The Spanish Water Dog is a rustic breed that developed on the Iberian Peninsula in ancient times. While his exact origins are not known, he seems to have some of the same ancestors as his close neighbor, the Portuguese Water Dog, who also possesses a characteristic wooly, water-resistant coat. For the last 1,000 years, the Spanish Water Dog has helped herd sheep and goats in the mountainous Andalucían region of Spain (which he still does today), where he is also employed as a search-and-rescue dog. In addition, he is becoming increasingly popular as a companion.
The Spanish Water Dog is a medium-sized dog, slightly longer than he is tall, and weighing between 30 and 50 lbs. If his distinctive curly coat is allowed to grow long, it can be separated into cords; or, it can be kept short for easy grooming. He should have a bath only when he needs one, and his coat should be allowed to dry naturally. If you like, you could keep with tradition and shear your Spanish Water Dog once a year. Long coat or short, this naturally athletic and agile dog will need plenty of exercise. He is at his happiest when he’s allowed to romp and play.
It’s easy to see why the Spanish Water Dog is gaining popularity as a companion dog. He is affectionate with his family members, including children, and while his natural guardian instincts make him wary of strangers at first, it doesn’t take him long to warm up. He is obedient and very intelligent, making him easy to train.
Athleticism aside, the Spanish Water Dog is still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect his health – not to mention your family budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses SWDs are prone to include ear conditions such as otitis externa; eye conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy; skin conditions such as atopy; joint conditions such as hip dysplasia; and thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Spanish Water Dog inherits anything more than a curly coat, you’re covered.