Spanish Water Dog Breed, Size, Hypoallergenic, Price, and Temperament

Spanish Water Dog Breed | Spanish Water Dog Breed Introduction

Spanish Water Dog is a medium-sized dual purpose dog breed from Andalusia, Spain. It was bred as a herding and guard dog. Spanish Water Dogs are also skilled at retrieval from water. Some Spanish Water dogs are born with naturally bobbed tails while others have long tails which are docked in countries that allow this practice such as the USA.

This breed is popular for its distinctive single coat that is curly and woolly covering the entire body including his eyes. If left natural and long, the coat forms cords that almost look-like dreadlocks. These are also high-energy dogs that make great pets for active outdoorsy owners.

Spanish Water Dogs are also velcro dogs that thrive on human contact. This breed also possess a protective instinct which makes it a great guard dog. They also have a strong herding instinct and herds everything that moves including kids, animals such as cats, and moving vehicles.

Spanish Water Dog Origin  | History 

As with all ancient breeds, the origin of Spanish Water Dogs is a topic of debate. It is believed this breed has been in existence for the past 800 years throughout the Spanish Countryside. Although the origin of this breed has a lot of uncertainties, the Spanish Water dogs were developed to fulfill a variety of functions including companionship, water work, hunting, herding, and protection of home and farm.

Spanish Water Dog's Photo
A Photo of a Spanish Water Dog

This breed was first mentioned in 1110 AD in historical literature. Over the centuries, the breed has been identified by different names including chorri, perro de agua Español, perroturco andaluz, patero and rizado, lanas, etc. Although the precise origin is not known, Salas (1984) and De las Rosas (1993) cite possible African Origins.

There are two theories that explain how the breed got to Spain. One theory cites that Spanish Water Dogs arrived on Turkish boats between 600 to 900 A.D. while another theory cites the breed arrived in Spain with settlers from North Africa. Even with the ancient history, this breed was recognized by the Real Sociedad Canina de España in 1985. AKC fully recognized Spanish Water Dogs in 2015 under the herding group.

Spanish Water Dog Lifespan

The lifespan of Spanish Water Dog is 12 to 14 years.

Spanish Water Dog Grooming

The Spanish Water Dog has a curly and wooly coat that should never be brushed, blown out, or combed. Dogs that participate in show dogs should have their coats clipped once a year. However, Spanish Water Dogs that are basically kept as pets may have their coats trimmed twice or thrice a year. The coat is clipped at a uniform length all over the body.

The Spanish Water Dogs need a bath every 6 to 8 weeks. Use a mild shampoo that has no heavy conditioners. Squeeze the shampoo through the coat as if you are washing a sweater. Avoid brushing the coat vigorously since it is a recipe for matting. After bathing a pet, thoroughly rinse off the grooming products from the coat until the water runs clear. Squeeze excess water using your hands.

Don’t rub the coat with a towel but instead allow it to air dry. If the coat mats especially around the legs, rear, neck, and ears, find a natural separation, and use your fingers to work on the mats. Trim the nails every 2 to 4 weeks using nail clippers or grinders to prevent splitting, overgrowth, or cracking.

Brush the teeth of Spanish Water Dogs at least twice a week using a tasty canine toothpaste and toothbrush to remove tartar buildup. Clean the ears on a weekly basis using a cotton balls and an ear cleanser solution to remove dirt and excess debris.

Spanish Water Dog Shedding | Shed

Contrary to the belief that Spanish Water Dogs have a non-moulting coat, they shed at low levels all-year round. The shed hair is barely noticeable due to the woolly and curly coat.

Spanish Water Dog Coat | Coat Care 

The Spanish Water Dogs have a single woolly coat that is always curly. It is the hallmark of the breed. The coat should never be brushed, scissored, combed, or blown out in order to maintain the rustic appearance.  

