Portuguese Water Dogs


Portuguese Water Dogs

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Breed Notes

The Portuguese Water Dog is believed to have been a herding dog in Central Asia that was brought to Portugal by Visigoths who were migrating across Europe at the time of the fall of Rome. In Portugal, it was used by fishermen to "herd" fish into nets, to retrieve items falling overboard, and to guard gear on shore. In modern times, as the number of Portuguese fishermen declined, so too did the breed until it almost became extinct. In the 1930s, the breed was revived. It was brought to England and the United States in the 1950s and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1984.
The Portuguese Water Dog is a highly intelligent and courageous dog. He is an untiring companion and sportsman. He is an excellent housepet who sheds little. He does need plenty of exercise to avoid obesity.
The head of the Portuguese Water Dog is large, well proportioned with exceptional breadth of topskull. The skull is slightly longer than the muzzle. The ears are set well above the line of the eye and held against the head. The tips should not reach below the lower jaw line. The eyes are set well apart, medium sized, round and black to dark brown in color. The muzzle is wider at the base than at the nose. The jaws are strong with dark pigmentation and a scissors bite. The neck is straight, short an strongly muscled. The back is broad and well muscled and the topline is firm and level. The chest is broad and deep, reaching to the elbow. The tail is not docked but is thick at the base and tapers to the end. It is only long enough to reach the hock. The legs are strong and straight. The feet are webbed. The coat is a single coat that is either long and loosely wavy or short, harsh and dense. It is profuse and covers the entire body except on the forelegs and thighs. It may be clipped for show purposes. Coat colors are white, black or brown and may have white markings. Average height is between sixteen and twenty-two inches. Average weight is between thirty-five and fifty-five pounds.


Name withheld by request of Florida writes:

A dream come true &shyp; followed by turbulent waters.
Our Portuguese Water Dog was added to our home after the death of our black Lab and Lhasa Apso who were fifteen years old. He was housebroken in two weeks, and was a total delight. We love him, and he can play ball better than any champion little leaguer. When we sold our home and moved to a temporary apartment during the construction of a new home, he did not want to be there. So he ate the couch (one year old - never bothered a thing before), and then the blinds. We are just hoping that he turns back into the perfect companion when the new house is done. These dogs stare you in the eyes, never look away, and you swear that they are going to say something. They see everything, even a dog a fourth of a block away. When folks pass them on the street, they wonder why they did not say hello. It is like having a highly social kid, who wants everyone to make a fuss over him. Maybe we spoiled him, but we surely love him!


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