Brown Portuguese Water Dog?

If you’re looking for a swimming or fishing companion, boy howdy are you in the right place. Portuguese water dogs are natural-born swimmers, athletes through and through. Blessed with strong bodies and incredibly sharp minds, these are the perfect dogs for people with active lifestyles or who want a dog to do a lot of competition training with.

other traits hypoallergenic easy to train tendency to chew loves water apartment-friendly cold weather tolerant hot weather tolerant good for first-time pet owners good hiking companion Though the Portuguese water dog‘s lineage goes back almost 800 years, making their origins somewhat murky, experts think of poodles as the breed’s closest genetic cousin.

The coat comes in shades of brown, tan, black, and white, with the latter being the rarest by a hefty margin. Portuguese water dogs have coats that are either curly or wavy, making them ultra-soft cuddle buddies. They have webbed feet to aid in swimming, and their bodies aren’t quite square, being slightly longer than they are tall.

Now that they have largely made the transition from fish to families, Portuguese water dogs love learning tricks and playing games . Sarah Moore, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology), says they can do very well in family households, with the right circumstances. “They are often affectionate and very good with children and other pets, but they’re going to need a fair bit of physical activity and training ,” she says.

Also much like the poodle, the smart Portuguese water dogs will get bored easily if you’re not keeping them stimulated. But no matter how you choose to do it, keeping your dog fit and happy needs to be a priority because they have a strong tendency to chew when they’re bored or frustrated. Left: Thanks to their nearly nonexistent shedding, Portuguese water dogs are a fitting breed for any allergy sufferers.

Not only will it help keep them stimulated, but it will curtail some of their less-desirable traits, like the breed’s tendency to greet people by jumping up , or their notorious reputation as counter surfers. Portuguese water dogs also excel in therapy or service training, and some undergo training to become service dogs for deaf or hearing-impaired individuals, easily learning to bark when the phone rings or there’s a knock at the door. Mental and physical stimulation are the two biggest factors for housing a Portuguese water dog.

As long as you are taking them out for a run or a game of fetch every day, they can adapt very nicely to apartment living . Because the dogs have a very low prey drive , they’re typically safe to have off a leash or in the front yard with supervisionthey’re not likely to dart off after a squirrel. Have you seen those pictures of the sheep in Australia who wandered off for seven years and came back looking like a giant cotton ball?

Portuguese water dogs need almost daily grooming to keep their waves and curls from matting. In addition to the trims, youre going to be brushing them every other day, to keep that wavy (or curly) hair from matting up and clinging desperately to every twig and leaf it finds. Also, if you let your dog take a dip in a chlorinated pool, a saltwater body, or a lake with algae in it, you’ll want to give them a quick hosing down right after, to make sure their hair doesn’t hold on to smells.

Some research has suggested spaying or neutering dogs in their first year can precede joint damage and other diseases in some breeds. However, Theresa Entriken, DVM, says Portuguese water dogs have not been among the breeds included in delayed neutering studies. This postage stamp from 1981 features a Portuguese water dogand gives a nod to their early days as fishing dogs.

Your vet can conduct a simple DNA test to find out if your dog is a carrier of the gene or not. Though black and white is the most common color combination, Portuguese water dogs can also be brown or tan! This tide was reversed in the 1930s by a Portuguese shipping magnate named Vasco Bensaude , who began purposely seeking the dogs out from fishing villages, with an eye towards and re-establishing the breed.

In the 1960s, two Americans named Deyanne and Herbert Miller, Jr. brought the dogs to the U.S., the first one a descendent of Bensaude’s kennels.

Do Portuguese Water Dogs come in brown?

Also much like the poodle, the smart Portuguese water dogs will get bored easily if you’re not keeping them stimulated. They are a very high-energy dog who will require at least an hour’s worth of exercise every day. This is another reason why competition training is such a great activity for them.

Is a Portuguese Water Dog a good family dog?