Spanish Water Dog Hypoallergenic 

The Spanish Water Dogs are largely considered hypoallergenic. This is because they have a low to non-shedding coat. The breed is also less likely to drool. However, there is no 100% hypoallergenic pure bred or crossbreed dogs. This is because dog’s urine, mucus, and saliva contains a protein allergen that triggers inflammation. Therefore, parents should spend lots of time with a particular dog before adoption to ensure it does not trigger their allergies.

Spanish Water Dog Training | How To Train A Spanish Water Dog 

The Spanish Water Dogs are intelligent, possess reasoning skills, and have a strong desire to please which makes them easily trainable. They also thrive on positive training methods such as the use of clicker training, playtime, petting, verbal praise, treats, and toys. However, use of harsh correction methods such as punching, shoving, kicking, and beating will make the dog loose enthusiasm for the tasks in hand hence shutting down during training.

Keep the training sessions engaging, fun, and challenging to avoid boredom and distraction. Some Spanish Water dogs may have a high prey drive due to the herding instinct. Therefore, they may not be able to resist the temptation of a deer, rabbit, or squirrel.

Remember to teach basic command words like come, sit, stay, lie down, heel, leave it, etc. one at a time until the pet is well-versed before proceeding to the next command word. Effectively housebreak Spanish Water Dogs by creating a feeding schedule, potty training, and crate training.


Spanish Water Dogs are also loyal to their pet parents. Although, they may be reserved with strangers. Therefore, ongoing socialization and positive new experiences are important from an early age. This training starts from the age of 3 weeks while the pet is with the breeder until the age of 16 weeks after the pet has already settled in its new home. However, it may be a life-long process to ensure the dog matures to have a well-rounded temperament.

To socialize the Spanish Water Dogs, expose them to a wide variety of people, animals, places, situations, surfaces, smell, experiences, sight, and sounds such as baby crying sounds, lawn mowers, vacuum cleaners, whistles, washing machines, and sirens. Enrolling a Spanish Water Dog in a puppy class will also serve as a form of socialization. These classes create a controlled environment where puppies interact with each other.

Spanish Water Dog Temperament  | Personality

  • Intelligent.
  • Loyal.
  • Willing to Please.
  • Versatile.
  • Lively.
  • Watchful.
  • Obedient.
  • Faithful.
  • Affectionate.
  • Reserved with strangers.
  • Diligent.
  • Athletic.

Spanish Water Dog Exercise Needs 

After the age of 18 months, Spanish water Dogs can engage in strenuous exercise since the growth plates have closed. Therefore, they will make great companions for snow-shoeing, hiking, or running. After getting the needed exercise for the day, this breed will settle at home for some Netflix chill. The Spanish Water Dogs are also excellent swimmers and playing fetch in the water is a great way of getting rid of pent-up energy.

Spanish Water Dog Barking 

The Spanish Water dogs have a strong guarding instinct and they are also wary of strangers. Therefore, they become the self-appointed guardians of their homes. For this reason, they may be quite vocal while executing this role.

Spanish Water Dog Height 

A Female Spanish Water Dog has a height of 15.75 to 18 inches ( approx. 40 to 46 cm ) while its male counterpart has a height of 17. 5 to 19.75 inches ( approx. 44 to 50 cm ).

Spanish Water Dog Weight 

Female Spanish Water Dogs have a weight of 31 to 40 pounds ( approx. 14 to 18 kg ) while male Spanish Water Dogs have a weight of 40 to 49 pounds ( approx. 18 to 22 kg ).

Spanish Water Dog Size

The Spanish Water Dogs are medium-sized dogs with a height of 15.75 to 19.75 inches ( approx. 40 to 50 cm ) and a weight of 31 to 49 pounds ( approx. 14 to 22 kg ).

Spanish Water Dog Health Issues | Health Problems 

Although Spanish Water dogs have a lifespan of up to 14 years, they may suffer from certain health issues including eye problems like cataracts, cherry eye, Progressive retinal atrophy, and Distichia, hip dysplasia, allergies, Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, Neuroaxonal dystrophy, Hypoadrenocorticism, and hypothyroidism.

