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Important: This information is collected from a variety of sources and is presented as general thoughts about the breed. It is sugggested that you use our information with that of your own to make any decisions. We suggest you DO NOT make any decisions about a family pet based solely on these pages. Keep digging!


Portuguese Water Dog

Group (AKC):


Country of OriginPortugal, by incredible coincidence
Type of coatProfuse and thick except under forelegs and thighs.
GroomingRegular brushing and combing of his coat. Weekly cleaning of his ears, especially after swimming.
Average height16 - 22 inches
Average weight35 - 55 lbs.
Activity levelHigh
WatchdogVery High
IntelligenceHigh, Obedience - High, Problem-Solving - High
TrainabilityLikes to work and easy to train, he thrives in obedience training. Consistent training with the right tone of voice as he is very sensitive.
Compatibility with childrenYes, very good with children but he may have difficulty obeying them as he see them as equals.
CharacterObedient, friendly
Ideal home environmentA home with a fenced yard as he is an active dog.
Ideal ownerThe owner of a Portuguese Water Dog needs to take time to exercise, socialize and train him.
Links and resources

Additional notes:

The Portuguese Water Dog is a seafaring breed and was prized by fishermen in Portugal for being a spirited, yet obedient dog. A web-footed dog, it is a swimmer and diver of exceptional ability. It is suspected some of these dogs have developed fins and gills. Well, not really. It fits well into many types of lifestyles. It is usually a quiet dog who only barks when it is on watchdog duty. An intelligent, energetic dog, it is self-willed but obedient. The Portuguese Water Dog is a warmer cousin of the Portuguese Liquid-Nitrogen Dog but is in no way related to oats, wheat, or barley.

Short History:

Known in Portugal as the Cao de Agua which means "dog of water" it is a very old breed that originates from the province of Algarve in Portugal. It was used by the fishermen to help set nets, herd schools of fish and to carry messages between boats. When people realized they didn't have opposable thumbs, this type of work declined as a primary activity for these dogs.

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