Spanish Water Dog

Spanish Water Dog

19 July 2023

Let's talk about... Spanish Water Dogs: what are they?

  • The Spanish Water Dog, also known as "Perro de Agua Español," is a versatile and intelligent breed that originated in Spain.
  • They were primarily bred as working dogs used for herding and retrieving in various terrains, including water.
  • As the name suggests, the Spanish Water Dog is an excellent swimmer and has webbed feet, which makes them well-suited for water activities.
  • Spanish Water Dogs have a distinctive curly or wavy coat that is hypoallergenic and non-shedding.
  • On average, males stand between 44-50 cm tall, while females are slightly smaller, measuring around 40-46 cm.
  • They typically weigh between 14-20 kg.
  • The average life expectancy of a Spanish Water Dog is 12-14 years.
Spanish Water Dog  Exercise Needs 4/5 Grooming Ease 2/5 Trainability 4/5

What is the temperament of Spanish Water Dogs like?

  • Spanish Water Dogs are known for their lively and energetic nature.
  • They are intelligent, alert, and highly trainable.
  • They are loyal and devoted to their families and can be protective of their loved ones.
  • Spanish Water Dogs are generally good with children and can get along well with other pets if properly socialised from an early age.
  • They thrive on human companionship and are happiest when given tasks or jobs to do.
  • Spanish Water Dogs have an inquisitive nature and a strong work ethic, making them excel in various activities, including obedience, agility, and even search and rescue work.
Enzo, the Spanish Water Dog

How much exercise do Spanish Water Dogs need?

  • Spanish Water Dogs are an active and energetic breed that requires regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.
  • They have high exercise needs and should ideally have at least 1.5 to 2 hours of exercise every day.
  • This can include brisk walks, jogging, swimming, interactive play sessions, or engaging in dog sports.
  • Mental stimulation, such as puzzle toys or training activities, is also essential to prevent boredom and maintain their well-being.
  • Providing them with a job or task, such as retrieving or herding exercises, can fulfil their natural instincts and contribute to their overall happiness.
  • Puppies have developing bodies and should not be overexercised to avoid strain or injuries.
  • Young Spanish Water Dog puppies need shorter bursts of exercise throughout the day, with a focus on playtime and gentle activities.
  • Gradually increase their exercise duration and intensity as they grow older.
  • Consult with your vet for personalised advice on the exercise needs of your Spanish Water Dog puppy.
Rafa, the Spanish Water Dog

Do Spanish Water Dogs need a lot of grooming?

  • Spanish Water Dogs have a dense, curly or wavy coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and to maintain its health and appearance.
  • Their coat is considered hypoallergenic and sheds minimally, making them suitable for individuals with allergies, although this does not guarantee that those with allergies will not react to this breed of dog.
  • To keep their coat in good condition, regular brushing is necessary, at least every few days.
  • Some owners choose to have their Spanish Water Dogs' coat corded, which requires more extensive grooming.
  • Professional grooming every few months, including trimming and shaping, is recommended.
  • Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Zuri, the Spanish Water Dog

Are Spanish Water Dogs easy to train?

  • Spanish Water Dogs are highly intelligent and eager to please, which makes them generally easy to train.
  • They have a natural willingness to learn and excel in various training activities.
  • Early socialisation and positive reinforcement training methods work best with this breed.
  • Consistency, patience, and positive rewards, such as treats and praise, are key to successful training.
  • Spanish Water Dogs thrive on mental stimulation, so providing them with engaging training sessions and new challenges will keep them motivated and focused.
  • With the right approach and a dedicated owner, Spanish Water Dogs can quickly learn and master new commands and skills.
Coco, the Spanish Water Dog

What do Spanish Water Dogs eat?

  • A high-quality dog food that is appropriate for the age, size, and activity level of a Spanish Water Dog is recommended.
  • Feeding them a balanced and nutritionally complete diet is essential for their overall health and well-being.
  • Most do well being fed twice daily.
  • Puppies have specific dietary needs to support their growth and development.
  • They should be fed a specially formulated puppy food until they are around 12 months old.
  • Puppies should be fed 3-4 times daily until 6 months old when this can be reduced to twice daily.
  • At around 12 months they can transition to adult dog food.
  • The amount of food and feeding frequency should be determined based on their individual needs and any recommendations from your vet.
  • Avoid overfeeding or excessive treats to prevent weight gain and related health issues.

Are Spanish Water Dogs healthy?

Spanish Water Dogs are generally a healthy breed, but they may be prone to certain health conditions, including:

Bones and Joints

  • Hip Dysplasia - a condition where the thigh bone and pelvis do not sit together properly at the hip joint, which can lead to discomfort and arthritis


  • Cataracts - a common cause of blindness due to a clouding of the lens of the eye
  • Distichiasis - when extra hairs grow on the inside of the eyelid and rub on the surface of the eye
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) - this is when the retina of the eye breaks down, leading to blindness


  • Hypothyroidism - a condition where your dog does not produce enough thyroid hormone


  • Atopy - when the immune system overreacts to an allergen and results in skin irritation

This list is by no means comprehensive, so if you have any concerns about the health of your dog or want to discuss further if a Spanish Water Dog is right for you, consult with your vet.

BorrowMyDoggy loves Spanish Water Dogs

BorrowMyDoggy has 383 Spanish Water Dog members

Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian. Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive. If you ever have any concerns about your dog's health, contact your local vet.

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