What you should know about the Wet n’ Wild Portuguese Water Dog - The Trupanion Blog
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What you should know about the Wet n’ Wild Portuguese Water Dog


1.Portuguese Water Dogs are a highly intelligent breed

This breed is rated as one of the smartest and oldest breeds in existence. In fact, they may be smarter than the average owner! The Portuguese Water Dog needs its body and brain worked on a daily basis or it will get into mischief! Find them jobs to do around the house or in the water.

2.They have comic personalities

Because of their intelligence, the Portuguese Water Dog is known for creating mischief if not challenged by their owners. They are food motivated, quick learners and will easily figure out what makes their owners laugh!

3.The Portuguese Water Dog is a very old breed and lived and worked closely with Fishermen

This breed thinks they are human! They will sit in chairs in the waiting room at your vet – not the floor for a PWD! They have lived and worked for so many hundreds of years with Fishermen and their families that the PWD believes they are human!

4.They are non-shedding athletic dogs

Although they lose hair daily like us, the PWD does not have an undercoat. This makes the breed attractive to folks with allergies. But this is also a very powerful and athletic dog.

5.Breed Health Concerns

Like many purebred dog breeds, the Portuguese Water Dog has multiple health issues. Through commitment to the breed the PWDCA breeders with researchers have developed many DNA tests to help breeders produce healthy puppies. Currently the PWDCA Club recommends testing for Juvenile Dilated Cardiomyopathy, Storage Disease, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, The Improper Coat, and OFA hip, eyes and elbow certifications. Additional health concerns are IBD, Addison’s Disease, Cushing’s Disease, Hermangiosarcoma, Hypothyroidism, Allergies and Hip Dysplasia.

More Facts About Portuguese Water Dogs

If you do not like a dog that is demanding of attention, prefers to be on its back two legs, likes to lick, jump and wants to be with its people 24/7 this is not the breed for you!

  • AKC Breed Group: Working Group
  • Height: Females: 17”-21” with 19” as ideal; Males: 20”-23” with 22” as ideal.
  • Weight: Females: 35-50 pounds; Males: 42-60 pounds
  • Life Span: 8 to 15 years

About the Author: This article was written by Karen Kirby Ash an AKC Breeder of Merit who has owner handled her own dogs to the Top Twenty (and Top Ten) in breed. Her dogs are featured on Animal Planet Dogs 101: The Portuguese Water Dog as well as in AKC advertisements promoting purebred dogs. Dedicated to the health and welfare of her breed Karen is in the Top Ten Owner Handlers in PWDs competing in breed, water, agility, obedience, and rally. She also volunteers for her National and Regional PWD clubs. Her breeding goals are to produce healthy, well-structured and socialized puppies for water work, conformation, performance and family companionship.


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