Is the Portuguese Water Dog (PWD) right for you? Are you prepared to make a life time commitment? We are here to help you answer these questions.
The PWD is a very active and intelligent breed and may be challenging for a first time owner. The PWD loves to be with their family and can be very demanding. They do best with a family that is willing to put a lot of time into training. If you don't give them a job, they will find one and it may be something you don't like. PWDs are very mouthy and very vocal and love to be in your face. They are very agile, therefore normally do well in just about any dog sport. PWDs have been described as the "clown" of the water dogs. You must have a good sense of humor to live with them. They have sudden bursts of energy that we like to refer to as the "zoomies". So if you are looking for a calm, laid back dog, the Portuguese Water Dog may not be the right breed for you. They need plenty of daily exercise.
The Portuguese Water Dog comes in two coat types: curly and wavy. The PWD comes in black, black & white, brown or brown & white. They are described as spirited, yet obedient, with a robust, medium build. Males are between 42 - 60 pounds and 20 - 23 inches at the withers. Females are between 35 - 50 pounds and 17 - 21 inches at the withers. To see the standard of the breed along with a lot of other information on the breed, please visit www.pwdca.org
The Portuguese Water Dog is a healthy breed for the most part, but, like any other breed, they too can have health concerns. So, it is very important for you to make sure that the puppy you buy comes with copies of the parents health tests. Things to watch for are Hip Dysplasia (a developmental defect where the hip joint is not properly formed causing the head of the femur to not fit correctly into the hip socket). Progressive Retinal Atrophy or PRA (a condition where the retinal cells degenerate and eventually cause the dog to go blind). Storage Disease or GM1 (a genetic condition in which the lack of an enzyme allows build up of toxic substances in the nerve cells. Dogs affected by this disease will show signs of neurological deterioration and will die by 6 to 8 months of age). Adison's Disease (caused by an adrenocortical hormone deficiency and is fatal if not treated).