Other dog breeds include:

Welsh Terrier.

American Foxhound.

Spanish Water Dog Names 

A Spaniel Water dog parent may find a name for the pet before it joins them home or days after it has already settled to understand its personality better. Owners may get name inspirations from the Spanish heritage of the breed, coat color and texture, celebrity Spaniel Water dogs, movies, books, songs, nature, or historical figures.

The name chosen should freely roll off the tongue without making you embarrassed when uttered out loud. Spaniel Water Dogs and other dog breeds better understand a name that has vowels. If this dog has a name that rhymes with the command words, it will create confusion. Find a cute nickname for your pet if you will settle with a long tedious name.

If this pet shares a name with any family member or guest that frequent your home, it may cause confusion. Some of the names that Spanish Water Dog parents give to their pets include:

  • Arroyo.
  • Inigo.
  • Armando.
  • Enrique.
  • Bella.
  • Esperanza.
  • Anabella.
  • Renata.
  • Chica.
  • Dahlia, etc.

Spanish Water Dog Food 

The amount of food that Spanish Water Dogs feed on depend on their age, activity level, metabolism, size, and body build. Spanish Water Dogs will thrive on either raw food, home-made food, or commercial dry or wet food. Although, some owners have encountered occasional food allergies.

Any food given to the dog should be appropriate to the dog’s age i.e. puppy, adult, or senior. Consider the activity level of your pet while choosing the level of fat, carbohydrates, and proteins. Some pets may be susceptible to getting overweight.

Watch the weight level and calorie consumption. Parents should also be well-versed with the human foods that are harmful to the dogs. Ensure your pooch has access to clean water at all times.

Spanish Water Dog Black | Colors

A Spanish Water Dog may either have a solid coat color of various shades of beige, brown, black, or white. Some are parti-colored where one of the colors must be white such as white & chocolate, or black and white.

Spanish Water Dog Price | Cost 

The average price of a Spanish Water Dog puppy maybe $1000 to $2500 depending on the breeder.

Spanish Water Dog Allergies 

Based on the recent health testing, Spanish Water Dogs also suffer from allergies such as:

Food allergies – although rare, some Spanish Water Dogs may suffer from a true food allergy that causes an immune response. It is normally accompanied with a wide range of symptoms from skin issues to gastrointestinal stress.

Skin allergies – This inflammation is caused by food, contact, and environmental allergies that affect the skin.

Contact allergies – This allergy causes inflammation once the skin comes in contact with the allergen. Some of the contact allergens that affect Spanish Water Dogs include lawn chemicals, plastics, bed linens, grooming products, latex, medications, and carpet cleaning detergents.

Environmental allergies – Some of the environmental allergens that affect Spanish Water Dogs include pollen, grass, ragweed, trees, mites, fleas, dust and dust mites, and house molds.

How Much Are Spanish Water Dogs 

The cost of Spanish Water Dogs is between $1000 to $2500 depending with the breeder.

Are Spanish Water Dogs Hypoallergenic 

Yes. Spanish Water Dogs are largely considered hypoallergenic due to the low to non-shedding coat. This breed is also less likely to drool.

Do Spanish Water Dogs Shed

Yes. However, Spanish shed at low levels hence the shed hair is barely noticeable. 

Do Spanish Water Dogs Bark A Lot 

The Spanish Water Dogs tend to be barkers due to their natural guarding instinct. They are also wary of strangers which may make them vocal.

Are Spanish Water Dogs Aggressive 

No. Although they are wary of strangers, Spanish Water Dogs are neither shy nor aggressive.

Are Spanish Water Dogs Good Family Pets 

Yes. They are obedient, intelligent, faithful, lively, athletic, diligent, and hard-working making them great family pets for active parents.

Spanish Water Dog Quick Facts

  • They have a single coat that is curly and woolly. 
  • They are dual purpose dogs used as waterfowl retrievers and herders.
  • They are intelligent dogs that are willing to please making them highly trainable.