Breed of the Week: Spanish Water Dog

Spanish H2o Dog

Breed of the Week: Spanish Water Dog

Spanish Water Dog


The Spanish Water Dog is a medium sized dog standing at approximately 16-19 inches and weighing approximately 30-45lbs.  This breed has a characteristically single layer curly coat that was originally sheared like a sheep seasonally. The coat requires minimal to moderate care and can be a solid brown, black, beige or white, or potentially parti-colored with white and a second color.


The Spanish Water Dog is considered a highly alert breed with natural herding instincts that may make them unsuitable for urban life.  Friendly and affectionate, they generally do well with people of all ages though their herding instinct must be accounted for when introducing other animals. Intelligent and active, this breed does well in sports such as herding trials, obedience and agility.

Health Concerns:

This breed is prone to eye concerns and metabolic diseases.  Many of these issues can now be tested for and many breeders strive to better the breed through health testing and appropriate pairings.  Skin allergies can also develop.

Fun Facts:

  • Traditionally, the coat was never brushed and allowed to cord. It is now more common to see a Spanish Water Dog with a full curly coat or shaved down to a puppy cut.
  • The Spanish Water Dog generally has docked tail, however, new legislation allows for either full or docked tails in the breed.
  • A multipurpose breed, the Spanish Water Dog was used to herd sheep and goat, retrieve for hunters, and work with fisherman on the docks and in the water.