Spanish Water Dog vs Basset Artesien Normand - Breed Comparison

Spanish Water Dog is originated from Spain but Basset Artesien Normand is originated from France. Spanish Water Dog may grow 14 cm / 6 inches higher than Basset Artesien Normand. Both Spanish Water Dog and Basset Artesien Normand are having almost same weight. Both Spanish Water Dog and Basset Artesien Normand has almost same life span. Both Spanish Water Dog and Basset Artesien Normand has almost same litter size. Spanish Water Dog requires Moderate maintenance. But Basset Artesien Normand requires Low maintenance

Basic Information

Herding dogs
Hound dog
Height Male:
44 - 50 cm
17 - 20 inches
30 - 36 cm
11 - 15 inches
Height Female:
40 - 45 cm
15 - 18 inches
27 - 36 cm
10 - 15 inches
Weight Male:
18 - 22 kg
39 - 49 pounds
15 - 20 kg
33 - 45 pounds
Weight Female:
14 - 18 kg
30 - 40 pounds
13 - 20 kg
28 - 45 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 14 Years
13 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
5 - 8
4 - 6
Medium dog
Small dog
Other Names:
Perro de agua Español SWD Turco Andaluz • Turkish Dog
Colors Available:
solid black, beige, brown, or white; bicolour where the second colour is white; or particolour
Tri-color - fawn, white, black
distinctive curly coat which is woolly in texture and may form cords when long
short and smooth
Affectionate, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Curious, Docile, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Sweet
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


spanish water dogBred in Spain to guard and herd sheep, the Spanish Water Dog was also used in hunting because he could retrieve in water. The breed is closely aligned with other water dogs like the Irish Water Spaniel, Portuguese Water Dog and French Barbel. It is especially true that the Spanish Water Dog and the Portuguese Water Dog share some of the same ancestors. The two breeds are closely related.

In the early days of the breed, they were separated into three different sizes and types. The dogs from Northern Spain were smaller than the others and came from the regions of Cantabria and Asturias. These lighter colored dogs eventually became their own breed – the Cantabria Water Dog. The second group came from western Andalusia marsh lands. He had a long chorded coat. The third group was the strongest and largest and came from the southern Andalusian sierras. This was by far the largest and most influential group, most of whom were herders. Eventually the groups interbred and today’s SWD carries the traits of all three. They were and still are a very versatile breed. In addition to herding they fished or retrieved for hunters.

The breed was revived in the 1970”s by two breeders, Santiago Montesinos and Antonio Garcia Perez travelled through southern Spain to buy or borrow dogs for breeding. By 1980, they had established the Spanish Water Dog Club of Spain and reestablished the breed. They fought to the breed recognized in Spain first. After five years of hard work, the Federation Cynologique Internationale recognized the breed permanently in 1999.

The UKC, or United Kennel Club, of the United States, recognized the breed in 2001, accepting them for confirmation by 2004. In the United States the breed was championed by Ken and Jerry Mann to attain that UKC recognition. Still the AKC, or American Kennel Club, held out on their recognition. The Manns showed the SWD in 2000 in the AKC Rare Breed Conformation and the UKC multi-breed show in 2004.

The Manns also used their breed for herding in the United States in entered them into the herding competition. In the they advocated for and got the SWD into the herding group for confirmation with the UKC in 2013. The American Kennel Club approved the requests of the Spanish Water Dog Club, Inc and recognized the breed in 2005 as foundation stock. By 2008 the AKC recognized the SWD to be able to compete in field trials by not conformation. In 2015 the SWD will be admitting to AKC conformation and fully recognized as a member of the herding group. They were also recognized by the American Herding Breed Association in 2007.

The Basset Artesien Normand hails from Normandy, France. He was bred around the middle ages and was a popular breed with the royalty of France when they met for hunting with hounds. How the Basset was developed isn’t known, but in the 1800s the dog’s popularity grew, and Napoleon himself was a fan. With some people wanting hunting skills in their dog, others good looks and some wanting a heavier dog, the Basset Artesien Normand or the BAN emerged.

Some people believe that the Basset came from a mix of French hounds crossed with smallish breeds such as Beagles and Dashshunds.The truth is that the Basset’s origin is up for debate, but the Basset Artesian Normand took over in popularity from the Basset Normand and the Basset Chien d’Artois. These dogs are now extinct.

The first record of Bassets in America came from the 1700’s when a number of Bassets were presented to George Washington as gifts. It is uncertain what type of Bassets they were, but quite likely they were Basset Artesian Normands. The breed club was established in 1910 and given its present name in 1924. The dog is also recognized by the United Kennel Club in the Scenthound group.


spanish water dog puppyThe Spanish Water Dog is an athletic, medium size, robust breed that is not as tall as it is long. In countries like the US, the tails are docked but it is not a conformation fault if they are not. The carry themselves with pride and elegance, have a strong head and expressive eyes which are brown. They have flat skulls and wide set eyes. Their paw pads, eye-rims and nose should be darker than their coat or at least the same color. Their eyes are chestnut, hazel or dark brown and their ears are medium height and triangular. His coat is curly and his topline is straight. With a broad chest and arched rib, he is a very athletic looking dog. The breed has much respiratory capacity with broad shoulders and straight sturdy legs. The breed has rounded feet , tight toes, and resistant pads.

