Steps to follow to buy a good Spanish water dog puppy
My name is Antonio Benítez, I live in Seville and I own a Spanish water dog called CALIFA DE UBBADAT. Before you continue reading I want to clarify that I am not a breeder of the breed, nor judge, nor an expert in dog training. The intention of this article is to share my experience as a nobel owner of a Spanish Water Dog (SWD). I do not intend to teach anyone, just show and tell so that depending on your need you act according to your circumstances.
If you are thinking about acquiring a SWD let me tell you something. The Spanish water dog not only has an exceptional adaptability to different environments, but its functionality, intelligence and character make it a versatile breed like few others.
You can find this breed working in flooded areas, in marshes, green meadows or collecting prey in the water. You can watch them dive, practicing sports obedience, agility or getting the best smile to children and adults in therapy classrooms. All this is done by showing an amazing agility, with fast races, jumps, turns and barking only and exclusively when necessary, using his mouth more to smile than to bite. It is a disease-resistant dog that feels comfortable in both hot and cold places. Suspicious and distrustful of strangers, he is extremely loyal to his owner and guide. Tolerant with the children that he conquers with his cheerful and playful character that shows working where he offers us all his charm.
How about? Do you have an idea of what the SWD is like?
Now that you are sure that this is the dog that best suits and suits your conditions and those of your family, ask yourself a question:
What do you want it for?
Take your time answering it. This simple question will determine in the first place, the breeder’s choice and, secondly, the selection of the puppy or the puppy. You are making a decision that will influence your life and that of your family; think about it.
While you think about it, I tell you something else and I speak to you from my experience. For me there are two archetypes of people in the PDAE world: those who sell dogs, whom I call merchants and those who are dedicated to breeding and selection according to morphological (phenotype) and genetic (genotype) criteria.
As for the first, the merchants, tend to be anxious, only interested in talking about price and usually always have litters available. To define the second, the breeders, I will use the definition given by C. Desarnaud in his book Perro de Agua Español,“the elite breeders are not the ones who breed the most, in quantity, but those who breed the best in terms of quality and those who are more demanding also when it comes to selecting those who will be the owners of their puppies”.
Choosing to buy one or the other depends on your ethics, but if you have come this far it is because you do not want to buy a dog but to select a partner with whom to share a trip rich in experiences.
Are you still wanting a SWD? Do you have clear why you want it?
Depending on what you want your dog for, I invite you to attend dog shows, training tests, work tests and observe, see and feel what type of dog you like. Tomate tiempo are about to make an important decision. Talk to people whose dogs get your attention and find out about their affix. Get the details of the owner of the affix and get in touch with him. I tell you this because, although there is an official race standard offered by the Royal Spanish Canine Society (RSCE) that determines how the PDAE morphology should be, you will notice when you attend the first exhibition that there is a lot of variety within that standard and you must be the one who chooses attending to your interests and tastes.
Breeders from all over Spain usually attend exhibitions. Try to give priority to those who are close to your geographical area so that, if you feel like it and prior agreement with the breeder, you can visit the facilities. You do not have to be a great expert to perceive if you are in a hatchery where you care about the selection or in a farm that is dedicated to the production of dogs. Observe how the animals live, if they are happy, clean, cared for, if they are confident with the people who live with them; They must behave in a friendly way with the breeder and his family.
Do not be fooled by appearances
Let’s move forward a little more. I explain why. Normally, the nobel owners, as I am and you can be you, we are carried away by appearances. We let ourselves be cajoled by the PDAE’s cloak, its curls, its laces and in its different colors, but there are two very important things that are not seen and that you will be happy to know: illnesses and character or temperament. Escape from that breeder who concentrates his efforts and his project on physical appearance, forgetting the personality and health of his breeding line.
When you have chosen the breeder and the breeder has done it with you, take another step; ¡demands! It requires a contract where the conditions of purchase and sale are reflected and you are guaranteed that your future partner is free of diseases, making sure that the breeder has submitted his copies to the tests necessary to rule out hereditary problems and requests that photocopies of the documents that accredit him be attached to that contract. To demand is to encourage the breeding to be responsible and professional. The good of this unique breed is not the responsibility only of the breeders but of all the people who have decided to have a water dog at home.
Some of the most characteristic diseases are PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) and Hip Dysplasia, from which you can find more information on this website, on the Internet or by talking to a veterinarian.
Choose your SWD puppy
Now that you know what you want a SWD for and what your affix will be, it’s time to select the puppy. You know what I tell you?
Let them choose for you! I imagine your face of surprise, but trust the breeder and let him choose the puppy for you. He will know how to offer you what best suits your interests.
This is why it is so important that between you and you there is a fluid communication where you provide information about yourself, offering features of your personality, space where the puppy will live, time of dedication that you have, etc. The breeder knows something that you and I do not know. Know the personality of the litter, know the character of the father and mother and their bloodline. Probably if they put the litter in front of you, like me, you would take the most beautiful, right? Without taking into account that the most beautiful is not the best for you. In the choice of a puppy you have to look for the balance between beauty and nobility and opt for the beautiful can unbalance our tranquility and that of our family. Trust your choice.
Follow your puppy from birth. Thanks to technology and social networks, this is easy to achieve. But, even if you really want to have it at home and your family insists, it will not occur to you to pick up your puppy before 60 days. Let me explain why. The reason is a process that I knew absolutely nothing about and that is very important;
the imprinting. Do you know what it is? It is the process by which your puppy identifies with adults of his own species and learns from them to be a dog by observation and imitation. Learn to look for food, shelter, behavior, submission, aggression, etc. A satisfactory imprinting is not complicated, in fact, it is what should be given if the environment in which the puppy is raised is healthy and balanced.
Something that favors imprinting is EARLY STIMULATION.
It is a battery of neurological stimulation exercises performed by the breeder to the puppy – from the fifth day of life until the 23rd day of life – with the aim of favoring that the puppy is a safer and healthier animal. Some of its benefits are: improvements in cardiovascular development, more powerful heartbeat, greater tolerance to stress and greater resistance to the disease.
In the two months from birth until you finally go to pick it up, take the opportunity to gestate your arrival. Everything in life has a process of gestation, a time in which things mature to finally consolidate. Something you can do is condition or build the space where your dog will live, buy a toy, its leash, its collar, a cage or transport for traveling by car, find a good veterinarian and select the most suitable feed for your food .
When I arrived the day of picking up your puppy, take your time. Do not let yourself be carried away by illusion; Observe it and confirm that it meets the morphological and temperamental characteristics you were looking for. Observe that it is a cheerful puppy, with desire to play and that does not shy away from the caresses of the breeder, in the first moments and after yours or those of your family. Stay attentive to its movement by checking that it is agile for its age and that neither its hands nor its hind legs cross over while playing around you. Look him in the eyes and while you enjoy his color, which should be similar to the color of the mantle, notice that they are free of legañas. Make sure your eyes are moist and shiny, just like the truffle and that your pads are not damaged and are well hydrated. The color of your mantle should be clear, and never tricolor, a single layer or bicolor. And even if it is a little thin check that it is free of parasites.
Let me tell you something before I say goodbye. What I have told up to here is the easiest and also the most boring. The next step is very entertaining; you have put a PDAE in your life and now it’s time to get home and educate it; Have fun! But that’s what we talked about at another time.
happy owner of CALIFA from UBBADAT