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Portuguese water dog | All you need to know

Perro de agua portugués | Todo lo que necesitas saber

Lobo Azul |

Animal lovers, especially dogs, know the importance of being well informed before adopting a new pet, not only because in this way they can know which breed is ideal for each person, in terms of personality and also needs. That is why we present to you the Portuguese Water Dog.

  • Medium size .
  • Weight : Between 15 and 25kg.
  • Hair type : Curly and long.
  • Character : Friendly, dynamic, loyal and outgoing
  • Health : Healthy
  • Life expectancy : Between 10 and 14 years.

Behavior, skills, size, nutrition and care are some of the aspects that must be considered when adopting a dog. And, for us, offering data about the description of different dog breeds is really very entertaining.

That is why in this post we will dedicate ourselves to delving into everything related to the Portuguese water dog , a highly recognized dog breed, striking not only for its beautiful appearance, but also for its extroverted and dynamic attitude.

Do you want to adopt a puppy and don't know if the Portuguese Water Dog is the right one? Next, we will give you all the details that will convince you that this canine is an ideal pet.

Origin of the Portuguese Water Dog

The name given to this breed is the perfect indication of its origin. This is a canine species from the coastal province of Algarve, Portugal. In its beginnings, the Portuguese water dog was a faithful companion of fishermen , due to its high skills in hunting and guarding boats.

His company during the fishing season was quite useful, because he pursued his prey intensely, preventing his owners from losing sight of him. In addition to being necessary, he would dive into the water to catch them himself. It should be noted that swimming was one of his most valued skills.

Another very popular virtue of these canines was their widely acute vision, which allowed them to appreciate the presence of ships in the fog, which on numerous occasions prevented serious accidents from occurring, with barking alone being the only warning for maritime vessels.

In 1960, the breed was on the verge of becoming extinct, because its use in maritime tasks had been replaced by technological devices, with Portuguese water dogs reaching a number of no more than 50 specimens in the aforementioned province. However, a group of admirers of the beauty and agility of these canines dedicated themselves to preserving their species, saving it from disappearance.

Physical Characteristics of the Portuguese Water Dog

In general, it is a corpulent canine, of medium height. In the case of females, the average size is usually no larger than 50 centimeters; while males can measure 55 centimeters. Both genders reach a weight that ranges from 15 to 25 kilograms.


Their head is usually prominent in size and broad in build.

eyes and ears

With round eyes, not very large, generally dark in color, and drooping ears.


The color can vary depending on the coat, however, it is very common for it to be black and large in size.


It has a well-defined but robust body.


Thickened and aligned in shape, while his feet have a webbed molding that allows him to more easily perform his swimming skills.


The tail of our Portuguese water dog also has a shape that facilitates its movement in the water because it is slightly detached from the body. Noticeably thick at the base and smaller towards the tip.


One of the most striking features in the Portuguese Water Dog's appearance is its coat. First of all, the colors can be black, white or brown. Or combined, such as: black and white or white and brown. The density of the coat is abundant and thick. Portuguese Water Dogs can be seen with long, straight hair or very short, curly hair.

One of the common cuts in the coat of the Portuguese water dog is what is known as the “lion cut”. In this case, the back part of the fur was released, allowing it to move more quickly in the water. While the front part remains abundant, which protects you from the cold in the water.

Portuguese Water Dog Temperament

We are not only talking about a canine with positive physical characteristics , but also about a friendly, dynamic, loyal and outgoing behavior. To which is also added the ability to exercise and stay in constant movement. So, if you like sports training, the Portuguese Water Dog can be an excellent companion.

Fidelity towards its master and its family is another of the qualities of this beautiful animal. It is a protective dog, so entrusting the care of your home to this dog will not be a problem either. It easily adapts to life in any space, however, if it involves living in places with limited space, such as an apartment, it is necessary to take it for frequent walks, as it needs training and constant physical activity.

With other pets

The relationship of the Portuguese water dog with other pets is quite good. So, if you want to have more than one dog, there will be no problem.

With children

It is a playful, sweet and very active dog. So he will easily adapt to a home with children, as he loves games and entertainment.

Caring for a Portuguese Water Dog

The Portuguese Water Dog requires general care, just like any other pet. Make sure you take proper care of it to extend its life expectancy and also maintain the complete well-being of the canine.


Both body and dental hygiene are really important in the life of the Portuguese Water Dog. In the case of the first, it is recommended to bathe and dry the animal at least twice a month. Using a special shampoo for dogs and, also, a moisturizer, because the large amount of hair it has can cause dry skin.

Although it is a breed with abundant fur, it does not require brushing, quite the opposite. It requires care that helps avoid knots, such as separating its fur into parts before bathing.

On the other hand, dental hygiene is just as essential. Adapting the Portuguese Water Dog to these habits as a puppy is the most recommended. Surely the canine will not find it pleasant, but we will avoid a large number of oral diseases.


Taking care of the diet of these animals is just as important. Feeding it moderate amounts twice a day will be enough to maintain a balanced diet. For this purpose, I administer feed with a high content of nutrients and vitamins.


Because it is a large dog with a robust body, it needs to constantly practice exercises. This way you will avoid atrophy in your joints and obesity. Frequent walks and games in the park will help you stay in good health.

Deworming and vaccination

Compliance with the vaccination and deworming of the Portuguese water dog, as recommended by the veterinarian, is strictly necessary if you want to extend its life expectancy between 12 to 15 years. This is a dog that is more susceptible to external and internal parasites, so rigorous control must be maintained to avoid greater evils.

Portuguese Water Dog Training

It is a very intelligent and attentive dog , so training is not difficult at all when it comes to these canines. Avoiding barking is very necessary, since we are talking about a breed that is very prone to this behavior. Be authoritative but calm and coherent, this way he will know that you are serious.

Not giving them too much freedom is recommended because, in some cases, they may think that they have control over their owners, so patiently teaching them the limits of things is highly recommended and will ensure that your dog is trained in the correct way. .

Difference between a Portuguese water dog and a Spanish one

Although these are water dogs that share ancestral history thanks to the “Turkish dog”, they have different characteristics that make them different. Between them:


The main difference between these two animals is that one comes from Portugal and the other from Spain.


In addition to this, height is another notable difference. The Portuguese water dog, both male and female, usually measure around 10 centimeters longer than the Spanish one. As with its weight, the Portuguese water dog “beats” the Spanish, due to its muscles and robust build, which they develop more easily.


The coat is another difference between both dogs. While the Portuguese Water Dog accepts two versions (straight and curly) of its coat, the Spanish Water Dog commonly has wavy hair, usually grayish in color.

Barak Obama's companion

An interesting curiosity about the Portuguese water dog is that it is the breed of dog in the family of former United States President Barak Obama, who has been seen on numerous occasions playing with them and posing for the press.

Without a doubt, the Portuguese water dog can be an ideal companion , not only for staying at home, but also for carrying out outdoor activities, including swimming. So if you are thinking of adopting a pet, the Portuguese Water Dog is surely one of the main options you should consider.

Other dog breeds that may interest you:

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