Breed of the Week: Portuguese Water Dog

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Breed of the Week: Portuguese Water Dog

 Portuguese Water Dog

Appearance:

The Portuguese Water Dog, or Porti, stands at 17-23 inches at the shoulder and weighs 35-60lbs with males being substantially larger.  This breed has two potential coat varieties, wavy and curly, with neither shedding much and both needing moderate grooming.  The Porti can be black, white, brown, or a combination of these colors and often they have an oddly blue tint to their skin if black or white.

Temperament:

Considered an extremely intelligent breed, the Porti does best with an experienced and active owner.  Bred to work long days in cold water, the Porti is robust and confident though generally friendly and good with children and other pets.  This breed thrives on activity and does not generally do well in an urban environment.

Health Concerns:

The Porti is prone to some heart concerns such as juvenile cardiomyopathy along with hip dysplasia and Addisons disease.  Generally a hearty breed for their size, they average 10-14 years in lifespan.

Fun Facts:

  • The sometimes funny looking show cut for the Porti leaves the front full and fluffy while the back half of the dog is shaved close to the skin. This is supposed to allow the fur to keep vital organs warm while allowing full swimming movement in the back for working dogs.
  • The Portuguese Water Dog became more popular early this decade as President Obama welcomed Bo into the White House due to his less allergenic coat.
  • This breed was originally bred to help fisherman herd fish into nets, bring in damaged nets, and carry notes between boats. Their webbed feet and single coat are specifically meant to help in these endeavors.