Portuguese Water Dog

Published: Last updated: by Kyle J. Larson

Average size and lifespan

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Height: 1ft 5in - 1ft 11in
Weight: 35-60lbs
Lifespan: 10 - 14 Years


  • Affection5/5
  • Kid-Friendly4/5
  • Stranger-Friendly2/5
  • Dog-Friendly3/5
  • Barking Amount3/5


  • Grooming Difficulty4/5
  • Shedding Amount3/5
  • Easy to Train5/5
  • Can Be Alone3/5
  • Exercise Need4/5


  • Cold Tolerance4/5
  • Heat Tolerance4/5
  • Apartment-Friendly4/5

Portuguese Water Dog Information

Portuguese Water DogOriginating on the Portuguese coast, this breed loves, loves, loves to swim, as his name implies. In fact, he could swim all day if you let him. Luckily for him, his coat coat is waterproof. His fur can be wavy or curly and black, liver or white in color.

Another plus of owning a Portuguese Water Dog: He is happy all of the time. His energetic, affectionate and lively personality brightens up any household. He’s great with kids, gets along with other pets and is easy to train. What more could you ask for?

Portuguese Water Dog History

Portuguese Water Dogs have been used by Fisherman in Portugal for many years. The earliest accounts of the breed come from a monk’s account of the dog saving a sailor in 1297. Breeds such as the Poodle, Kerry Blue Terrier and the Water Spaniel may all have the water dog as a shared ancestor.

Portuguese Water Dog Training & Temperament

Portuguese Water Dogs are intelligent and highly trainable. They require a lot of attention and focus, but hare happy to please. They are very enthusiastic and you may need to watch their energy level around children.

This breed also makes a good therapy dog and excels as a hearing dog or mobility dog. They bond strongly to their owners and stick by them.

black portuguese water dog breed

Portuguese Water Dog Exercise

They are an active breed that requires exercise every day. They enjoy long walks and play sessions as well as canine sports. They love water and water sports and activities are a great way to train and exercise them.

Portuguese Water Dog Grooming

The Portuguese Water Dog has a dense curly or wavy coat. It is hypoallergenic but does require maintenance. They require clipping, typically a lion clip or a retriever clip (even overall). They also need the occasional bath to keep them clean.

Portuguese Water Dog Health

The breed is generally a healthy one. Just like any dog they need their ears checked and cleaned as well as their teeth brushed.

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_Water_Dog, https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/portuguese-water-dog/

All dogs have their own personality and unique training, causing them to differ slightly from these breeds stats. However, please let us know if we made an error in the stats, we appreciate your help!

Breed FAQs

Can Portuguese Water Dogs be apartment dogs?

The Portuguese Water Dogs does fine in apartments. They don't need lots of spaces so they should adapt well to apartment-living.

Can Portuguese Water Dogs be left alone?

While Portuguese Water Dogs prefer to be around their owners, they can do fairly well when left alone if necessary.

Are Portuguese Water Dogs good with kids?

Portuguese Water Dogs do well with kids. As with any dog they should be monitored closely, they're unlikely to become aggressive.

Are Portuguese Water Dogs friendly with strangers?

Portuguese Water Dogs tend to be uncomfortable with strangers. They will require extra training effort to socialize them with those outside their family.

Do Portuguese Water Dogs get along with other dogs?

Although Portuguese Water Dogs will mostly get along with other dogs, they may have some issues. They can typically be dealt with by socializing them with other dogs.

Do Portuguese Water Dogs bark a lot?

As far as dogs go, Portuguese Water Dogs bark an average amount. You can expect them to bark to alert you, get your attention, or when there are strangers or other dogs.

Do Portuguese Water Dogs shed a lot?

Portuguese Water Dogs shed a medium amount. They will have seasonal shedding, but aren't terrible to clean up after.

Do Portuguese Water Dogs need a lot of grooming?

The Portuguese Water Dog requires continued maintenance to keep their coats in healthy condition. They're not the most demanding but are on the higher end.

Do Portuguese Water Dogs need a lot of exercise?

The Portuguese Water Dog has a good amount of energy and will need to be exercised with some walks and play to keep them happy.

Are Portuguese Water Dogs easy to train?

The Portuguese Water Dog is smart and extremely trainable. They will learn commands quickly and love the bond of training with their owner.

Can Portuguese Water Dogs handle cold weather?

Portuguese Water Dogs do well in cold weather. You may need to protect their paws, but they'll do well in colder climates.

Can Portuguese Water Dogs handle hot weather?

Portuguese Water Dogs do well in hot climates and can stay out longer without overheating.

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