Portuguese Water Dog - breed description


In the Middle Ages, an interesting dog appeared in Portugal. Accurate information about the occurrence of this breed has not been preserved, but there is an opinion that it was in the fifth and seventh centuries. Much later, the Portuguese water dog became known in Europe. Some experts associate her appearance on the continent with the Visigoths, others with African Moors.

Initially, the Portuguese water dog was used by fishermen, whom she helped set up and pull nets. Also swimming these animals delivered important messages from one vessel to another. Sometimes they even hunt rabbits.

Today, these beautiful companion dogs often "serve" as guards. Hunters still appreciate their ability to get game from the water.

Portuguese water dog (photo attached) - an unusually strong animal. This breed is characterized by selfless devotion to its owner. It has a large dome-shaped head, a wide chest with convex ribs, arrested (artificially) tail with a tassel at the end. The height of the animal is from forty-three to fifty-seven centimeters, weight - from sixteen to twenty-five kilograms. The most common color is black, although there are black-and-white, brown-white, brown and white specimens. Usually, the hair on the hind legs and croup is cut, and on the chest and front legs it is left as it is. It is very thick, wavy and long.

The photos of the Portuguese water dog presented in this article perfectly demonstrate its appearance. These animals need increased physical exertion, so the owners of these dogs are not bored. They love active games that require physical strength. They are recommended to take on the hunt and in difficult long hikes.

The Portuguese water dog is easy to train. Thanks to their natural intelligence, endurance and strength, these animals are indispensable when fishing or hunting.

The Portuguese water dog is very intelligent, loyal to the owner, extremely alert, which makes it a good guard. She needs constant communication with people, so she can not live in an aviary. This dog diligently protects the territory of the owners and all members of "their" family, and the animal gets along well with children, but it has problems with dogs. Representatives of this breed should not start people who have other pets.

Portuguese water dogs practically do not shed, so they can live even in the house of allergies. They are very active both in the house and on the street. They need a fairly spacious and fenced yard.

How your pet grows depends on you. A puppy devoid of attention can grow into a stubborn and passive dog. And remember: the more aggressive you behave with an animal, the more aggressive it will be in the future, although this quality of this breed is unusual.

Nowadays, representatives of this remarkable breed are not met very often, but gradually the situation changes. Around the world, including in Russia, new nurseries are opening.

The origin of the breed

The first mentions of the dog of this breed were among the Persian chroniclers, while the dog served as a guard, helped the peasants in everyday life, often used to feed cattle. But the name of the breed suggests that the dog has received wide distribution in Portugal. There the animal got along with the Persian navigators. Port cities quickly appreciated the advantages of this dog breed. Despite the animal's long coat, the dog moves perfectly in the water, and the special sebum makes the coat water-repellent. This allows the dog not to get wet and move well in the water element. Dogs in the 16th century began to be used for professional fishing - the animal was able to drive shoals of fish into the net. High speed, high intelligence and sharp movements allowed the Portuguese dog to catch even the fastest and brisk fish. That is why the second name of the dog is water.

Later, the animal began to be used as messengers between the courts and the coast - the dog perfectly understood the task and brought intact all the messages. With the development of modern communication and industrialization, dogs began to die out, the millionaire Vasco Bensuade, who owned a huge number of military and industrial ships, played a large role in their preservation. He organized clubs and kennels for the Portuguese water dog, thanks to which the breed became known to the whole world, it was recognized by the International canine organizations. Today, the most famous representative of the breed can be called a dog named Bo, whose owner is Barack Obama. Surprisingly, modern Bo does not know how to swim, unfortunately.

Characteristics of the Portuguese water dog

Water Portuguese is an excellent dog for active and cheerful people who often choose the nature and prefer physical activities - hiking, running, swimming, descending a fast river, hunting, fishing, etc. If you decide to have a dog of this breed, be prepared for the fact that you have to regularly take out the dog on the nature or on a wide area to run and fool around with your pet. In closed enclosures or apartments, the dog gradually goes out, loses interest in food, may even get sick. Remember that physical activity is one of the main conditions for the full development of the animal.

