As his name might suggest, the Portuguese Water Dog is a fan of water. In fact, he was initially bred to be a helper to fishermen and even has webbed feet!
That's right; the Portuguese Water Dog would retrieve fishing gear and help fishermen herd fish into nets.
You may think you've never seen a Portuguese Water Dog before, but you have: Bo Obama, the former President's family dog, is a Portuguese Water Dog.
Portuguese Water Dog Temperament
The Portuguese Water Dog, or “Portie,” is a calm dog who loves the water. However, he still needs between 30 minutes to an hour of exercise every day to keep from going stir-crazy.
If your family is one that has a pool or loves to go swimming, often goes to the beach, or enjoys going sailing, then this dog will be in his element.
The Portie is a friendly dog and, as such, he is good with children and other dogs and pets.
However, some families may find that their Portie is a bit too enthusiastic for younger children. The Portie may get so excited that he ends up bowling the child over or otherwise injuring the child by accident.
Despite his love of the water, the Portie would much rather be inside with his family than outside guarding the property. He's good with apartment life, provided he gets his recommended daily exercise.
If dogs that bark fquently annoy you, then you and the Portie should get along swimmingly. The Portie only barks when he has a reason to do so.
Portuguese Water Dog Grooming
For the Portuguese Water Dog, shedding is more of a seasonal thing. He doesn't shed much. Weekly brushing should be sufficient to adequately maintain his dense coat.
The Portie is often said to be hypoallergenic because he does not have an undercoat.
This is not entirely true.
All dogs can cause allergies to some extent, due to their hair and dander.
As for bathing, the Portie only really needs a bath when he gets dirty.
However, because this breed loves to be in the water, you may need to bathe him more regularly to get the chemicals from a pool – or bacteria from the lake or ocean – out of his coat.
You should cut his nails once or twice a month. A good indicator as to when he needs his nails trimmed is when you can hear them clicking on your hardwood or tile floor.
Training a Portuguese Water Dog
The Portuguese Water Dog is a smart dog, and so he does well with training.
While he is a happy dog who is eager to please, he also has a stubborn streak that comes from being independent.
Remain consistent and be firm with your reprimands, and he will eventually learn who the real pack leader is.
However, this is a breed that also tends to get bored quickly.
And when he gets bored, he has more difficulty remaining focused on his training. Keep his interest by occasionally spicing things up by teaching him a new trick.
Health of a Portuguese Water Dog
The Portuguese Water Dog lifespan averages between 11 and 13 years for a healthy pup.
However, the Portie tends to mature at a slower rate than other breeds, so he will act like a puppy for longer than usual, getting the most out of his years.
The significant illnesses you should look out for, that can affect the Portie include:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Storage Disease
Porties can also succumb to Juvenile Dilated Cardiomyopathy. This is the equivalent of suffering a sudden heart attack.
Juvenile Dilated Cardiomyopathy occurs in puppies between the ages of five weeks and seven months old. What's even sadder is that there is no cure for the disease, and no way to diagnose it in advance.
An typical Portuguese Water Dog size is between 20 and 23 inches for a male, and between 17 and 21 inches for a female.
Price of a Portuguese Water Dog
Portuguese Water Dog puppies are between $2,500 and $2,800. The reason for such a steep price is because these dogs undergo a lot of tests to ensure they are in good health before they are sold.
A Final Word about the Portuguese Water Dog
If you like to swim, go to the beach, or hang out by the lake or local river, then the Portuguese Water Dog is your best buddy.
As his name would suggest, the Portuguese Water Dog loves being around water. He also likes exercise, so if you can combine the two, even better!
The Portie is not too much trouble to groom, though if he spends a lot of time in the water, you'll want to give him frequent baths to ensure his coat is clean.
Porties have a joie de vivre, or love of life. They are fun-loving companions who love being an inside dog almost as much as they love spending time outside.
Porties are great with kids, other dogs, and different kinds of pets.
However, if you have a young child, you may want to wait a bit before introducing a Portie into your home. This is because a Portie may be too rambunctious and do things like knocking a smaller child over or cause the child injury without meaning to.