Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog: Temperament, Grooming, Lifespan, Price

Last Updated: June 26, 2022

The spectacular, agile, and hardworking Portuguese Water Dog has come a long way from being the trusted messenger of Portuguese fishermen and sailors to now as one of the most popular family dog breeds.

These medium-sized athletic water retrievers are hailed as highly biddable which means they are easy to train for being an intelligent breed. 

A Portuguese Water Dog can be your ultimate soul dog if trained, groomed, and raised under a consistent routine that must include high-quality nutrition, some regular field activities, and daily care. 

Want some more about this majestic retriever? 

Continue reading as we unfold more.


How much does a Portuguese Water Dog cost?

How much does a Portuguese Water Dog cost?

Parenting on mind? 

We have got you covered with all the details on the average market price of a purebred and authorized connection of breeders to choose from.

A Portuguese Water Dog’s price can range anywhere between $750 to a whopping $3500 depending upon location, availability, health, and other factors. 

While obtaining your first Portuguese Water Dog, make sure to obtain complete information about the pup’s ancestry, and vaccination updates for a fair deal. 

To help you with your first buy, we recommend that you buy from trusted breeders that are registered with AKC, Canadian Kennel Club, PWDCA, The Kennel Club to name a few.

This brings us to the process of selecting and finalizing a breeder. 


How to select Portuguese Water Dog breeders?

Getting a purebred Portuguese Water Dog can be your best decision only if obtained from a reputed breeder who values ethics and integrity over the money-making business.

You can source your Portie locally or consider buying from the network of authorized breeders committed to their business of ethical breeding to offer only high-quality and healthy PWD puppies. 

There are a couple of steps for evaluating the breeders:

  • As mentioned earlier, buy a Portuguese Water Dog puppy only from breeders recognized with kennel clubs like PWDCA, AKC, Canadian Kennel Club, FCI, and so on based on your location.
  • Do not forget to ask for the health certificate of the puppy’s parent as well as the pup to understand if the parent was or has been dealing with any health conditions. 
  • Observe the pup’s parents in terms of temperament, behavior, etc. to get an idea of what you can expect from your Portie pup after you bring him/her home and as they grow up. 
  • Ask as many questions as you can from the breeder to understand the pup and also to judge the breeder’s knowledge about Portuguese Water Dogs before you obtain your first healthy Portuguese Water Dog. 
  • And lastly, do not rush, spend some time with the pups (when you visit the breeder), to enjoy their company. It’s really soothing to watch them play, sleep, and eat.

Looking for dog names for your Portuguese Water Dog? Check out our list of 500+ Unique Hunting Dog Names (Male & Female).


When does a Portuguese Water Dog get full size?

When does a Portuguese Water Dog get full size?

Watching your pet grow is a rewarding experience and a Portuguese Water Dog will take only 18 months to adulthood depending on its daily nutrition and proper pet grooming at home.

These athletic dogs are not everyone’s cup of tea, so if you are wondering if Portuguese Water Dog is good for first-time dog owners, then the answer is – No, they are definitely not for the first-timers. 

They need an experienced guardian to take control of their high-spirited nature and early training to reach their expected body mass and height.

They are medium-sized canines with a rugged stature and need daily activities for their holistic well-being. 

Under proper nutrition and consistent routine, a male Portie can grow up to 20 – 23 inches with a healthy weight between 42 – 60 pounds while the females can reach an average height between 17 – 21 inches and weighs around 35 – 50 pounds on attaining adulthood.

However, if your Portie is struggling to reach its standard size, consult a vet to diagnose an underlying cause or if any dietary change is needed. 


How to care for your Portuguese Water Dog puppy?

Caring for Portuguese Water Dog when they are puppies

Parenting a Portuguese Water Dog puppy can be challenging as they are born intelligent and independent and has a tendency to obey only an overpowering owner who treats them with compassion. 

Now that you are a proud parent of a Portie Puppy, here is a caution for you to save your home aesthetics and valuables. 

Portie pups have destructive chewing habits that can last till 6 months before their adult set of teeth pops up. 

This is when you need to deal with a lot of patience by providing your pup with soft chewable toys to relieve their stress. 

Consult a vet to alter the servings for your puppy during its growing period till its first birthday to avoid overfeeding and turning your baby lazy.

Caring for Portuguese Water Dog when they grow up

Nothing changes much for a grown-up Portie except for its daily nutritional serving and scaling up field activities and training. 

This ancient water retriever needs plenty of daily activities accompanied by its owner and trainer to stay mentally and physically fit.

Portuguese Water Dogs are not for apartment dwellers and need at least a spacious lawn to dig, chase, and roll around

If you have nearby swamps, take your adult Portie to unleash its preying drive in retrieving waterfowls and smaller aquatic creatures. 

In case, you don’t have any water bodies in the vicinity take your dog out on regular long walks without a miss.

