Portuguese Water Dogs might be one of the more expensive dog breeds out there, but these poodle-lookalikes are more than worth the price. These enthusiastic dogs are energetic and devoted companions, and are even the choice of the president of the United States.
Where I'm From
Just like name suggests, this breed originally comes from Portugal, with their beginnings traced back as far back as the 13th Century.
Natives to the Iberian Peninsula for many years, these Portuguese pooches were adopted by many seaside residents as working dogs. They would be involved in many port activities including catching fish, delivering messages and retrieving objects out of the water. Their usefulness at sea, turned Water Dogs into the favorite breed of many local sailors.
However, as technology evolved, these hard-workers were no longer needed. By the 1930s their numbers had dropped so much that the breed almost disappeared. Luckily, dog-breeder Vasco Bensaude began a program whose purpose was to reinvigorate the Portuguse Water Dog population.
Today, the breed is popular all over the word, especially in recent years after America’s First Family – the Obamas – adopted two adorable pooches called Bo and Sunny.
What I Look Like
With a muscular frame, Portuguese Water Dogs are strong animals that love physical activity. This medium size dog is an excellent fit for owners with active lifestyles.
Their calm expressions give these adorable pets a relaxed and peaceful look that wonderfully complements their docile nature.
The undisputed trademark feature of the Water Dog is their funny-looking webbed feet. Known in their homeland as “cao de Agua” (“water dog” in Portuguese), these creatures are excellent swimmers who enjoy being in and around water.
Happy to spend a lot of time paddling around, these Portuguese dogs have a dense, thick coat that is almost completely waterproof, and comes in two types. There is the curly-coated with dense, fluffy hair, as well as the soft wavy variety. Portuguese Water Dogs can be black, white, gray or brown, and may have different coloured markings on their bodies.
How I Act
This breed is highly sensitive, and can even recognise tone of your voice. You should therefore be aware of how you speak to your pet, as it can affect their mood.
Portuguese Water Dogs have a great sense of humour that is distinct from other breeds. These funny dogs are always looking to please and amuse their owners, and are especially playful around children.
They have a pleasant and amiable disposition that allows them to get along with people and other animals. If you are worried about your dog getting along with other pets, you should definitely consider adopting a friendly Water Dog.
Their exuberant nature means they can become a bit too animated at times, and might accidentally knock small children.
Looking After Me
Obedient and bright, this breed is relatively easy to train. Portuguese Water Dogs quickly learn commands and are often used as therapy and assistant dogs.
These happy dogs are known to chew on anything they can get their jaws on – particularly as pups. To avoid any damage to your property, make sure your pet has plenty of toys to keep them distracted.
Portuguese Water Dogs have incredible physical endurance and are perfect for people who enjoy going for long runs. A consistent exercise routine is sure to keep your buddy healthy, and help them burn excess energy. These active dogs love the water, so if you take them down to the beach for a game of fetch they will love you for it.
Make sure you don’t overfeed your Water Dog to avoid them becoming overweight. Make sure they eat around two cups of food a day, and have access to plenty of drinking water.
These beautiful dogs need regular grooming, and normally a weekly brush and comb will keep their coats looking shinny and untangled. Portuguese Water Dogs can have different types if haircuts. The style of your fabulous pet will depends on your own personal preference.
Unfortunately this breed is prone to an illness called GM-1 Storage Disease which affects the nervous disease and can be fatal. Other conditions that may affect your Water Dog are hip dysplasia, and several eye problems such as PRA blindness and Distichiasis.
Am I the pet for you?
- Excellent swimmers and great companions for water-based activities
- Water Dogs are amiable and can get along with other pets, including cats
- They are easy to train
- Can destroy property if they don’t have access to chew toys
- They are prone to the deadly GM-1 Storage Disease
- Portuguese Water Dogs can be overly animated and might accidentally knock down toddlers
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