Caring for a Spanish Water Dog's Coat
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The Spanish Water Dog is a beloved breed that is famed for being a great assistant to sailors, coast guards, forest rangers, firefighters, and in any situation involving fresh or salt water. As their name points out, they are excellent swimmers.
This breed's coat does not get spoiled by water, a rare quality shared by few other dogs. However, it requires specific care. Keep reading this AnimalWised article and discover all about caring for a Spanish Water Dog's coat.
What is the Spanish Water Dog's coat like?
The main characteristic of the Spanish Water Dog's fur is that it forms curls that may turn into cords. Depending on the activity performed by the dog, it might be a good idea to shear its coat yearly. They don't shed any hair, as hair that falls out becomes part of the cords.
Caring for a Spanish Water Dog's coat does not include brushing. You should check them for mats, deconstructing them without damaging the cords; if you cannot do so, it's best to go to a professional who will shear the dog. In any case, they should be sheared once a year.
Spanish Water Dogs can be bathed, but it is not good to do so frequently. If you bathe your dog, do so with neutral shampoo for dogs and leave it to dry by itself in natural sunlight and air: do not use towels or hairdryers.
You need to make sure it doesn't have any parasites, as they will cause the dog to scratch itself, which will result in knots and tangles.
Haircuts for a Spanish Water Dog: Uniform cut
The uniform cut is the most practical style for Spanish Water Dogs that live in flats and apartments. It consists of shearing them completely, without any decorative features. This makes it very easy to keep them clean and odor-free. However, you mustn't shear their fur any shorter than 1 cm in length, as they could get sunburned during the summer.
Haircuts for a Spanish Water Dog: Work cut
A work cut is a type of haircut suitable for dogs who spend a lot of time on boats, assisting fishing parties or search and rescue teams, or livestock herders. It consists of shearing the dog's face and paws below the hocks, while the rest of the Spanish Water Dog's coat is kept at normal length.
This haircut is designed to aid swimming and to prevent spikes, berries or other potentially irritating plant elements from getting caught in their paws. The long fur on the rest of the body is intended to keep them warm and protect them from the cold temperatures and gales that occur at sea or in the mountains.
Haircuts for a Spanish Water Dog: Long hair
The decision to leave a Spanish Water Dog's coat at full length will depend on various factors: it is usually chosen to make the most of their beautiful hair type. Spanish Water Dogs can be left to grow out their hair if the owner makes sure it doesn't carry any parasites.
You shouldn't brush your dog's hair, but rather leave it to grow naturally into the cords that set Spanish Water Dogs apart from other breeds.
All this type of fur requires is a bath - not more often than once a month - with lukewarm water and natural shampoo, using minimal amounts around the face, genitals and anus, and air drying. You should not fluff up the dog's cords with too much shampoo, as this could eliminate the protective natural fat from the dog's body.
Tips to care for a Spanish Water Dog's coat
- If you shear the dog, it would be best to do so in May and October, coinciding with the sheep shearing period. If the Spanish Water Dog is due to compete in a competition, its fur will need to be cut in line with established standards: it must not exceed 15 cm in length or be shorter than 2 cm.
- Sea water beautifies the Spanish Water Dog's coat if treated as follows: after the dog bathes in the sea, let it dry naturally without washing out the salty residue. Leave it for two days and then wash it out with lots of fresh water on the third.
- The Spanish Water Dog should be bathed in cool to lukewarm water, never hot water. Also, you should never dry them with a hand dryer or towels.
- You should undo the knots using your fingers, working from outside to in.
Don't miss our article on names for water dogs!
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