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overview of the Portuguese Water Dog Dog Breed
Are you on the hunt for an energetic little buddy to add some fun and spice to your home?
Check out our Portuguese Water Dog puppies for sale!
PWD puppies are playful, affectionate, and just about the cutest thing you’ve ever seen. Their curly coats are irresistibly soft and cuddly, (and they love to cuddle!) and they will bring life and brightness to your home.
You can also browse our other available dog breeds on our “all breeds” page.
Portuguese Water Dog temperament
Loves water: As the name suggests, PWDs love anything to do with water! They were originally bred to help out on fishing boats, and they still enjoy swimming and water sports.
Social: Portuguese Water Dogs are social animals that enjoy being around people and other dogs. They are typically friendly and can get along well with children and other pets when properly socialized.
Alert and Protective: While they are generally good-natured, Portuguese Water Dogs can be alert and protective when they sense a potential threat. They make decent watchdogs due to their attentiveness.
Energetic: PWDs are high-energy dogs who need plenty of activity. They love vigorous games of fetch and make great jogging buddies. They also excel at all kinds of dog sports.
Fun loving: These dogs have a sense of humor. They find life a funny thing, and they will never get tired of playing and having a good time with you!
Intelligent: Packed with brains, a PWD might outsmart you if you aren’t careful! PWDs are highly intelligent and can learn just about anything you want to teach them. They can master most jobs, including therapy work and search and rescue.
Adaptable: With training, PWDs can adapt to just about any situation or job you place them in. They aren’t fussy or particular.
It’s important to provide Portuguese Water Dogs with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and ensure they remain well-behaved. Additionally, early socialization and consistent training are essential to mold their behavior into a well-rounded companion. Overall, Portuguese Water Dogs can be a great fit for active families and individuals who appreciate their unique set of qualities.
Portuguese Water Dog Breed history
Portuguese Water Dogs were originally bred in Portugal to be the fisherman’s all-around right hand man. Fishermen took PWDs on board their boats to drive fish into their nets, retrieve gear from the water, and carry messages to other boats and the shore.
Known as the “Cao de Agua,” or “dog of the water,” these pups were the fisherman’s best friend from Portugal to Newfoundland.
These hard-working dogs almost disappeared in the early 20th century, as technology took over their jobs. However, a wealthy Portuguese dog lover stepped in and took it upon himself to save the breed.
A few decades later they made their way to England and the USA, and in 1983 the AKC recognized them as a breed.
Portuguese Water Dog Average size
Portuguese Water Dogs are medium-large dogs, standing 17-23” at the shoulder and weighing 35-60 lbs.
Average Portuguese Water Dog lifespan
Portuguese Water Dogs live to be 10-14 years old.
Portuguese Water Dog body features
One of the first things you will notice about a Portuguese Water Dog is its fluffy, curly coat! This coat comes in black, white, brown, or a combination of these colors.
grooming Your Portuguese Water Dog Puppy
Because of their curly coats, Portuguese Water Dogs need plenty of grooming. You will need to regularly brush and clip your dog.
There are two popular ways to clip PWDs: the retriever clip and the lion clip.
The retriever clip is a simple clip that follows the contours of your dog’s body about 1 inch out. The lion clip is a bit more eye-catching. With a lion clip you leave the hair long on the head, chest, and front legs, and clip it short on the muzzle and hindquarters.
Your dog will also need its nails trimmed and teeth brushed regularly.
Keeping Your Portuguese Water Dog Puppy Healthy
Portuguese Water Dogs are generally a healthy breed. But of course, there are still things you should watch out for. These include genetic eye disorders and GM-1 storage disease.
Protect Your Dog from Obesity
You can protect your dog from one of the most common health problems: obesity. One of the best ways to extend your dog’s life is by feeding them the correct amount of food and giving them adequate exercise. Portuguese Water Dogs especially need adequate exercise.
Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
Like all dog breeds, Portuguese Water Dogs are at risk for hip and elbow dysplasia, two of the most common health issues in dogs.
Hip and elbow dysplasia occurs when the thigh bone doesn’t fit snugly into the hip and can result in limping, lameness, or arthritis if it’s not addressed.
Hip and elbow dysplasia can be genetic, or it can be caused by environmental factors such as overeating or injuries.
Here are some ways to prevent hip dysplasia in your puppy:
- 1. Ask the breeder for an OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) Hip Clearance. Dogs with hip dysplasia shouldn’t be bred.