Portuguese Water Dogs make excellent family companions, especially when raised with kids. They can be rambunctious, however, which is often scary or overwhelming for young children. Porties get along well with other dogs and cats, especially if they’re raised with them.

Why are Portuguese Water Dogs so expensive?

Portuguese Water Dog: $2000 and up. These puppies have only been in the U.S. since the early 1970s but have become very popular. They do have health issues and one reason their price is high is there are many expensive tests that each parent should undergo before they are used to breed.

What color are Portuguese Water Dogs?

The coat color is black, white or various shades of brown. Combinations of black or brown and white are also seen. Dogs with black, white, or black and white hair have bluish skin. The Portuguese Water Dog requires frequent grooming to prevent mating and tangling.

The Portuguese Water Dog originated from the Algarve region of Portugal. From there the breed expanded to all around Portugal’s coast, where they were taught to herd fish into fishermen’s nets, retrieve lost tackle or broken nets, and act as couriers from ship to ship, or ship to shore.[1] Portuguese Water Dogs rode in fishing trawlers as they worked their way from the Atlantic waters of Portugal to the waters off the coast of Iceland fishing for cod.[2]

The Portuguese Water Dog has recently gained more fame by being the chosen breed of US President Barack Obama , who had two of them, Bo and Sunny . [7] The Obama family chose Sunny for the breed’s comparatively hypoallergenic nature, while Bo was given to them by Senator Ted Kennedy .

The closest relatives of the PWD and Spanish Water dog are widely thought to be the Standard Poodle . Like Poodles and several other water dog breeds, PWDs are intelligent, can have curly coats, have webbed toes for swimming, and do not shed. [9] However, Portuguese Water Dogs are more robustly built, with stout legs, and can have a wavy coat instead of tightly curled.

The Portuguese Water Dog is off-square, slightly longer than tall when measured from prosternum to rearmost point of the buttocks, and from withers to ground. PWDs have a single-layered coat that does not shed [11] (see Moult ), and therefore their presence is tolerated well among many people who suffer from dog allergies . White is one of the less-common colours among PWDs.Two parti-colored Portuguese Water Dogs, female curly in front and male wavy at rear If left untended, the hair on a PWD will keep growing indefinitely.

The lion cut diminished the initial shock of cold water when jumping from boats, as well as providing warmth to the vitals. Sometimes owners will clip the hair of their dogs very short, especially in the summer months, in modified retriever cut. They tend to be quiet dogs although they will warn when the home is approached, and they will communicate their desires vocally and behaviorally to their owner.

They may engage in “expressive panting”, by making a distinct “ha-ha-ha-ha” sound as an invitation to play or to indicate a desire for nearby food. The PWD’s biddability, high intelligence, and tendency to vocalise and then seek out its human master when specific alarms occur make it an ideal hearing-ear or deaf-assistance dog. PWDs can be readily trained to bark loudly when a telephone rings, and then to find and alert a hard-of-hearing or deaf master.

Because they are working dogs , PWDs are generally content in being at their master’s side, awaiting directions, and, if they are trained, they are willing and able to follow complex commands. In any case, the modern PWD, whether employed on a boat or kept as a pet or a working dog, loves water and attention and prefers to be engaged in activity within sight of a human partner. Bensaude was aided by two Portuguese veterinarians, Dr. Francisco Pinto Soares and Dr. Manuel Fernandes Marques.

[18] She worked with dogs from both the Cintron and Cabral lineages to establish a stable genetic pool of PWDs in the US at her Farmion kennels. Owing to the limited gene pool for this breed, conscientious breeders carefully study pedigrees and select dogs to minimize the chance of genetic disease and improper coat. [19] However, the risk of a PWD developing hip dysplasia can be greatly reduced by thoroughly checking the pedigrees and health clearances in both the sire and dam of the dog.

GM1 storage disease , one of a family of conditions called GM1 gangliosidoses , is a recessive , genetic disorder that is inevitably fatal. The affected puppy will show clinical signs of cerebellar dysfunction including ataxia, tremors, paresis, and seizures. A Portuguese Water Dog puppy Juvenile dilated cardiomyopathy is a fatal condition caused by an autosomal recessive gene.

