Portuguese Water Dogs

Is the Portuguese Water Dog the Right Dog for You and Your Family?

portuguese-waterdog2When thinking about welcoming a new dog to the family, it is important to choose a breed that suits your lifestyle. The following may help you in deciding if the Portuguese Water Dog is the right breed for your household.

Portuguese Water Dogs are good family pets and great with older children, but very young children may irritate the dog, unknowingly, by pulling on ears, pushing and poking, which this breed may object to. However, this breed is very loyal and eager to please. Therefore, they do not particularly enjoy being left alone for long periods, and the time they are left alone or with other pets should be limited to around 4 hours at a time, or less.

This breed has a lot of energy and requires exercise, such as walking, on a daily basis. If their energy is not used in a constructive way, they may decide to focus on less favorable activities, such as chewing what they are not supposed to. However, the Portuguese Water Dog is an intelligent breed and, therefore, very easy to train in various areas, such as housetraining. Training of any kind should be started at a young age, with positive reinforcement methods for best results, and this is true of any breed. It is important to be consistent with the training of this breed, as they are strong-willed and think independently.

The Portuguese Water Dog requires regular grooming using a dog grooming tub, in order to keep their long coat in good condition and to prevent matting. Allowing the coat to become badly tangled can lead to a lot of discomfort for the dog, among other issues, which may eventually require Veterinary treatment. Therefore, it is advised to regularly brush this dog’s coat and keep it trimmed and knot-free. This breed may require regular coat clipping if you live in an area with a hot climate, especially during the summer months, in order to keep them comfortable when outdoors.

This breed can grow to between 17 and 23 inches tall, and weigh between 35 to 60 pounds. Male Portuguese Water Dogs will usually grow larger than the females, and it is very important to consider size when choosing a pet. A dog growing to an unexpected size is a common reason people choose to give up their dogs for adoption, so the adult size of a new pet must be seriously considered before a decision is made.

Portuguese Water Dogs

Portuguese Water Dogs are not only water lovers, but brave, loyal and sensible. They are great with children and can get along with other pets without any problems but they still should to be socialized with other dogs and cats so there are no problems. They are a very smart breed of dogs, most are easy to train and are quick to learn. They will make good watch dogs and have a great sense of smell. Portuguese Water Dog puppies are chewers, so make sure you have lots of chew toys and rawhide available so they don’t chew anything else.

Portuguese Water Dogs are hardy, medium-sized muscular dogs. Male dog’s height- 20-22 inches, Females- 17-20 inches. Male dog’s weight: 42-55 pounds, Female: 35-49 pounds. Coat can be open or tight curl, shiny, flat, or wavy. You won’t have to worry about shedding with this dog breed! Coat color can be white or brown, black, and ever silver fox or gray. The body is a little longer than it is tall. This breed’s head is large and it’s skull should look rounded. Their ears should hang down but nowhere below the lower jaw. They have dark eyes and the teeth meet in a scissors or level bite. Their tails starts out thick but then tapers. The legs are strong, parallel, and straight. These dogs have more webbing in between their toes then most other brides which helps when swimming.

Portuguese Water Dogs usually live for 10-14 human years.

Portuguese Water Dog Care

You’ll need to brush and comb their coat on a regular basis. That includes cleaning their ears after swimming. Their teeth and nails should be checked every once in awhile.

The Portuguese Water Dog is a very active dog with awesome stamina. They will become obese if you they don’t enough exercise. Not only does it need daily physical exercise but mental too. A long daily brisk walk or jog is defiantly needed. This dog loves water, so throwing a ball in water and having them retrieve it will be great fun. This type of dog is a awesome jogging companion. Health issues include:-

PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy)
glycogen storage disease
Addison’s disease
cardiac problems
gastrointestinal disease
renal problems
hip dysplasia
skin allergies

Bring him or her to the vet every few months when a puppy, or twice a year when an adult is recommended.

Portuguese Dog Origin

Ever wondering where Portuguese Water Dogs came from?

They were originally developed from working dogs but came to Iberian Peninsula by settlers and invaders and helped Portuguese fisherman with fishing for many years. They caught fish, got items that fell overboard, carried messages from ship to ship and also guarded to fish caught and ship when at port. These dogs were considered part of the crew got a share of both the money and fish earned for the catch. After a fisherman retired, they would often have to rent out their dogs for the extra cash. Eventually technology replaced the Portuguese Water Dogs and by the 1930’s the breed was just about gone. Luckily, Vasco Bensaude (a rich shipping tycoon) was interested in the breed and went to gather other specimens to start a breeding program. In 1958, the United States got interested in this breed and imported the first pair. Then came 1972, The Portuguese Water Dog Club of America formed and in the early 1980’s the AKC accepted the dog. They were mainly used for companions, but also water trials, agility, therapy and assistance dog, and obedience dog.