The Spanish water dog as seen by a dog trainer

The Spanish water dog as seen by a dog trainer

Advice from a pet trainer


Its history, even today, remains a mystery. The Spanish water dog appeared in two quite distant points in the Iberian Peninsula, having different physical attributes and being used for different functions. The first population is in the north of the peninsula (the Cantabrian coast, Basque Country, East Asturias and Cantabria) has white coat and is destined for fishing functions. The other type, the southern branch (Andalusian-Extremadura), is located mainly in the provinces of Malaga and Cadiz and the predominant colors are the brown and spotted black. Contrary to the population in the north, this population is mainly used for livestock functions.

The theory that is most accepted about its origin, is that all the water dogs share common ancestors from western Europe. The majority of people think that these dogs were introduced in the Iberian Peninsula crossing the Straits of Gibraltar accompanying the Muslim troops in 711.

Physical attitudes:

The Spanish Water Dog is strong, extremely intelligent and has a wide range of skills. These dogs were used to release the fishing nets when they got hooked and they really excelled at it, even during storms. They were also used by farmers to move and protect the cattle as well as for hunting. Recently, Spanish water dogs excel in canine sports like agility. All these show the unbeatable physical abilities of the breed.


In general, it is a dog with a cheerful but serious character that is great to live with. However, it is not unlikely to encounter dogs very suspicious and scary. As for the relationship with children, it is typically good. The relationship with other dogs is expected to be smooth but cases of aggression could also happen.


The hair of the Spanish Water dogs grows continuously. At the beginning, it is curly and if left to grow sufficiently it ends up forming rasta. This actually, is the desired state of the hair when these dogs are presented in dog shows. To maintain the hair in a perfect condition it is necessary to consult a groomer that is expert on the breed.


About 270 g of daily feed.


They are strong dogs both physically and mentally. It is advisable to train at an early age and especially for individuals that present signs of fears as this, if left unattended, could lead to a point of aggression towards people outside their environment.


This breed needs a lot of exercise and it is not suitable for sedentary people. If you like long walks or running this might be the perfect breed for you.

More Breeds

You can check Mario’s advice on other dog breeds here

Download the 11pets: Pet Care App

11pets: Pet Care is the most complete smartphone application to help you to care for you pets. It makes it easier to track every aspect of their health, hygiene and preventive treatment. It has programmable reminders for everything; vaccinations, medications, hygiene, preventive care, visits to your veterinarian etc. You can maintain a complete medical history and you will be able to share it you’re your vet or caregiver.

Try it now, it is completely free.

Download the 11pets app now

Download the mobile app now!