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Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog Breed Information

In a Sentence:

A curly-haired, intelligent and energetic breed originally bred for fishing in Portugal.

Scientific Name:

Canis lupus familiaris.
Type:Mammal

Size:

Portuguese Water Dogs are considered a Medium-sized dog breed.
Weight:16-27 kg.
Height:43-57 cm (17-22.5 inches) at the shoulder.
Length:43-57 cm.

Lifespan:

The average lifespan of a Portuguese Water Dog is 10-14 years

Behavior:

What type of dog is a Portuguese Water Dog, how do they behave and what temperament do they have? See below for a detailed overview of their traits and personality.

Personality & Temperament

Portuguese Water Dogs are known for their friendly and outgoing personalities. They are intelligent, loyal and affectionate dogs that make great family pets. Here is a detailed overview of their personality and temperament:

  • Portuguese Water Dogs are highly intelligent and quick learners. They are known for their problem-solving skills and ability to learn new commands and tricks quickly.
  • These dogs are fiercely loyal to their owners and will do anything to protect them. They are known for their courage and bravery, making them great watchdogs.
  • Portuguese Water Dogs are very affectionate and love to be around their owners. They enjoy cuddling and spending time with their family members.
  • These dogs are very active and require plenty of exercise to keep them happy and healthy. They love to play and run around, making them great companions for active families.
  • Portuguese Water Dogs are very friendly and social dogs. They get along well with other dogs and animals, as well as with children and strangers.
  • While they are loyal and affectionate, Portuguese Water Dogs can also be independent and stubborn at times. They require a firm and consistent hand when it comes to training and discipline.
  • These dogs are protective of their family members and will not hesitate to defend them if they feel threatened. They are known for their courage and bravery, making them great watchdogs.

In summary, Portuguese Water Dogs are intelligent, loyal, affectionate, energetic, friendly, independent and protective dogs. They make great family pets and are well-suited for active families who enjoy spending time outdoors.

Intelligence

Portuguese Water Dogs are considered to be highly intelligent dogs. They are known for their problem-solving abilities, quick learning and adaptability. They are also highly trainable and excel in obedience, agility and other canine sports. Additionally, they have a strong work ethic and are often used as service dogs, search and rescue dogs and therapy dogs. Overall, Portuguese Water Dogs are considered to be one of the smartest dog breeds.

Trainability

Portuguese Water Dogs are generally considered to be intelligent and trainable dogs. They are eager to please their owners and respond well to positive reinforcement training methods. However, like all dogs, they have their own unique personalities and may have individual quirks and challenges when it comes to training. Consistency, patience and positive reinforcement are key to successfully training a Portuguese Water Dog. It is also important to socialize them early on to ensure they are comfortable around people and other animals. Overall, with proper training and socialization, Portuguese Water Dogs can be well-behaved and obedient pets.

Sleep

Portuguese Water Dogs typically sleep for around 12-14 hours per day, although this can vary depending on the individual dog’s age, activity level and health. Puppies and older dogs may require more sleep, while younger, more active dogs may need less. It’s important to provide your Portuguese Water Dog with a comfortable, quiet place to sleep where they won’t be disturbed.

Bark

Portuguese Water Dogs are known to be moderate barkers. They will bark to alert their owners of any potential danger or to announce the arrival of visitors, but they are not excessive barkers. With proper training and socialization, their barking can be controlled.

Drool

Portuguese Water Dogs are not known to be heavy droolers. They may drool occasionally, but it is not a common characteristic of the breed.

Lick

Portuguese Water Dogs are known to be moderate to heavy lickers. They are affectionate dogs and enjoy showing their love and affection through licking their owners. However, excessive licking can be a sign of anxiety or stress, so it is important to monitor their behavior and address any underlying issues if necessary.

Jump

Portuguese Water Dogs are known for their athleticism and agility. They are capable of jumping up to 6 feet high, but this can vary depending on the individual dog’s size, age and physical abilities. It is important to note that excessive jumping can be harmful to a dog’s joints and should be avoided.

Dig

Portuguese Water Dogs have a moderate digging tendency. They were originally bred to work alongside fishermen and were trained to retrieve lost fishing gear and even dive underwater to herd fish into nets. As a result, they have a natural instinct to dig and explore. However, with proper training and exercise, this behavior can be managed. Providing them with plenty of mental and physical stimulation can help reduce their digging tendencies.

