Porties are also excellent swimmers, making them the perfect choice for owners who live near the water. In this blog post, we will discuss the history and temperament of the Portuguese Water Dog… and so much more!

Physical Breed Characteristics of the Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dogs are medium-sized dogs that were originally bred in Portugal as retrievers to work on fishing boats. They are athletic and muscular, with webbed feet that help them swim. Portuguese Water Dogs have a thick, wavy or curly coat that can be either black, brown, or white. They are around 22 inches tall and weigh ca. 50 pounds.

These dogs require a lot of exercise, and love to swim and play fetch. They are also very active dogs, and need plenty of mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. Portuguese Water Dogs are a unique and wonderful breed of dog, and make great canine companions for active families.

History of the Portuguese Water Dog Breed

The Portuguese Water Dog is an aquatic breed that has a long and storied history. Originally from the Iberian Peninsula, the breed was used by early fishermen to retrieve nets and other equipment. In addition, the dogs were also used to deliver messages between ships and shore.

As their name suggests, Portuguese Water Dogs are excellent swimmers, and they are still used today in water rescue operations. The breed first came to America in the early 20th century, and they quickly became popular as working dogs and family pets. President Obama even kept a Portuguese Water Dog named Bo in the White House! Today, the breed is known for its intelligence, loyalty, and playful disposition. Porties continue to be cherished members of families around the world.

Taking Care of an Active Dog

Portuguese water dogs are very intelligent and trainable, which makes them a popular choice for service and assistance work. However, Portuguese Water Dogs are not the easiest breed to care for. They require a lot of exercise, and if they are not given enough attention, they can become bored and destructive.

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They also require regular grooming, as their coats can become matted if not brushed regularly. Overall, Portuguese Water Dogs are a high-maintenance breed, but they can be a loving and loyal companion for the right owner.

Buying a Portie: Cost of a Puppy

When searching for a Portuguese Water Dog, you may wonder where to look. Porties can be adopted from shelters or rescue organizations, or bought from a breeder registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC). The average cost of a Portuguese Water Dog puppy from a breeder is $1,500-$3,000. Shelters typically charge an adoption fee of $100-$250.

If you are looking for a show-quality dog with Champion lineage, be prepared to pay more. Some breeders also offer “pet quality” puppies that may have minor physical flaws but are still excellent companion animals; these puppies usually cost less than show-quality dogs.

Adopting a PWD

Rescue organizations typically have lower adoption fees than shelters because they rely on donations and volunteer labor. However, the adoption process may be more lengthy, as they seek to place dogs in the best possible homes.

Regardless of where you adopt or purchase your Portuguese Water Dog, be sure to do your research to ensure that you are getting a healthy, well-adjusted puppy from a reputable source.

Common Health Issues

Portuguese Water Dogs are relatively healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they are prone to certain health conditions. The most common health issues seen in this breed include allergies, hip dysplasia, and eye problems.


Allergies are the most common health problem seen in Portuguese Water Dogs. Allergies can be caused by a number of things, including environmental allergens, food allergies, and reaction to medication. Symptoms of allergies include itchiness, red or inflamed skin, and recurrent ear infections. Allergies can be treated with antihistamines or other medications, depending on the severity of the reaction.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is another common health issue in Portuguese Water Dogs. Hip dysplasia is a condition that causes the hip joint to malform, resulting in pain and stiffness. Treatment for hip dysplasia typically includes weight management, exercise, and pain medication. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

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Eye Issues

Eye problems are also common in Portuguese Water Dogs. The most common eye problems seen in the breed include cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Cataracts cause the lens of the eye to become opaque, resulting in decreased vision. PRA is a degenerative disease that causes the retina to deteriorate, eventually leading to blindness. There is no cure for PRA, but it can be managed with medication and special eye drops.

Choosing a Portuguese Water Dog Breeder

If you’re thinking about adding a Portuguese Water Dog to your family, you’ll need to find a reputable breeder. There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a breeder.

  • First, make sure that the breeder is a member of the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America. This organization promotes responsible breeding practices and works to protect the health and welfare of the breed.
  • Secondly, visit the breeder’s facility and meet the dogs in person. Pay attention to the cleanliness of the kennels and whether the dogs seem well-cared for.
  • Finally, ask the breeder about health testing for genetic disorders common in Portuguese Water Dogs.

By taking these steps, you can be confident that you’re choosing a responsible breeder and giving yourself the best chance of getting a healthy puppy.

Portuguese Water Dog Traits & Temperament

The Portuguese Water Dog is a loyal, loving, and intelligent breed that makes a great companion for families with children. These dogs are known for their playfulness and energy, and they excel at learning new tricks. They are also very social creatures, and they enjoy being around people. However, Portuguese Water Dogs can be willful and stubborn, so it is important to start training early. With proper socialization and training, these dogs can be a fun and loving addition to any family.

Porties & Kids

As far as kids go, Portuguese Water Dogs generally do well with them. They are patient and tolerant, two qualities that are essential when dealing with children. However, as with any dog breed, it is always important to supervise interactions between kids and dogs to make sure everyone remains safe and happy.

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Are You the Perfect Portie Owner?

Portuguese Water Dogs have many specific needs. They are an energetic breed that loves to play and requires a lot of exercise. They also need regular grooming, including brushing and baths, to keep their coats healthy. Portuguese Water Dogs are also very social dogs and do best in homes where they have plenty of human interaction. They thrive in families with children, and enjoy being around other pets.

However, Portuguese Water Dogs can be very challenging to train and may not be the best breed for first-time dog owners. Overall, they make wonderful companions for active families who are willing to put in the time and effort to train them properly. Are you an active person with time on your hands?

PWD Recap

Portuguese Water Dogs are a unique breed of dog that offers many benefits to owners. They are intelligent, trainable, and make great companions. However, they require a lot of vigorous exercise and attention, and they need regular grooming. These dogs are also susceptible to certain health conditions, such as allergies, hip dysplasia, and eye problems.

When considering adding a Portuguese Water Dog to your family, be sure to do your research and find a reputable breeder or rescue organization. With proper care and attention, a Portie can be a loving addition to any home.

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