I once wrote someone an email and they corrected me. After the correction I wrote back…we learn something new every day. His response is what got me. He said ‘All of us!’ And for sure we all learn something new every day, just when we think there is nothing more to learn.
You see, I have been a dog enthusiast for years. I thought I had seen every dog breed that exists. But I was in for a little surprise because I had never come face to face with the beauty that is a Spanish Water Dog. My friend knows how much I love meeting new dog breeds so when she went to groom a client’s dog and found this beauty; she called me right away asking would I be willing to go take a look? Of course I was willing; I dropped everything I was doing and went over right away.
This dog had dreadlocks, yo! His owner wanted them cut off and just for him to be left with a short coat, but I, for once, thought a tangled dog coat looked great. And is it weird that I wanted to grow dreadlocks at that moment?
Another fact about this dog is it only got admitted into the American Kennel Club in 2008. No wonder it is not so common to see your neighbour with one of them.
Looks and grooming
To maintain its coat, owners are advised to clean the dog regularly with a mild shampoo. Vigorous rubbing should be avoided, and the shampoo should be worked through the coat the same way you would do when washing a sweater. A basic guideline while grooming this dog is that you should never use a brush on the coat. The coat should be maintained at the same length all over.
If you intend to have your dog as a show dog, you should let the coat grow out until it forms cords and only trim them short to your personal reference once a year as it takes months for the cords to form.
The dog comes in black, brown, beige, white or particolored. The dogs have expressive eyes that come in brown, hazel and blue.
In terms of exercise, these dogs are strong swimmers, and most but not all of them love being in water. Swimming is therefore one of the exercises you can engage them in, and a good run at least once a day or a long walk is good for their optimum health.
They have a sturdy body of medium size. This coupled with their unique coat gives them a look that is often described as rustic. They also happen to be versatile dogs, and can easily be either water retrievers or sheep herders and be at home in both scenarios.
They tend to have a high prey drive because they are originally herding dogs so even with great training they can’t resist small animals such as rabbits, or squirrels. You know what that means if you have other pets; you need to either choose between the dog and the other pets or be careful to keep the two away from each other.
Intelligence, temperament and ideal living conditions
Some of this dog’s best qualities are its intelligence and yet another advantage of its coat. The dog is highly intelligent and active and therefore it is easy to train in basic obedience and even specialized training. The dog has a single coat that does not shed. This is good news for people who are allergic to dander and dog hair as this quality means less reactions.
SWD as they are nicknamed are highly adaptable and can therefore live in either extremely hot conditions or extremely cold conditions.
But be aware that although the dogs can live in any living conditions, and are loyal to their owners, they can be shy around strangers. The shyness can be reduced by socialization; take the dog to new places where there are people and other dogs from an early age so that he can get used to the sights.
So in conclusion, this dog I was told to go take a look at is hypoallergenic, has beautiful cords and is intelligent. In a word, a beauty with brains. I think I want an SWD puppy.
Photo credits – Omlet