Good Fit for You?

Is a Portuguese Water Dog the right dog for you? Keep reading to find out how compatible you are with a Portuguese Water Dog.

Exercise

Portuguese Water Dogs are a high-energy breed and require a moderate to high amount of exercise. They should have at least one hour of exercise per day, which can include walks, runs, swimming and playing fetch. They also enjoy participating in activities such as agility, obedience and water sports. It’s important to provide them with mental stimulation as well, such as training sessions and interactive toys. Overall, Portuguese Water Dogs need an active lifestyle to stay healthy and happy.

Space

Portuguese Water Dogs are medium-sized dogs that typically require a moderate amount of space. They are active and energetic dogs that enjoy regular exercise and playtime, so they will need enough space to move around and burn off their energy. A fenced yard or a nearby park where they can run and play is ideal. However, they can adapt to apartment living as long as they get enough exercise and mental stimulation. It’s important to note that Portuguese Water Dogs are social animals and thrive on human interaction, so they should not be left alone for long periods of time.

Apartment

Portuguese Water Dogs are active and energetic dogs that require regular exercise and mental stimulation. While they can adapt to apartment living, it may not be the best environment for them if they do not receive enough exercise and attention. If you are committed to providing your Portuguese Water Dog with daily exercise and playtime and are willing to train and socialize them properly, they can make good apartment pets. However, if you are unable to meet their exercise needs, it may be better to consider a different breed or wait until you have a larger living space.

Left Alone

Portuguese Water Dogs are social animals and do not tolerate being left alone for extended periods of time. They thrive on human interaction and can become anxious or destructive if left alone for too long. It is recommended that they are not left alone for more than 4-6 hours a day. If you must leave your Portuguese Water Dog alone for an extended period, it is important to provide them with plenty of toys, puzzles and activities to keep them mentally stimulated and prevent boredom. Additionally, hiring a dog walker or pet sitter to visit your dog during the day can help alleviate their loneliness and provide them with much-needed socialization.

Kid/Family Friendly

Yes, Portuguese Water Dogs are generally good with kids and families. They are known for being affectionate, loyal and playful, making them great companions for children. They also have a high energy level and love to play, which can be a great match for active families. However, as with any dog breed, it is important to socialize and train them properly to ensure they behave appropriately around children and other family members.

Perfect Fit

A Portuguese Water Dog would be a perfect fit for a household that has an active lifestyle and enjoys spending time outdoors. They are a high-energy breed that requires daily exercise and mental stimulation. They also thrive in a home where they can be included in family activities and receive plenty of attention and affection. Portuguese Water Dogs are intelligent and trainable, making them a good fit for families who are willing to invest time and effort in their training and socialization. Additionally, they are hypoallergenic, making them a good choice for families with allergies.

Pros and Cons:

Portuguese Water Dogs are a popular breed known for their intelligence, loyalty and love for water. However, like any breed, there are pros and cons to owning one. Here is a table outlining five of each:

ProsCons
1. Great swimmers and love water activities1. Require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation
2. Hypoallergenic coat, making them a good choice for people with allergies2. Can be stubborn and difficult to train
3. Very loyal and affectionate towards their owners3. Can be prone to separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time
4. Intelligent and eager to please, making them good candidates for training and agility competitions4. Can be prone to health issues such as hip dysplasia and eye problems
5. Good with children and other pets5. High grooming needs, requiring regular brushing and professional grooming every few months

Cost:

The cost of a Portuguese Water Dog in Australia can vary depending on the breeder, location and pedigree of the dog. On average, you can expect to pay between $3,000 to $5,000 AUD for a Portuguese Water Dog puppy from a reputable breeder. However, prices can go up to $10,000 AUD or more for a show-quality dog with a champion bloodline. It’s important to do your research and only buy from a reputable breeder who health tests their dogs and provides proper care and socialization for their puppies.

Breed History:

Portuguese Water Dogs were originally bred in Portugal as working dogs for fishermen. They were used to retrieve fish that had fallen off the hooks, to carry messages between boats and to guard the boats and their cargo. They were also trained to herd fish into nets and to act as couriers between ships and shore. Their thick, curly coat protected them from the cold water and their webbed feet made them excellent swimmers. Today, Portuguese Water Dogs are still used as working dogs in some parts of the world, but they are also popular as family pets due to their friendly and loyal nature.

