As its name suggests, this is a dog breed that originated from Portugal and were a adapted to being in the water. It is also known as the Cao de Aqua or water dog. It is a serious working dog as it was used for various functions at sea such as herding fish into nets, retrieving items in water and passing messages from ship to ship or ship to shore. They are said to have Asian descent though their origin is not well established. As technology gets advanced in communication and fishing techniques, the services of the Portuguese Water Dogs diminished hence lost popularity and diminished in number. It is because of a Portuguese wealthy man who was enthusiastic about this dog breed that they were preserved.
These are square formed sturdy dogs. It is medium sized standing at a height of 17 – 22 inches and weighing 40 – 55 pounds. It’s curly coat covers its entire body including face legs and tails. It has dark round eyes that a buried in its face covered with its thick eyebrow hair. It has a medium sized muzzle with a black tip nose. Its muzzle is covered with long hair that forms a mustache on its facial appearance. It has a medium sized whiptail that hangs high on its back
It is a loving, affectionate and friendly dog. It is full of life and is very exciting to be around. They enjoy spending time with their families and bond well with every member. They are very energetic and can be active all day long. They have an even temper and will not get to either extreme. They are also very easy to train and strong-willed. They are open to strangers and will happily receive family guests with liveliness.
Due to their high energy levels, they Portuguese water dog will require a lot of vigorous exercises daily. They have an independent mind hence will require early training. They do not respond to harsh training hence, a trainer will need to be gentle but firm with them. They are not suitable for indoor living as they would prefer the outdoor life more.
They should be feed on high-quality nutritious meals. Ensure to give them two or three consistent meals and avoid single large meals or haphazard feeding styles. The amount of food given depends on the level of activity, age, and size of the dog.
They are generally healthy dogs, however, are prone to some common diseases such as genetic disorder, eye conditions, and hip dysplasia. They have a general life expectancy of 10 – 13 years.
Coat, Color and Grooming
They have a single dense coat that is either curly or wavy. Their coat hardly sheds, and they are considered to be a hypoallergenic breed. Their coat comes in black, white or various shades of brown. The coat should be brushed several times a week to prevent it from getting entangled. Also, brush its teeth twice a week and trim its nails on a monthly basis.
With family and other pets
Parties get along well with family and especially with children due to their playful nature. They also get along well with other pets especially if they were raised together with them.