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Portuguese Water Dog Grooming and Breed Care

Portuguese Water Dog Temperament

Obedient and agile, yet lively and spirited, the Portuguese Water Dog is an intelligent dog that loves to work and play. This water loving dog is courageous and has plenty of stamina and enthusiasm for everything that he does. These dogs love to be in the thick of the action, whether it is work or play, and are not suited to those with little time for their pets. The Portuguese Water Dog needs plenty of exercise, as he is a very active and physically demanding dog. He also needs a lot of mental stimulation, and will not take kindly to being ignored or neglected. Loyal and loving, the Portuguese Water Dog will bark to raise an alarm, making him an effective protector - the good news is that he doesn't tend to bark unnecessarily. Destructive behavior can stem from boredom with the Portuguese Water Dog, and these dogs also love to chew, so keep plenty of appropriate toys to hand.


The Portuguese Water Dog is a friendly and confident dog, but can be willful, obstinate, and challenging, which makes him best suited to a confident owner with experience of dog ownership. He tends to get along well with children, who he will treat as friends, and with proper socialization also gets along with pets, although he can sometimes be jealous or territorial. He is usually polite - even friendly - with strangers when properly socialized. The Portuguese Water Dog is a good choice of family pet for active families with plenty of time to devote to a pet, but not the right choice for those with little time or energy.

Portuguese Water Dog Appearance

The Portuguese Water Dog is a medium sized dog with a sturdy, robust build. He has a beautiful curly or wavy coat, which can be clipped and shaped for show dogs. The coat comes in various colors, including black, brown, and white. The Portuguese Water Dog has an intelligent expression, and ears that hang down to the side of his face. He also has distinctive webbed feet. The height of the Portuguese Water Dog is around 17-21 inches for females and 19-23 inches for males. These dogs weigh in at around 34-50 pounds for females and 53-60 pounds for males.

Portuguese Water Dog Grooming

You will need to dedicate a lot of time to grooming the Portuguese Water Dog, and he will need to be brushed twice weekly. You should also check his ears are clean and dry, particularly after he has been in water, in order to reduce the chance of infection. You may also want to consider clipping and scissoring for your Portuguese Water Dog. This breed is a minimal shedder when properly groomed, and is ideal for those that suffer from allergies.

Portuguese Water Dog Health Problems and Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of the Portuguese Water Dog is around 12-14 years, and this is a generally healthy breed. You should look out for some connected health issues, such as allergies, PRA, HD, and GM-1. The parents of the Portuguese Water Dog should have CERF and OFA certificates and you should also ask about clearance for glycogen storage disease (GM-1).

Portuguese Water Dog History

Originating from the Algarve in Portugal, the Portuguese Water Dog enjoys a long history. Used as a water retriever and to help fishermen.

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