The signs and symptoms include a 12- to 48-hour onset of loss of appetite, decreased energy level, vomiting, and difficulty breathing. Breeders now have a DNA gene-based test, based on a cheek swab or a blood sample, which will determine if a dog is a carrier of the gene for juvenile dilated cardiomyopathy.

Are you on the search for your forever doggo? Whether youve settled on the Portuguese Water Dog or youve just stumbled across this handsome fella, and you want to find out more, youve come to the right place.

Weight 35-60 Pounds Height 17-23 Inches Lifespan 11-13 Years Colors Black, White, Brown It is believed that he shares the same ancestors as the Poodle because of their similar appearance and the fact they love water.

In his native lands, he is known as the Cao de Agua, which literally translates to dog of the water . His role was to herd fish into his masters nets, retrieve gear that had fallen overboard, and swim from the boat to shore with messages and light equipment. Fast forward to the 20th century, when fishermen no longer needed their canine companions because their boats were modernized with technology. Thankfully, a wealthy dog lover named Vasco Bensuade made it his mission to save the beloved breed.

He also loves to snuggle with his family too, and this big ball of fluff makes a fab hot water bottle. As you can imagine, this boat puller loves to tug and pull things, including tablecloths off tables and food from counters. This is where the entire coat is clipped approximately one inch in length to follow the dogs natural line.

White is permissible only if the nose, mouth, and eyelids are dark in color, meaning that he is not suffering from albinism. He is very athletic and curious, so like many working dogs, a leisurely stroll around the block every day will not do it for the Portie. Think agility courses, swimming in the local lake, and long weekend hikes up the mountains.

Another favorite hobby of his is visiting the local doggy park to make new friends, which is a great way to burn lots of energy. But be warned, if you do live in an apartment, you need to keep him entertained to prevent destructive boredom and cabin fever from setting in. Ideally, his home should have access to a private yard for him to stretch his legs and play in between exercise sessions.

Working with a responsible breeder will go a long way to ensuring a polite pooch because they will expose them from day dot. Provide him with daily, intense exercise, feed him the best nutrition within your budget, and keep up to date with health checks. Symptoms include struggling to stand, lay, or climb the stairs and general exercise intolerance.

Symptoms such as loss of coordination, lethargy, seizures, and behavior changes need to be acted upon with an immediate vet examination. Juvenile Dilated Cardiomyopathy This is an inherited disease that results in sudden death in puppies aged between five weeks and seven months. Puppy kibbles provide the extra fats and proteins he needs to grow into a healthy adult.

But his water-loving personality means that hell replace the loose hair with mud splashes and soaked carpets. Although he will need rinsing every time he enters the water to remove dirt, slime, chemicals, and salt that can wreak havoc with his skin and coat. A poor quality breeder, or worse, a puppy mill, will pile on the pressure to make a sale.

It is very possible to find a purebred Portie at your local shelter, so be sure to check there first!For some families, welcoming a puppy into their life is not the right option. With so many dogs looking for their forever homes, head out to your local rescue shelters and speak to the staff there about your Portie preference. Alternatively, you can head over to the Portuguese Water Dog Club of Americas Rescue and Relocation program.

These guys work specifically to rehome Porties in need, which increases your chance of finding your soulmate sooner. And hopefully, after reading this breed guide, you now fully understand what it takes to be a Portie mom or dad.

Portuguese Water Dog

If you’re looking for a swimming or fishing companion, boy howdy are you in the right place. Portuguese water dogs are natural-born swimmers, athletes through and through. Blessed with strong bodies and incredibly sharp minds, these are the perfect dogs for people with active lifestyles or who want a dog to do a lot of competition training with.”They’re like the ultimate velcro dog,” says Cindra Delgado, owner of Cindel Portuguese Water Dogs. “They follow you everywhere.”Fun-loving and very eager to please, Portuguese water dogs are ideal for families. Their great intelligence and deep empathy has also allowed them to excel as therapy and service dogs.

