Portuguese Water Dog Breed Guide & Pet Insurance Plan

Introduction to Portuguese Water Canines

As their identify suggests, Portuguese water canines are identified for being an athletic and adventurous sort of canine breed. These are Working Group canines which might be reasonable in dimension and have a curly coat. Portuguese water canines are additionally loyal and affectionate, which makes them wonderful canines to deliver into your family as a beloved companion.

Naturally, Portuguese water canines love water and have webbed toes that assist them swim. They’re additionally generally known as “Velcro canines” as a result of they turn out to be so hooked up to their relations. If you’re curious to be taught extra about this distinctive breed, here’s a breed information with a lot of data from the Wholesome Paws staff!

Dimension of Portuguese Water Canines

The Portuguese water canine is a medium-sized canine that is a perfect dimension for a lot of households. When absolutely grown, an grownup male canine is 20 to 23 inches tall and 42 to 60 kilos. An grownup feminine canine is 17 to 21 inches tall and 35 to 50 kilos. This breed sometimes stops rising by 12-18 months of age. Their minds catch as much as their our bodies they usually turn out to be mentally mature when they’re round 2 years previous.

Right here’s how large you possibly can anticipate your Portuguese water canine to get because the canine grows from puppyhood to maturity: 

Weight Chart 3 months 6 months 9 months 12-18 months
Common weight of Portuguese water canines 11-22 lbs. 25-43 lbs. 30-55 lbs. 35-60 lbs.
Portuguese water dog outside on leash next to person's legs

Traits of Portuguese Water Canines

Portuguese water canines are energetic canines that do effectively with lively households. Nevertheless, they require a very good quantity of train and psychological stimulation in order that they don’t turn out to be bored and harmful. The breed usually will get alongside effectively with youngsters and different pets, particularly if they’re launched to one another from an early age. Though Portuguese water canines are sometimes thought of to be hypoallergenic, it is very important notice that every one canines can set off allergy symptoms to some extent.

As you get to know a Portuguese water canine’s persona, right here’s what you possibly can anticipate based mostly on his or her breed traits.

Breed Attribute Stage (Excessive, Medium, Low)
Affectionate with Individuals Excessive
Good with Children Excessive
Good with Pets Excessive
Want for Train Excessive
Power Stage Excessive
Intelligence Stage Excessive
In a position to Be Educated Medium
Quantity of Barking Medium
Quantity of Shedding Low

Historical past of Portuguese Water Canines

Portuguese water canines have been initially bred to assist fishermen do their work on the water in Portugal. The canines would assist retrieve gear from the water, get fish into nets, and take messages between boats whereas swimming between them. These early Portuguese water canines have been hardy and capable of stand up to the frigid waters that they traveled to off the Icelandic coast. They’re hardworking canines that just about grew to become extinct within the early twentieth century, nevertheless, as fishing practices modernized. Dr. Vasco Bensuade, a lover of the breed and Portuguese transport chief, labored to avoid wasting the canines’ lineage and create a breed membership.

The Portuguese Water Canine Membership of America shaped in 1972, and their numbers regularly elevated within the following years. The American Kennel Membership first acknowledged the canines as an official breed in 1983. Their reputation has elevated due to their mackintosh and low-shedding high quality that makes them a most well-liked canine amongst folks with gentle dander allergy symptoms.

close up Portuguese water dog puppy

Portuguese Water Canine Normal Info

There are specific requirements by which Portuguese water canines are judged at reveals and competitions, generally known as the breed normal. These canines might be groomed in two methods, the primary being the retriever clip that options all the coat clipped to a size of 1 inch and the tail tip at full size. There’s additionally the showier lion clip that requires the coat on the muzzle and hindquarters to be clipped near the pores and skin.

For extra data, right here is an summary of the breed normal data for Portuguese water canines:


  • Massive, well-proportioned head
  • Medium eyes set effectively aside and roundish
  • Black or shades of brown for eyes
  • Ears set effectively above the road of the eyes
  • Scissors or stage chunk

Neck, Topline, Physique:

  • Straight, brief, and spherical neck held excessive
  • Stage and agency topline
  • Broad and deep chest
  • Lengthy and well-sprung ribs
  • Tail not docked, thick on the base and tapering


  • Shoulders well-inclined and strongly muscled
  • Lengthy and robust pasterns
  • Dewclaws could also be eliminated
  • Toes spherical and flat
  • Webbing of soppy pores and skin lined with hair between the toes


  • Highly effective and well-balanced hindquarters
  • Effectively-developed buttocks
  • No dewclaws and metatarsus lengthy


  • Thick, sturdy, and protecting the physique evenly
  • Curly coat with compact, cylindrical curls or wavy coat with gently falling waves
  • Lion clip or retriever clip acceptable


  • Black, white, shades of brown, or combos of those colours
  • Blueish pores and skin with black or white coats


  • Full of life steps
  • Ahead-striding trot
  • Effectively-balanced motion
black portuguese dog in the grass with a ball

Caring for Portuguese Water Canines

In case you reside close to a secure physique of water for swimming, this is a superb canine breed for you. Portuguese water canines additionally love swimming swimming pools! They’ve a low prey drive however take pleasure in enjoying with toys – one thing good to know to forestall boredom. Nevertheless, these are canines that require a whole lot of grooming, so plan on scheduling a haircut not less than each couple of months.

