Portuguese Water Dog Breed Profile & Facts

The charming and obedient Portuguese Water Dog is a medium-sized dog. It is an ideal companion dog that was specifically developed to help fishermen.

PWD is an intelligent and active dog that requires a serious amount of physical activity to burn its energy. It is an independent dog that still loves to be around its owner and enjoys guardianship. 

They can become ideal family dogs if trained from an early age. Early age exposure to kids and animals will help in developing their social skills. 

So, if you are planning to get a Portuguese Water Dog puppy and wondering about the common breed traits, this article is a quick guide about the PWD.

Below are the breed’s profile and a few fun facts about the Portuguese Water Dog.

Portuguese Water Dog  Breed Profile:

NamePortuguese Water Dog
Other Names- Cau de Agua
- Algarvian Water Dog
- Portuguese Fishing Dog
OriginAlgarva, Portugal
Female Weight35 to 50 lbs
Female Height19 inches
Male Weight42 to 60 lbs
Male Height22 inches
Purpose of breedingFishing aid
Breed SizeMedium
TemperamentFriendly, energetic & playful
Energy LevelHigh
Barking TendencyModerate
Breed GroupWorking
Drool AmountLow
Colors- White
- Black
- Brown
Coat TypeMedium curly
Club Recognition- AKC classification: Working Dog
- UKC classification: Gun Dog
Life span10 to 14 years
Social Attention NeedsHigh
Exercise NeedsUp to 1 hour
Health Issues- PRA(Progressive Retinal Atrophy)
- GM1 storage disease
- Canine hip dysplasia
- Distichiasis
- Addison's disease
Similar Breeds- Logotto Romagnolo
- American Water Spaniel
- English Pointer
- Golden Retriever
Price$1500 - $3000

Quick Facts about Portuguese Waterdog:

Common Features and Traits:

It is a friendly dog that requires a lot of interaction with people so do not leave your dog alone for a long time. PWD has a strong and well-muscled body that is built for work. The pup reaches its physical maturity around 7 to 8 months of age. Mentally, it becomes mature between the ages of one and two years.

It has two varieties of coats – curly and wavy, with no undercoat but both varieties of coats require regular care and grooming. The coat comes in various colors but the most common ones are brown and black.

Frequent brushing and bathing are recommended along with regular combing to prevent matting and tangling of fur. It is a high-maintenance dog and you’d be needing dedicated time to groom it.

Pros & Cons:


  • Smart and friendly
  • An ideal companion for athletes
  • Born Swimmer
  • Ideal for allergy sufferers
  • Ideal therapy & service dog


  • Vigorous exercise needs
  • High grooming
  • Requires fence yard or garden

Excellent Fish Catcher

In the good old days, PWD was used as a fish catcher. With its nature-gifted swimming, it helped the fishermen to herd fish and retrieve broken nets. It also performed duties as a courier guy between fishermen and from ship to seaside. Nowadays, it has become an ideal family dog because of its adaptability and intelligence.

Highly Intelligent

The Portuguese Water Dog is highly intelligent and is always ready to learn new things. It has a strong memory which helps it to remember the names of many objects. However, without significant exercise and mental nourishment, it can show destructive behavior such as chewing. It also loves challenging tasks, so make the training fun. PWD is also a good runner and is quite suitable for agility training.

PWD in the White House 

The 44th US president, Barack Obama also had a Portuguese Water Dog which stayed along with them in the White House. Named “Bo”, it was their first family dog. It spent 8 years in the White House and was later joined by a female PWD “Sunny” in 2013.

Required Experienced Owner

Although it is considered an easy-to-train dog, still, this dog is not recommended for first-time or inexperienced owners. Because it is an energetic dog that needs plenty of hardcore exercise an inexperienced owner may not be able to meet its requirements. 

Bottom Line

They are cute and unique dogs that can make an excellent family dog. Adopting this dog will fill your life with joy as they are affectionate, jolly, playful, and have huge personalities. If you are planning to get this dog, we’d recommend checking with your local shelters first because there are hundreds and thousands of dogs waiting to be adopted by a loving family.