The Portuguese Water Dog is an exceptional swimmer and diver.
Cao de Agua Portugues
Cao de Agua de Pelo Ondulado
Cao de Agua de Pelo Encaradolado
Portuguese Fishing Dog
Body: Medium size body with a deep, wide, chest, broad, muscular back, and well-sprung ribs.
Coat: Very thick, curly or wavy, with no undercoat.
Color: Black, white, or brown.
Ears: High set, thin, and heart-shaped.
Eyes: Medium size, wide set, and black or brown color.
Feet: Flat and round with dense pads, and webbed toes.
Head: Large and domed with a broad skull, pronounced stop, and well defined occiput.
Legs: Forelegs are long, straight and powerful. Hindquarters are powerful and muscular with straight well-muscled legs.
Neck: Short, straight, and well-muscled.
Weight: 35 – 60 pounds
Height: 17 – 23 inches
Tail: High set and thick at the root tapering to the tip.
Recommended for experienced dog handlers
Good with other pets if raised with them
Loves to chew
The Portuguese Water Dog is active, intelligent, loyal, and hard working both on land and in the water. He is an avid swimmer and diver and was once used by fisherman to dive into the cold seas off the coast of Portugal to herd fish into nets, pull the nets ashore, and to deliver messages to and from the fisherman by swimming from boat to boat or to shore.
AKC Standard says, “A spirited, intelligent breed of fine temperament, rugged and robust, with a profuse waterproof coat and webbed feet, he is an ideal outdoor dog, capable of limitless work.”
He is an affectionate dog who loves and demands his owner’s attention. As a retriever he loves to chew on things and must have an ample supply of toys, chewies, and safe objects that he can put in his mouth.
Training should begin at around 10 weeks of age. The PWD is stubborn and very independent. He is best in the hands of an experienced owner capable of providing strong leadership with a firm but loving hand. Obedience training should be positive, rewarding and full of praise for a job well done.
AKC Group: Working Group
Originally used for swimming and diving into the seas off Portugal to herd and net fish, and to deliver messages to and from the fisherman.
Care and Grooming
Exercise: Vigorous daily exercise is best including swimming, running, and playing. He isn’t a couch potato and is best suited for an active, athletic owner.
Grooming: Brush one to two times weekly. Dry him thoroughly with a towel after swimming and baths.
Life Expectancy: 12 – 14 Years
Addison’s disease – insufficient production of adrenal hormones
Hip Dysplasia – degenerative joint disease
Renal Dysplasia – an eye disorder
CERF – for the eyes
Country of Origin: Portugal