d’Agua Espagnol and our flock of “Mergelland” sheep.
Ok, after long time of hesitating we have found
our own little space on the World Wide Web……………
All of the Gonnagitcha’s dogs, as well
as we, their owners Antoinette and Paul, do live
in the the southern regiond of the Netherlands
which is called “Limburg”; we all
live together in a big house with our own piece
of land where the dogs can run free. The house
is situated very country like so our daily routine
is to take the dogs for long walks through the
country side and during our walks we do visit
the sheep of course.
Our canine life started in 1973, at that time
we bought a German Shepherd puppy, a little female
that we had to put asleep at the age of 4 because
of a non curable disease.
We spent a very long time looking around among
the different dog breeds and after some very
disappointing experiences with shelter dogs,
we purchased our first Old English Sheepdog aka
Bobtail in 1985 and made our first attempt to
the beginning, breeding as well as showing
the OES was very successful for us. Once a year
we did have a litter that was raised indoors
in our living room and showing as well as breeding
became more and more a challenge to do it the
very best way.
But, one day, even though we had done our homework
by studying the different bloodlines and being
very careful in choosing the dogs that we used
for breeding, we experienced bad times with this
breed due to a lot of inherited diseases that
came to the surface in our dogs.
We were very, very disappointed and shocked by
what we learned and had to go through.
was this very experience that made sure we
became even more committed to the well being
of dogs since dogs are so depended on man for
their well being. We decided to stop breeding,
keeping all the wonderful memories we had from
our beloved Sheepdogs.
During this experience we started to think in
a different direction; the well being of the
animal we preferred above all there was to win
in the showring, all the gold medals, the fame,
all of this could not live up to the health of
On the other hand it would only be fair as to
admit that if a mentally, fysically and
dog also turns out to be a beautiful specimen
for the breed, we as owner/exhibitor or breeder
can appreciate it if that particular dog also
gets the attention it disserves in the showring
Under the subject “health” in our
website we like to give you an impression of
the way we think about this important issue and
how we would like to deal with it in our breeding
program. Of course it is obvious that, dealing
with health issues as we do, not wishing to make
compromises, one does not make friends easily………
Back to our history; the “Gonnagitcha’s” kennel
name was registered in 1985 and did not seem
to be of any purpose to us anymore because we
had decided to stop our hobby……..which
sounds a lot more friendly than breeding dogs.
At this very moment in 2008, our last Old English
Sheepdog lives his nice life at high age among……..
yes…..a lot of Spanish little friends,
both males and females.
As we already mentioned in our introduction,
it was a coincidence to meet this lady at the
Oldenburger dog show in Germany together with
her Spanish Water Dog and that she was the
beginning of our life with the SWD.
Our first female that came to live with us
in the spring of 1998 was “Alosa del Marismeno” (born
at a very well known kennel in Sevilla-Spain)
soon to be followed by the male SWD called “Barcelona” whom
we achieved from the very first born litter here
in the Netherlands.
“Alosa” became our foundation bitch
for all the Gonnagitcha’s bloodlines. In
2002 we did get the opportunity to purchase a
wonderful new female by the name of “Amaia
De La Galea”. “Amaia” was born
in the kennel “De La Galea” close
to Bilbao in Spain.
So now we have become a “criador” instead
of a “breeder” a huge change don’t
you think ??
“Alosa” en “Amaia”’s
offspring are doing extremely well both physically
Our widespread experiences and as there are our
serious health clearances as hips and eye examines
before breeding, our knowledge of the bloodlines
in this breed as well as our experience in raising
the dogs in the best way, have proven to us now
that we are on the right track and doing good
in this breed.
Their successes in the show ring on both national
and international dog shows are also very satisfying
and pleasing and the judges speak highly of our
Under the subject “our dogs” the
males as well as the ladies like to introduce
themselves to you. Also all of their relevant
health clearances as well as show/working results
are mentioned there, although the best result
in the show ring never gives a look into the
genetic make up of a dog or the “winner”………..
And as far as quality goes; you can have an excellent
show dog but if the “inside” is not
healthy or the dog lacks the true temperament
known for the breed, the glory in winning does
not bring you any more quality in the breed what
so ever !
Our flock of “Mergelland” sheep
keep our SWD’s alert that they are also
working dogs besides lovely family pets who want
to hug with you every now and than or just lay
down in front of the fireplace after a long walk
or just being a coach potato…….this
is how widespread the Spanish Water Dog can be
To learn more we like to invite you to take
a look around our website to come and meet all
Of course you are very welcome
also to give us a call……..
Antoinette van Zwijndregt-Jongen
6361 ET Nuth – Nl
T: 0031(0) 6.46321897
F : 0031(0) 84.7563443
Mob 0031 6 46 321 897