Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog At a Glance

Country of Origin:


Breed Group:

AKC (Working); ANKC (Utility); CKC (Working); FCI (Water Dogs); KC (Working); UKC (Gun Dog)


Medium. Weight: Males 42–60 lbs; Females 35–50 lbs Height: 19.5–23 inches; Females 16.5–21 inches


Soft and wavy/curly.


Black, White, Brown Tones, Combinations of Black or Brown with White

Life Span:

11 to 14 years

Breed Profile

Affection Level
Barking Tendencies
Cat Friendly
Cold Weather Tolerance
Exercise Needs
General Health
Grooming Needs
Hot Weather Tolerance
Kid Friendly
Shedding Level
Social Needs
Watchdog Ability

Did You Know?

This breed is always delighted to play with water.

Portuguese Water Dog Overview

The Portuguese Water Dog is a popular breed that has worked alongside fisherman for many hundreds of years. They were trained to herd fish into nets as well as retrieve objects and messages from between boats and to shore. To do this, the breed needed both a sturdy body and coat that would protect it in the waters.


Portuguese Water Dog Characteristics

The Portuguese Water Dog may be most well-known in the US due to the current President Barack Obama owning two. The breed is playful and loving both as a companion and working dog. Their dense coats are non-shedding and waterproof, while their webbed feet help them swim through even strong waters.


Portuguese Water Dog Temperament

PWD’s are strong, robust and intelligent dogs. They are independent thinking and can handle themselves in tough situations be it at work, or protecting a companion. They are also sweet, loving and great with children, making them wonderful family pets. The combination of intelligence and hard work also makes the PWD a great Service Animal.



Portuguese Water Dog Care

The breed live on average 11 to 14 years, typical for a large breed dog. Several health concerns include Addison’s disease, glycogen storage disease, progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, dilated cardiomyopathy and follicular dysplasia. Careful breeding and good veterinary care can help reduce disease severity and incidence.


Portuguese Water Dog Coat

The coat, while non-shedding, does require maintenance. It should be brushed and combed as well as trimmed to keep the curly hair from tangling and matting. The coat may also need professional clipping every few months. However, the low shed and hairstyle of the coat make the PWD great for people with allergies.


Portuguese Water Dog Training

This is a breed that is easy to train and does best with guidance and direction in his training. Teaching tasks, whether they are everyday obedience, jobs like working with fisherman or helping the disabled are important for keeping the PWD focuses. This breed does great having a job to do.


Portuguese Water Dog Activity

Portuguese Water Dogs do best with lots of regular exercise. Swimming is a natural favorite, however, the dogs are happy doing any activity alongside their owners. Long walks, dog-related sports, or just simple obedience training outdoors will keep the PWD happy.

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