Finding a Spanish Water Dog (SWD) can be a challenging task. Since the SWD is a relatively new breed in the United States, it can be difficult to find good information about it and determining whether this breed truly fits your personality or life style. Patience is paramount if you are to make a good decision. We recommend that you spend the time to educate yourself concerning the breed in addition to doing indepth research into the breeder(s) you may be considering. There are not many breeders of SWDs in the U.S. and, unfortunately, some of those breeders can be less than reputable. Wait lists are commonly long and buying from Spain or elsewhere overseas could also be risky for those unfamiliar with the breed or with foreign breeders. The work you put into this process and the wait will be well worth it.
Breeders are very important part of the process and when you are discussing the possible purchase of a SWD with one, you should inquire about the health testing he/she has done on the breeding stock being used for that particular litter. These tests will reduce the chance of having some of these diseases. These are the tests that the Spanish Water Dog Club of America (SWDCA) recommends anyone purchasing a SWD ask the breeder about:
(For more information, see SWDs Health.)
- Annual OFA examination - Gonioscopy as part of the eye exam is optional.
- OFA evaluation from an approved laboratory
Breeding dogs should have a full thyroid panel done, including TgAA which is a predictor of future Hypothyroid.
- DNA based test from an approved laboratory
CHG (Canine Hypothyroid with Goiter) (Optional)
- DNA through Dr. John Fyfe, Michigan State University
Only through health testing and careful breeding can the health of the Spanish Water Dog be improved in the future.
We have attempted to collect and provide here information and guidelines that should be useful in deciding on and finding a SWD. In addition to the information and guidance found here, members of the SWDCA have a wealth of experience and information concerning the breed which would be difficult to completely cover here. You might consider joining the SWDCA while you search for or await the arrival of your new SWD as a way to familiarize yourself with the breed and to prepare yourself for the new addition to your family.