This is a very smart dog that constantly inspects nearby territory, is able to independently assess the situation and intervene in the events taking place if necessary. The Portuguese has a very developed sense of smell, which even the bloodhound can envy. This makes the pet indispensable during the hunt. The dog is able to track down and catch even the fastest beast. Dogs of this breed have a very developed sense of loyalty to the owner, the dog will do everything to make the person happy. At the same time, the high intelligence of the animal often exceeds the capabilities of the person, this should be taken into account. The master of the water portuguese must be smart, strong physically and morally. If you do not have time to train, this breed of dog is not for you. If you do not direct the energy of the animal into a peaceful course, the dog may begin to tamper, spoil property, shit out of spite, not execute commands, etc.

We can say that the dog combines two amazing and contradictory qualities - dedication and at the same time independence. If the dog clearly knows the owner and respects him, she will do anything for the person, will carry out any commands and errands. If a person gives up weakness and shows a dog disrespect in the form of physical punishment or indifference, the Portuguese can become uncontrollable and even aggressive. If you love a dog and take care of it, it will become a true friend and companion.

Waterman Portuguese gets on well with children - he loves to spend time with them, the mischief and mobility of the dog makes it an indispensable friend for any child. Portuguese water dog gets on well with other pets - respects and does not offend them. Surprisingly, it was this breed of dogs that was chosen by doctors for the rehabilitation of people who suffered psychological trauma, loss of loved ones, etc. The dog feels the mood of a person, is able to support and pity him. If you are prone to stress and depression, by all means get yourself such a pet - it will save you from bad thoughts.

Water content of the Portuguese and the care of the dog

The maintenance of the Portuguese usually does not bring any additional troubles, the puppy from an early age quickly understands where to go to the toilet, perfectly mastered the territory entrusted to him. It is much better to keep a dog in a private house outside. If the pet lives in the apartment, it needs to be walked much longer and more often than other breeds. It is imperative from an early age (from two months) that the dog should be taught to society — to bring the dog to people and other animals so that the pet can safely go through the process of adaptation. Ideally, it will be educated dogs who do not bark for no reason and carry out the commands of the owner. The puppy will understand how to behave. Professional training and regular classes should be introduced into the daily routine from the age of six months - at this time puppies already understand a lot. It is necessary to train not only physical skills, but also creative abilities, to develop intellectual potential.

The animal's hair is long enough, so it should be periodically combed out, preferably at least 2-3 times a week, this will protect the pet from the formation of tangles and debris. In addition, regular combing provides a beautiful appearance of wool. To brush the dog should be a special brush for curly wool. Very often, the wool is knocked off into the mats in the winter, when the dog gladly runs through the snowdrifts. To avoid this, you should wear a light canvas overalls on the dog. It should not be warm - own wool warms the dog. But often you should not bathe a dog - wool has water-repellent properties, once every 2-3 months will be quite enough.

Some people especially appreciate the watery Portuguese for the fact that the dog has no unpleasant smell, which is very important for clean owners. Do not forget about the name of the dog breed - if there is a reservoir nearby, be sure to give your dog the opportunity to swim in it. In the water, the Portuguese dog feels great - swims well, splashes energy well, plays and plays pranks. Remember that after such a walk you need to wet the animal's hair with a towel. Parasites can live in still water, which means that it is necessary to carry out anthelmintic prophylaxis in a timely manner. Regularly inspect the animal's hair for ticks, mosquitoes and fleas. The area around the eyes should be cleaned with a clean cloth, if necessary, the long hair around the eyes is cut so that it does not interfere with the dog.

The Portuguese water dog is not just a pet. This is a faithful guard, reliable friend and companion, an indispensable partner in hunting and fishing. In order for a dog to grow up intelligent, well-mannered and benevolent, a lot of time and energy should be spent on his education. The first 2-3 years you give the dog to adapt it in society and teach the necessary skills. A competent approach will make the dog a true friend who will support and help in any situation!

