The Portuguese Water Dog is not the best breed-choice for everyone and the decision to obtain one should not be taken lightly. PWD’s are intelligent, active, and people oriented. They require regular grooming and daily exercise to remain happy and healthy. Obedience Training is strongly recommended. Obedience training is a wonderful way to bond with your puppy, and an obedient, well-trained dog is happier and more enjoyable.
Known for centuries along Portugal’s coast, this seafaring breed was prized by fishermen for a spirited, yet obedient nature, and a robust, medium build that allowed for a full day’s work in and out of the water.
The Portuguese Water Dog is a swimmer and diver of exceptional ability and stamina, who aided his master at sea by retrieving broken nets, herding schools of fish, and carrying messages between boats and to shore. He is a loyal companion and alert guard. This highly intelligent utilitarian breed is distinguished by two coat types, either curly or wavy; an impressive head of considerable breadth and well-proportioned mass; a ruggedly built, well-knit body; and a powerful, thickly based tail, carried gallantly or used purposefully as a rudder. The Portuguese Water Dog provides an indelible impression of strength, spirit, and soundness.
Males, 20 to 23 inches. The ideal is 22 inches.
Females, 17 – 21 inches. The ideal is 19 inches.
Weight – For males, 42 to 60 pounds; for females, 35 – 50 pounds.
Black, white, and various tones of brown; also combinations of black or brown with white.
An animal of spirited disposition, self-willed, brave, and very resistant to fatigue. A dog of exceptional intelligence and a loyal companion, it obeys its master with facility and apparent pleasure. It is obedient with those who look after it or with those for whom it works.
We follow our puppies throughout their lifetimes, supporting the needs of the pups and their families to maximize the “water dog experience”.
Books, websites, and activities that will help you prepare include:
Contact area breed representatives (see list on the site above).
Join the PWD-L list.
The Complete Portuguese Water Dog by Kathryn Braund
Don’t Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor
Attend an AKC event where Portuguese Water Dogs are entered.
Visit welcoming breeders and owners to observe as many Portuguese Water Dogs as possible.
And of course, a reputable breeder is always willing to guide and support you for the life of your pup.