Portuguese Water Dog

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Welcome to the world of the Portuguese Water Dog! This remarkable breed offers a unique combination of traits that make them exceptional companions for those seeking an energetic and loyal four-legged friend.

Originating in Portugal, Portuguese Water Dogs have captured the hearts of many with their distinctive appearance and remarkable abilities.


Energetic, Intelligent, Loyal


17 - 23 inches


35 - 60 pounds

Life Expectancy

10 - 14 years

Portuguese Water Dog Breed Traits and Characteristics

Understanding the traits and characteristics of Portuguese Water Dogs is crucial when considering them as your potential pet. Here’s a breakdown of critical attributes that make them unique:


  • Energetic: Portuguese Water Dogs are known for their boundless energy, making them excellent partners for active families and individuals.
  • Intelligent: They are brilliant and quick learners, which makes them great candidates for training and various activities.
  • Loyal: These dogs form strong bonds with their families and are dedicated and protective.

Social Behavior:

  • Friendly with Family: Portuguese Water Dogs thrive on companionship and are excellent family dogs, often seeking to be close to their loved ones.
  • Good with Children: They tend to be gentle with children, making them suitable for family life.

Family Compatibility:

  • Children: PWDs are generally good with children when properly socialized and trained. They are known for their patience and can be excellent family pets. However, it’s essential to teach children how to interact with dogs respectfully and supervise their interactions.
  • Energy Level: Portuguese Water Dogs are high-energy dogs. They require regular exercise and mental stimulation. Families who enjoy outdoor activities, such as swimming, hiking, or playing fetch, can be a good match for these dogs.

Coat Variations:

Portuguese Water Dogs have a curly, waterproof coat that can be black, white, brown, or a combination of these colors. Their fur is known for being hypoallergenic, making them suitable for individuals with allergies.

male and female portuguese water dogs breed

Males vs. Females: What to Consider

When choosing a Portuguese Water Dog, understanding the differences between males and females can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your preferences:


  • Size: Generally slightly more extensive, with an average height of around 23 inches and a weight of about 60 pounds.
  • Personality: Often outgoing and enthusiastic, eager to engage in activities.
  • Energy Level: Tend to have a higher energy level, requiring regular exercise and play.


  • Size: Typically slightly smaller, with an average height of around 17 inches and approximately 35 pounds.
  • Personality: May exhibit a more reserved demeanor, balancing affection with independence.
  • Energy Level: Generally have a slightly calmer energy level, enjoying playtime and quieter moments.

Individual personalities can vary within each gender, and upbringing and socialization play a significant role. Whether you choose a male or female Portuguese Water Dog, you’ll gain a devoted and energetic companion that suits your family’s dynamics.

portuguese water dog breed picture

Care and Interaction for Your Portuguese Water Dog

Caring for your Portuguese Water Dog is essential to ensure their well-being and happiness:

  • Grooming: Regular grooming, including brushing and occasional baths, is vital to maintain their curly coat and keep it free from matting.
  • Exercise: These dogs thrive on physical activity, so daily practice, including swimming, fetch, and playtime, is crucial to keep them mentally and physically engaged.
  • Health: Regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and dental care are essential for long-term health and vitality.

By following these care practices, you’ll provide an environment where your Portuguese Water Dog can thrive, showcasing their energetic and intelligent nature while maintaining their physical and emotional well-being.

Historical Background of the Portuguese Water Dog

The Portuguese Water Dog, known as the “Cão de Água” in Portuguese, has a rich history dating back to the coastal regions of Portugal. These dogs would assist fishermen by retrieving nets, working as messengers between ships, and even diving to catch fish.

Their distinctive curly coat and webbed feet made them well-suited for life on the water. Over time, they became beloved working dogs for Portuguese fishermen and their families. They were known for their loyalty, courage, and dedication to their duties.

Today, their remarkable history as water-loving, loyal companions endears them to people worldwide, reminding us of their enduring legacy in the fishing industry and family households.


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