History of origin

She was found throughout the length of the coast of Persia and helped the fishermen in their fishing. The dogs were driving the catch to the net, looking for scraps of gear, and also delivering letters from the ship to the ship or to the shore. The ancient Romans so called her - a fisherman dog.

The first mention of the ancestors of Portuguese water belongs to about 600 BC. Due to the isolated location in the territory of modern Portugal, the breed has been preserved in almost the same form as it was described by ancient sources. The only exception is wool.

However, in the 20th century, the fishing profession began to fade, and with it the breed population. So the Portuguese water was on the verge of extinction. Spas her businessman Vasco Bensuarde, who loved the breed. He became the founder of the first breed club.

In Russia, the Portuguese water dog is considered quite rare

Description of the breed Portuguese water

The standard was approved in 1930, since then representatives of the breed began to take part in exhibitions and conquer European nations. She came to the USA in 1958.

One of them is the former US President Barack Obama.

External differences breed carefully spelled out in the standard:

  • body is powerful, compact,
  • medium sized head with a broad skull and a prominent forehead,
  • muzzle tapers to base
  • jaws strong with scissor bite,
  • the eyes are medium in size, round, set slightly slanting,
  • eye color - brown or black,
  • ears are tightly pressed to the head, hang,
  • the back is wide, straight,
  • chest wide, belly taut,
  • paws are strong, straight, parallel to each other,
  • there are developed membranes between the toes on the front paws,
  • the tail is strong and wide at the base, it coordinates movements when swimming and hunting, in working condition it is tucked into a ring,
  • the coat is long and thick, without undercoat. Hair has elegant curls. It assumes 2 historically developed decorative haircuts: in the shape of a mane of a lion - the rear surface of the body and the muzzle are cut, a uniform hairstyle throughout the whole body.

Acceptable colors - various shades of beige, brown, black. There may be small marks in other colors.

Beige color Black color Brown color

The growth of dogs - 45-57 cm at the withers, weight - 16-25 kg.

The average life expectancy is 14-16 years.

Rules of maintenance and care

Keeping the breed in an apartment is possible, but you need to understand that the area of ​​housing should allow you to comfortably accommodate both the owners and the pet. The ideal option, of course, would be a country house with a territory where the pet can release energy. However, he cannot live on the street all year round. Despite the seemingly dense coat, the undercoat of this breed is not, in the cold, the dog can easily freeze. She also endures intense heat.

You need to walk with your dog 2-3 times a day for at least half an hour. Games and physical activities are welcome.

The main difficulty in the care of the Portuguese watermarks lies in the properties of their wool. Any of the selected haircuts require special care. Need to comb out every 2-3 days, not allowing the formation of mats.

Drummed wool must be carefully unraveled, if it is impossible to make a koltun cut out.

Its content is suitable for people with allergic reactions to wool.

It is necessary to wash wool with shampoos as seldom as possible. Preferably no more than once every 3-4 months. Portuguese hair has waterproof properties, and frequent bathing can disrupt the hair structure.

The rest of the care of these dogs is not very difficult:

  • ears and teeth are cleaned as necessary (the dog must be taught these procedures from early childhood),
  • eyes are examined and rubbed with cleaning lotion 1-2 times a week,
  • if necessary, hygienic haircuts are made,
  • claws usually grind themselves, if not - they need to be cut once a month.

In the diet of Portuguese water unpretentious. You can feed them with dry mixes or natural food. The only requirement is that the diet should be balanced.

Overeating is extremely undesirable for them!

Wool is long, structured, it requires regular, but easy care.

Low-fat meat should be at least one third of all food, added to it cereals, vegetables, herbs and some fruit.

Fried, flour, smoked and any remnants from the table are prohibited in feeding animals.

Animal character

These are great companion dogs.

They are playful and active. If you do not direct the energy in the right direction, home appliances can suffer.

