Portuguese Water Dog better know as the "Portie" was found along the Algarve on the coast of Portugal, and hence can be traced back to very remote times.
In bygone times, this breed existed everywhere along the coast of Portugal. The breed is a well-balanced working dog highly prized by fishermen as a companion and guard dog. For this reason, he lived on the working boats. Expressly taught to herd fish into nets, retrieve lost a tackle or broken nets, and to act as a courier from ship to ship, or ship to shore.
Consistently through their history, this breed has been a fisherman's helper and companion. They love all types of water work. A happy Portuguese Water Dog learns quickly and gets bored easily, making them naturals for agility, obedience, and training as a tracker. Above all, this breed's polite, bouncy, affectionate nature makes them great with kids. He will love being in the middle of an active family and entertain all with their silly personality and antics. Being an alert watchdog, and having an independent streak, make them a wonderful family dog.
For more on the breed check out the American Kennel Club
The life expectancy of the breed is 12-14 years.
Size & Activity Level
Your Portuguese Water Dog will mature to a size between 35 and 60 pounds. This medium-sized breed is energetic and will need plenty of room to romp. Swimming is a natural choice for the web-footed Portuguese Water Dog. The first thing to remember, if you don’t want a dog who prefers to be wet, is that this isn’t the dog for you.
For the most part, if you give him plenty of exercise he’ll be happy in an apartment, a small suburban home, or a vast country estate. Just don’t expect him to handle being alone in the backyard. Remember if you get a Portuguese Water Dog, make him a member of your family, not an outdoor dog.
Care & Grooming
There are two varieties of Portuguese Water Dog coat that meet the breed standard:
- Curly - compact, cylindrical curls, somewhat lusterless. The hair on the ears is sometimes wavy.
- Wavy - Falling gently in waves, not curls, and with a slight sheen.
The Portuguese Water Dog is a very low shedder. Give your post-swim Portuguese Water Dog a thorough fresh water rinse to keep his coat at its best. In fact, regular grooming is essential to keep his coat in good condition, including brushing, bathing, haircut, nail trim, and ear cleaning.
Be aware that this breed is mouthy and loves to chew, so provide plenty of chew toys or they will find their own.