The Spanish Water Dog (Perro de Agua Español) is a medium-sized, hard-working breed found throughout the Spanish countryside over the last 800 years. Its characteristics, most particularly the quality of its coat, are adapted to the variation of humidity and drought of the Iberian Peninsula.

​As with most ancient dogs, the Spanish Water Dog’s origins are debated by many experts. What is known is that this rustic multi-purpose breed was developed in Spain many centuries ago to fulfill a variety of purposes, including herding, hunting, water work, protection of home and farm, and companionship.

General Appearance

A rustic breed of the Iberian Peninsula, the Spanish Water Dog is a sturdy, medium sized, well proportioned, athletic dog that is suited to perform a variety of tasks including herding, hunting, and fisherman’s assistant. He is a loyal, vigilant, and intelligent working dog with strong herding instincts. His working ability is attributed to an intense desire to please. In profile, the Spanish Water Dog is slightly longer than tall. He has a distinctive curly coat, which is adapted to the variation of humidity and drought of his homeland. Traditionally, he has a docked tail.


The Spanish Water Dog is faithful, obedient, lively, hard working, and watchful. He is highly intelligent with an outstanding learning ability. His loyalty and protective instincts make him a self-appointed guardian to his owner, his family, and his property. He should be neither timid nor shy, but is naturally suspicious of strangers. Properly introduced, and given time, the Spanish Water Dog will accept strangers. He is very affectionate with his own people.


Dogs, 17 1/2-19 3/4 inches; Bitches, 15 3/4 to 18 inches.


The Spanish Water Dog may be solid (in its various shades of black, brown, beige, or white) or parti-color where the second color is white.

Learn more at the Spanish Water Dog Club of America.