Yesterday and Today
The Spanish Water Dog is an ancient breed from Spain. Documentation dates this rustic breed back as far as 1,110 CE. Historically, they have been used for herding, hunting, and portage by the fishing industry. Today they are used for therapy work, search and rescue, bomb and drug detection, hunting upland game and water fowl, herding, and as a family companion. The breed is gaining in popularity as a gundog in Europe, especially in England where the SWD now competes in gun dog trials.
Here in the US, some have found an outlet for demonstrating the breed's herding ability through the AKC's competitive herding trial program and the American Herding Breed Association, where you can find a training facility in your state and try your hand at herding as a hobby. This breed does well in a setting where they have a purpose and can direct their energy in a useful way. They take well to agility training, and water sports, as well as herding. As with any highly intelligent energetic breed, they need a gentle but firm hand with clear consistent rules.
If you are considering this breed for your family be sure you have the space and time to work with your new family member. They do best in a home where there are clear, consistent rules and expectations. Above all, they have an abundance of love to share with their owners and will form a lifelong bond with those they love.