Working instincts are well developed. Breed swims well and can drive the victim during the hunt.

They are very loyal. Most often, they choose one host among the whole family and prefer it to his teams.

When socialized from an early age, they are friendly to strangers and get along well with other pets.

For families with children, this breed is just a godsend. They will patiently and carefully play with them!

Portuguese water training

Training for Portuguese teams is easy, this breed is very clever.

The Portuguese are quite active and inquisitive, so they are positive about learning.

However, their stubborn nature sometimes slows down the learning process. Classes are recommended to start as early as possible. Amateur dog owners are recommended to take a course under the supervision of a professional instructor who will tell you how to behave during pet's stubborn periods.

In general, dogs need a soft, but constant monitoring. Otherwise, most often both the pet and the owner most often enjoy the training.

Dog health

Portuguese water dogs are in quite good health and belong to long-livers, but there are several ailments to which they are prone:

  • diseases of the nervous system
  • joint problems.

Vaccination of these dogs is required! Comprehensive vaccinations against distemper, enteritis, parainfluenza and other diseases are made starting from 2 months of age and further according to the prescribed scheme of the attending physician.

How much is a puppy

Worldwide, there are only about 2,000 representatives of this breed. Finding a good quality puppy is not an easy task. Apply for them should be exclusively in the nurseries. According to the ad with the hands are sold most often mestizos or puppies similar to the breed.

The initial price is 30 000 rubles. Show-class puppies from titled parents will cost 60,000 rubles and above.

In Russia there are no nurseries breeding this breed. За щенками нужно отправляться в Европу.

Щенок португальской собаки стоит довольно дорого

Breeding characteristics

При желании повязать собаку за помощью придется обращаться в питомник, иначе найти пару своему питомцу будет невозможно.

Portuguese water dogs are good-natured companion dogs. These are ideal pets for families with children and people leading a very active lifestyle. Home breeds and busy people, this breed will not work. You also need to consider that you need to spend quite a lot of time walking and caring for the future pet.

Breed origin

Already by the name of the breed, it can be understood that its representatives are from Portugal. As early as the 16th century, local hunters and fishermen used dogs with a compact build and water-repellent coat as helpers for fishing. The dogs were trusted by the fish in the net, they also pursued the game and did the work of the messengers between the courts and the land.

On the Iberian Peninsula, these dogs were due to navigators from Persia. In those days, it was mostly peasant livestock farmers who lived here, and dogs became excellent guards, shepherds, assistants in various economic matters.

To this day, the breed has been preserved not without the help of the ship magnate, Dr. Vasco Bensuade, who imbued with her representatives and decided to create a club of rare breeds. This allowed not only to increase the number of dogs and fans of the breed, the Portuguese water dog received the right to participate in European exhibitions.

Breed description

The constitution of representatives of this breed depends largely on how active they are, and what they eat. An ideal water dog from Portugal should move a lot, swim, it will allow it to have developed muscles, strong bones and not an ounce of excess fat.

These dogs have a square format, they have a strong back, muscular body, hidden by a fluffy coat. Growth dogs varies from 50 to 57 cm, weight - from 19 to 25 kg, females are more compact, their growth is 43-52 cm, weighing from 16 to 22 kg.

In accordance with the standard, pedigree representatives are as follows:

