Portuguese Water Dog

Working Group

Portuguese Water Dog sitting in front of a white background

Height at Shoulders

Females 11.5-13 in, Males 12.5-14 in

Weight

20-35 lbs

Life Expectancy

12-15 yrs

History

The Portuguese Water Dog originated in Portugal, although exactly when is unclear. The first written account describing the breed was from 1297, describing a black curly-coated dog saving a drowning man. Long ago, Portuguese Water Dogs could be found all along the coast of Portugal on boats and in shipyards. The dogs were used to herd fish into nets, retrieve equipment that had fallen in the water, relay messages from boats to other boats or to land, and to be a loving companion at night. While technology eventually replaced the use of these dogs, they are still employed as water rescue workers and as companions.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Portuguese Water Dogs will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★☆☆

★★★★★

★★★★★

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★★★★☆

★☆

★☆

☆☆☆

Intelligence

★★★★★


Affection Towards Family

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★★☆☆


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★★★★


Exercise Needs

★★★★★


Energy Level


Sensitivity

★★


Noise Level

★☆☆


Prey Drive

★☆


Shedding

★☆☆☆

Common Traits

Affectionate, fun-loving, and friendly

Their favorite activity is playing in the water- they even have webbed feet!

Mature slowly and might take a few years to grow out of "puppyhood"

Can become destructive if not given the sufficient exercise or mental stimulation

Highly intelligent and learn easily, but can get bored very quickly with repetitive training