Appearance

Though the Portuguese water dog‘s lineage goes back almost 800 years, making their origins somewhat murky, experts think of poodles as the breed’s closest genetic cousin. It makes a lot of sense when you see them; the two breeds have a lot of similar characteristics. The Portuguese water dog‘s coat comes in two varieties: Curly or wavy. In both cases, the hair is medium to long and single-coated. The coat comes in shades of brown, tan, black, and white, with the latter being the rarest by a hefty margin. Some Portuguese water dogs will have bi- or even tri-colored coats, with black and tan being the most common. Another common coloration is for either all black and all brown varieties to sport a splash of white on their chins (referred to as “milk chin”).Traditionally, coats are cut in one of two styles: the “lion cut” or the “retriever cut.” The former cuts the muzzle, hindquarters, and base of the tail short, leaving all the rest long, while the latter cuts the coat evenly over the entire body, down to about 1 inch in length.The Portuguese water dog is an extremely infrequent shedder. Most of the hair they do release gets caught up in their waves or curls. While no dog is truly “hypoallergenic”—they all shed to one degree or another—Portuguese water dogs are well-known as a breed that’s great for people with allergies to hair or dander.They have webbed feet to aid in swimming, and their bodies aren’t quite square, being slightly longer than they are tall. Female dogs come in at 17–21 inches tall, with male Portuguese water dogs a bit taller at 20–23 inches.

Temperament

Much like their poodle cousins, the Portuguese water dog is stunningly smart. Originally bred to be fishing dogs, they were trained to herd schools of fish into nets, retrieve broken nets and tackle, and to act as couriers, delivering messages from ship to ship and ship to shore. Because of their smarts and appetite for work, Delgado says Portuguese water dogs might do better with experienced dog owners.Now that they have largely made the transition from fish to families, Portuguese water dogs love learning tricks and playing games. They will often act like clowns to try and make their people laugh and get their attention. If you’re looking for a dog to compete with, they do fantastically well in obedience, agility, flyball, and (of course) water competitions. If you’re considering competition sports, make sure to have your pup checked out by a veterinarian first.Portuguese water dogs are gregarious, outgoing dogs who are happy to make new friends. Sarah Moore, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology), says they can do very well in family households, with the right circumstances.”They are often affectionate and very good with children and other pets, but they’re going to need a fair bit of physical activity and training,” she says. “So you want to be sure you have the time to devote to these things before adding a Portuguese water dog to the family!”Moore says the breed can sometimes be suspicious of new people, but with proper socialization they are happy to let unfamiliar people pet them.Also much like the poodle, the smart Portuguese water dogsEach of Delgado’s four dogs has jobs or sports to keep them busy. Delgado runs with one of them, and her 3-year-old Brinkley likes to wake her up on weekend mornings by retrieving her slipper socks, hopping up on Delgado’s bed, and dangling the socks over her owner’s head.”They’re working dogs,” she says. “They want to work, and they want to please you.”As with any highly intelligent dog, obedience training is going to be imperative for Portuguese water dogs. Not only will it help keep them stimulated, but it will curtail some of their less-desirable traits, like the breed’s tendency to greet people by jumping up, or their notorious reputation as counter surfers.Portuguese water dogs do very well in households with cats and other dogs. They have a low prey drive, making them a good choice for households with other small animals as well. They love playing with children, but they can be a little too rambunctious for very small ones.Portuguese water dogs also excel in therapy or service training, and some undergo training to become service dogs for deaf or hearing-impaired individuals, easily learning to bark when the phone rings or there’s a knock at the door.

