Portuguese Water Dog​ - Working Group

Portuguese Water Dog

Breed Group: Working Group

Size Group: Medium Dog Breeds

Origin: Portugal

Height: 20”-23” (male) 17”-21” (female)

Weight: 42-60lbs (male) 35-50lbs (female)

Color: Black, Brown, White with or without White markings

Lifespan11-13 years

Temperament: Fearless, smart, obedient, loving



Splish splash! If you are looking for a super swimmer companion, look no further. With their flat round paws and webbed toes, no pup can out swim the Portuguese Water Dog.

Porties made their start on the coastline of Portugal herding fish into waiting nets. Technology eventually put them out of a job but these pups still work assisting in water rescues. They are highly trainable and are a great companion to active families. Porties get along with other animals and are wonderful with children. They even make good therapy dogs.

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Fun Facts

For several MLS seasons, a group of 6 Porties called B.A.R.K. (Baseball Aquatic Retrieval Korps) would retrieve home runs that left Pacific Bell Park and fell into San Francisco Bay. The “Splash Hit” were auctioned off for charity.


Portuguese water dogs are typically very healthy. Here are some health concerns to be aware of hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, juvenile dilated cardiomyopathy, storage disease, Addison’s disease, follicular dysplasia.

While you always hope your pet will live a long and healthy life, it is always a good idea to invest in pet health insurance.

Keeping your dog’s mouth clean and problem free goes a long way to your pup’s overall health. Dental hygiene can be the cause or can be the byproduct of other serious health issues.

Visual inspections can be performed to keep track of the signs of potentially waning oral health. These signs can be anything from bad breath to abnormal chewing to loss of appetite.

Keeping ahead of these warning signs can pay dividends. A preventative approach can delay and stop many of the common dental problems from arising.

Oral health can be tackled in five basic steps:

  1. Brushing your dog’s teeth to prevent an undesirable buildup of plaque
  2. Feed your dog a diet where the high quality dog food has dental benefits
  3. Regularly give your dog dental toys and treats
  4. Use mouthwash, to help where brushing misses
  5. At the sign of any abnormalities, consult a vet. You can even do it virtually, from the convenience of your home.

Dogs are just like humans in that they can experience anxiety. The degree to which they are susceptible to anxiety and how they deal with anxiety is breed specific. Left unchecked, initial signs of anxiety could give way to an anxiety disorder. The symptoms of anxiety disorders can lead to a myriad of behavior issues.

Knowing the signs and symptoms will best equip you to keep ahead of it and to nip it in the bud at the earliest signs. There are options available to help with anxiety.

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Porties have two different coat cuts. The lion cut where (like their cousin the poodle) they hindquarters and muzzle are clipped to the skin and the rest of the hair is voluminous. The retriever cut where all the coat is clipped down to one inch. With either cut, you will need to brush your pup several times per week and trim the coat monthly to avoid tangles and matts. Additionally, if you pup is an avid swimmer, be mindful to rinse off salt or chlorine when your pup leaves the water. Always be on watch for skin irritation. Porties need a bath every 6-8 weeks. Keep their eyes and ears clean and clear of debris. Clip your pup’s nails regularly and brush their teeth several times per week.


$1,500 – $3,000


Your portie will need around an hour of activity per day. Daily walks are always encouraged but even more so providing your pup with a place to swim is better. This breed tends to turn destructive when not satisfactorily engaged in enough physical or mental activity


Your portie will eat around 2½ cups of food per day over two meals. The exact requirements for your dog will vary with age and activity level.


We’ve taken a look at some premium dog foods, high in nutrition here.

Are You Feeding Your Dog The Best Food?

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As with all dogs, early socialization with humans and other pups is vital.

Portuguese water dogs are intelligent pups that thrive in positive reinforcement training. They sometimes can have their own ideas about how to get something done, but firm course correction and praise will go a long way.

Proper training is essential to ensuring the safety of your dog and those around you. Having your dog come when they should, and in general having them listen is something you want to address early in your pup’s life, as it will pay dividends down the line. There are many tried and true training programs to accomplish this training – faster and better than you might think!

Unless you’re living on a farm, or have the space, a yipping dog, or one that barks all day when you are gone could be an issue with the neighbors and/or landlord. Historically, dogs would bark to communicate with the rest of the pack when hunting and bark as a warning shot to predators eyeing up their flock. Barking is deep rooted in dogs and manifests itself in many ways and for a variety of reasons.

Just like any habit or instinct, there are effective ways you can train this issue away.

The Best Dog Vitamins and Supplements To Keep Your Pup Healthy. Period.

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A solid Glucosamine Supplement for hips and joints will go a long way to helping your furry friend.

Other helpful supplements include full-spectrum hemp oil or CBD oil. Fish oil skin and coat supplement.

Ensuring a comprehensive preventative vitamin and mineral plan is essential to keeping your dog healthy. Truth is, there are vitamins and minerals that your dog needs, but doesn’t produce naturally. While many of these vitamins and minerals can be found in your dog’s current diet and dog food, the question becomes, are there enough vitamins to ensure they aren’t deficient.

Poor nutrition can lead to some of the most common health issues, such as weak joints, compromised immunity, increased allergies, and low energy.

Vitamins play a vital role in your pet’s health and overall life expectancy. Here are some multivitamin and joint relief options.

As regulations around marijuana have eased, the emergence of CBD oils for humans and dogs have sprung up.

Just to begin to dispel the negative stigma, CBD extract comes from Hemp, marijuana’s cousin. Unlike its cousin, there are no psychoactive qualities in CBD oil. An emerging number of clinical and institutional studies have shown the wide variety of healing qualities in CBD, including pain management, and the containment of seizures and epileptic episodes.

Explore this remedy further to see all the health benefits that have transformed the lives of so many dogs to date.

Have You Tried CBD For You Dog's Health?

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The "Ruff"

High maintenance grooming
Lots of exercise needed
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Other Dogs Like Portuguese Water Dogs

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Dogs NOT Like Portuguese Water Dogs

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Annual Vet Bills: $1,500+

Be Prepared for the unexpected.