Portuguese Water Dog is a thinking dog with a high energy level.
This can make training very easy but while they learn quickly,
they need new
challenges. After they "know" a task, most attempt to
improvise or modify it. This breed is generally not happy hanging
around the house or backyard he needs to work -whether it be in
water work, obedience, tracking, agility, or tasks around the house.
Do you have an hour a day for dog activities?
The Portuguese Water Dog is a natural retriever. All puppies are
mouthy but a retrieving PWD is going to use his mouth even more
than most other breeds. Are you prepared for this?
The PWD is non-shedding but, like the Poodle, needs grooming every
6 -8 weeks. At least weekly, the PWD needs to have its coat thoroughly
brushed, its nails trimmed and its ears/teeth cleaned. Whether
you plan to learn to groom your dog or to take him to a groomer,
it is a commitment of time and money.
No matter how cute they are, Portuguese Water Dogs are not for
Please contact several breeders and/or owners before purchasing
your puppy. The more informed you are, the better your decision
if this is the right dog for your family and lifestyle.
The Portuguese Water Dog past and present is a working breed. The
breed developed many centuries ago along the coast or Portugal
and its heritage is as a seafaring working dog. The Portuguese
fishermen kept this dog as a working part or their crew, and he
was prized by the fishermen as a spirited, thinking yet obedient-
natured dog with a robust medium-build that allowed for a full
day's work in and out of the water. The Portuguese Water Dog is
a swimmer and diver of exceptional ability and stamina. He aided
his master at sea by retrieving broken nets, herding schools of
fish, and carrying messages between boats and to shore: while on
land, he was a respected guard dog for the boats at night. The
Portuguese Water Dog was a fisherman's loyal companion, however,
modern marine technology and the radio caused the near extinction
of the breed.
Portuguese Water Dogs first came to the United States in late
1960. In 1972, there were only 25 known PWDs in the world. Because
of dedicated breeders, by 1981 there were 500 dogs in the United
States. Today, it is estimated that there are over 9000 Portuguese
Water Dogs living in the U.S.
The Portuguese Water Dog today exhibits eagerness, intensity,
and strong swimming and retrieving abilities. In order to preserve
these qualities and maintain for the future or the breed's natural
instincts, the Portuguese Water Dog Club or America has designed
a series of water work exercises which reflect the historical working
background of the breed. The exercises are designed to show the
dog's ability to perform a task and its willingness to do so on
General Appearance: This highly intelligent and utilitarian breed
is distinguished by two coat types, either curly or wavy; an impressive
head of considerable breadth and well-proportioned mass; a ruggedly
built, well-knit body; and a powerful, thickly -based tail carried
gallantly or used purposefully as a rudder. The Portuguese Water
Dog provides an indelible impression of strength, spirit, and soundness.
Height at withers
Males 20-23 inches. Ideal is 22 inches.
Weight 42 to 60 pounds
Females 1 7 -21 inches. Ideal is 19 inches.
Weight 35 to 50 pounds
Proportion: Off square, slightly longer than tall when measured
from prosternum to rear most point of the buttocks, and from withers
Substance: Strong, substantial bone; well developed, neither refined
nor coarse; and a solidly built, muscular body.
Unique qualities for PWDs Webbed feet, Penetrating eyes, Tail
carriage, and Short lively gait with a forward striding trot.
Color: Black, white, various tones of brown; also combinations
of black or brown and white. The skin is bluish. The nose, mouth
and eyelids are black or brown depending on the coat color.
Temperament: An animal of spirited disposition, self- willed,
brave, very resistant to fatigue, who is exceptionally intelligent
and a loyal companion.
Portuguese Water Dog Club of Greater Chicagoland (PWDCGC) was
established in April 1990 and is affiliated with
(Portuguese Water Dog Club of America, lnc). The Chicago Club has
over 100 members throughout the country with the majority in Illinois,
Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. The PWDCGC hosts a number of events
throughout the year. Our annual picnic is an opportunity for our
members' dogs to swim, run and play together, while their owners
are free to "talk dogs". We also hold Canine Good Citizenship
tests, grooming seminars, CERF clinics, conformation and obedience
matches, tracking seminars, parties, agility training and water
work sessions to meet the needs and wants of our members and their
dogs. Shorelines, the PWDCGC bi-monthly newsletter, informs the
membership of upcoming events, health issues, and accomplishments
of members' dogs. The club is hosting its 9th National Water Trial
next summer and was host to both the PWDCA National Specialty in
October 1999 and the National Specialty in September, 2002.