Living Needs

Mental and physical stimulation are the two biggest factors for housing a Portuguese water dog. As long as you are taking them out for a run or a game of fetch every day, they can adapt very nicely to apartment living. If you’ve got a house with a big, fenced back yard? Even better. And if you have a pool or lake nearby? Holy mackerel, they’re in heaven.If you’re considering competition sports, make sure to have your pup checked out by a veterinarian first.Because the dogs have a very low prey drive, they’re typically safe to have off a leash or in the front yard with supervision—they’re not likely to dart off after a squirrel. Supplying a variety of toys is a great idea to keep them from being bored. By giving them a choice of toys, and with a little bit of patient positive reinforcement training, you can quickly teach them which things are OK to chew on—and which things aren’t.

Care

Yup, they’re going to be a handful. Here’s a fun Portuguese water dog fact: Their hair never stops growing. Have you seen those pictures of the sheep in Australia who wandered off for seven years and came back looking like a giant cotton ball? That’s going to be your Portuguese water dog if you don’t groom them every six to eight weeks, Delgado says.In addition to the trims, you’re going to be brushing them every other day, to keep that wavy (or curly) hair from matting up and clinging desperately to every twig and leaf it finds.Also, if you let your dog take a dip in a chlorinated pool, a saltwater body, or a lake with algae in it, you’ll want to give them a quick hosing down right after, to make sure their hair doesn’t hold on to smells.

Health

Like other breeds, Portuguese water dogs can suffer from hip dysplasia. To hopefully prevent hip problems, Delgado recommends owners wait to spay or neuter their dogs until they’re 18 months or 2 years old.Some research has suggested spaying or neutering dogs in their first year can precede joint damage and other diseases in some breeds. Spaying and neutering around the six-month mark can spur a growth spurt before a Portuguese water dog‘s growth plates are closed, which can cause joint problems, Delgado says.However, Theresa Entriken, DVM, says Portuguese water dogs have not been among the breeds included in delayed neutering studies. In fact, a study published in 2020 found that most breeds can be neutered “without referral to a particular age.””The bottom line is that there is no easy answer, and pet parents should talk with their veterinarian about the benefits and risks of neutering their pet in relation to orthopedic problems, cancer, or other concerns such as urinary incontinence,” Entriken says.Portuguese water dogs can also have issues with cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy—a recessive gene that causes night blindness and can lead to total blindness. Your vet can conduct a simple DNA test to find out if your dog is a carrier of the gene or not.“We can also check for a dog’s ability to see in various conditions by checking their response to light,” says Michelle Beck, DVM, CCRT, CVA-Veterinarian, with the Backlund Animal Clinic in Omaha, Neb. “Watching their pupils react to light and dark changes. One thing I do with animals is to set up a room with obstacles in various light settings and see how they navigate those obstacles with bright light, then again in progressively lower light settings.”You may also want to have your vet test for Juvenile dilated cardiomyopathy, which is another recessive gene that, while extremely rare, is fatal.New puppy owners should have their vets conduct all the tests and screenings recommended by the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America, the official breed club.

History

The first mention of a dog resembling our modern Portuguese water dog comes from a written account from a monk in 1297, who reported seeing a sailor pulled from the sea by a dog with a “black coat, the hair long and rough, cut to the first rib and with a tail tuft,” according to the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America.For centuries, the dog thrived on the coasts of Portugal and Spain, with (possibly apocryphal) accounts of the Spanish Armada employing the dogs for ship-to-ship communications. Their numbers steadily declined throughout the 19th century as the number of fishermen waned and technology increasingly phased out their jobs, and by the 1930s, the dog was nearly extinct.This tide was reversed in the 1930s by a Portuguese shipping magnate named Vasco Bensaude, who began purposely seeking the dogs out from fishing villages, with an eye towards and re-establishing the breed.In the 1960s, two Americans named Deyanne and Herbert Miller, Jr. brought the dogs to the U.S., the first one a descendent of Bensaude’s kennels. The Portuguese Water Dog Club of America was founded in 1972, and the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1981.

The retriever cut[edit]

TheIn Portuguese, the breed is calledThe Portuguese Water Dog is a fairly rare breed; only 36 Portuguese Water Dogs were entered for Britain’s Crufts competition in 2013.

