By Jags Goldie Last updated: 27th October 2022

Spanish Water Dog


Jags Goldie
Last updated: 27th October 2022

The Spanish Water Dog (Spanish: Perro de agua español) is a breed of medium-sized athletic dogs believed to have a common ancestry with ancient water breeds like the Irish Water Spaniel, the French Barbet, and the Portuguese Water Dog. It comes with a broad, flat skull, slightly tapering muzzle, moderately oblique eyes, drooping ears, strong neck, well-muscled shoulders, straight legs, and a docked tail. Although it can work in water, it has been primarily developed for herding and protecting livestock independently.

Spanish Water Dog Pictures

Quick Information

Other NamesSWD, Perro Turco, Turco Andaluz, Perro Rizado, Perro Patero, Andalucian Turk
CoatCurly, wooly, single coat, long hairs form cords
ColorSolid or parti-colored, brown, black, beige, or white
Breed TypePurebred
CategoryHerding, Gun Dog, Sporting
Lifespan10-14 years
WeightFemale: 30-40 lb
Male: 40-49 lb
HeightFemale: 16-18 in
Male: 17-20 in
TemperamentLoyal, intelligent, athletic, affectionate, trainable
Litter Size4-6 puppies
Good with ChildrenRequires supervision
Country Originated inAndalusia (Spain)
Competitive Registration/ Qualification InformationACR, ACA, AKC, APRI, FCI, DRA, NKC, NAPR, SWDAA, UKC

Video: Spanish Water Dog Retrieving from Water


Several theories exist regarding its origin, including the one that suggests these water dogs were brought to the Iberian Peninsula by Turkish merchants to herd their flocks of goat and sheep while traveling throughout the Mediterranean. It was also believed to have originated in North Africa.

Irrespective of its origin, a wooly-coated Water Dog is recorded to have inhabited the Iberian Peninsula by the 12th century. Today’s SWDs are thought to have evolved from these wooly-coated dogs. In the 1970s, Santiago Montesinos and Antonio Garcia Perez traveled around the villages and farms in Andalusia and bought some dogs for establishing a breeding program.

The Spanish Water Dog Club was established in 1980 for promoting the breed and helping it in getting recognized. The United Kennel Club officially acknowledged the SWD in 2001, and the American Kennel Clun recognized it in 2015.

Temperament and Behavior

Faithful, obedient, and friendly with its people, the SWD makes an exceptional all-around companion for its family. Known for its protective instincts, the Spanish Water Dog will diligently guard its owner and property.

Although reserved around strangers and other pets, it does not exhibit shyness. With proper introduction, the SWD can learn to accept strangers. It is naturally suspicious and watchful of its surroundings.



Since it has got a great working drive, it needs plenty of regular activities and extensive playtime for both mental and physical stimulation. It thrives on long walks, as well as lots of romps and plays in the yard. Adept in swimming, it loves fetching toys from the water. You may also train your SWD to take part in tracking, dog agility, and obedience.


Its coat needs occasional grooming, which involves cutting down its hairs with shears once or twice a year. Brushing or combing its hair should be avoided. Bathe your dog in lukewarm water with a vet-approved shampoo when necessary and allow its coat to air dry. If its fur is matted, separate the cords by pulling the mats with your fingers.

Health Problems

The Spanish Water Dog is considered a healthy and hardy breed. However, a few instances of hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, ear infections, allergies, and disorders of the nervous system have been reported in them.


Since it is a quick learner and will always try to please you, training your SWD is easy.

Have some unfamiliar person including your neighbors and friends come over to your house. Allow them to give treats to your puppy and make sure that they are standing sideways during the process. If your pup finds the treats to be attractive, it will eventually approach your guests. You can also help your puppy feel comfortable around other animals by starting the socialization in a controlled environment. Introduce your SWD to a well-socialized dog and make sure that you leash them.

Since it has strong hunting and guarding instincts, you need to teach your puppy to respond to commands when it is 12-16 weeks old. Teach your SWD to come, sit, stay, heel, and lay down. Do not extend the training sessions more than 5-10 minutes for each command.


Besides a balanced raw food diet with organ meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables, you may also feed your Spanish Water Dog quality dry kibble on a regular basis.

Interesting Facts

  • Spanish Water Dogs have webbed feet, which facilitate them in swimming.
  • These dogs have been used by fishermen in their boats for retrieving the nets and protecting the catch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletter

Join our subscribers list to get the latest news, and updates delivered directly in your inbox.