Due to its characteristics and qualities, the Portuguese Water Dog demonstrated the desired traits of a Watch dog and Gun Dog and is known by its nick name the "Trawler Crew Dog". The origin of the Portuguese Water Dog breed was in Portugal where it was developed in the Ancient Times.
Portuguese Water Dog Breed Group and Dog Type - Working Dog Group (AKC:1983): The Portuguese Water Dog is one of the many breeds of dogs that belong to the Working Dog Group (AKC:1983).
Other names for the Portuguese Water Dog: The Portuguese Water Dog is known by the nickname of the "Trawler Crew Dog". Other names for this breed of dog include the Portie, Cao de Agua (meaning 'Dog of the Water'.
Origin of the name: The origin of the name "Portuguese Water Dog" derives from its country of origin, Portugal where it was bred to hunt waterfowl, fish and small game.
Portuguese Water Dog History and Origin: The country of origin of the Portuguese Water Dog breed was in Portugal during the Ancient Times, possibly relating to Early Asian dogs that roamed the Steppes in 800AD. The intelligence and endurance levels of the Portuguese Water Dog are extremely high and his abilities as a swimmer are second to none which made the dogs so popular with Portuguese fishermen.
The Portuguese Water Dog is the only surviving breed who participated in 'fish-herding'. It was trained to pull fishing nets along in the water to gather fish. The versatile and reliable canine also acted as a courier and messenger from ship to ship, or from ship to shore and a watchdog when the fishermen took their boats into shore. The ship's dogs also dived underwater to retrieve equipment that had fallen overboard.
The Portuguese Water Dogs were found on small, local fishing boats, in the fishing fleet and also on the bigger trawlers gaining the breed the nickname of the "Trawler Crew Dog". The ancient Portuguese Water Dogs accompanied explorers such as Christopher Columbus (1451 - 1506), Vasco da Gama (c1460 - 1524) and Ferdinand Magellan (1480 - 1521) during Portugal's Age of Discovery. In 1588 Portuguese Water Dogs were also used as working dogs by the great Spanish Armada ships and some of the Portuguese dogs found their way on to the British shores.
Portuguese Water Dogs - The 'Lion Cut': Traditional Portuguese Water Dogs were given the famous 'Lion Cut' for a specific purpose, much like the cuts given to another of the water dogs - the Poodle. The 'Lion style' haircuts involved shaving the long hair at the rear of the dogs and also around the muzzle. The idea of the Portuguese fishermen was to keep the coat long around the chest area, surrounding the heart and lungs, to keep the dogs insulated and warm. The rear end was shaved to prevent the Portuguese Water Dog from becoming water logged and to prevent the hair from impeding the dogs from using it's hind legs in the water. The Lion cut gave the appearance of a lion's mane - hence the name.
Portuguese Water Dog Modern History: The modern history of the Portuguese Water Dog moved on and the breed nearly became extinct following the introduction of new technology such as power winches that mechanized the Portuguese fishing industry making the jobs of the dogs obsolete. The ravages of WW2 (1939- 1945) also took their toll on the breed and by the late 1950's only sixteen Portuguese Water Dogs remained in the world.
The Portuguese philanthropist Vasco Elias Bensaude (1896 - 1967) was responsible for saving the breed when he established a breeding program to increase the numbers of the dogs. Portuguese Water Dogs were imported to the United States and Europe in 1958 and in 1972 as their popularity and numbers increased the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America was formed. The Portuguese Water Dogs were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1983. Portuguese Water Dogs are now used as therapy dogs, assistance dogs and as family pets and companions.
Portuguese Water Dogs Modern History - "Bo" and "Sunny" Obama: President Barack Obama and the First Family of the United States have enjoyed the company of their two Portuguese Water Dogs, "Bo" and "Sunny", at the White House.
Portuguese Water Dog Height: The Portuguese Water Dog breed is classified as a medium sized dog. The height to the shoulder of a male dog is 20 - 22 inches (50 - 57 cm). The height to the shoulder of a female dog is 17 - 20 inches (43 - 52 cm).
Portuguese Water Dog Weight: The weight of the male in the medium sized Portuguese Water Dog breed is 42 - 55 pounds (19 - 25 kg). The weight of the smaller female is 35 - 49 pounds (16 - 22 kg).
Portuguese Water Dog Coat Type - LOW shedding coat: The coat type of is described as strong, thick, curly or wavy coat.
Portuguese Water Dog Coat Colors: The colors of the Portuguese Water Dog breed include black, brown and white colors.
Portuguese Water Dog Grooming - HIGH Grooming Needs: The grooming needs of Portuguese Water Dogs are categorized as high in order to maintain a healthy coat and reduce the risk of skin infections. The high grooming needs of the Portuguese Water Dogs are considered to be high-maintenance and requires almost daily brushing and combing. Grooming Requirements should include bathing the PWD on a monthly basis and making regular inspections of the nails, teeth, eyes and ears.
Portuguese Water Dog Litter Size: The litter size of this breed ranges from 4-8 puppies. Portuguese Water puppies for sale can be obtained reputable breeders and from rescue centers. The cost of Portuguese Water puppies varies depending on location, pedigree history and the breeder.
Portuguese Water Dog Temperament and personality: The temperament and personality of the popular Portuguese Water Dogs breed is described as Spontaneous, Impetuous, Brave, Docile and Courageous.
Portuguese Water Dog Exercise Requirements: The exercise requirements of this breed are moderate. Portuguese Water Dogs requires regular daily exercise consisting of about one hour every day. This medium sized dog has a jaunty, strident gait with strides of a moderate length requiring a steady walking or jogging speed by the owner to meet the dogs exercise requirements. If the dog has more energy than you do, then teach your dog to play ball in a chase and catch game.
Portuguese Water Dog Diet: A fully grown Portuguese Water Dog should be fed twice a day. A diet consisting of a premium dog food can be balanced with fresh food eaten by the family. The question is What Can Dogs Eat?. Check out our comprehensive list of what dogs can and what dogs cannot eat.
Portuguese Water Dog Health Problems: Potential health problems of the Portuguese Water Dog breed include PRA - Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Skin allergies, Hip Dysplasia . Resolving health problems can prove to be expensive and it is always wise to obtain pet insurance or dog health insurance when buying a dog. Is the Portuguese Water Dog breed said to be Hypoallergenic? Answer: Yes (Refer to Hypoallergenic Dogs).
Portuguese Water Dog Lifespan: The life expectancy of dogs vary according to the size, breed and any serious health problems. The typical lifespan of the Portuguese Water Dog breed is 10-14 years.
Portuguese Water Dog Male Names: Male names are most often chosen to reflect favorite names of the owner or the strength, size, coloring and country of origin of the Portuguese Water Dogs breed. To give you some inspiration regarding good male Portuguese Water Dog names our small selection might be of help with naming boy dogs. Out top Portuguese male dog names are: Vasco *** Rodrigo *** Fernando *** Nikita *** Bruno *** Ferraz *** Fabio *** Hazard *** Miguel *** Bernardo.
Portuguese Water Dog Female Names: Female names tend to be softer, prettier and reflect the temperament of the Portuguese Water Dog girl dogs. Our top choice of good female Portuguese Water Dog names are Catia *** Beatriz *** Carina *** Yuna *** Bia *** Nadia *** Marta *** Tess *** Marla *** Steph.