The water dogs officially include these 7 dog breeds:
- Barbet (French Water Dog)
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Lagotto Romagnolo (Italian Water Dog)
- Wetterhoun (Friesian Water Dog)
- Cão De Agua Português (Portuguese Water Dog)
- Perro De Agua Español (Spanish Water Dog)
- American Water Spaniel
What is a Water Dog?
A water dog is a quadruped that was bred to work around and in water. This is an older type of working dog that has been known for a long time.
Typical for many water dogs is a traditional shearing, in which the back part is cut free. This was for purely practical reasons and was intended to make long working days easier for the dog and at the same time ensure that it brought less mud on the boat.
In addition to the working dogs of the fishermen, hunting dogs are mainly found here, which are supposed to track down and flush out games near the banks and reed beds. These are mostly dogs with dense curly fur that swim enthusiastically and persistently and are very happy to retrieve.
Is the Labrador a water dog too? No, but water dogs are believed to be the ancestors of today’s retrievers, among other things.
And are poodles water dogs? No, officially the poodle is now one of the companion dog breeds. However, this dog breed is probably descended from water dogs, among other things, and was probably used as a retriever when hunting waterfowl before the 18th century.
To this day, poodles often have a lot of fun in the water and of course, they also have the typical coat and hairstyle of a water dog. The modern poodle clippings are, of course, artistic developments of these haircuts, which were purely functional in the past.
Water Dog Nreeds
Here YOU will find the overview of the water dogs:
1. Lagotto Romagnolo
Shoulder Height: 41-48 cm
Weight: 11-16 kg
These water dogs were kept by the “lagoon hunters” in northern Italy. From the 18th century, however, more and more wetlands were gradually drained in favor of new cropland. Thus, Lagotto Romagnolo’s area of responsibility shifted to the truffle hunting dog.
Today, these charming and undemanding four-legged friends with rustic curly hairstyles are also popular as active companion dogs. Because of the compact stature, the very easy-to-lead type, and of course the lack of hunting instinct make keeping them very uncomplicated.
2. Perro de Agua Espanol
Shoulder Height: 40-50 cm
Weight: 14-22 kg
- Spanish dog breed
The Perro de Agua Español is an old dog breed that was not only kept as a retriever for hunters and fishermen in Spain. The Spanish water dog was bred primarily as a herding dog!
Despite his versatile past, he was classified in the FCI nomenclature not least because of his curly appearance among the water dogs. Today he is mainly kept as an active companion dog, which can be very easily trained for various tasks due to his willingness to work.
Some regional varieties of these dogs in Spain are also known as the Cantabrian Water Dog or the Andalusian Water Dog.
3. Cao de Agua Portuguese
Shoulder Height: 43-57 cm
. Weight: 16-25 kg
There are two varieties of the Portuguese Water Dog, one with a long, wavy coat and one with a short, curly coat. The long-haired dogs are sometimes shorn in their traditional hairstyle, i.e. with a bare hindquarters and a tail pompom.
These fishing dogs were used for all kinds of work on the Portuguese coast up until the 20th century. Today, the PWH is primarily kept as a sporty and robust family and companion dog.
4. Irish Water Spaniel
Shoulder Height: 51-59 cm
Weight: 20-30 kg
The exact origin of the Irish Water Dog is not entirely clear. From about 1830 Justin McCarthy began to breed his own line of hardworking hunting dogs near Dublin. The Irish Water Spaniel is considered a larger spaniel but is actually more of a retriever than a scavenger dog.
Characteristic of the medium-sized Irish Water Spaniel is the frizzy curly fur, with the face and tail remaining short-haired. The typical coat color is chocolate brown. Unfortunately, these intelligent and eager-to-learn dogs have become far too rare and hardly known today.
Shoulder Height: 53-65 cm
Weight: 14-27 kg
- French dog breed
Named for its long thick beard (Fr. la barbe ), the Barbet is an ancient French dog breed. Dogs of this versatile type were already used throughout Europe in the Middle Ages and are also considered to be the ancestors of the poodle and other water dogs.
Today the French Water Dog is very rare and could only be obtained by dedicated enthusiasts.
Shoulder Height: 53-65 cm
Weight: 14-27 kg
The Wetterhoun is also sometimes referred to as the Dutch Water Dog, or more correctly the Friesian Water Dog.
This relatively rare breed of dog has brown, black, brown-and-white, or black-and-white fur with the typical curly hairstyle, but without a facial beard.
7. American Water Spaniel
Shoulder Height: 38-46 cm
. Weight: 11.5-20.5 kg
- American dog breed
The American water dog was developed in the Great Lakes area of the northeastern United States.
Spaniels, water dogs, and retrievers were probably involved in its creation. He was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1940 and has been the official state dog of Wisconsin since 1985.
Today there are only about 3000 specimens of this rare breed of dog even in his homeland. The American water spaniel is considered a cheerful and pleasant dog for active people.