Thanks for visiting my dog pages! I’m a small hobby breeder, producing on average one litter every 1-2 years. Still, I’ve managed to produce some very fine dogs and have been an AKC Breeder of Merit since that program’s inception in 20010.
Spanish Water Dogs
The Spanish Water Dog is an ancient and rustic multi-purpose farm dog from Spain whose primary function is goat herding. They can still be found tending large flocks of goats or sheep along Spanish road sides. They are a single-coated, medium-sized breed which attracts a lot of attention from folks doing web searches for their perfect dog. However, the SWD is not for everyone. As a herding dog, SWDs need both mental and physical exercise daily. They are also acutely socially aware and notice everything that goes on around them.
My first Spanish Water Dog “Tia” (Ch Bruma de Benamaina CGC) came to me in 2000, snowballing me into the world of Spanish Water Dog clubs and politics, getting the breed recognized by the AKC’s Foundation Stock Service, the American Herding Breed Association, and ASCA. My dogs were also the first on the continent to have their hips OFA’d, eyes CERF’d and to earn AKC and AHBA titles in agility and herding.
SWDs are traditionally never brushed. Most folks keep the coats uniformly short, which requires shaving down in a strictly utilitarian trim 2-3 times per year (no poofs or fancy scissoring, please!). But if it is allowed, in about 10 months their hair will become a glorious coat of pencil-thin cords.
I never thought I would be a small dog person, but these little dogs have me smitten. The breed dates from around the 1500’s along the border of Germany and France (“löw” is Germanic, “chen” is French). They were a lady’s dog, used for companionship, warmth like a hot water bottle, and as a flea catcher. Their rears are shaved for cleanliness and to better radiate heat. Löwchens are easily found in paintings from the Germanic/Franco regions. The dog boats a soft single coat which requires daily brushing. Temperamentally, I have found the Löwchen to be a blend of Schnauzer and Himalayan cat: proud and sturdy little dogs with the most glorious coats you could ever wish for.
The Löwchen is considered a shedless or hypo- (less) allergenic breed, however it does have a double coat. Both the undercoat and topcoat are glorious and long, and it must be brushed daily. The traditional trim is a lion trim (quite a popular hair cut in the middle ages) with four shaved feet and long anklets. Other than the shaved bits, the Löwchen lion trim (at least in the US) should never be scissored. Many pet folks prefer to keep their Löwchen in a simple and even kennel cut to enjoy some hair but not go through the daily brushing.