Although an ancient breed and still a working dog in remote parts of Spain, the Spanish Water Dog was not officially recognised until the 1980s due to the efforts of breeder Antonio Garcia Perez who remembered them from his youth.
They are a medium to smallish sized, balanced dog with a straight and powerful look and a strong head. Their coat is curly with a recommended show length of 3-15cms and begins to cord when long. They can come in a variety of solid and bi-colours.
Their original home is unknown, possibly Turkey or Africa, and they came to Spain a thousand years ago. They have been used for a variety of tasks including herding and guarding but also hunting.
They are very intelligent, trainable and versatile. Within the home, they can be loyal, attentive and affectionate but need plenty of opportunity to exercise their body and brain. They can be wary around strangers and need to be well socialised around other animals and children. They may a little too boisterous for small children. They have great stamina and energy and need a good deal of exercise.
Their coat should not be brushed or combed and they should only be bathed occasionally. The coat length chosen depends on whether they are a working dog, a pet, or a show dog but it is not trimmed but sheared completely. The shorter the coat required, the more regularly they should be sheared. They are prone to hip dysplasia, PRA and ear infections. In addition, some people are allergic to their saliva and urine.