The Portuguese water dog is a strong dog of moderate build, slightly more than it is tall. It’s powerful and well-muscled, able to operate both in and outside of the water for extended periods. It’s a profuse single jacket, either wavy or curled. Two clips are okay: the lion clip, where the muzzle and centre part, up into the tail point, are trimmed; along with the retriever clip, where the whole jacket is scissored to approximately 1 inch in length, together with the tail tip again left complete length. The water dog’s saying is constant, penetrating and careful, representing its lively disposition.
The gregarious Portuguese water dog is a fun-loving, family-loving, water-loving puppy. It’s great with kids, along with other pets and dogs. It’s sensitive and reacts well to management. It’s a great breed for a busy individual desiring a daring, affectionate, biddable spouse.
|• Major concerns: PRA, CHD
• Minor concerns: glycogen storage disease, distichiasis
• Occasionally seen: none
• Suggested tests: eye, hip
• Life span: 10 – 14 years
|The consummate working water dog, the Portuguese water dog likely shares a number of its ancestry with the poodle. Their ancestors had been herding dogs in the central Asian steppes, possibly brought to Portugal through the Visigoths from the fifth century or through the Berbers and then Moors in the eighth century. After in Portugal, this strain distinguished itself through its affinity for water, then finally herding fish into nets, regaining lost nets or gear, and functioning as a boat-to-boat or even boat-to-shore courier. Afterwards these dogs were a part of trawler crews fishing the oceans from Portugal into Iceland. The strain is well known in its native land because cao de agua (conspicuous kown-d’ahgwa), meaning dog of water. It is available in a long-haired variety called the cao de agua de pelo ondulado plus a curly-coated variety called the cao de agua de pelo encaradolado. With the passing of conventional fishing procedures, the Portuguese sailors as well as their puppies started to vanish from the shore in the early 20th century. The strain was saved largely throughout the efforts of one person, Vasco Bensuade, a rich shipping magnate. He encouraged the strain, and through his efforts, the strain club was reorganized, a regular was composed and the first dogs were exhibited in the show ring. Following a brief look in England in the 1950s, the strain virtually died on the market. Around this time, the first Portugese water dogs arrived to America, in which they gradually gained a following. Following the AKC formally recognized them in 1984, their fame grew more quickly; the strain is now proving itself as a household companion.|