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Portuguese Water Dog

Characteristics: , , , , , , , , ,

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The Portuguese waterdog (Cao de agua portugues) is an excellent swimmer and work dog. It is a very active dog, which requires a lot of exercise and training. The Portuguese waterdog loves to play in the water. It is an independent and intelligent dog, which is suitable for both agility and obedience training.

Character and behaviour
The Portuguese waterdog is an excellent work dog with a calm temperament. They thrive in the presence of their owners both indoor and outdoor. They love attention and prefer human involvement consisting of training exercises. It is important that the Portuguese water dog does not get bored, as it will then develop destructive behaviour.

The Portuguese waterdog is intelligent and good with children. It should not be left alone for hours. Besides, the Portuguese waterdog really wants to be with its owner all the time.

History of the breed
The Portuguese waterdog originates from Portugal; where it was used by fishermen to swim with nets, dive for escaped fish, swim with messages between the boats, and direct fish into the nets.

Concurrently with the modernisation of fishery the Portuguese waterdog was on the brink of extinction. In 1930 the breed had nearly disappeared. One man decided to launch a rescue operation in order to save the breed and luckily he succeeded.

Appearance, grooming and health
The Portuguese waterdog is known by its special haircut, which is historically determined. The long hair on the head and the front part of the body helped protect eyes and internal organs in the cold waters. Just as the long hair on the front legs functioned as protection when the dog needed to climb on to the boats. The close-cropped back part of the body and back legs made the resistance in the water smaller thus making it easier for the dog to move.

The Portuguese waterdog is a medium sized muscular breed with a domed head and a long muzzle. The nose is black and the eyes are dark. The ears are set high and hanging. The tail is long and thickest at the base. The legs are long and straight.

The Portuguese waterdog is 20-22 inches and weighs 42-55 pounds.

The coat is either long and wavy or short and curly of which the first mentioned is the most common. The coat is white, black, brown, or multi coloured. It needs regular brushing and requires a haircut several times a year. It hardly sheds and is thus suitable for allergic persons.

The Portuguese waterdog suffers from genetic diseases as many pure bred dogs do e.g. hip dysplasia and eye problems. Life expectancy is 10-14 years.

What you should know about the breed:

  • A lively and happy do.
  • Suitable as a family dog and loves to spend time with its owne
  • r.

  • Suitable for living in an apartment as long as it gets plenty of exercise and training.
  • It loves water and likes to retrieve and carry objects.

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