This blog post is dedicated to my first and previous SWD, Boris, who taught me a lot from behaviour of the dogs, their love, and the difficult coat. I still miss him so much everyday deadly, but without him, I am not here.
Boris about 10 months, he was beautiful and so royal but also headache sometime
Boris in Spanish Country House
I accidentally met Boris' nephew few years ago, Diego, he is from Boris' same litter sister, and I fell in love with him too, and he had totally different coat, just like their International Champion SWD, Boris' grandfather.
"How do I look after Spanish Water Dog's coat to keep it long without matted?"
"Is there any products to make SWD's coat better?"
I get asked same question so often from new pet SWD owners, and I think it is easier to write something how to look after the SWD's coat from my point of view, then they can read this hopefully.
Also many groomers ask, "Why you can NOT brush Spanish Water Dog's corded coat, but dog's coat is absolutely matted to the skin, what is the reason? why breeder tell the owner this?"
If you have a dog with this type of coat and show them which you need to understand the coat, the answer is fairly simple, but SWD is not very common so, it is normal for the groomers not to know.
My usual answer to first top 2 questions is
"You have to attend the coat often very well, and there is no magic products to make the coat matt free easily."
You have to make sure the coat does not get matted, and if it does, you have to split them and take under coat, and make the coat wet, that is my way of attending the coat in the last 15 years - I will show how to split the cord if you are new to SWD.
As some of you know already I sell MD10 Texture Shampoo for SWD, which was made by tested and tried on my breeders SWDs many times, and they mastered this products to give good texture to Spanish Water Dog. (when wash not matted)
I will explain about this later on as my main topic in this series is to show you how to look after SWD's coat in easy way. But if not MD10, any good Texture Shampoo can give good texture coat, so do not worry even you are not using my shampoo anyway.
<SWD's coat in general>
I only had 2 SWDs in my last 16 years, so may be compared to some of the readers here, I am relatively new and not experienced, and I am not a breeder. Original knowledge was taught by my Spanish Breeder, and looking after their dogs preparing for the shows, and I tried to get best for my dogs too.
So what I write here, may be some of you do not agree but I write here from my knowledge so please keep that way, and I am writing in my 2nd language too.
If you would like to add something missing here from your experience, please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org.
<Puppy coat, silkier and not cording, but should be separated>
Puppy coat is very silky, fluffy coat, and it is not corded. But should be separated like above photos. The skin should be visible all the way.
Bruno had this wonderful coat any SWD breeder and owner could die for. His silky puppy coat had no undercoat, each separated coat was so beautiful to look at, and I was thinking "I will have no problem with his coat in the future, yahoo!!!"
But my hope was betrayed when his woolly adult coat came out.
This is Betty, I think she is about 4 to 5 months here, she has different puppy coat to previous Bruno's puppy coat, more woolly, but good coat.
My breeder always cut about 10 months or even 12 months if not matted, many breeders say cut very young gives better adults coat. I had only 2 dogs, and my breeder never done it, so I have no idea.
If the puppy coat is nice and not matted, I think cut only once is good enough as when the coat is about 3 cm, it is most difficult and easily matted, specially non corded puppy coat.
Please always talk to your breeder for any questions and care, and listen and keep in touch with them. As your puppy is like your family, the pup is part of family for the breeder too. And it is great to see the pup's development together and talk about it, and you have mentor there all the time to give you help and advice if needed.
That is the importance to purchase a puppy from caring breeder. Breeder and you will be friends for life through pup. Wonderful.
But if you purchase from puppy farms, or on website, you will not have that.
<I think SWD comes roughly in 2 types of coats>
1. No undercoat, tight almost Silky
Therefore does not get matted, very lucky coat. Usually they have tighter smaller cord, and almost silky in a sense.
The first photo below is Diego, my Boris' nephew, he has coat just like his grandfather Leon in Spain, when I run finger through his coat, no under coat at all - and not matted at all, beautiful coated handsome dog he was. Underneath is photo of Leon, which you can see he has very tight corded coat and beautifully separated. The owner said he did not have to do anything at all to his coat.
1. Diego had tight curls and almost silkier coat, and NO WOOLLY UNDER COAT AT ALL.
2. Bruno's auntie, she has totally different coat to woolly Bruno but like Diego above
3. Above photo is Leon, it has very similar coat as Diego, and Leon is Diego's grandfather
His coat did not need much maintenance work, just swimming
2. Very woolly coat, often have very soft fluffy under coat.
This fluffy under coat is the tricky one, if the dog do not swim often.
When the dog swim often, the woolly coat makes large, strong cord, and does not get matted. Therefore swimming is easiest way to keep the coat top notch if possible.
Model: 1st picture, Kite (Bruno's grandfather), 2nd picture Bruno, Bruno had beautiful puppy coat which I thought his coat will be perfect like Diego in previous photos. But, it was wrong. Usually Brown coat is ended up in woolly coat, I think. I have never come across very silky tight corded brown SWD.
Kite, who had quite thick coat, but he was always by the swimming pool which was lucky
Above is Bruno in Spain 2017, the sun gives tinted coat which lovely,
but he has very woolly thick coat and these coat need to be attended very well
This was the maximum length of the coat I go with woolly coat, it is too much coat
Bruno right now, the last bath was Christmas 2020 and coat is bit neglected,
so I thought this is good example to show you guys.
This is the tricky fluffy under coat, and this has to be plucked when the cord start to stick together, and if not tackled, it became large matt and ended up in felting if not attended. so we have to tackle this devil at earlies stage.
In the following Blog, I will show you how to
* Split the matted coard
* How to take the fluffy undercoat
* Make the coat wet
* If it is matted hard, you can try scissors too (not great result though)
For now, good night as it is Saturday night !
My company MD10 Ltd celebrated 10 years on 9 Feb 2021
One of the breeder in Spain told me once, "Spanish Water Dog will change your life".... and it did, to change my job completely. From small video production company to International Dog Shampoo distributor, of MD10 from Spain.