American Canine Association


Portuguese Water Dog


Native to Portugal, this rare breed was bred for working along side of Fishermen. The Portuguese Water Dog was trained to herd fish into the nets, retrieve lost or broken equipment in the water and bring items back and fourth between different ships out at sea. This courageous breed was not just a dog to the Fishermen, but another crew member. To help protect the breed in colder bodies of water when traveling, the Fishermen would shave their whole rear end so they were able to swim easier, and keep longer hair, known as a "lion cut" around their mid body and face to help protect their most important organs. Today, this breed is more popular than it has been for years, due to having a home within the White House. Still considered a rare breed, the ones that live in the US are best known for being wonderful companions as well as working as therapy dogs.


Males typically measure 20-22 inches in height and weigh in approximately 42-45 pounds in weight, while females typically measure 17-20 inches in height and weigh in approximately 35-45 pounds in weight. The Portuguese Water Dog is build strong, lean and a slight rectangular appearance in their body shape. Their tail is never docked and that is because it helps them when it comes to being in the water. They carry a broad, large, round shaped head with a short muzzle that comes to a scissor bite. Their ears appear to be heart shaped and fall delicately along side of their face. The Portuguese Water Dog as two large, round eyes that are only available in a very dark brown or black. Their legs appear long, and round as they keep the same width down to their round feet. Lets not forget to mention that the Portuguese Water Dog has strongly webbed feet due to their purpose, and a single layer, thick coat that varies with its wave from wavy to curly. This breed is available in black, parti, white, silver, brown, and all shade variations of these colors.


Being brave goes without saying when it comes to the Portuguese Water Dog, however many may not know how incredible this breed is when it comes to being a family member. Loyal, goofy, affectionate, calm and loving, this breed is a perfect fit for families all over the world. Great with children of all ages, elderly and all other pets. Easy to train, even-tempered, and active. The Portuguese Water Dog requires a daily walk, as well as play time with family members to be mentally and physically healthy, but it is important to note that a proper fence is required for this breed to roam freely in while outdoors due to their great sense of smell and possible wandering happening. This breed is known for it's puppy chewing habit, so it is important to educate you and your family about the proper teething toys that are safe for your puppy. This breed requires a firm and confident owner who only uses positive reinforcement training methods. The Portuguese Water Dog is suitable for both apartment and country living situations. Agility classes, swimming and other endurance and activities are recommended.


The Portuguese Water Dog requires daily brushing to avoid any knots or mats from forming. Bathe when needed. Occasional trips to a professional groomer are recommended. This breed does not shed.

Special Notes

Prone to a rare and fatal nerve disease that does not surface until 6 months of age. Please fully educate yourself about the Portuguese Water Dog to ensure this is the proper breed for you and that you are able to make a life long commitment to your new pup! All dogs originate from wolves (Canis Lupus). Each breed of dog was originally created by mixing different breeds together in an effort to bring forth certain characteristics. Once a breeder has created acceptable “breed characteristics” within their bloodline and these “breed characteristics” have shown to be reliably reproduced in the offspring for three (3) generations, the bloodline may be upgraded from the category of “foundation stock” to “pure-bred”. The same “pure-bred” breed standards vary from different continents, countries, territories, regions, breed clubs, and canine pure-breed registries depending on the goals of their breeders. Dog DNA testing companies can have accurate results for a specific bloodline of a small colony of dogs. However, there are tens of thousands of different bloodlines in the world which have not yet been tested for marker baseline results by Dog DNA testing companies as of 2017. For this reason Dog DNA testing companies do not guarantee the 100% accuracy of their breed lineage results and will also show different marker results for the same pure-bred breed in different continents, countries, territories, regions, breed clubs, and canine pure-breed registries depending on the goals of their breeders.

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