Spanish Water Dog Information

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(Perro de Agua Espanol, Turco Andaluz, Turkish Dog)The Spanish Water Dog is a perky dog. They have a round head and short square muzzle. Their dark colored eyes are covered with curly hair and their medium-size ears lay close to their head. Their feet are round and lead up to large, yet short, legs. The dog’s broad body ends with a commonly docked tail. Their coat is very curly and full. The breed comes in a variety of colors, including black and white, white and brown, or any three colors mixed together. 

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Dogs that are tri-colored are disqualified from entering the show ring as set forth by the AKC. Most have their tails docked when they are puppies, however there are natural bobtails. They should be 9 parts tall and 10 parts long.

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The Spanish Water Dog is a family friendly dog. They should not be timid with people and should do well with small animals. Being very intelligent does not make this breed stubborn like many smart dogs. Happily, they will complete any job or task given by their owners. They can sometimes be protective over people and objects but are extremely devoted to their family. They enjoy doing anything to keep them active physically and mentally.

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16-20 inches
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30-49 pounds
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General Health

The Spanish Water Dog is a relatively hardy breed with just a few real issues, such as CHD (canine hip dysplasia) and PRA (progressive retinal atrophy).  Because of these potential problems, you will want to choose your breeder carefully. The average life expectancy is about 10 to 14 years.

They are prone to Goniodysplasia, Cataracta,prcd-PRA, and Thyroid problems.

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The Spanish Water Dog’s origins are not known for certain. Some theories suggest the breed came from Turkey or from North Africa.  In either case, this breed is definitely an ancestor to most of the modern water breeds.  In Spain, the dogs were used for herding and moving cattle.  They continued providing these services in the southern parts of Spain.  Further north, they were used to bring in boats and hunt game.  The breed only gained true recognition in the 20th century after a man interested in the breed saw one at a dog show.  Working with the dog’s owners, Antonio Garcia Perez decided to standardize the breed and help it gain more notoriety.  After many years of effort, the breed became fully recognized in 1999.

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The Spanish Water Dog requires time and effort to maintain a nice looking coat. Brushing should not be done since it will damage the look of their coat. Their coat can be sheared down if the dog is going to be hunting or engaging in similar activities. Another option is letting the hair grow and form cords, but these cords will matt very easily. If they get matted, pulling the cords apart with your fingers should help. They do not need many baths but when they are bathed these dogs need special care to keep the look of their coat nice. Shampoo should be worked into the coat carefully, and their coat should never be blown dry or harshly dried with a towel. Plenty of exercise is required when they are adults but as puppies they should be allowed to release energy on their own to prevent joint and bone problems later. However, when they grow up they should be allowed to run and play often. They can also be taken on long walks or used in activities, such as agility, as adults.

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Ideal Environment

The Spanish Water Dog is a sweet, yet active, family dog. They love being with their family all the time. Small animals and strangers will be treated like part of the family, too. Socialization is important at an early age to prevent their over-protective nature. They also need lots of exercise. This exercise need can be met by running in a yard or playing games with the family. They need a family who is active and gets them involved in activities. They are good for all weather and living arrangements. Grooming can take a long time, so they need a family willing to put time and energy into their coat.

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Dog Training!

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Spanish Water Dog Q&A

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What kind of animals do Spanish Water Dogs hunt?



My Water Dog is approx 5-6 years old and we got him as a rescue dog 3 years ago. Recently his coat has become patchy and the hair is falling out , this has been happening gradually over the past few months and is now very noticable - he does not have any bare skin but his coat is much shorter in some places than others. Our vet has diagnosed Omega deficiency and for this he is having 6ml of fish oil per day with his food I wondered if anyone else had come across this problem and had identified a cause and a solution Many thanks Doreen

I have had my two swds for 8 years and when I got them as rescue from breeders the youngest one who was one at the time had lots of patches of thinning spots which were slightly different in texture and colour. Took him to vet who said had demodex. Gave him horrible lotion which is very dangerous to the environment which didnt help. Tried all sorts myself and eventually the thing that worked was coal tar shampoo. Coat became very thick and no problems since. Have recommended this to others with good results. Hope this helps. Nicola

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