Current Usage

Portuguese Water Dogs are versatile dogs that can be used for a variety of purposes. Here are some of the ways they are currently being used:

  1. Family pets: Portuguese Water Dogs make great family pets. They are loyal, affectionate and playful.
  2. Therapy dogs: Because of their friendly and gentle nature, Portuguese Water Dogs make excellent therapy dogs. They can provide comfort and companionship to people in hospitals, nursing homes and other settings.
  3. Service dogs: Portuguese Water Dogs are intelligent and trainable, which makes them well-suited for service work. They can be trained to assist people with disabilities, such as those who are blind or have mobility issues.
  4. Search and rescue dogs: Portuguese Water Dogs have a strong sense of smell and are excellent swimmers, which makes them well-suited for search and rescue work. They can be trained to locate missing persons in water or on land.
  5. Competitive sports: Portuguese Water Dogs excel in a variety of competitive sports, such as agility, obedience and dock diving. They are athletic and enjoy working with their owners to achieve goals.

Overall, Portuguese Water Dogs are versatile dogs that can be used for a variety of purposes. They are intelligent, trainable and have a strong desire to please their owners.

Guard Dogs

Portuguese Water Dogs are not typically used as guard dogs, as they are bred for their water retrieving abilities and friendly temperament. While they may bark to alert their owners of strangers, they are not aggressive or territorial by nature. However, they are loyal and protective of their families and their size and strength can be a deterrent to potential intruders. Overall, they may not be the best choice for a guard dog, but they can still provide a sense of security for their owners.

Where Are They Found?

Portuguese Water Dogs are most popular in Portugal, their country of origin. They are also popular in the United States, Canada and several European countries such as Spain, France and Germany.

Climate

Portuguese Water Dogs are best suited to a moderate climate with mild temperatures. They can adapt to different climates, but they are not well-suited to extreme heat or cold. They have a thick, curly coat that helps to insulate them from the cold, but it can also make them prone to overheating in hot weather. It’s important to provide them with plenty of shade and access to cool water during hot weather to prevent heatstroke. Overall, they are most comfortable in a climate that is not too hot or too cold.

Population

At this time, it is not known exactly how many Portuguese Water Dogs are in the world. However, according to the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America, as of 2019 there are approximately 6,000 registered Portuguese Water Dogs in the United States.

Physical Appearance:

Portuguese Water Dogs are a medium-sized breed with a distinctive curly or wavy coat that is hypoallergenic. They have a muscular and athletic build with a broad chest and strong legs. Their head is slightly rounded with a prominent muzzle and a beard and mustache that give them a unique look. They have dark, expressive eyes and floppy ears that hang close to their head. Their tail is thick and tapers to a point. Overall, Portuguese Water Dogs have a lively and energetic appearance that reflects their playful and friendly personality.

Coat:

Colours:

Portuguese Water Dogs can be black, brown, white or a combination of black and white or brown and white.

Hair/Fur Length:

Portuguese Water Dogs have curly or wavy hair that can grow up to 4-6 inches in length. However, some owners choose to have their dog’s hair trimmed shorter for easier maintenance.

Shedding:

Portuguese Water Dogs are considered to be a low-shedding breed, but they do shed to some extent. They have a single-layered, curly coat that doesn’t shed much hair, but they do lose some hair when they are brushed or groomed. Regular brushing and grooming can help to control shedding and keep their coat healthy and shiny. It’s important to note that no dog breed is completely non-shedding and even low-shedding breeds like Portuguese Water Dogs will still require some maintenance to keep their coat looking its best.

Grooming:

The Portuguese Water Dog has a curly, non-shedding coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. They should be brushed at least once a week and trimmed every 6-8 weeks to maintain their coat’s shape and length. Some owners choose to keep their Portuguese Water Dog’s coat in a shorter, more manageable style, while others prefer a longer, more natural look. Regular bathing is also recommended to keep their coat clean and healthy. Overall, the Portuguese Water Dog requires moderate grooming maintenance, but it is important to stay on top of their coat care to prevent any issues.

