dogs on Embark

Explore some Embark dogs that share Spanish Water Dog ancestry.

  • Beethoven De Tarbuxena

    Beethoven De Tarbuxena

    Purebred

    Paco

    Paco

    Purebred

    Mingo 1 Del Rabadan

    Mingo 1 Del Rabadan

    Purebred

    Gonnagitcha`s Montecilla MoMo

    Gonnagitcha`s Montecilla MoMo

    Purebred

  • Casa De Rancho

    Casa De Rancho's Hagan Ruido

    Purebred

    Matilde

    Matilde

    Purebred

    Gus

    Gus

    Purebred

    Bruma

    Bruma

    Purebred

  • Hayden

    Hayden

    Purebred

    Poeta del Rabadan

    Poeta del Rabadan

    Purebred

    Bruno

    Bruno

    Purebred

    Sophie

    Sophie

    Purebred

Most Closely Related Breeds

Favorite Names

For Males

  1. Beethoven De Tarbuxena
  2. Bruno
  3. Casa De Rancho's Hagan Ruido
  4. Charlie
  5. Gonnagitcha`s Diomar
  6. Gus
  7. Hayden
  8. Leeroy Jenkins
  9. Mingo 1 Del Rabadan
  10. Mochi

For Females

  1. Biscuit
  2. Bruma
  3. Cara
  4. gaia
  5. Gonnagitcha`s Miramar
  6. Gonnagitcha`s Montecilla MoMo
  7. Matilde
  8. Oberland's French Chocolat
  9. Oberland's French Connection
  10. Oberland's Mari del Nieve

Common Locations

  1. Andalusia, Spain
  2. British Columbia, Canada
  3. Spain
  4. Virginia, United States
  5. Arizona, United States
  6. New Jersey, United States
  7. Nova Scotia, Canada
  8. Colorado, United States
  9. California, United States
  10. Andalucía, Spain

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