© Cringuette (Chantal Ringuette) |

Portuguese Water Dog

Breed origin: Portugal
Original purpose: Bred to accompany fisherman on their boats. An exceptional swimmer and diver, the breed retrieved broken nets, dove for fish, carried messages between boats and to shore, and guarded the boat for his master in foreign ports.

AKC recognized: 1983
AKC group: Working

Size: Weight: males 42 to 60 lbs; females 35 to 50 lbs
Size: Height: males 20 to 23 inches; females 17 to 21 inches
© Cynoclub |
Color: Black, white, various tones of brown, or combinations of black or brown with white.

General characteristics/temperament: The Portuguese Water Dog is spirited, brave, athletic, loving, independent, intelligent, and loyal. They have webbed feet and are excellent swimmers with the stamina to swim all day. They are very fast learners and respond very well to obedience training. They love to stay near their owners, and do not tolerate being left alone for long periods of time. They are gentle and patient if given enough exercise, otherwise they may become destructive.

© Manonringuette (Manon Ringuette) |
Good with children? Yes

Hypoallergenic? Usually considered good for allergy sufferers.

© Cringuette (Chantal Ringuette) |
Intelligent? Yes

Easy to train? Yes

Energy/Activity Level: High

Good jogging partner? Yes

Suitable canine sports/activities: conformation, obedience, rally, agility, therapy, water work, tracking, hearing dog, carting, hunting

Exercise requirement: They require daily vigorous exercise.

Grooming requirement: They are considered a minimal-shedding breed and tend to be better tolerated by allergy sufferers. However, their hair grows continually and should be trimmed every two months. Brush every other day to prevent mats.

Known health problems: Hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, GM1 storage disease, juvenile dilated cardiomyopathy, cataracts, distichiasis.

Additional photos of Portuguese Water Dog

Recommended books for further reading:

The New Complete Portuguese Water Dog
By Kathryn Braund
Published in 1997
304 pages

Portuguese Water Dog (A Comprehensive Owner's Guide)
By Paolo Correa, Carol Ann Johnson, and Karen Taylor
Published in 2005
155 pages

Living with a Portuguese Water Dog by Sylvia Mennear
By Sylvia Mennear
Published in 2009
92 pages

Other websites for additional information:

American Kennel Club breed page
Portuguese Water Dog Club of America
Wikipedia breed information page
Portuguese Water Dog Club of America Rescue

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Page Last Updated: February 1, 2018

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