Hypoallergenic:

Yes, Portuguese Water Dogs are considered hypoallergenic. They have a single-layered, curly coat that doesn’t shed much, which means they produce less dander and are less likely to trigger allergies in people who are sensitive to pet hair and dander. However, no dog breed is entirely hypoallergenic and some people may still experience allergic reactions to Portuguese Water Dogs.

Speed:

Portuguese Water Dogs can run at a speed of approximately 32-37 kph (20-23 mph).

Health:

Portuguese Water Dogs are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues. Some of the most common health issues they are faced with include:

  • Hip Dysplasia: A genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to arthritis and pain.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): A group of genetic diseases that cause the gradual deterioration of the retina, leading to blindness.
  • Juvenile Dilated Cardiomyopathy: A heart disease that affects young dogs and can lead to heart failure.
  • Addison’s Disease: A hormonal disorder where the adrenal glands don’t produce enough hormones, leading to weakness, vomiting and collapse.
  • Epilepsy: A neurological disorder that causes seizures.

It’s important to note that not all Portuguese Water Dogs will develop these conditions and responsible breeding practices can help reduce the risk of passing on genetic diseases.

Teeth:

Portuguese Water Dogs have 42 teeth.

Eyesight:

Portuguese Water Dogs are known to have excellent eyesight, which is an important trait for their original purpose as working dogs in the fishing industry. They have keen eyesight both in and out of the water, which allows them to assist fishermen in tasks such as retrieving nets and locating fish. Additionally, their sharp vision makes them great watchdogs and able to detect potential threats from a distance.

Nipples:

Portuguese Water Dogs typically have 8 to 10 nipples, arranged in two rows on their underside.

Gestation:

Litter Size:

The typical litter size for Portuguese Water Dogs is between 4 to 8 puppies. However, litter sizes can vary and may be smaller or larger than this range. Factors such as the age and health of the mother, genetics and environmental factors can all impact litter size.

Gestation Period:

The gestation period for Portuguese Water Dogs is typically around 63 days, although it can range from 59 to 68 days.

Heat:

Portuguese Water Dogs typically go into heat every six to eight months.

Male vs Female:

Male and female Portuguese Water Dogs have some physical and behavioral differences. Males are generally larger and heavier than females, with a height of 20-23 inches and a weight of 42-60 pounds, while females are 17-21 inches tall and weigh 35-50 pounds. Males tend to have a more muscular and robust appearance, while females are more refined and elegant. In terms of behavior, males can be more dominant and territorial, while females are often more affectionate and nurturing. However, these differences can vary depending on the individual dog’s personality and training.

Tips and Advice:

Portuguese Water Dogs are intelligent, active and loyal dogs that require regular exercise and grooming to stay healthy and happy. Here are some tips and advice for caring for a Portuguese Water Dog:

  • Provide plenty of exercise: Portuguese Water Dogs are energetic dogs that need daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. They enjoy swimming, playing fetch and going for long walks or runs.
  • Groom regularly: Portuguese Water Dogs have a thick, curly coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. Brush their coat at least once a week and trim their hair every few months.
  • Keep them mentally stimulated: Portuguese Water Dogs are intelligent dogs that need mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Provide them with puzzle toys, obedience training and other activities that challenge their minds.
  • Feed a healthy diet: Feed your Portuguese Water Dog a high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their age, size and activity level. Avoid feeding them table scraps or human food, which can cause digestive issues and obesity.
  • Socialize early: Portuguese Water Dogs are social dogs that enjoy being around people and other animals. Socialize them early by exposing them to different people, animals and environments to prevent shyness or aggression.
  • Train with positive reinforcement: Portuguese Water Dogs respond well to positive reinforcement training methods, such as clicker training and rewards-based training. Avoid using harsh or punitive training methods, which can damage their trust and confidence.
  • Regular vet check-ups: Take your Portuguese Water Dog to the vet for regular check-ups and vaccinations to prevent health issues and catch any problems early on.
  • Provide plenty of love and attention: Portuguese Water Dogs are loyal and affectionate dogs that thrive on human attention and affection. Spend plenty of time with them, give them lots of love and attention and make them a part of your family.

Food:

Portuguese Water Dogs typically eat around 2-3 cups of high-quality dry dog food per day, depending on their size, age and activity level. They are known to be food-motivated and enjoy treats, but they are not typically considered to be excessively food-oriented dogs. As with any breed, it is important to monitor their food intake and ensure they maintain a healthy weight.

