Height: 17-23 inches
Weight: 35-60 lbs.
Life Span: 10-14 yrs.
Breed Group: Sporting Dogs
Portuguese water dogs are very intelligent, playful, and active. They require
early obedience training and socialization to become accustomed to different
types of people, animals, and noises.
They may bark excessively to guard their territory, communicate with other
dogs, or get attention. They also may be "mouthy," wanting to chew or hold
household objects in their mouths.
Their profuse, thick coat comes in two varieties: curly with lusterless,
compact, cylindrical curls; or wavy with gently falling curls and a slight
sheen. Color is black, white, various tones of brown, and combinations of
black or brown with white.
There are two common clips: the lion (face and hindquarters shaved) or the
retriever (evenly trimmed all over). The tail is usually shaved with a plume
on the end.
Grooming & Exercise Needs
Portuguese water dogs need to be brushed and combed a few times a week and
trimmed every month or two. They need to be taken on at least one long walk
or run every day and given the occasional opportunity to swim.
The Portuguese water dog, an exceptional swimmer and diver, originated in
the Middle Ages and for centuries helped fishermen by retrieving broken
nets, herding schools of fish, and carrying messages from boat to shore.
This breed is not suitable for inexperienced dog owners.
Breed-related health concerns: progressive retinal atrophy, glycogen
storage disease (a rare and fatal nervous system disorder), congenital kidney
problems that may lead to kidney failure, Addison's disease, cardiomyopathy,
follicular dysplasia (a condition caused by abnormally formed hair follicles
that results in hair loss).
Reference: AKC - American Kennel Club