Spanish Water Dog Breed

The breed is still used to herd sheep in some parts of Spain.
By: PawCulture Editors
medium size curly hair dog standing

About the Spanish Water Dog Breed

The Spanish Water Dog has been recognized by the American Kennel Club as part of the Herding Group, as of January 1, 2015. The Spanish Water Dog originally worked as a multi-purpose farm dog and was used for herding, hunting and assisting fisherman.

Spanish Water Dog Physical Characteristics

The Spanish Water Dog is medium-sized with a distinctive, curly coat.


The breed comes in various shades of black, brown, beige, or white, or parti-color with white as the secondary color.


The Spanish Water Dog’s coat is curly and has a wooly texture. The coat is never brushed or combed but is trimmed once or twice a year. When allowed to grow long, the coat develops cords with tapered tips.

Spanish Water Dog Personality and Temperament

Activity Level

Moderate to high


The Spanish Water Dog has strong protective instincts, and is very loyal to its owner and generally wary with strangers. The breed thrives on human contact.

Things to Consider

Spanish Water Dogs must be socialized beginning very early in life. The breed they can be quirky, strong-willed, moody, territorial and manipulative.

Spanish Water Dog Care

Ideal Living Conditions

This intelligent, energetic breed does best in an active environment. They are not good pets for first-time dog owners or for people with small children or other pets unless they are properly trained and socialized.

Special Requirements

The high-energy Spanish Water Dog should be given plenty of exercise and new learning experiences to keep it from becoming bored.

Spanish Water Dog Health

Hip dysplasia and allergies are the biggest health concerns. Other potential inherited conditions include glaucoma and hypothyroidism.

Spanish Water Dog History and Background

An ancient breed, the Spanish Water Dog developed in Spain over the last 800 years for herding, hunting, water work and protection. The breed is still used to herd sheep in some parts of Spain. The Spanish Water Dog might have faded into obscurity if not for the efforts of breeders Santiago Montesinos and Antonio Garcia Perez to preserve the breed starting in 1975, according to the Spanish Water Dog Club of America Inc., the AKC’s Parent Club for the breed.

Spanish Water Dog breed