Portuguese Water Dog

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Originating 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 is waterproof. His fur can be wavy or curly and black, liver or white.

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

A big plus of owning a Portuguese Water Dog is: 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 fishermen in Portugal for many years. The earliest accounts of the breed come from a monk’s story 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.

The water-loving canine has been a steadfast companion to its human counterparts throughout its history, assisting them in their fishing endeavors and providing an ever-present source of comfort and affection.

Today, this intelligent and loyal breed continues to make its mark in the world, spreading joy and companionship to people all across the globe. Its time-tested abilities and special bond with humanity make it a treasured pet and beloved member of many households.

Portuguese Water Dog Training & Temperament

Portuguese Water Dogs are intelligent and highly trainable. They require a lot of attention and focus but are 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 with their owners and stick by them.

black portuguese water dog breed


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.

A daily walk or jog is ideal for keeping the breed fit and content. Alternatively, you could take your Portuguese Water Dog to a dog park or beach to let them explore and expend their energy. Swimming is another great way to tire them out, as it’s in their blood to be a superb swimmer.

Not only is exercise essential for a Portuguese Water Dog, but it’s also a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your pup.

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 or retriever clip (cut evenly).

It is important to brush their coat weekly to prevent tangles and mats and to remove any dirt or debris. Regular baths are also beneficial for the breed to keep their coat clean and hygienic. Additionally, their nails should be trimmed regularly to prevent them from growing too long, and their ears should be checked and cleaned as necessary. Grooming is an important part of keeping your Portuguese Water Dog happy and healthy, and with the right care and attention, they’ll look and feel their best.


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

Sources: Wikipedia, AKC

All dogs have their own personality and unique training, causing them to differ slightly from these breed 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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