Listed below are some normal suggestions for taking the perfect care of a Portuguese water canine:

Finest Dwelling Environments:

  • Flats are okay if the canine is correctly exercised
  • Houses with fenced yards are nice
  • A residence close to a secure physique of water to swim in is good
  • Houses with kids, cats, and different canines are high-quality with correct coaching and supervision

Kind of Train:

  • Swimming and dock diving
  • Climbing with relations
  • Not less than half-hour to an hour of train every day
  • Jogging with relations
  • Video games of fetch in a yard

Psychological Enrichment:

  • Toys to stimulate the canine’s thoughts
  • Agility, monitoring, and obedience coaching
  • Meals puzzles when left alone

Coaching Methods:

  • This breed is usually a fast learner and loves selecting up new expertise
  • Give the canine a job to do
  • Make the most of solely constructive coaching methods

Grooming Ideas:

  • Brush or comb two or 3 times per week
  • Clip or trim the coat each 4-8 weeks
  • Rinse coat off after swimming
  • Dry out ears after swimming to forestall an infection
  • Brush tooth every day
  • Trim nails as wanted

Widespread Well being Issues of Portuguese Water Canines

The typical life expectancy of a Portuguese water canine is 11 to 13 years. If you’re contemplating getting a Portuguese water canine, it’s a good suggestion to know the potential well being circumstances that this breed is liable to.

These are among the most widespread well being points that come up with Portuguese water canines:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Microphthalmia syndrome
  • Juvenile dilated cardiomyopathy, an inherited illness
  • Storage illness (GM1), a genetic dysfunction that’s uncommon now however nonetheless ought to be examined for
  • Addison’s illness
  • Allergic pores and skin illness
  • Inflammatory bowel illness
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Most cancers
wet Portuguese water dog standing by lake

Weight-reduction plan and Diet for Portuguese Water Canines

Most grownup canines will thrive when consuming high-quality, nutritionally full and balanced pet food. Most Portuguese water canine puppies ought to eat pet meals till they’re 12-18 months previous. In case you feed your Portuguese water canine do-it-yourself meals, ensure you are working from a recipe that’s designed by a veterinary nutritionist and is suitable to your canine’s age and well being standing.

Feed the quantity of pet food wanted to maintain your pet slim. You must be capable to see your canine’s waist and really feel (however not see) their ribs with out having to press too laborious. On the whole, puppies want extra energy per day than adults, however a canine’s wants will range along with his or her exercise stage and different elements. Don’t depart meals out all day for a Portuguese water canine to graze on. Divide the full quantity of meals for the day into not less than two meals for adults and three meals for puppies. Place the meals out in a bowl at roughly the identical time within the morning and night every day.

Speak to your veterinarian when you have any questions on your Portuguese water canine’s food regimen or well being.

The place to Undertake or Buy Portuguese Water Canines

You’ll be able to seek for purebred Portuguese water canine puppies on the market on the AKC Market, and relaxation assured that the canine you’re getting is from an AKC-registered litter and a breeder who has cared for the pet based on established tips. The Portuguese Water Canine Membership of America gives assets to discover a breeder and rescue teams particular to this breed. Some rescue organizations to look into embody the PWDCA Rescue and Mayflower Portuguese Water Canine Membership. Portuguese water canines and mixes might also be obtainable by native shelters.

Associated Breeds

The Portuguese water canine is a novel sort of canine, however there are related and associated breeds that you simply may be to be taught extra about too. Listed below are some examples to contemplate earlier than you make the ultimate choice to deliver a brand new pet into your private home:

  • Barbet
  • Irish water spaniel
  • American water spaniel
  • Lagotto Romagnolo
  • Boykin Spaniel

Pet Insurance coverage for Portuguese Water Canines

To take the perfect care of your Portuguese water canine’s well being and luxuriate in peace of thoughts, signal your pup up for a Wholesome Paws canine insurance coverage plan. With Wholesome Paws, you possibly can relaxation assured which you can pay for costly veterinary payments each time your pup will get into an accident or turns into sick. You’ll be able to go to any licensed vet you belief and luxuriate in the advantages of no per-incident, annual, or lifetime caps on declare payouts.

Get your Portuguese water canine medical insurance quote on our web site at this time!

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