Portuguese Water Dog Information

use keyboard arrows for additional information about this breed

(Cao de agua) (Cão de agua Português)The Portuguese Water Dog is a unique looking breed.  With its rounded head leading to a rectangular shaped muzzle, the breed’s has an interesting appearance.  Their sweet expression starts with their small brown eyes and folded ears which lie close to their head.  Their thick neck leads to a broad chest and sunken stomach.  The Portuguese Water Dog’s long legs lead down to their round feet.  A distinctive characteristic of the breed is its long tail which is normally shaved to leave only a puff ball tip.  Their unique single layered coat is curly or wavy and lays close to their body.  Fur colors come in a large variety including black, white, brown, gray, silver fox, or parti-colored. Their coat can also be brown or black with white spots.

add info


The Portuguese Water Dog is a friendly and intelligent dog.  Family members and strangers will both be affectionately greeted.  Dogs and small animals will be great companions for this sweet dog who also loves being around children.  An intelligent nature makes the Portuguese Water Dog easy to train and quick to learn while a friendly disposition makes this a great family dog.

add info


17 – 22 inches
add info


35 – 55 pounds
add info

General Health

The Portuguese Water Dog is a fairly healthy breed with only a few diseases.   Those uncommon but possible diseases are hip dysplasia, PRA, and a deadly nerve disease called GM-1 Storage Disease.  However, proper breeding will reduce the chance of these diseases.  The Portuguese Water Dog lives an average of 10 to14 years.

Portuguese Water Dogs need a healthy diet of dog chow. Portuguese Water Dogs that are 21 to 35 lbs need 1-1/3 to 2 cups of food. Portuguese Water Dogs 36 to 50lbs need 2 to 2-2/3 cups of food.

add info


The Portuguese Water Dog originated from groups of working dogs who were brought into Spain and Portugal by invaders.  Fisherman on the Iberian peninsula started using the breed as for help soon after the development.  In fact, the dogs were so valuable in this capacity that after a fisherman retired he would continue to “rent out” his dog to other fishermen in order to earn additional revenue.  Unfortunately, the dog was replaced by technological advancements and the number of specimens began to disappear by the 1930’s.  Careful breeding rescued the breed from obscurity and by the 1980’s the dog had been recognized by the AKC.

add info


Grooming is not difficult for the Portuguese Water Dog.  Brushing should be done occasionally.  However, trimming is rarely needed because of how slowly their hair grows.  The curly coated variety has a retriever cut while the wavy coated variety has its hindquarters shaved.  Exercise is essential for the Portuguese Water Dog.  Mental stimulation, as well as physical stimulation, is important to keep them happy and healthy.  Good exercise for this breed would be retrieving from water, jogging, or running off leash.

The Portuguese Water Dog does require grooming. It's hair does not shed and continues to grow so frequent brushing and trimming is needed. It is recommended that they be brushed a couple times of week and trimmed about every 6 weeks. The Portuguese Water dog comes in two coat varieties wavy and curly. There are also two clips to choose from. The lion clip, where the hind quarters and muzzle are shaved and the retriever clip where they are one length all over, generally 1 inch long. The Portuguese Water Dog is a working breed and has the stamina and energy to do a full days work in and out of the boat, so exercise is essential. They need both mental and physical stimulation, such as games of hide and seek and a good run or swim. The Puppy Cut on a Portuguese Water Dog is the best to use in hot weather. It not only makes the Portuguese Water Dog look cute, but it is easy to keep clean and also easy to brush.

add info

Ideal Environment

The Portuguese Water Dog gets along with all people and animals.  Any living environment from hot to cold weather or an apartment to a farm will suit this easy going breed.  Lots of energy is needed from the owner who will need to run, play, and train this active dog.  This eager to please and extremely obedient dog is great for retrieving or agility trials.

add info

Dog Training!

If you're having problems training your dog or getting control, you should read our review of DogProblems.com. Adam will do whatever it takes to help you whip your dog into shape. I've used them to help with my Great Dane as well as help friends train their dogs. It's the first place I go to help answer users Questions. Many training issues are too extensive to answer in this forum, which is why I refer a lot of the load to his site. Update: I've been using and recommending DogProblems for three years now. I, as well as my users, value the techniques we've learned. I get weekly emails from users who have become better owners from the information they received.

Find your new Pooch

Puppies For Sale Find a Breeder Rescue a Dog
Be the First to take out an Ad! Affenpinscher
Berlin, DE
Die Hobbyzucht im „Butzemannhaus“ ist geprägt von Liebe und Respekt gegenüber den Tieren. Ich sehe meine Tiere nicht...
Be the First to take out an Ad!

Portuguese Water Dog Q&A

Ask a Question

Will I be allergic to this breed's hair? Is it pure wool like a poodle's?

from what i know their hypoallergenic put to be sure you should spend some time around this breed and both cote types wavy and curly

View all Q&A

Portuguese Water Dog Photos

Upload a Photo

Recent Products

Relevant Blogs