Spanish Water Dog

Dog Breed Profile

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Spanish Water Dog History

The Spanish Water Dog (SWD) is an ancient breed of working gundog. The SWD typically weighs between 18 and 25 kg (40 to 55 lb) and stands 60–70 cm (24–28 in) at the withers. An ancient maritime and waterside working canine, the SWD was used to provide protection from, and retrieve game for, hunters and fishermen—their natural prey being waterfowl such as ducks, geese and swans. The SWD was later utilized to assist in the capture of birds and sea lions. The SWD hunts primarily by pulling its human partner through the water on its leash, and swimming after its quarry. The SWD is rarely aggressive, but is very vigilant and capable of herding larger animals. It tends to be very loyal, and can form close bonds with its family, but tends to have an independent streak.

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Spanish Water Dog Physical Characteristics

The Spanish Water Dog is a smaller, medium-size breed of working gundog that originated in Spain. They stand between 19 and 25 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 35 and 60 pounds. They have a smooth, long, dense, waterproof double-layered “wool” coat that is reddish-brown or mahogany in color. They have a wedge-shaped head, small, erect ears, and a thick, relatively flat tail. The Spanish Water Dog is intelligent, alert, and protective.

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Height Range

Male Height Range: 17 – 20 inches

Female Height Range: 15 – 18 inches

Weight Range

Male Weight Range: 41 – 49 lbs

Female Weight Range: 31 – 40 lbs

Spanish Water Dog Health

Description of breed health.


12-14 yrs

Spanish Water Dog Health Concerns

Hip Dysplasia, Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Hypothyroidism, Addison’s Disease

Spanish Water Dog Temperament and Behaviour

The SWD is an energetic and intelligent breed of working dog. They are highly energetic and curious, and will need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They can be sensitive and temperamental, but are also very protective of their owners. They are friendly and good-natured, but can be wary of new people and things.

Spanish Water Dog Activity Requirements

Spanish Water Dogs are large, athletic, intelligent, and friendly. They are high-energy and need a daily dose of physical and mental stimulation. Whether through long walks or vigorous play, your Spanish Water Dog will need about an hour of activity each day. They are a high-energy dog, so be sure to provide them with opportunities for running and jumping. If you are looking for a companion that will keep you on your toes, a Spanish Water Dog may be the perfect addition to your home. They need lots of exercise and attention, and aren’t well-suited for novice owners.

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Kennel Club Recognition

American Kennel Club

Recognized by the American Kennel Club

Spanish Water Dog is part of the Herding group.

Visit the American Kennel Club website.

The Kennel Club

Recognized by The Kennel Club

Spanish Water Dog is part of the Gundog group.

Visit the Kennel Club website.

Australian National Kennel Council

Recognized by the Australian National Kennel Council

Spanish Water Dog is part of the Gundog group.

Visit the Australian National Kennel Council website.

Canadian Kennel Club

Recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club

Spanish Water Dog is part of the Herding group.

Visit the Canadian Kennel Club website.