Portuguese Water Dog – Excellent Swimmer & Family Pet

The Portuguese Water Dog was on the verge of extinction, and decades later it ended up in the White House as the Obama family dog. Fortunately, in the 1930s, a fishing tycoon recognized the value of this wonderful dog breed and stepped up breeding. Today, this breed is considered an insider tip for families looking for a dog that loves exercise, is affectionate, loves water, and children.

Portuguese Water Dog: Impossible to Live Without Water

The first references to the Portuguese Water Dog (officially Cão de Água Português) are found in monastic documents from the 11th century. The author described the rescue of a fisherman drowning in a shipwreck by a dog. According to tradition, even then dogs helped pull stray fishing nets out of the sea and save people. The Portuguese Water Dog even has special webbed toes that help it swim and dive more efficiently.

In recent decades, playful, non-shedding, and always in a good mood, dogs have gained a firm place among family dogs.

Personality of the Portuguese Water Dog

The Portuguese Water Dog is a successful combination of work, a companion, and a family dog. It is smart, not to say very smart, very active, curious, and friendly to people. It does not know aggression. It brings with him an incredible amount of the desire to please – but can also go his own way if no one is dealing with him.

However, if well socialized and consistently bred from the start, an adaptable Water Dog can play to its strengths: it has a moderate hunting and guarding instinct – ideal for dog sports, excursions, dog tricks, and more. The Portuguese Water Dog has lived for centuries as part of its bipedal family and loves children. However, at a young age, it can be too noisy for small children.

Training & Maintenance of the Portuguese Water Dog

You must take into account the joy of movement and the intelligence of the Portuguese Water Dog. This demanding four-legged friend requires a high level of physical and mental activity. Whether it’s long walking, dog sports like agility and dummy training, or hidden object games, offer your companion a varied program.

Of course, one thing should not be missing: water. The Portuguese love it; swim and get things out of the water. They almost do not make a difference between summer and winter. They are also unaware of water quality, currents, and other hazards. Therefore, always make sure that your dog only swims in suitable areas.

Caring for Your Portuguese Water Dog

The coat of the Portuguese Water Dog is similar to that of a Poodle and should be sheared every 4–8 weeks. In addition, you have to comb the fur several times a week and free it from thorns, sticks, and other “finds” every day. Like all curly-coated dogs, the Water Dog is prone to ear infections if the hair in the ears is not removed. After bathing, it is important to dry the inside of the ears.

Features of the Portuguese Water Dog

The popular Portuguese is considered a robust, long-lived breed from stable breeding lines. There are some hereditary diseases that must be excluded when choosing a breed. A Water Dog without health problems can live from 12 to 15 years.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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