Breed: Portuguese Water Dog
Country of Origin: Portugal
Color: Black, White, Black & White, Brown, Brown & White
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
Height: Female: 43-52 cm, Male: 50-57 cm
Weight: Female: 16-23 kg, Male: 19-27 kg
Litter Size: 4-9 puppies
The Portuguese Water Dog, as the name suggests, is native to Portugal. In its native land it is called the Cao de Agua, which means "dog of water." It was developed from working dogs in the Iberian Peninsula. Excellent swimmers, the dogs worked alongside Portuguese fisherman for hundreds of years doing numerous jobs.
They were so valuable they were considered part of the crew.
The lion trim had a specific purpose. The fishermen would shave the rear and muzzle to aid in swimming and working in the water. Long hair was left to help keep vital organs warmer and protect the dog from injury on the main body, neck and head.
The dogs worked herding and catching fish, retrieving broken nets or anything that fell into the water, carrying messages from one ship to the other or from ship to shore and even guarded the boats in foreign ports. The dogs were so popular even non-commercial fishermen could rent one for their fishing trips.
The Portuguese Water Dog is a medium-sized, muscular dog.
The topline is straight and level. The broad, domed head is slightly longer then the muzzle. The muzzle has a well-defined stop. The black nose is broad.
The teeth meet in a scissors or level bite. The medium-sized, round eyes are dark. The heart-shaped ears are set high and hanging. The tail is not docked to aid in swimming, is thicker at the base and tapering. Dewclaws are sometimes removed.
The legs are straight. The feet are webbed which aids the dog in swimming. The single-layered coat is thick and is either curly or wavy in texture. Coat colors come in black, white, various shades of brown, parti-colors of white with dark spots, black or brown with white markings, silver fox and gray.
Temperament: Docile, Intelligent, Obedient, Quarrelsome, Impetuous, Brave
Health Problems: Some lines are prone to hip dysplasia and PRA. Prone to GM-1 Storage Disease, a fatal nerve disease. Those dogs used for breeding should be tested. It appears when the puppy is about 6 months old.
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