Cantabrian Water Dog
Perro de Agua del Cantábrico Macho Exposición.jpg
Other namesPerro de agua cantábrico
Perro de lanas
Common nicknamesCWD, PAC
OriginCantabria, Spain
Variety statusNot recognised as a breed by any major kennel club.
Dog (domestic dog)

The Cantabrian Water Dog (Spanish: perro de agua cantábrico) is a landrace breed of dog developed in the coast of Cantabria, northern Spain, as an assistant to fishermen. The breed was classified and recognized by the Breeds Committee of the Spanish Ministry of Environment on 22 March 2011.[1] It is recognised by the Royal Canine Society of Spain as a variety of the Spanish water dog.[1]

History of the variety

A Cantabrian Water Dog in the early 20th century in the port of Santander, Cantabria.
A Cantabrian Water Dog in the early 20th century in the port of Santander, Cantabria.

The Cantabrian Water Dog is an ancestral population in the north of the Iberian Peninsula, whose origins seem to be common to Barbet.[2] The breed is socially, culturally and historically rooted in the towns and villages of the whole coast of Cantabria and eastern Asturias. The work of this breed has been traditionally related to fishing work: collecting fishes that fell into the water, watching the ships when they were moored in port, taking the rope between ships and to the dock, or acting like a lifeguard.[3]


The population of Cantabrian Water Dog shows a clear morphological and genetic differentiation that allows discrimination from other dog populations in the same group with close geographic distribution. One genetic study place it as close to the Spanish Water Dog as to the Barbet or Caniche.[2] These animals are lighter and shorter than those of the Spanish breed, where they were previously included. Thus, 75% of males and 38% of females would be excluded from the breed standard for height at the withers, while using the criterion of weight, 91% of males and 80% females would be excluded.[2] The coat is wooly and curly, and the color can be black, brown, beige, or white. Males are normally under 20 inches at shoulder level.[4] The life expectancy is about 12-14 years.

See also


  1. ^ a b El Diario Montañés (2011). "Larga vida al perro de agua del Cantábrico" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2011-05-03. Retrieved 2011-01-04.
  2. ^ a b c Méndez, S.; Dunner, S.; García, J.A.; de Argüello, S.; Crespo, M.J.; Chomón, N.; Calderón, L.A.; Sañudo, B.; Cañón, J. (2011). "Caracterización del Perro de Agua del Cantábrico" (PDF). Archivos de Zootecnia. 60 (231): 405–408. doi:10.4321/S0004-05922011000300022. ISSN 0004-0592. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  3. ^ Asociación Perro de Agua del Cantábrico (2009). "Estándar del Perro de Agua del Cantábrico" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2011-01-06.
  4. ^ "American Kennel Club". AKC. Retrieved 6 September 2022.