Portuguese Water Dog


Portuguese Water Dog: A Loyal and Energetic Canine Companion

Portuguese Water Dogs, also known as PWDs, are a breed of dog that was originally bred to assist fishermen with their activities in Portugal. Despite being a lesser-known breed, PWDs are becoming increasingly popular as family pets and companions due to their intelligence, loyalty, and affectionate nature. In this article, we will delve into the history, characteristics, and needs of the Portuguese Water Dog.

Portuguese Water Dog History

The Portuguese Water Dog has a fascinating history. It is believed that the breed has been around for centuries, and was used by Portuguese fishermen as a working dog to assist in their fishing activities. PWDs were taught to herd fish into nets, retrieve lost gear from the water, and even serve as a messenger between boats. However, the breed faced near-extinction in the 20th century due to the introduction of modern fishing techniques. Luckily, PWD enthusiasts worked to save the breed, and today the Portuguese Water Dog is recognized by the American Kennel Club and other major kennel clubs around the world.

Portuguese Water Dog Breed Characteristics

PWDs are classified as a medium-sized breed, with males typically weighing between 40-60 pounds and females weighing between 35-50 pounds. They have a distinctive coat that is either curly or wavy, and comes in black, brown, white, or a combination of these colors. The breed is also known for their webbed feet, which help them swim efficiently.

Portuguese Water Dog Intelligence

PWDs are highly intelligent dogs and extremely trainable. This breed is known to excel in obedience, agility, and other dog-related sports. They are quick learners and eager to please their owners, making them an excellent choice for families who are looking for a smart and obedient companion.

Portuguese Water Dog Average Size

As mentioned earlier, the Portuguese Water Dog is a medium-sized breed with males typically weighing between 40-60 pounds while females weigh between 35-50 pounds. Their height typically falls between 17-22 inches at the shoulder.

Portuguese Water Dog Child Friendly

PWDs are known to be incredibly child-friendly and love to be around kids. They are gentle and patient with children, making them a perfect match for families with young kids.

Portuguese Water Dog Health Needs

PWDs are generally healthy dogs, but like any breed, they are prone to certain health issues. Eye problems, hip dysplasia, and Addison’s disease are some of the common health issues that PWDs can face. As a potential owner, it is important to have regular vet check-ups and ensure their dog receives appropriate vaccinations and preventative care.

Portuguese Water Dog Grooming Needs

PWDs have a thick and curly coat, which requires regular grooming. Owners should brush their dog’s coat at least once a week to prevent matting and tangling. The breed is also known to have a hypoallergenic coat, which is great for people with allergies.

Portuguese Water Dog Amount Of Shedding

Due to its curly hair and often-hypoallergenic coat, Portuguese Water Dogs typically shed less than most breeds. Shedding can vary greatly between individual dogs, but many PWD owners have reported having very little shedding.

Portuguese Water Dog Trainability

PWDs are highly trainable and known for their ability to learn quickly. Consistent and positive training methods work best for this breed. PWDs respond well to reward-based training, and mastering tricks and commands can be a great way to bond with your dog.

Portuguese Water Dog Exercise Needs

PWDs are active dogs and require regular exercise. They enjoy swimming, playing fetch or tug-of-war, and going for long walks. PWDs have an exceptional desire to please their owners and derive great pleasure from spending quality time with them. Therefore, owners should be prepared to engage in regular activity with their PWD.

Portuguese Water Dog Average Lifespan

The average lifespan of the Portuguese Water Dog is between 11-13 years. PWDs can live long and healthy lives, as long as they receive appropriate care, including regular exercise and veterinary visits.


Overall, the Portuguese Water Dog is an excellent breed for families looking for an affectionate, loyal, and trainable companion. With their rich history, distinctive looks, and friendly nature, PWDs are a truly special and unique breed. However, as with any breed, it is crucial to do your research and ensure that your lifestyle can accommodate the needs of a PWD, as well as to give them the proper care and attention that they require.