Portuguese Water Dog breed is a lively and high spirited medium sized dog. These energetic and hard working dogs require equally active and preferably experienced dog owners who can afford to spend plenty of time with their pet. As the name itself indicates, it is a water loving breed dog.
Originating from Portugal’s coast, these Dogs were initially bred to accompany fishermen on their boats to retrieve fishes, broken nets, guard the boat, carry messages between ships and other such purposes.
After the introduction of improved fishing practices in the 20th century, people started neglecting these dogs. But, Portuguese Water Dog is again gaining popularity now.
Portuguese Water Dog breed is characterized by an athletic and muscular body and possesses a great deal of endurance. These dogs have obliquely set, medium sized eyes that are somewhat round in shape.
The eyes are usually black or brown in color. The hanging ears are set high and heart shaped. They have webbed feet that help them swim easily.
Color: The most common colors prevalent in this breed are black, white and various shades of brown or different combinations of these colors.
Height: The average height of a Portuguese Water Dog should be around 20 to 22 inches. The bitches are generally 17 to 20 inches in height.
Weight: The ideal weight of these dogs ranges between 42 to 55 pounds whereas the ideal weight for female ranges between 35 to 49 pounds.
Breed Health Problems
Hip Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy and GM 1 Storage Disease are the most common health issues in these dogs. GM 1 Storage Disease is a fatal genetic nerve disorder. Other health problems include Distichiasis, Arthritis, Skin Problems etc.
Life Expectancy: The average lifespan of Portuguese Water Dog is about 10 to 14 years.
Litter Size: The average litter size of these dogs is 4 to 8 puppies.
Portuguese Water Dog Grooming Requirements
These single coated hypoallergenic Portuguese Water Dog breed requires regular grooming in order to keep the profuse and thick hair coat in perfect condition.
The hair coat can be curly or wavy. It should be brushed and combed several times in a week. They also require professional grooming every few months for clipping the hair coat.
Lion Clip and Retriever Clip are two coat clips that generally used for these dogs. The ears should be checked and cleaned at least on a weekly basis to avoid possible ear infections. Similarly, regularly carry out other grooming activities such as nail clipping, eye cleaning, teeth brushing etc.
Portuguese Water Dog Temperament
This dog is characterized by bravery, affection, loyalty, intelligence and independence accompanied by a pleasant disposition. These smart and intelligent dogs are easy to train.
They are friendly and playful with children and tend to get along well with other pets in the house without any problems. These dogs are sensitive dogs that should not be subjected to harsh treatment whether in terms of actions or in terms of the tone of voice.
On the other hand, the dog should neither be given too much liberty to avoid dominance. These attentive dogs make for excellent watchdogs. In addition, characterized by a funny sense of humor, a Portuguese Water Dog serves as an amusing companion dog.
Pros and Cons
Portuguese Water Dog breed requires vigorous exercise on a daily basis. In fact, these enthusiastic dogs love to work and play. They enjoy going for daily brisk walks and simply love swimming. They are moderately active indoors and hence suitable for apartment situation, preferably with regular access to a small sized yard.
In the absence of adequate physical and mental stimulation, they tend to become bored and engage in destructive activities.
Out of all the different types of destructive behaviors, you will find that your dog considers destructive chewing as the most appealing fun activity. Hence, it would be better to provide your dog with some interesting dog toys before he destroys your most prized possessions.