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Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog

Overview of Portuguese Water Dog

What dog takes to water like a duck and has even won a place in the White House? The Portuguese Water Dog, that's who! Bred to be a fisherman's all-around helper, this Water Dog's webbed toes and rudder-like tail make them extremely capable swimmers. These water-loving dogs have been helping humans for centuries. Back in 1588, during the Spanish Armada, these seafaring working dogs swam between ships carrying messages from vessel to vessel. Portuguese Water Dogs or Porties, as they are affectionately known as, have a low-shedding curled coat that needs to be brushed several times a week to stay ahead of mats and tangles. These medium-sized pooches (30-60 lbs) are highly trainable, so start early and have a positive attitude. Portuguese Water Dogs come in black, brown, or white and can have patches of white. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised his young daughters a dog after the election (win or lose) so after much consideration, Bo became the first Portie in the White House! He was gifted to them by their friend Senator Kennedy whose love of the breed even compelled him to write a children's book from the point of view of his Portie, Splash.

Personality of Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dogs are super-smart and eager to please, so they require at least one hour of vigorous exercise per day. They would be a perfect fit for an active family, especially one that loves to sail! These water dogs can be groomed in two ways: the easier to maintain, “retriever cut”, where the entire coat is clipped to one inch, or the more drastic “lion cut”, where the fur on the back legs and muzzle is clipped down to the skin. These pups are great with kids and shed less dander than many other breeds, so that's one big reason these dogs won over the Obamas - their Porties Sunny and Bo do not trigger Malia's allergies. So if you want a water-loving pooch who is easy to train, fun-loving and easy on the dander, get a Portuguese Water Dog!

Common Health Issues & Recommendations for Portuguese Water Dog

Addison’s Disease: occurs when the adrenal glands fail to produce enough hormones and is a health condition that Portuguese Water Dogs may be prone to.

Recommendations for Addison’s Disease in Portuguese Water Dog:


Joint Inflammation: may develop more frequently in purebred breeds like the Portuguese Water Dog and may cause mobility issues later on.

Recommendations for Joint Inflammation in Portuguese Water Dog:

  • Hip Dysplasia Kit - Formulated to soothe inflammation and discomfort and help support healthy joints, bones and cartilage.

Alopecia: is an inherited condition that may affect some Portuguese Water dogs and is characterized by patterned hair loss. The hair loss may begin to present itself between the ages of two to four years.

Recommendations for Alopecia in Portuguese Water Dog:

  • Alopecia Health Kit - A natural supplement kit that promotes fur regrowth, calms skin irritations and strengthens the immune system.
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