These athletic dogs thrive on high-quality nutrition and vigorous daily exercise for better nutrition absorption and maintaining a healthy weight.


How to groom a Portuguese Water Dog?

Portuguese Water Dogs are high-maintenance dogs that require frequent clippings of their coat by a professional groomer. 

Grooming a Portuguese Water Dog coat requires skills to safely trim hairs from their face and around the eyes. 

These low shedding hunting dogs are good for owners sensitive to pet allergies and who prefer pet grooming at home.

Once your Portie is back from daily training or workout, bush their coat immediately to prevent matting and shrug off dander and fleas. 

Clipping their nails is another big challenge and you will need an expert’s hand to trim claws off their webbed feet. 

Grinding their nails at home can lead to an accidental injury and severe bleeding if not done carefully.

Bath your Portie once a month with vet-recommended dog shampoo and rinse thoroughly to clean off any detergent residue to avoid any allergic reaction later.

On average, the grooming expense of a Portuguese Water Dog can amount to $500 every month.


How much exercise does a Portuguese Water Dog need?

How much exercise does a Portuguese Water Dog need?

These high-spirited athletic dogs need adequate physical and mental stimulation to survive a healthier and stress-free life.

A Portuguese Water Dog temperament is generally friendly and biddable which means you won’t have to struggle much making them used to a consistent workout routine. 

They love swamps and water and enjoy swimming for hours in retrieving birds and smaller catches which work as a great mental stimulation besides supporting their muscle health. 

Brainstorming games and ball fetching are also highly recommended for the Porties in boosting their intelligence and obedience to grow as an ideal family dog.

Your curious and social Portuguese Water Dog can’t be left alone and needs your company while playing, walking, and retrieving to live a complaint-free life. 

Leaving them alone for too long and lack of adequate activities can turn them destructive and stressed. 

In short, vigorous daily exercise is the key to your Portie’s sound health. 


Do Portuguese Water Dog shed a lot?

Pet shedding is one of the most frustrating experiences for owners who struggle to keep their houses clean off the latching pet hairs everywhere. 

If you too are done cleaning pet hairs, then Portuguese Water Dogs is your ultimate stress reliever in every way.

When it comes to shedding, PWDs rank the lowest because of their single-layered coating. 

On regular brushing and professional clipping, the shedding is less even in the spring and falls. 

However, if your PWD is shedding excessively, consult a vet to diagnose any underlying cause responsible for it, and don’t ignore regular pet grooming at home.


Are Portuguese Water Dog hypoallergenic?

Are Portuguese Water Dog hypoallergenic?

Yes, Portuguese Water Dog are hypoallergenic but we won’t approve them to be 100% hypoallergenic as that would be a myth. 

Dogs with fur or hair are prone to trap dirt and dander that can give you serious allergies if not removed or cleaned on a regular basis.

Portuguese Water Dogs have single layered wavy hairs that must be brushed regularly to eliminate dead cells and dirt that are the potential elements to trigger your allergies. 

Though Porties are low shedding, it doesn’t make them 100% hypoallergenic. It is your responsibility to keep them clean and hygienic to ensure healthy living at home.


Understanding Portuguese Water Dog Temperament

Our Portuguese Water retriever is overall a happy dog with exceptional intelligence and affection level. 

They are hardworking, loyal, biddable, and are always eager to please which makes them excellent family dogs.

Portuguese Water Dogs are friendly and loving that helps them gel well with people of any age and other pets (if you have one).

Besides being an easy-going soul, the Porties also possess an independent side which makes it difficult for the first-timers to control them. 

These high-spirited dogs need an alpha parent who knows how to handle them with love and care without getting unnecessarily strict. 

The Portuguese Water Dogs are generally happy and highly energetic but can be stubborn at times if not trained to socialize early. 

Start training your dog early under a consistent routine and involve them in different kinds of daily field activities to keep them happy and stress-free. 

Though they are non-aggressive but can turn destructive and develop incessant barking if mostly left alone or ignored. 

So, if you are planning to bring home a PWD, ensure a happy living at home and dedicate enough bonding time with your dog.


How intelligent are Portuguese Water Dog?

How intelligent are Portuguese Water Dog?

Once a dependable companion of the fishermen and sailors, Portuguese Water Dog is now not only a top choice as a family pet but also service and therapy dogs. 

What do you think has worked in unleashing their agility? 

Yes, these dogs need no special mention about their unmatched intelligence and fast learning ability. 

Portuguese Water Dogs were bred to assist the fishermen in their daily job, swimming and retrieving fish into the nets that require immense physical strength and intelligence.

The PWDs must be enrolled under a consistent training program or you as a guardian need to learn some unique dog training tips and tricks for your Portie’s maximum brain stimulation. 