A Goofy, Good Natured Look about Him

The BAN is a small to medium sized dog, between 30 and 36 cm and weighing anything up to 20kg. He is low maintenance in terms of his short coat which is tri-colored – fawn, white with a black patch across the back. He has a long tail which is often held in an upright position. You can’t miss those long ears, which are a distinctive feature of this gentle, good-natured dog and which are low-set on the head. Add to that the dark, soulful eyes and you get a look that ‘wouldn’t hurt a fly.’

Muscular and Fit

The BAN is very similar to the regular Basset Hound but he is much slimmer. This is also because although he is a companion, he was at first a hunting canine, and is fit and muscular when fed the correct diet.

Friendly and Docile

The Basset Artesien Normand is a friendly, affectionate dog, becoming a beloved pet of the family that he loves to be with. His gentle nature means that he won’t score high as a guard dog. He is gentle and affectionate with children in the home, and with some training and socialization he gets on well with other pets in the family. They’re fairly intelligent and you’ll be able to train him to carry out some important commands. As a hound, he tends to want to wander, and it is always a good idea to have him on a leash when out and about with him.

He’ll Still Need Exercising

This breed of dog will need a good amount of exercise and other activities, even if it means climbing onto the couch and watching a movie with you. He can’t be left in the garden day after day on his own, and you’ll need to take him on daily walks and give him a game. Exercise is of particular importance for a dog like this, as he can easily put on weight and battle with back problems.

Health Problems

spanish water dog dogThe Spanish Water Dog has much of the same health problems as the other water dogs and dogs their size and heritage. Here are some of the health issues they are prone to.

  • PRA- Progressive retinal atrophy – can cause blindness.
  • Hip dysplasia- can cause lameness or arthritis.
  • Cherry eye – can be successfully treated.
  • Cataracts – usually in old age and not removed.
  • Hypothyroidism – affects the immune system of middle aged dogs.
  • Allergies – skin and food.

• Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency – inability to digest food – can be treated.

  • Addison’s Disease – Adrenal glands not functioning. Can be treated.

• CHG – Congenital Hypothyroidism with Goiter – inherited and pups don’t grow correctly.

• Neuroaxonal Dystrophy – cognitive and muscular dysfunction. Vitamin E and insulin deficiency

The Basset Artesian Normand is a fairly healthy breed and you can expect him to reach 15 years, although you have to bear in mind that this breed is susceptible to some common health defects. As already mentioned, these long-bodied, short-legged dogs are prone to back problems. Weight gain is common in these dogs and additional weight will aggravate your dog’s back problems.

Hip Dysplasia

While hip dysplasia is a genetic disease found more commonly in large dog breeds, it can also affect smaller breeds like the Basset. Your dog may develop a different way of walking and running and he may even resist movement as he can experience stiffness and pain in the rear legs. Hip dysplasia is mostly an inherited condition. Proper diet and exercise can help with preventing the disease.

Caring The Pet

spanish water dog puppies1.Feeding the puppy – Because of the breed propensity to some genetic dietary issues it is important to feed high quality food made from mostly meat. Avoid grains as much as possible. Don’t feed adult foods to the puppies. Feed puppy breed specific or medium size dogs.

2.Feeding the adult - Feed the adult as little grain and as much protein as possible. Feed adult breed specific or medium size dog’s food.

3.Points for Good Health - speed, stamina and agility

4. Games and Exercises – This is a working breed. Remember they are both herders and hunters and need exercise. They love strenuous hiking, running, jogging, long walks, swimming and playing fetch. Don’t over work the puppy/young dog until they have matured and their growth plates close.


The Basset Artesian Normand has a short, smooth coat and this will ensure that he is low maintenance. A regular brush twice a week will ensure you get rid of loose hairs.

Ear Infections

Ear Infections - as is the case with long eared dogs, the Basset Artesian Normand is susceptible to ear infections. Check with your vet if you aren’t sure how to clean your dog’s ears so that you can prevent ear infections.


Brush your dog’s teeth about 2 or 3 times a week with special dog toothpaste- and brush. His nails will also need to be clipped regularly, more so if he doesn’t get to run on hard surfaces which wear the claws down.


You can speak to your veterinarian about wet- and dry dog foods and which type of food would suit your pet best. The type of food you give him, his age and his activity levels will be a guide on how to choose his food. Always make sure that a bowl of fresh, cool water is readily available to your 4-legged friend.


1.Children friendliness - yes

2.Special talents - water/swimming search and rescue

spanish water dog dogs3.Adaptability - very adaptable with the right exercise. Neither heat nor cold bother them.

4.Learning ability – Smart but need a reliable recall.

The Basset Artesien Normand is such a family friend with his docile personality. Short of stature, he has a keen sense of smell, much like the Bloodhound. With his short, smooth coat, he won’t require much from you in terms of grooming. His long ears, his sad eyes and his outward turned paws are all characteristics which endear him to dog lovers.

He doesn’t like to be left alone. This Basset is yours and he wants to be part of all the action in the house, and that includes meals. He has a hearty appetite, but you don’t want to be feeding him your scraps as he can put on weight quickly. This won’t be good for his health, and as a responsible pet owner, you need to be watching his weight.

Don’t forget his daily walk that he loves so much. Treat him with love and kindness and you’ll have yourself a happy, good-natured companion.

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