Vocalisation[edit]

Portuguese Water Dogs have a multi-octave voice. They tend to be quiet dogs although they will warn when the home is approached, and they will communicate their desires vocally and behaviorally to their owner. Their bark is loud and distinctive. They may engage in “expressive panting”, by making a distinct “ha-ha-ha-ha” sound as an invitation to play or to indicate a desire for nearby food. They sometimes whine.The PWD’s biddability, high intelligence, and tendency to vocalise and then seek out its human master when specific alarms occur make it an ideal hearing-ear or deaf-assistance dog. PWDs can be readily trained to bark loudly when a telephone rings, and then to find and alert a hard-of-hearing or deaf master.

Temperament[edit]

Portuguese Water dogs are loving, independent, and intelligent and are easily trained in obedience and agility skills. They are generally friendly to strangers and enjoy being petted.Because they are working dogs, PWDs are generally content in being at their master’s side, awaiting directions, and, if they are trained, they are willing and able to follow complex commands. They learn very quickly, seem to enjoy the training, and have a long memory for the names of objects. These traits and their non-shedding coats mean they excel at the various service dog roles such as hearing dogs (assistance dogs for the deaf), mobility dogs, and seizure response dogs. They also make unusually good therapy dogs.A PWD usually stays in proximity to its owners, both indoors and outdoors. Although very gregarious animals, these dogs will typically bond with one primary or alpha family member. Some speculate that this intense bonding arose in the breed because the dogs were selected to work in proximity to their masters on small fishing boats, unlike other working dogs such as herding dogs and water dogs that range out to perform tasks. In any case, the modern PWD, whether employed on a boat or kept as a pet or a working dog, loves water and attention and prefers to be engaged in activity within sight of a human partner. This is not a breed to be left alone for long periods of time, indoors or out.As water dogs, the PWD’s retrieving instinct is strong, which also gives some dogs tugging and chewing tendencies. A PWD will commonly jump as a greeting. Owners may choose to limit this behavior. Some PWDs may walk, hop, or “dance” on their hind legs when greeting or when excited. Some PWDs will stand upright at kitchen counters and tables, especially if they smell food above them. This habit is known as “counter surfing” and is characteristic of the breed.Because of their intelligence and working drive, they require regular intensive exercise as well as mental challenges. They are gentle and patient—but not “couch potatoes”, and boredom can cause them to become destructive.

In ancient times[edit]

The Portuguese Water Dog and the Poodle appear to have developed from the same ancient genetic pool: At one time the Poodle was a longer-coated dog, as is one variety of the Portuguese Water Dog. PWD breeders say that the current-day Poodle, Kerry Blue Terrier, and Irish Water Spaniel are possible ancestors of the “water dog“.

Modern history[edit]

The PWD was a breed on the verge of extinction when, during the 1930s, Vasco Bensaude, a wealthy Portuguese shipping magnate, began to seek out fishermen’s dogs for use in a breeding program to re-establish the breed. Bensaude’s kennel was named Algarbiorum, and his most famous dog was Leão (1931–1942), a very “type-y” (that is, standard-conformant) fisherman’s stud dog, who was bred to so many different females that about half of the pedigreed Portuguese Water Dogs in existence can trace their lineage back to him. Bensaude was aided by two Portuguese veterinarians, Dr. Francisco Pinto Soares and Dr. Manuel Fernandes Marques. His work was carried on by Conchita Cintron de Castelo Branco, to whom he gave his last 17 PWDs and all his archives.Dr. António Cabral was the founder of the Avalade kennels in Portugal. Ch. Charlie de Avalade (Charlie), a brown-coated dog, and C. B. Baluarte de Avalade (Balu) were two of his many famous PWDs. He registered his first PWD in 1954 after Bensaude had pioneered the re-establishment of the breed in Portugal. Cabral worked with Carla Molinari, Deyanne Miller, Sonja Santos and others to establish PWDs in the US. The “Mark of Cabral” is a triangular shape of different color/textured hair, usually 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) from the base of the tail.Deyanne Miller is the person most responsible for the rise of the PWD in America. In 1972, the Millers, along with 14 others, formed the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America, Inc. (PWDCA).