Because of their quick learning ability in obeying commands and following instructions, Portuguese Water Dogs are great as family dogs, watchdogs, hunting companions, and therapy partners. 

They are born with a high emotional and intelligence quotient, so you won’t have to struggle much in teaching them commands and manners to raise them as well-behaved dogs. 

However, if you keep them deprived of an ideal growing ambiance, all their positive traits will wane in no time.


How easy is it to train a Portuguese Water Dog?

Porties are hailed as biddable for their unmatched intelligence and adaptability.

These ancient water retrievers were once a common sight by the seashores assisting the fishermen and sailors in their day-to-day tasks because of their smartness and agility. 

To raise your PWD as a well-behaved dog, you must start basic training at home when they are just a few weeks old with some lighter and shorter duration exercises.

Portuguese Water Dogs have excellent fast learning abilities that make training them easier for you. 

To make training rewarding, offer your dog smaller treats in between. 

Besides an easy-going temperament, they also have an independent side which can make training them difficult once they turn adults. 

So, early training is a must to help them socialize easily and behave.

Portuguese Water Dogs are friendly and learn quickly in training when accompanied by their master. 

But the same gentle soul can turn uncontrollably destructive and aggressive if mostly left alone or confined in limited space at home. 

So make sure to take your PWD out on regular walks and spend maximum time to support their holistic wellbeing.


What type of hunting is best for Portuguese Water Dogs?

What type of hunting is best for Portuguese Water Dogs?

Swamps and large water bodies are the best-suited locations for Portuguese Water Dogs to tickle their hunting spirit. 

These naturally skilled water retrievers have waterproof coating all over, paired with webbed feet that help them swim with ease till 12 feet beneath the water to chase fishes, waterfowls, and ducks.

So before obtaining a Portuguese Water Dog, make sure you have nearby swamps or at least a sizeable pool for this dog to swim and enjoy its heart out because it works as a great mental stimulation, besides supporting their robust physical strength. 

Weekly swimming, besides regular exercise, is highly recommended for this hardworking dog.

If you love fishing and often go out hunting, take your Portuguese Water Dog along for a rewarding experience that will also help strengthen the pet-master bond. 

Simply, unleash your Portuguese Water Dog in the waters to watch it enjoy, retrieve, and hunt its favorite aquatic prey. 


Portuguese Water Dogs Lifespan

The century-old retriever, Portuguese Water Dog is blessed with an average lifespan of 10 – 14 years when staying close with its human companion and in a cordial ambiance. 

They are non-shedding dogs but not totally hypoallergenic and require occasional grooming and clipping to keep dander and allergen away. 

This athletic breed requires daily activities like hunting in the woods and retrieving in the water to support their wellbeing and unique inborn abilities. 

Portuguese Water Dogs mostly enjoy healthy living only when involved in regular outdoor activities like jogging, fetching, hunting, exercising, or a quick swim under the supervision of their guardian.


Common Health Issues Associated With Portuguese Water Dogs

Common Health Issues Associated With Portuguese Water Dogs

You will happy to know that these athletic dogs mostly live a disease-free life with few cases reported. 

And chances reduce to minimal or zero when obtained from a reputed breeder.

The most common issue with them is hip and elbow dysplasia along with Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). 

Occasional seizures are some ailments that can bother their health at some point in their life.

Besides these, they can also suffer some major inherited disorders like Juvenile Dilated Cardiomyopathy, Gangliosidosis, Addison’s disease, and Follicular dysplasia, a patterned hair loss problem. 

These are some common health issues in a Portuguese Water Dog.


Is Portuguese Water Dog right for me?

If you are a first-time dog owner or live in an apartment, then Portuguese Water Dog is not for you. 

Although this dog breed is loyal, friendly, and loving with other pets and kids, they have an independent side that can be difficult for first-timers to control without being impatient or strict. 

PWDs are highly active and need lots of regular exercise and playtime throughout their life and an alpha parent who can match their energy. 

If you live in an area with lots of space, this breed will be perfect for you. 

They love to swim and dive for long periods, so you need to have a large yard or pond nearby for them to play in. Or you can take them on a long walk or in an open field so that they can get enough exercise.

But if you live in an apartment building or high rise, then this breed may not work out so well because they don’t enjoy being confined indoors.


Final Thoughts

Once the trusted fisherman’s helper, the Portuguese Water Dogs can become your ultimate dream dog when raised under a consistent routine and early training.

If you are a first-timer or an apartment dweller, drop the idea of obtaining this energetic and intelligent retriever to ensure a peaceful life for both of you. 

But if you have every favorable situation that matches our conditions to own this majestic breed, you can confidently welcome a Portie home and fulfill your dream. 

Remember, you can experience all the traits we have mentioned about the Portuguese Water Dog only in a purebred obtained from a reputed breeder.

How’s your Portie doing? Let us know in the comment box.


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