Portuguese Water Dog

These beautiful dogs once used to serve as members of crew on fishing trips, herding fish into the fishermen’s nets and retrieving their lost gear. Today, the Portuguese Water Dogs are fun-loving family companions, who still have the love and intelligence of water which made them so much valuable to their human families.

Portuguese Water Dog Breed Information

A theory suggests that a few of the rugged Asian type herding breeds of dogs were captured by Berbers, a clan which spread gradually across the face of Morocco to North Africa. The descendants of this clan, the Moors, reached Portugal around the 8th century, and brought with them the water dogs. There is another theory which suggests that a few of the dogs moved from the Asian steppes with the famous Goths. A few of the Goths went towards the west and all their dogs became what we know today as German poodles, known in German as the puddle-dog, which means water dog. Another type of Goths, the Visigoths, moved south to fight with the Romans and all their dogs became the Lion Dogs, which were groomed in a traditional lion cut. 413CE saw the invasion of Lberia and Portugal by the Visigoths and their dogs found their homeland. The Portuguese Water Dogs were first mentioned in 1297 in a monk’s chronicle of a sailor who was drowning and was then pulled from the sea by a strong dog which had a black coat in Lion Cut style.
This breed of dogs is lively, water-loving and extremely loyal. Spirited, animated, amusing and fun to be around, Portuguese Water Dogs often make people laugh. These dogs are highly affectionate with their family and go well with children and usually get along pretty well with other pets and dogs. This breed is very active and has a great stamina.
  • Activity level: 4/5 (has high energy and stamina)
  • Intelligence level: 4/5 (quick learner and observer)
  • Curiosity: 3/5 (moderate)
  • Friendliness: 4/5 (mixes well with family and other pets)
  • Vocal: 5/5 (loves to display affection and anger by barking)
This amazingly intelligent and utilitarian breed is usually distinguished by two coats types, either wavy or curly; a large head of considerable breadth coupled with well proportioned mass. They have a ruggedly built and well knit body. These dogs display and indelible impression of soundness, strength and spirit.
  • Fur: These dogs have two coat types: wavy and curly and both are a single coat which means they have no undercoat. Their colour of their coat ranges from various shades of brown and black to pure white and black.
  • Eyes: They have medium sized round eyes usually in dark black colour.
  • Body structure: They have well proportioned and strong bodies with a strong, thickly based tail which they used as a rudder.
  • Facial features: The Portuguese Water Dog has a confident demeanor which is well portrayed by its intelligent and pleasant expression the face wears.
  • Weight: A standard Portuguese Water Dog weighs more between 35 to 50 pounds.
Health and Care
Portuguese Water Dogs are also thought to be hypoallergenic as they produce and shed very little dander. However, this breed should be brushed and combed regularly. The Lion-Cut is the best trim for this breed especially if you take your dog to regular swims. Portuguese Water Dogs are said to be prone to PRA, hip dysplasia and the GM-1 Storage Disease, which is a fatal nerve disease. The dogs you plan to use for breeding should be tested beforehand. This disease usually appears when the puppy is around 6 months old.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely. Do you know more about this breed and want to share your knowledge with us? Send us an email at help@pickapaw.com