- 2. Talk to your vet about the right food for your puppy and stick to the correct amount to prevent unhealthy growth.
- 3. Keep your puppy from running or jumping excessively on hard surfaces and from standing on their hind legs.
Bloat is when the stomach becomes twisted, and the gases in the stomach are unable to escape. The pressure from these gases affects the blood flow to the heart, and it can be fatal.
To prevent bloat:
- 1. Avoid feeding your dog right before or after heavy exercise.
- 2. Feed them a few smaller meals a day instead of one large meal to prevent bloat.
- 3. Learn to recognize the symptoms of bloat so you can take action immediately.
Some owners choose to have surgery done to tack their dog’s stomach in place and prevent it from twisting.
Typical Portuguese Water Dog Allergens
First of all, what causes allergies?
Allergens are caused by dander, which is dead skin cells. Both animals and humans shed these dead skin cells. Dander is attached to the fur that dogs shed.
Because of their curly coats, PWDs don’t shed a lot, so they are better for allergy sufferers than a lot of breeds. Some consider them hypoallergenic. However, keep in mind that no dog is completely hypoallergenic.
If you or someone in your home has animal allergy concerns, please consult your health provider before adopting a puppy.
- 1. Is that curly coat hard to groom?Although the coat might look intimidating, it’s really not that bad. Your Portuguese Water Dog will require regular brushing (several times a week) and occasional trips to the groomer, but won’t require you to spend hours a day just keeping her neat.
- 2. Do Portuguese Water Dogs make good inside dogs?Portuguese Water Dogs can make good inside dogs as long as they get enough exercise. Without proper exercise, they’ll become bored and destructive. A hybrid solution, where your Portie can come inside to be with you and go outside in a large yard to play, is often a great way to handle your Portie’s exercise and social needs.
- 3. What types of jobs do Portuguese Water Dogs perform today?With all their intelligence and energy, there’s very little that Portuguese Water Dogs can’t do. They love everything water-related and also excel at dog sports. They also make wonderful hiking and jogging buddies and great family companions!
- 4. Will a Portuguese Water Dog run me ragged with energy and exercise needs?Portuguese Water Dogs are pretty high-energy, and they’ll need a lot of exercise. If you live in a city apartment with no yard and don’t lead an active lifestyle, a Portie may not be for you. Without adequate exercise, Porties will become bored, restless, and destructive. And a restless Portie loose in your apartment is not something you want – it can be havoc! Swimming is a wonderful exercise choice for Porties – they love it! Walks, playtime, and active training for agility or other dog sports is also a good idea.
- 5. Are Portuguese Water Dogs too energetic for small children?Yes, Portuguese Water Dogs are big, curly energy bombs, and their unbridled enthusiasm may be a little much for small or timid children. The Portuguese Water Dog loves kids and is always thrilled to see them, but their exuberance can be a little too unleashed sometimes.
- 6. I already have a cat, a dog, and a coop of chickens. Will a Portuguese Water Dog get along with my current pets?Portuguese Water Dogs normally get along okay with other dogs, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble if you already own a dog. They tend to get along with pets such as cats if they are raised alongside them, but they might chase an unknown cat for fun. For small pets such as hamsters, canaries, and chickens, well, you may want to supervise! Portuguese Water Dogs love to chase things like squirrels, rabbits, and other wild animals for fun. They may see your chicken coop as a chance to have a little fun, and the temptation may be too great to resist. The good news is that these dogs are smart and can be trained on what is and is not acceptable to chase.
- 7. Do Portuguese Water Dogs shed all over the place?No. Actually, Portuguese Water Dogs shed very little and are considered one of the more hypoallergenic dog breeds (although there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic breed).
- 8. Are Portuguese Water Dogs intelligent and trainable?Yes, absolutely! Portuguese Water Dogs are some of the smartest and most eager-to-please dogs you’ll find. With time and consistency, training should be a breeze.
- 9. Are Portuguese Water Dogs loud?Portuguese Water Dogs don’t have a reputation for being loud, and in general, they are pretty quiet. However, they may let out the occasional loud woof if they spot a threat or feel like they aren’t getting enough attention. Of course, individual barking tendencies may vary.
- 10. Will my Portuguese Water Dog protect me?Portuguese Water Dogs can make very good watchdogs and will alert you of anything they spot that they perceive as a threat. They are typically friendly, so they may not be as effective as guard dogs, but this does depend on the individual dog and what training they receive.