Portuguese Water Dog Breed

The Portuguese Water Dog, also known as Cao de Água or Cão de Água de Pelo Ondulado, is a breed of dog that originated from Portugal. It is a highly intelligent and active breed that has been used as a working dog for many years. In this post, we will delve into the history, characteristics, care tips, and frequently asked questions about this breed.


The Portuguese Water Dog is an ancient breed that has been around for centuries. It was originally bred in the coastal regions of Portugal, where it was used to aid fishermen by herding fish into nets and retrieving items that fell overboard. Portuguese Water Dogs were also used to deliver messages between boats and to rescue people who had fallen into the water.

These dogs were highly valued by Portuguese fishermen and were even considered part of the crew. Because of their excellent swimming abilities, they were able to work in a variety of weather conditions, even in the roughest of seas. Their webbed feet and water-resistant coat made them ideal for working in water.

Over time, the need for these dogs as working dogs decreased, and they began to be used as hunting dogs and as companions. The breed nearly became extinct in the 20th century, but a group of dedicated breeders in Portugal worked hard to revive the breed. In the 1970s, the breed was introduced to the United States, and it has since become a popular breed in many parts of the world.

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Location of Origins

The Portuguese Water Dog was originally bred in the coastal regions of Portugal, where it was used as a working dog by fishermen. Today, the breed is found all over the world and is a popular companion dog in many countries.


The Portuguese Water Dog is a medium-sized dog that is highly active and intelligent. It has a curly or wavy coat that can be black, white, brown, or a combination of these colors. The breed is known for its webbed feet, which make it an excellent swimmer. Portuguese water dogs have a strong desire to be near their owners and thrive on attention and affection.

Portuguese Water Dogs are highly intelligent and can be trained easily. They are also highly active and require a lot of exercise, both physical and mental. If not exercised properly, they may become bored and destructive. These dogs thrive on having a job to do and enjoy activities such as agility, obedience training, and swimming.

These dogs have a protective and loyal temperament and can make excellent watchdogs. They are also highly social and get along well with other dogs and people if properly socialized.

Choosing the Best Foods

Choosing the right food for your Portuguese Water Dog is important to ensure that it receives the proper nutrients to keep it healthy and happy. It is important to choose a high-quality dog food that is formulated for the dog’s age, size, and activity level. Your veterinarian can provide recommendations on the best food for your dog.

When choosing a food, it is important to read the ingredients list to ensure that it contains high-quality sources of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Avoid foods that contain fillers such as corn and wheat, as these ingredients provide little nutritional value and may cause allergies or digestive issues in some dogs.

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If you are unsure about what food to feed your dog, consider consulting with a veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist. These professionals can provide guidance on the best foods for your dog and can help you create a balanced and healthy diet plan.


Training a Portuguese Water Dog is essential to ensure that it behaves well and is socialized properly. These dogs are highly intelligent and can be trained easily, but they can also become bored if training sessions are too repetitive. It is important to keep training sessions fun and engaging for the dog.

Positive reinforcement training techniques such as clicker training and treat training are effective for Portuguese Water Dogs. These dogs respond well to praise and rewards and enjoy learning new things. Consistency and patience are important when training these dogs, and it is important to start training at a young age.

Portuguese Water Dogs excel at activities such as agility, obedience training, and even water sports. Providing these activities for the dog can help keep it mentally and physically stimulated.

Taking Care

Taking care of a Portuguese Water Dog involves regular grooming, exercise, and socialization. These dogs have a curly or wavy coat that requires regular brushing and grooming to prevent matting and tangling. They should be bathed regularly and their ears should be cleaned to prevent infections.

Portuguese Water Dogs require a lot of exercise, both physical and mental. They should be taken for regular walks, and they enjoy activities such as swimming and playing fetch. It is important to provide these dogs with plenty of opportunities to exercise and engage in activities to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.

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Socialization is also important for Portuguese Water Dogs. They should be exposed to a variety of people, places, and animals at a young age to prevent anxiety and aggression later in life.


Are Portuguese Water Dogs good with children?

Yes, Portuguese Water Dogs are generally good with children. They are loyal and protective of their families and enjoy playing with children.

Can Portuguese Water Dogs live in apartments?

Portuguese Water Dogs are active dogs that require a lot of exercise. They are not well-suited for apartment living unless they receive sufficient exercise and mental stimulation.

How often should I groom my Portuguese Water Dog?

Portuguese Water Dogs should be groomed regularly to prevent matting and tangling of their curly or wavy coats. Depending on the length of the coat, grooming may need to be done once or twice per week.

Are Portuguese Water Dogs hypoallergenic?

Portuguese Water Dogs are considered hypoallergenic because they have hair instead of fur. However, no dog is completely hypoallergenic, and some people with allergies may still be sensitive to these dogs.

How often should I bathe my Portuguese Water Dog?

Portuguese Water Dogs should be bathed as needed, depending on how dirty they get. Bathing them too often can strip their coat of its natural oils, so it is important to use a high-quality shampoo and to rinse thoroughly.


The Portuguese Water Dog is a highly intelligent and active breed that makes an excellent companion for those who are willing to invest time and effort into providing the proper care and training. These dogs require regular exercise, grooming, and socialization to thrive. With the proper care, a Portuguese Water Dog can make a loyal and loving companion for many years.

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