Genetic diseases[edit]

As with all purebred dogs, PWDs are vulnerable to certain genetic defects. Owing to the limited gene pool for this breed, conscientious breeders carefully study pedigrees and select dogs to minimize the chance of genetic disease and improper coat. As with many other breeds, growing popularity has encouraged breeding by people not knowledgeable about the breed.

Hip dysplasia[edit]

Like poodles, PWDs are vulnerable to hip dysplasia, a congenital and developmental problem with the hip joints.

Cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and distichiasis[edit]

Cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy are two eye diseases found in PWDs. Progressive retinal atrophy, which causes “night blindness”, may lead to complete blindness. This is a simple recessive gene. DNA testing, known as “Optigen Testing”, can identify dogs carrying the gene for progressive retinal atrophy. “Normal” or “A” dogs do not carry the gene. “Carriers” or “B” dogs carry one copy of the gene and willIngrown eyelashes (distichiasis) occur in some curly-coated breeds, but they are not particularly common in PWDs. Ingrown eyelashes will rub the eye causing extensive corneal ulcerations.

GM1 storage disease[edit]

GM1 storage disease, one of a family of conditions called GM1 gangliosidoses, is a recessive, genetic disorder that is inevitably fatal. It is caused by a deficiency of beta-galactosidase, with resulting abnormal storage of acidic lipid materials in cells of the central and peripheral nervous systems, but particularly in the nerve cells. Because PWDs are all rather closely related to one another and share a limited gene pool, PWDs who were GM1 storage disease carriers were able to be genetically identified, and the condition has now been almost entirely eliminated from the breed.

Juvenile dilated cardiomyopathy[edit]

Juvenile dilated cardiomyopathy is a fatal condition caused by an autosomal recessive gene. Affected puppies die suddenly or with very little warning usually between the ages of six weeks to seven months old. The signs and symptoms include a 12- to 48-hour onset of loss of appetite, decreased energy level, vomiting, and difficulty breathing. Some pups have no physical signs or symptoms at all, may just collapse and die, or are found dead by the breeder or new owner. At this time, there is no known cure or treatment but there is a way to prevent producing puppies affected by juvenile dilated cardiomyopathy.Breeders now have a DNA gene-based test, based on a cheek swab or a blood sample, which will determine if a dog is a carrier of the gene for juvenile dilated cardiomyopathy. All breeding animals can be tested to determine their status, thus avoiding the breeding of two carriers.

History

The Portuguese Water Dog hails from, you guessed it, across the pond in Portugal. He hails from the dogs favored by Portuguese fishermen centuries ago. It’s not entirely clear when he first came into existence, but the breed isIn his native lands, he is known as the Cao de Agua, which literally translates to “Fast forward to the 20th century, when fishermen no longer needed their canine companions because their boats were modernized with technology. Meaning the Portie was out of a job. This meant that numbers dwindled to the point ofBensuade set up a breed club and set out the breed standard. The Portie made his way to America in the latter half of the 20th century. TheThe Portie was a relatively rare sight in America until

Temperament

This breed craves human companionship. This personality trait hails from the close bond he formed with his fisherman master. Porties are generally outgoing and love all humans, especially his family. Some tend toDespite craving human companionship, he is relatively independent, too. Rarely do these two traits come paw in paw. Meaning that you can leave him alone for a few hours at a time without having to worry about him becoming too anxious. ThisHe isHis mind is always on the go, so if you want him to be well-behaved, he needs to be entertained throughout the day. As you can imagine, this boat puller loves to tug and pull things, including tablecloths off tables and food from counters. This trait is known as counter surfing, and you should make an effort to teach him this is naughty from a pup. He is also known to stand on his back legs and hop when he gets excited! Overall, he is a

