Spanish Water Dog

Spanish Water Dog

The Spanish Water Dog (Perro de agua español) is an inexhaustible dual-purpose breed dog closely related to other water dog breeds like the Portuguese water dog, the Irish water spaniel, the barbet, and the poodle.

The Spanish water dog is slightly smaller, thinner, and has a coat that is more likely to form matter thread when compared to the Portuguese water breed.

This Spanish water dog typically likes to swim, and they make a great lively family companion.

In Spain, the Spanish water dog is a general-purpose sheepdog, a guard, herder, and waterfowl retriever. 

Scientific classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Canidae
  • Genus: Canis
  • Specie: Canis familiaris


The Spanish water dog is an ancient breed known by different names such as Perro de Agua, Perro Turco, Laneto, Perro de Lanas, Pero Patero, Perro Rizado, Churro, Barbera and more recently Perro de Agua Español (literally Spanish water dog or Spanish dog of water).

The Spanish water dog has been a  fixture of the Iberian peninsula lake and meadow. In Spain, there were three separate populations of Spanish water dogs with different phenotypes and sizes.

Northern Spain is dominated by one of these populations, usually smaller and lighter in color, known as the Asturias and Cantabria, which became a new breed in March 2011 known as a Cantabrian water dog.

The other population of these dogs has coats made of long and thin cords and is found in the marshes of Western Andalusia. And finally, the largest and strongest group, mainly used for herding, came from the southern Andalusian Sierras.

Historically, the dogs were used as herding dogs to move flocks of sheep and goats. They were also taught how to hunt and retrieve things.


The Spanish water dog has a curly coat that is woolly in texture and forms a cord when long. The coat should be sheared down once in a year and should never be trimmed, clipped, or groomed for any purpose, for it has its natural look.

The standard color for these dog breeds is black and tan or brown and tan combinations. Other colors of the Spanish water dog are Solid black, beige, brown, and white. Sometimes there are bicolours where the second color is white and also parti-color.

The Spanish water dog is an athletic, robust dog that is slightly longer than tall and medium in size. The head of the Spanish water dog is usually strong with a flat skull and the top parallel to the top of the muzzle and carried with elegance.

Its nose, eye rims, and paw pads are the same color as the darkest part of the coat, sometimes darker. The eyes are set at medium height on the skull, triangular, expressive, and fairly wide apart with facial hairs.

Its eyes are either hazel, chestnuts, or as dark as its coat. You can describe the look of this sturdy dog as rustic.

Size/ weight

Height:17-20inches(44-50cm)Height:16-18inches (40-46cm)
Weight: 40-49pounds (18-22kg)Weight: 30-40pounds( 14-18kg)


The Spanish water dog is a diligent, affectionate, loyal, intelligent species with strong herding and guarding instincts. They are athletic and hard-working, which enables them to excel in any given task.

They are wary of strangers but can cohabit with people and children if they are socialized early and continually.


The Spanish water dog breed does well if fed with high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or homemade.

Any diet is appropriate for the dog’s age. The activity you need the dog for will determine the level of proteins, fat, and calories you give to them to avoid being overweight.

Spanish water dog enjoys substantial knucklebone from time to time which helps keep their teeth clean. Also, clean water should be made available at all times.


Spanish water dogs are energetic and lively when allowed to romp and play. So daily walks should be part of their exercise routine. Puppies should be taken for daily walks also but not be overtaxed with exercise to avoid them having bone and joint problems.


The Spanish water dog can adapt to all environments and circumstances, provided they get enough exercise. They can endure extreme heat and cold.

Facts about the Spanish water dog

  1. Spanish water dogs should never be brushed instead check the cords for mating of they keep getting long.
  2. Spanish water dogs when dirty should be bathed with lukewarm water and should be allowed to air dry.
  3. Cords should be sheared once or twice a year
  4. Ears and eyes should be cleaned when dirty and excess ear hairs should be plucked out.
  5. At around 4months old Spanish water dog puppies should be trimmed for the first time.
  6. The duty of the dog will determine if it’s coat is to be sheared or not.
  7. Spanish water dogs can live  up to 10 – 14 years
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