Portuguese water dogs are well known around the world as excellent companions. They are loving and intelligent and love being petted. Plus, they have a soft, fluffy coat that doesn’t shed. That’s why everybody loves the Portuguese water dog.
The Portuguese water puppies have a long and storied history that traces back to before other dogs like the poodle. There are reports of the Portuguese water dog in pre-Christian times. They are thought to be from the Portuguese region of the Algarve, from which they expanded to all over the coast line of the country. There they were taught to herd fish into fishermen’s nets and to act as couriers from ship to ship, or ship to shore. They also served duty on the many fishing boats that sailed from Portugal all over the world. In Portugal the breed is known as the “dog of water”.
In more modern days, the Portuguese water dog was first brought to North America in the late 1960s. But by early 1970, there were only 25 known Portuguese water dogs in the world. That changes when some committed and dedicated breeders devoted themselves to the task of saving this special breed. As a result, the numbers grew and by 1981 there were over 500 dogs in the United States alone. Now there are thousands of Portuguese water dog living all over the world, and are no longer rare or in danger of extinction.
This breed of dog is known to be intelligent, brave, and spirited. They have an endless amount of stamina and can be a loyal companion and an alert guard dog. The energy of the Portuguese water dog makes them a great working dog and they require regular daily exercise. They do well as part of a family, and are known not to like kennels or being pent up. The Portuguese water dog gets along well with children and that makes this breed an excellent choice as a family pet.
The Portuguese water dog is a medium-sized dog with excellent eye sight, and not surprisingly, a very good swimmer. They have a non-shedding coat that may be a good choice for people with an allergy condition. The Portuguese water dog may be black, white, or various shades of brown. These dogs love to walk, and trot and run. When they walk they look proud and contented and they carry their tails high in a ring over their back. Their walking style is light with short steps, but their running is very energetic.
4. Health & Health Issues
A Portuguese water dog has a life expectancy between 12 to 15 years. They age and mature slowly, and most are quite active well into their senior years. Like all breeds, the Portuguese water dog has a susceptibility to certain genetic disorders. These include a range of issues from hip concerns to blindness to some specific illnesses and ailments like Addison’s Disease. Those considering getting a Portuguese water dog should only do so from a certified breeder and ensure that the puppy’s parents have all health clearances.
Even that may not prevent the onset of things like hip dysplasia which is a common occurrence in many breeds, including the Portuguese water dog. Another concern might be Progressive Retinal Atrophy which causes irreversible degeneration of the retina and eventually causes blindness. Addison’s Disease is another ailment that Portuguese water dogs might be susceptible to. This could be an inherited disease in Portuguese water dogs and should be checked as soon as possible. If a Portuguese water dog is diagnosed with this disease, they can be stabilized on medication and live normal and happy lives.