Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog


The Portuguese Water Dog, a breed known for its distinctive coat and affectionate nature, has gained popularity in recent years. This article explores the key aspects of the breed, answering common questions potential owners might have.

Are Portuguese Water Dogs Needy?

Portuguese Water Dogs are known for their strong bond with their families. They thrive on human interaction and love being part of daily activities. While not overly clingy, they do require attention and are happiest when included in family life. Their need for companionship makes them excellent pets for active families.

Do Portuguese Water Dogs Smell?

Like all breeds, the Portuguese Water Dog can develop a ‘doggy smell’ if not groomed properly. Regular bathing, along with proper grooming, can minimize any odor. Their unique coat, which can be either wavy or curly, requires regular maintenance to keep them clean and smelling fresh.

Is the Portuguese Water Dog Rare?

While not as common as some other breeds, Portuguese Water Dogs are not exceptionally rare. Their popularity has risen, particularly with their association as the chosen breed of former President Obama’s family. Breeders can be found globally, but it’s important to source from reputable ones who prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs.

How Much Does a Portuguese Water Dog Cost?

The price of a Portuguese Water Dog can vary based on the breeder’s location, the dog’s lineage, and other factors. Typically, prices range from $2,000 to $3,000 for a puppy. Remember that this initial cost is just part of the overall expenses of dog ownership, which include food, grooming, veterinary care, and other necessities.

Are Portuguese Water Dogs Hard to Train?

Portuguese Water Dogs are intelligent and eager to please, making them relatively easy to train. They respond well to positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, play, and treats. Consistency and patience are key in training any dog, and early socialization and obedience training are recommended for this breed.

Exercise Needs

The Portuguese Water Dog, originally bred for working in water, has a high energy level. They require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. Daily walks, play sessions, and, if possible, swimming, are great ways to keep them physically fit and mentally stimulated. They excel in dog sports like agility, obedience, and water trials, which can be a fun way for them to expend energy.

Grooming Requirements

Grooming is a significant aspect of caring for a Portuguese Water Dog. Their coat, which does not shed significantly, still requires regular grooming to prevent matting. Brushing a few times a week and professional grooming every few months is recommended. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, and their ears checked for signs of infection, a common issue in water-loving breeds.

Health Considerations

Generally healthy, the Portuguese Water Dog can be prone to certain genetic health issues like hip dysplasia, eye problems, and heart disease. Responsible breeding practices have reduced these risks, but it’s important for owners to be aware of them. Regular veterinary check-ups can help in early detection and management of any health issues.

Lifespan and Diet

A well-cared-for Portuguese Water Dog typically enjoys a lifespan of around 12 to 15 years. A balanced diet, ideally tailored to their age, size, and activity level, is vital for their overall health. It’s always advisable to discuss their dietary needs with a vet, as individual needs can vary.

Table: At a Glance – Portuguese Water Dog


Feature Detail
Size Medium
Coat Wavy or curly, hypoallergenic
Temperament Intelligent, Affectionate, Energetic
Exercise Needs High; daily exercise required
Training Relatively easy; responds well to positive reinforcement
Health Generally healthy; prone to certain genetic conditions
Lifespan Approximately 12-15 years
Grooming Requires regular brushing and professional grooming
Suitability Great for active families and individuals
Cost $2,000 – $3,000 for a puppy


The Portuguese Water Dog is a charming and lively companion, well-suited for families and individuals alike. They are intelligent, affectionate, and relatively easy to train, but like all dogs, they require commitment in terms of time, money, and love. For those willing to invest in proper care and training, a Portuguese Water Dog can be a wonderful addition to the family.