The portuguese water dog is a water-loving and loyal canine that is affectionate and sociable with everyone, including children, strangers, dogs and other house pets.  They are brave companions, are very intelligent, highly trainable, learn quickly and like to have something to do.  This is not a dog that likes to sit around idly all day; he requires daily exercise for both his mind and body.  This pooch needs a dominant leader.  An owner not up for the task will discover that though this breed has a stable and pleasant personality, he can be stubborn and difficult to control if he tries to take over the pack.

Therefore, if you believe portuguese water dogs are the right breed for you and your lifestyle, it’s high time you took a closer look at this canine to make sure what you believe is true.

Size – He is a medium-sized canine with a hardy and muscular build.  Males are 20 – 22 inches and 42 – 55 pounds, while females are 17 – 20 inches and 35 – 49 pounds.

Coat – The hair of the breed can be flat, shiny, wavy or feature a tight curl or a thick open curl.  Regardless of the coat’s texture, colors include: black, brown or white parti-color; brown or black with white markings; gray or silver fox.   Portuguese water dogs can be ideal for allergy sufferers because their non-shedding makes them practically hypo-allergenic.

Grooming – A brushing and combing is required on a regular basis, either daily or every other day. Their hair may be kept in a short or long clip but they need only the occasional trim as their fur grows slowly.

Training – They are easy to teach as they are highly responsive to learning and love to please.  However, this dog will not respect or listen to an owner who does not display control and dominance.  They also require a patient and positive teacher with a gentle voice and praise.  They do not respond well to aggressive lessons.  Note: Portuguese water dogs have a tendency to bark and jump up on people, two behaviors that should be controlled at an early age.

Friendliness – They are very social creatures and generally enjoy the company of other humans, children and pets.  However, they need to be socialized as puppies to ensure they remain accepting of people and animals, especially cats.

Exercise – He has fantastic stamina and requires a long, brisk walk every day.  He will also enjoy a jog, the freedom to run in a secure enclosed space (I.E. backyard, dog park, etc.) and swimming or water retrieving.   Due to the fact that they are high energy dogs, they require a very active owner willing to meet their exercise needs.  If theses canines are not properly exercised they can become very destructive, anxious and exhibit other unwanted behaviors.  Moreover, although portuguese water dogs can adapt to apartment living if they are provided with frequent outdoor stimulation, they are happiest in a home with a yard.

Health issues – This breed has a life expectancy of 10 – 14 years.    Common health problems that affect them include hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).  Puppies should also be tested for GM-1 Storage Disease, which is a fatal nerve condition.

Thus, if you are ready to care for a high-energy pooch with a big personality, then it’s time you learned everything you can about portuguese water dogs and find a reputable breeder or rescue operation, so you can make one of these four-legged swimmers part of your life.