Facts:

Portuguese Water Dogs are a breed of dog that originated in Portugal and were traditionally used by fishermen to help with their work. Here are three interesting facts about them:

  1. They have webbed feet: Portuguese Water Dogs have webbed feet, which makes them excellent swimmers. This feature also helps them to move quickly through the water and makes them well-suited for their original purpose of assisting fishermen.
  2. They were once nearly extinct: In the 20th century, the Portuguese Water Dog was almost extinct. However, a breeding program was established in Portugal to save the breed and it has since become more popular around the world.
  3. They are hypoallergenic: Portuguese Water Dogs are a good choice for people with allergies because they do not shed much. Their curly, non-shedding coat requires regular grooming, but it also means that they are less likely to cause allergic reactions.

Names:

Portuguese Water Dogs are known for their intelligence, loyalty and energetic personalities. They are also known for their unique curly coats, which can come in a variety of colors. When it comes to naming a Portuguese Water Dog, names that reflect their adventurous spirit and strong personality are often a good fit. Here are 15 names that would be a good fit for a Portuguese Water Dog:

  1. Rio – This name means “river” in Portuguese and is a great choice for a dog that loves to swim.
  2. Luna – This name means “moon” in Portuguese and is a good choice for a dog with a calm and gentle personality.
  3. Max – A classic name that suits a dog with a strong and confident personality.
  4. Bella – This name means “beautiful” in Portuguese and is a great choice for a dog with a striking appearance.
  5. Zeus – A powerful name that suits a dog with a commanding presence.
  6. Maya – This name means “water” in Portuguese and is a good choice for a dog that loves to play in the water.
  7. Charlie – A friendly and approachable name that suits a dog with a playful personality.
  8. Coco – A fun and playful name that suits a dog with a bubbly personality.
  9. Simba – A name that means “lion” in Portuguese and is a good choice for a dog with a strong and fearless personality.
  10. Nala – This name means “successful” in Portuguese and is a good choice for a dog that is a quick learner.
  11. Rocky – A name that suits a dog with a tough and resilient personality.
  12. Stella – This name means “star” in Portuguese and is a good choice for a dog with a bright and shining personality.
  13. Duke – A name that suits a dog with a regal and dignified personality.
  14. Pepper – A name that suits a dog with a spicy and energetic personality.
  15. Zara – This name means “princess” in Portuguese and is a good choice for a dog with a graceful and elegant personality.

Famous:

Portuguese Water Dogs have gained popularity over the years due to their intelligence, loyalty and athleticism. They have been featured in movies, performed incredible feats and have been owned by famous people. Here is a list of some of the most famous Portuguese Water Dogs of all time:

  1. Bo – Bo was the first Portuguese Water Dog to live in the White House. He was owned by President Barack Obama and his family.
  2. Sunny – Sunny was the second Portuguese Water Dog to live in the White House. He was also owned by President Barack Obama and his family.
  3. Splash – Splash was a Portuguese Water Dog who performed incredible feats as a search and rescue dog during Hurricane Katrina.
  4. Kennedy – Kennedy was a Portuguese Water Dog who appeared in the movie “The Proposal” starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.
  5. Matisse – Matisse was a Portuguese Water Dog who won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 2015.
  6. Sunny – Sunny was a Portuguese Water Dog who appeared in the movie “The Secret Life of Pets 2”.
  7. Boomer – Boomer was a Portuguese Water Dog who performed as a therapy dog at the Boston Marathon bombing memorial.

These are just a few examples of the many famous Portuguese Water Dogs that have made an impact on the world.

Summary:

The Portuguese Water Dog is a medium-sized breed that was originally bred for fishing in Portugal. They are known for their curly, non-shedding coat and webbed feet, which make them excellent swimmers. Portuguese Water Dogs are intelligent, loyal and energetic dogs that require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They are also known for their love of water and are often used as working dogs in water rescue and therapy. The breed has a long history, dating back to the 16th century and was nearly extinct in the 20th century before being revived by a group of dedicated breeders. As pets, Portuguese Water Dogs make great companions for active families who enjoy spending time outdoors and have the time and energy to devote to their care and training. They are affectionate and playful dogs that thrive on human companionship and make great watchdogs.