Portuguese Water Dog

A fairly rare breed, the Portuguese Water Dog is a mid-sized, muscular dog. It has become more popular since being the breed of choice of US President Barack Obama, who owned two of them—Bo and Sunny. PWDs are sturdy and robust with a curly coat or a wavy coat that looks somewhat like a brushed-out perm! They are friendly dogs that love to be petted and make a solid companion.

Other Names
Cao de agua, Algarvian Water Dog, Portuguese Finishing Dog
Country of Origin

Black, white, various shades of brown, parti-colors of white with dark spots, black or brown with white markings, silver fox and gray.

Height / Weight
On average dogs stand at 50- 57cms at the withers and weigh 19- 25kgs, bitches average at height is 43- 52cms from the withers and weigh 16- 22gs.
Prone to hip dysplasia and PRA and some are prone to GM-1 Storage Disease, a fatal nerve disease.
Life Span

10-14 years

Training Portuguese Water Dogs is not difficult, they love directions and can follow complex commands.
Suitability (Children)

On the whole these dogs are not big eaters when you consider the amount of exercise they require.

Feeding Cost
$10-$15 p/w
Other Cost
The Portuguese Water Dog is an active, working type dog with big stamina. Daily physical and mental exercise is needed. PWDs love a long walk, jog or swim.
Hair Shed
Prone to hip dysplasia and PRA and some are prone to GM-1 Storage Disease, a fatal nerve disease.
The Portuguese Water dog should be brushed and combed regularly. Primarily coat type does not determine which trim they are put in. It is a personal preference. Two coat clips are used: One clip with the face and rear shaved, and the working retriever or pet clip where the dog is scissored so the coat appears to be about an inch long all over.
Grooming Frequency
Once a week
The Portuguese Water Dog, as the name suggests, originates from Portugal. In its native land it is called the Cao de Agua, meaning dog out of water. Developed from working dogs, PWDS are super swimmers and worked alongside Portuguese fisherman for hundreds of years doing numerous jobs. The lion trim wasn't a fashion statement, it had a purpose. Fishermen would shave the rear and muzzle to help the dogs swim and work in the water. Hair was left long on the body, neck and head to help keep vital organs warm and protect the pooch from injury.

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