  1. Head rather wide, proportional in size to the body, has clear outlines, a well-marked nape, mighty cheekbones and well developed superciliary arches. Well-marked transition from the frontal to the nasal part, there is a separation groove.
  2. Noticeable narrowing of the muzzle from the base to the nose. Lips do not droop, tightly pressed to the teeth, pigmented with the same color as the nose. The teeth are large, especially the fangs are large, but they are hidden by the lips and do not protrude. Create the correct bite on the type of "scissors".
  3. Nose large, mobile, wide nostrils, distinguished by high sensitivity. The color of the nose is directly dependent on the color of the coat, most often the lobe is black, less often - brown.
  4. Eyes large, round, expressive, with pigmented dry eyelids, which completely covers the conjunctiva. The shade of the iris varies from almost black to brown, without light areas.
  5. Auricles wide at the base, large, located above the eye line. In shape, they resemble a leaf of a tree, their tips have a smooth rounding.
  6. Format torso Portuguese water dogs are square, that is, the length of the body is almost equal to their height. In females moderate elongation of the body is allowed.
  7. The neck is long, there are no folds on it, a suspension, it is characterized by strong muscles. Thorax moderately wide, spacious. The ribs are spring, well curved, which provides a large volume of light.
  8. The back is even and short, with a slight withers, the loins are so short that they almost blend in with the croup, they have a slight bulge.
  9. The inguinal line is matched, there is an undermining, which is invisible under the coat.
  10. Front limbswhen viewed from the front, they are straight, when viewed from the side, they have a slight inclination, and are equipped with developed muscles. The shoulder is well developed, the forearms are voluminous, the wrists are long, they are flexible, the pasterns are inclined.
  11. The thighs are covered with relief muscles, they are wide, elongated, with large knees and hocks. The hands have an oval shape and large fingers.
  12. Tail has an average length, is located at an average height, not thick, elegant. When the dog is calm, the tail is in a free or slightly raised state. During excitation rises above the back line and twists into a half ring.

Wool coat and colors

The entire body of the "Portuguese" is covered with a thick, dense, thick coat of hair, in the area of ​​the forelimbs, chest and groin line of the guard hairs slightly thinner. Dogs do not have undercoat, mane or fur collar.

There are two types of individuals: some have curly wool that curls into curls. For others, it is wavy, shiny, falling down. The standard allows both types of coat, all others are related to marriage.

As for colors, there are several:

  • pure black coat,
  • white wool with brown spots,
  • the main tone is black or brown, the complementary tone is white,
  • white - allowed if the dog is not an albino.

Portuguese Water Dog Character

The primary purpose of these pets is to help a person in hard work in every way, which could not but affect their character. They were required to be able to quickly adapt in any conditions and fully obey the owner.

"Portuguese" have high endurance, poise, patience and observation. They can cover large areas with a glance, and even sniffer dogs can envy their keen sense of smell. Such a pet can carefully monitor everything that happens around and intervene if the situation requires it.

The dogs of this breed have a sharp mind, according to their intellect they are compared to German and Scottish shepherd dogs, to which they are not inferior. But this quality can turn against the owners, if they do not have enough time to train and educate their four-legged friend. Not being able to realize their abilities, the dog will send them in a different direction - it can mess, show obstinacy, disobey.

The character of the pet combines two opposite qualities: independence and the greatest dedication. Being rather capricious, the dog can be obedient and childish.

The pet is very friendly to family members, not averse to chat with guests, who often visit the host and the household. He always wants to please the owner, and his obstinate temper, with the right approach to learning, turns out to be nothing more than mischief.

But the owner should not forget that his pet is a serious dog, with whom he should not lisp, he demands respect and attitude to himself, like other family members. There are several main features that the future owners of the Portuguese water dog should be known in advance:

  • pet tend to choose among family members of the same owner,
  • representatives of this breed are very contacty, they get along well with other pets,
  • A puppy of this breed can be brought to a family with children, the pet also gets along well with older people.

The Portuguese water dog is called a real anti-depressant, it is recommended to start such a four-way friend to people who are prone to depressive moods. In Europe, dogs of this breed are actively used in rehabilitation centers for psychological support of patients.


The “Portuguese” are quite active and inquisitive, therefore they are positive about learning. But if they do not like something, they will definitely show their character. Therefore, experts recommend starting to educate and train a pet as soon as possible.

Do not think that a small puppy is not able to assimilate the team. In fact, a set of basic commands dog can run since 2 months. And thanks to early socialization, the pet will quickly understand how to behave “in society”. To do this, it must be brought to crowded places, given the opportunity to communicate with people and other animals.

