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About us

About “Gonnagitcha’s”…….Perro 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 start breeding.

In 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.

It was this very experience that made sure we became even more committed to the well being and health 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 a dog.
On the other hand it would only be fair as to admit that if a mentally, fysically and otherwise overall healthy 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 as well.

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 and mentally.
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 dogs.

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 us!

Of course you are very welcome also to give us a call……..

Antoinette van Zwijndregt-Jongen
Voorsterstraat 83,
6361 ET Nuth – Nl
T: 0031(0) 6.46321897
F : 0031(0) 84.7563443
Mob 0031 6 46 321 897

Copyright A. van Zwijndregt


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