Spanish Water Dog (Perro De Agua Español)

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    History & Overview

    The Spanish Water Dog or Perro de Agua Español was a shepherd, hunter and fisherman companion for many centuries. He was highly valued for his keen sense of smell, sight and sound and outstanding learning ability.

    Although the Spanish Water Dog, or Perro de Agua Español, is an ancient breed that traces back many centuries, it was first officially recognized in Spain in the early 1980s. It is believed to have been introduced by the Turks who traded in sheep and used them as sheepdogs, but the exact origin of the breed is purely speculation. In Spain, he has been known under many names, the ‘Andalusian Turk’, or Turcos Andaluces being most common.


    The breed was recognized by the Real Sociedad Central de Fomento de Razas Caninas en España in 1995. While these dogs can still be found working in the mountains of southern Andalucia herding goat and sheep as they have been for the last 1000 years, the breed has taken on new jobs in today’s society: search and rescue, drug and bomb detection.


    This loyal, obedient, cheerful and very dependable family companion was also an excellent watch and guard dog. His incredible adaptability, relative ease of maintenance and overall good health makes the Spanish Water Dog an ideal family companion.


    Spanish Water Dog’s coat is curly when short, and can form cords when long (almost like Puli’s coat), although it does not grow long enough to touch the ground. The puppies always are born with curly hair. Traditionally, the SWD’s tail is docked or naturally bobbed.

    Spanish Water Dog can be registered with the Foundation Stock Service (FSS) of the American Kennel Club (AKC).

    At A Glance

    Other Names:

    Perro de Agua Español

    Country of Origin:



    Shepherd dog, hunting dog and assistant to the fisherman


    FCI Classification: Group 8 – Retrievers, Flushing Dogs and Water Dogs. Section 3: Water Dogs (without working trial)
    AKC Classification: FSS


    Medium (15.7 – 19.7 inches at shoulders)


    Solid white, black and chestnut in their different shades; white and black or white and brown in their different shades (bicolor)

    Litter Size:


    Life Span:

    13 years

    Grooming Requirements:

    Dogs are usually clipped once a year (never scissored). Cords are never combed, but left in their natural state. The dogs should be bathed in a shampoo that doesn’t lather. Spanish Water Dogs should never be clipped like Poodles, as he is a natural-looking breed. Pads should be checked for clogged hair regularly.




    Loyal, fearless, cheerful, watchful, of stable temperament

    Social skills:

    Gets along with other dogs, but may chase cats.

    Suitability for Children:

    Most Spanish Water Dogs will accept children when raised with them.

    Exercise Needs:

    Spanish Water Dogs have a lot of energy and need daily exercise.

    Train Ability:

    Extraordinary learning ability and an excellent memory. Always eager to learn new things.

    Health & Behavioral Issues:

    Video Credits: American Kennel Club


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