Size & Appearance

Portuguese Water Dogs areIt’s easy to see that he is similar in appearance to the more popular standard-sized Poodle, and he often gets mistaken for them. The telling characteristic is hisHis

Coat & Colors

The breed has a thick and profuse coat of lush hair, his most distinctive feature. It covers his whole body evenly. He has no undercoat, which means heThere areThere are

Exercise Requirements

This breed is very energetic, and loves to play, play, play. So, if you are looking for a couch potato, this guy is not the one for you! He needsWithout intense daily exercise, he will quickly become bored and frustrated. His retrieving nature will bubble to the surface. You’ll notice that he will start to tug at everything,He is very athletic and curious, so like many working dogs, a leisurely stroll around the block every day will not do it for the Portie. His activities need to be fun like he is, with

Living Conditions

The Portuguese Water Dog is an adaptable pooch just as long as his needs are being met. He is a medium-sized dog, soIdeally, his home should haveHe gets along well with most humans of all shapes and sizes, and he will happily slot himself into family life. He isThe Portie also

Training

The Portuguese Water Dog is aLike many working dog breeds, he alsoFor your Portie to transform into the polite pooch that we have described, he needs to be socialized well as a

Health

This breed is relatively healthy, and typically enjoys an average lifespan of 11 to 13 years. As a Portie mom or dad, the responsibility falls on you for him toLike all purebred dogs, the Portie is susceptible to a

Eye Conditions

The Portie is prone to a variety of eye conditions. The most common to look out for is progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Essentially, this is the deterioration of the retina, which eventually causes complete vision loss. Signs of PRA include poor vision and apparent clumsiness. Night blindness is one of the first noticeable signs.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a common health concern in medium-sized dogs and larger. This occurs when the joint develops rapidly or unevenly. Uneven growth means that the joint wears down much quicker as a result of additional wear and tear. Which causes painful mobility and eventually arthritis. Symptoms include struggling to stand, lay, or climb the stairs and general exercise intolerance.

Gangliosidosis

This is sometimes known more simply as GM1. It is a storage disease that leads to problems with the central nervous system. Symptoms such as loss of coordination, lethargy, seizures, and behavior changes need to be acted upon with an immediate vet examination. Unfortunately, affected dogs rarely make it to one year of age. A responsible breeder will conduct a DNA test to identify the gene.

Juvenile Dilated Cardiomyopathy

This is an inherited disease that results in sudden death in puppies aged between five weeks and seven months. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this condition, and it cannot be tested for.

Nutrition

The average Portuguese Water Dog will consume aroundAlways read the kibble packaging, as this will offer you tailored advice for your pup. If your pooch regularly leaves food in the bowl, you are likely feeding him too much.Always feed your Portie

Grooming

The Portuguese Water Dog has a dense, luscious coat that is easier to care for than it looks. He needsBecause the Portie has no undercoat, heThe Portie will needClean his ears once a week to prevent bacterial infections from occurring. Use a doggy-friendly ear-cleaning product or a warm, damp cloth. You’ll need to

Breeders & Puppy Costs

The Portie is aThere are several things to look out for to determine a good quality breeder from a bad one. A responsible breeder will ensure that youA poor quality breeder, or worse, a puppy mill, will pile on the pressure to make a sale. They will lure you in with lower prices too. They’ll refuse for you to meet them at home and suggest meeting somewhere public, such as a parking lot. Their puppies will not have been health tested, and they are likely to be uncared for, unloved, and unsocialized. Please do your part for doggy welfare andCosts related to the Portie do not stop at the initial puppy price. Before committing to any dog, you need to factor in the other initial setup costs, as well as the

Rescues & Shelters

For some families, welcoming a puppy into their life is not the right option. Either because of tighter finances regarding initial puppy pricing or because training a puppy is impossible due to work schedules. But that’s okay! If this is the case, why notWith so many dogs looking for their forever homes, head out to your