Portuguese Water Dog Breed Information

Portuguese Water Dog

The spirited Portuguese Water Dog has a life expectancy of 10 to 14 years.

In their native Portugal, the Portuguese Water Dog is known as the Cão de Água or “Dog of Water.” The Portuguese Water Dog is centuries old, with the first documented evidence of the breed emerging in 1297. Fishermen developed the Portuguese Water Dog to serve on their boats as guardians and companions. The dogs would herd fish into nets, dive underwater to get equipment and perform other aquatic jobs.

With the rise of modern fishing equipment, the need for the working Portuguese Water Dog severely declined. By the 1970s, the breed was in danger of extinction. Thankfully, a few dedicated breeders were able to revive the Portuguese Water Dog and now thousands exist around the world.

The Portuguese Water Dog weighs 35 to 60 pounds and measures 17 to 23 inches.

Grooming Needs
The Portuguese Water Dog has a curly or wavy single coat that does not shed much, but needs regular upkeep. The Portuguese Water Dog should be brushed a few times a week and taken to the groomer for a professional trim and bath every six to eight weeks. If being shown, the Portuguese Water Dog’s coat is normally cut in a lion clip or retriever clip. Otherwise, the coat is just cut short for easier maintenance.

Like all dogs, the Portuguese Water Dog also needs basic grooming. Brush their teeth, clean their ears and trim their nails on a regular basis.  

The Portuguese Water Dog is an enthusiastic and energetic companion.

The Portuguese Water Dog was created to be a loyal friend and worker to fishermen along the coast of Portugal. As expected, this breed adores people and loves spending time with their family. Portuguese Water Dogs have a zest for life and a spirited nature. They are especially fond of children and often exhibit a silly side.  

The Portuguese Water Dog does not just love their family, they need them. They thrive on and demand attention, and should never be left alone for too long. Portuguese Water Dogs bond closely with their family and will want to be with them as much as possible.

Training Needs
The Portuguese Water Dog is highly intelligent and obedient. They respond well to training and like to perform tasks and tricks that involve their minds as well as their bodies. Once Portuguese Water Dogs have mastered basic obedience, they can go on to participate in advanced obedience and agility.

Activity Level
As the name implies, the Portuguese Water Dog loves to swim, but they are also great jogging and hiking partners. This breed is athletic and energetic with lots of stamina. Portuguese Water Dogs should have a long daily walk and time to run around and play in a secure area. They are happiest with one to two hours of exercise a day and are best suited to active individuals or families.


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