The Portuguese water dog is valuable to human being because of its versatility in activities related to water. It can herd fishes, save men from drowning, retrieving animals or lost object in water and help to throw nets in the sea to catch fishes.
This unusual looking dog helped Portuguese fisherman since the time unknown. The dog has distinctive webbed feet which makes it an outstanding swimmer. It has broad head and curly or wavy waterproof coat.
They are highly trainable and excel in agility, obedience, rally, therapy and water work. Personality wise, they tend to be friendly and fun living breed. If you plan to own this breed, make sure that you fulfill its exercise needs.
Apart from swimming, it makes great jogging and running partner. This breed is hypoallergenic and suitable for people who are allergic from dogs and don’t want to deal with dog’s hair. The dog tends to quiet and well-mannered inside home and is adaptable to apartments.
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Portuguese Water Dog Origin
Studies have proved that this breed has similar bloodline as Poodle which was developed for water retrieving activities. They are descendant of dogs used by Portuguese fisherman to catch fishes and other water related activities. In its native place, Portuguese it is called as “Cao de Agua” meaning dog of the water.
This dog also served as crew on fishing trips between Portuguese to Newfoundland. The love of water is still intact in this breed. As the technology flourished, this breed got declined in number. This breed’s lover, Vasco Bensuade saved the breed from getting extinct.
- The breed belongs to Portuguese and is a water dog.
- It is hardworking, intelligent, calm and friendly breed.
- This breed stands at a height of 50-57 cm.
- The breed’s weight is 19-25 kg.
- The lifespan of this breed is 10-14 years.
- The dog comes in white, black and brown colors.
- It is a hypoallergenic breed.
- The dog sheds negligibly if any.
- The dog requires proper care of its coat so that it can be it good shape and health.
- The dog requires mental and physical stimulation on regular basis.
- It is a quite breed and doesn’t bark unnecessarily.
- This dog is suitable for kids of all ages. It tends to be playful and cheerful around.
- It is a peaceful breed and is suitable for families with dogs and cats.
- It is okay for apartment living provided you fulfill its exercise needs.
- The average price of this breed is $2500 – $2800 USD.
It is a medium sized dog, with solidly build up muscular body. It is slightly longer than tall with a leveled topline. Its head is wide and broad with tapered muzzle which ends in a definite stop. Its chest is strong and broad. It has a heart shaped ears which hangs down close to head. Its tail is long and thick and has long, fluffy hair at the tip of it. Being a water dog it has webbed feet.
Size and Weight
The ideal height of the male breed is 20-22 inches and it weighs around 19-25 kg. The ideal height of female breed is 43-52 cm and it weighs around 16-22 kg.
Coat and Color
The dog is single coated. It has dense hair which is either curly or wavy. The dog sheds little and is suitable for people suffering from allergies or asthma. The dog comes in black, brown and white colors.
- Personality – The Portuguese water dog is known for two traits, its skills in water and fun loving personality. The dog is capable of doing any water related work which includes catching fishes or sending message from one boat to other. It used to be part and parcel of fisherman’s life. The dog does silly behavior which can give you belly laugh. They are excellent with children and are known to be joyful and playful around them. They also have high tolerance towards rough play.
- Behavior – Porties are chewers which is difficult to get them rid of. It is important to give this dog ample amount of chew toys so that it doesn’t chew your stuffs. They show their love by jumping on humans which can make guest terrified of them. Despite that they are amiable and gentle breed who thinks every human is its friend. They are peaceful with other animals including dogs and tend to be calm inside home. They are hard workers and will do job given to them with full responsibility. They also have keen sense of smell and makes good watchdog.
- Training – They are willful learner and are easy to train. Make sure to keep your tone gentle while training they are sensitive to harsh treatment and voice. They possess desire to please their owner and give their 100% to lessons. They respond well to appreciation and treats so use them judiciously to bring out the best from them.
- Activities Requirement – They are blessed with great strength and stamina. They can run all day still have energy to spare. Swimming is their first love. Apart from that you can take the dog for running or jogging. One or two hours of vigorous physical workout are essential for them to stay happy and healthy.
Puppies below one year should be given four bowls of food. Once they cross 1 year, they should be given three bowls per day. After two years of age, two bowls of food are sufficient for them. Make sure that you offer quality food to your dog. Do not over feed your dog. Keep fresh water at their place.
The dog lives up to 10 to 14 years of age.
It is hypoallergenic breed. The dog is healthy with no major health issues. Few minor concerns which the dog is prone to are hip dysplasia, neuroaxonal dystrophy (dog’s sensory nerves get affected because of brain swelling), progressive retinal atrophy (causes night blindness), cataract, and hypothyroid.
Grooming and Caring
It is advisable to brush its coat two-three times per week to keep it tangle free. Monthly clipping or trimming is suggestible to give tidy appearance to your dog. After every swimming session, bath the dog with fresh water because chlorine and other chemicals added in swimming pool can cause irritation and allergies to its skin.
Its ear should be dried to avoid ear infection and fungus. As its ears are heavily covered with hair. so clean it on monthly basis with vet approved solution. Teeth should also be brushed to avoid bad breath and tartar built up.
The dog can live in apartment provided you fulfill its exercise requirement on daily basis. It is suitable to live inside home with its family.
Things To Consider Before Buying
- It is an easy going dog with larger than life personality.
- It is a hypoallergenic breed with healthy life.
- The dog excels in water related activities, agility and obedience competition.
- Only an active owner can keep the dog happy. It possesses enormous energy.
- As it is a rare breed so it is difficult and costly to buy.
- The dog’s grooming needs are not so simple.