It is desirable that the puppy could communicate with their own kind, well-educated individuals, ideally, if they belong to the same breed. Of course, being not yet burdened with good manners, the kid can get “slapped” by older brothers, but do not worry - he will remember this lesson for a long time.

If profile training is supposed, then it is best to entrust it to an experienced instructor. But if the owner has some knowledge and skills, then he can independently train his four-legged friend.

Serious training is recommended to start with six months, by this age, the "Portuguese" is very smart, assiduous and understanding. Monotonous, simple tasks seem to him boring and too easy.

It is not necessary to facilitate the task of the pet during training, it is important that the dog himself thought, showed ingenuity and ingenuity. It is important to select a complex of creative tasks that would train not only the physical condition, but also the intellect, as well as reinforce the innate instincts.

Care and maintenance

If you choose the ideal conditions for the maintenance of the "Portuguese", then it should be a private house with the possibility of samovygul on the local area and mandatory morning and evening promenades with the owner.

Owners who decide to have such a pet in an apartment should be taken into account - they will have to walk with their pet more often and longer than with representatives of other breeds. Puppies "Portuguese" are very intelligent, they quickly learn to do "business" on a cloth or diaper.

The coat of these dogs is long, structured, it requires regular, but simple care. It is enough to purchase a special brush, suitable for curls, and regularly comb your pet. Such procedures will provide a beautiful appearance of the coat, protect it from the formation of tangles and clean it from debris and dirt.

An additional advantage of dogs of this breed is that they do not have a specific smell. In winter, with long walks, wool can stray into dense, snowy lumps, therefore it is recommended to dress the dog in overalls. Wool "Portuguese", like other water rocks, repels water and dirt, so it does not need frequent washing. It is enough to bathe the dog with the use of detergents once every 5-6 months.

Most dogs of this breed adore water and do not miss the opportunity to swim in the nearby pond. If it is hot, then after the water procedure, the animal should always be blotted with a towel. It is worth remembering that many parasites live in fresh water, so do not forget about regular preventive deworming.

Hair around the eyes deserves special attention, it is recommended to wipe it daily. Every day, you should clean the ears of the animal, using a cotton pad dipped in boiled water or a special tool. The teeth of the "Portuguese" are strong, large, but need regular preventive examinations. If the dog enamel quickly covered with bloom, then it must be removed using a brush.

We should not forget about the treatment of a pet from external parasitic insects - ticks, fleas, even mosquitoes are carriers of dangerous infections, which these representatives carry more heavily than other dog. In the summer, it is recommended to wear a pet insecticide collar.

Dog owners have a choice - to feed a pet with natural food or to choose a suitable production diet. The dog will be healthy and cheerful, and his fur will shine, if he is given high-quality feed - premium or super-premium. Usually they contain all the necessary components, and their composition is as balanced as possible. Additionally, to introduce vitamin-mineral complexes with such nutrition is not required.

If the owner prefers natural feeding, then you have to take care of yourself, so that the four-legged friend gets the necessary amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates. Usually in this case the dog needs an additional source of vitamins. Choose a suitable complex will help a veterinarian.

Portuguese water dogs are not lazy, they can spend a lot of energy. So, their diet should contain a large amount of protein. In winter, the dogs kept on the street, it is necessary to increase the portion of food.

Buying a puppy and breed value

In Russia, dogs of this breed are very rare, so you have to look for experienced breeders or nurseries, which, in fact, very few. You may have to reserve your baby and wait for some time.

There is little information about the breed, so the fraudsters are not asleep, presenting various curly mestizos for purebred "Portuguese." Buying a puppy without documents, a person risks acquiring an ordinary mongrel. Yes, she is likely to be an excellent member of the family, regardless of the breed, but the surprise will not be a pleasant one.

A Portuguese dog puppy is quite expensive, future owners will have to pay from 70,000 to 200,000 rubles.

The Portuguese water dog attracts lovers of rare breeds, and as a result, literally wins their hearts. Such a pet will be an excellent companion, friend and even a family member.