Find an SWD
Before You Get a Spanish Water Dog
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 in-depth 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.
Here are some points to ponder before purchasing a Spanish Water Dog (SWD). The SWD is historically a working dog who was used by the shepherds to herd livestock, therefore they have strong herding instincts. They are very intelligent, faithful, energetic and happy dogs. Sometimes they are known as "velcro" dogs and usually stick very close to their owners. They are very organized by nature and generally do not like things out of place. They will alert you by barking if someone is at the door or there is something outside. They will protect your home and your family by alerting, but they are not attack dogs. They also have a tendency to nip as puppies, and might try to "herd" your young children or other pets. As with any dog, they should not be left unsupervised with children.
Interview many different breeders. Location should not affect where you purchase your puppy. Purchasing a puppy is a very big commitment. Make sure you feel comfortable having a relationship with this breeder for your puppy’s lifetime. Ask for references, and contact them. Ensure that the breeder has performed appropriate health testing on his breeding stock. Ask to see documentation of any hip evaluation (OFA or PennHIP), eye clearances (CERF), OptiGen test for prcd/PRA, thyroid panel or any other health testing that has been performed. The SWDCA recommends the following tests be performed on breeding stock:
This goes for imported dogs as well. Ask to see the health certification from the registry in that country. All dogs in the United States should be registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC). Read and familiarize yourself with the Code of Ethics on this web site. Every breeder should be adhering to the Code of Ethics. A responsible breeder will not mind a prospective buyer who asks many questions, and will not mind answering them. In fact, a responsible breeder will respect a buyer who has done his "homework" and is truly interested in the welfare of the puppy.
Never leave the breeder's home without registration papers. By purchasing a pure bred dog, you are purchasing the registration. Registration papers should never be withheld for any reason. The practice of withholding registrations is even illegal in some states. Check your state's lemon laws. Additionally, the practice of withholding registrations is against the Code of Ethics of all US dog registries.