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Portuguese Water Dog Breed Info

Black Portuguese Water Dog with white chest

The Portuguese Water Dog is a fun-loving, energetic, and adventure-oriented pup. Brave, loyal, playful, and highly affectionate, the Portuguese Water dogs make a wonderful addition to any family looking for a lovable companion pet.

These fluffy pups enjoy going to the beach for a swim, hiking through mountain trails, playing with fellow fur-babies at the dog park, and participating in all family activities. They are great at dog sports, very loving of their pet parents, and fantastic with children of all ages. The Portuguese Water Dogs are also highly intelligent, easy to train, and eager-to-please. A very rare and highly sought-after breed, the Portuguese Water Dog is one of dogdom’s crown jewels.

BREED TYPE / MIX Purebred ENERGY Moderate SHEDDING Minimum TRAINING Responsive TEMPERAMENT Sweet, Loyal, Joyful, Outgoing ADULT WEIGHT 30-60 lbs ADULT HEIGHT 15-20 in LIFE SPAN 12-14 yrs


  • The Portuguese Water Dog is also known as Portie, PWD, and Cao de Agua (dog of water) according to the breed club
  • Hypoallergenic with minimal to no shedding, the Portuguese Water Dog is an excellent fit for allergy sufferers
  • The Portuguese Water Dog is comfortable in both hot and cold weather
  • Brilliant, attentive, and obedient, the Portuguese Water Dog can be trained as a guide dog, assistance dog, and therapy dog
  • The Portie is a highly adaptable breed. They are quick to adapt to apartments as well as large homes
  • Easy to train, to groom, and a sweet joy to have around, the Portuguese Water Dog can fit wonderfully with families, singles, couples, active seniors, and first-time pet owners
  • Calm, playful, and non-aggressive, the Portie is magnificent with children
  • The Portuguese Water Dog (PWD) is a high energy, fun, adventurous, and a wonderful travel companion
  • Sociable, outgoing, and approachable, The Portuguese Water Dog gets along great with other dogs, household pets, and strangers  
  • The Portuguese Water Dog is brave, alert, and a very efficient alarm dog 
Black and white Portuguese Water Dog running


The Portuguese Water Dog (PWD) is a medium-sized, robust, and strong dog. With a muscular yet friendly appearance, a proud demeanor, and a joyful disposition, the Portie appears playful, confident, and athletic. These adorable-looking dogs have waterproof coats, webbed paws, dark eyes, and long tails. Their coats are non-shedding and hypoallergenic. They can be curly coated or wavy, and they generally come in combinations of white, black, and brown, with various patterns and markings. Black and white PWD colors are the most common.

Many Portuguese Water Dog owners prefer their lovely dogs in either a Lion Clip or a Retriever Clip – both equally famous clips for Porties. A full-grown Portuguese Water Dog stands at 15 to 20 or 23 inches tall and weighs between 25 to 50 pounds for a female PWD and 30 to 60 pounds for a male. 


The Portuguese Water Dog is one of the sweetest and most loyal and fun companion pets around. Although they are energetic and playful, these dogs love to be around their humans and be involved in every family activity from lazing and cuddling on the couch to swimming endless nautical miles. Porties love outdoor adventures. They are very fond of hiking, boating, trekking, jogging, and visiting new places.  

Children and Porties make wonderful playmates. They share in their love for mischief, adventures, and fun. These dogs can be exceptional babysitters and comical entertainers for children of all ages as they are outgoing, playful, and cheerful.

Portuguese Water Dog puppies are sweet, funny, and a bit wild. They love to test boundaries, chew, and play until their batteries run out. These puppies are lovable, easy to train, affectionate, and very clever. They like to impress with their fast-learning skills, eagerness to please, and brilliant obedience.

Training these intelligent dogs can be a joy. For more insights on training dogs effectively, check out our blog Easiest Dogs to Train - Top 5 Pups for Effortless Training 


Portuguese Water Dog vs Mini Portidoodle Comparison

The Portuguese Water Dog and the Mini Portidoodle are two very rare and highly sought-after breeds. These two wonderful breeds are known for their brilliant minds, affectionate nature, and fun personalities. If you find yourself wanting to choose between the Portuguese Water Dog and the Mini Portidoodle, read on to learn about what qualities they share and some of their differences. 

A puppy’s love is a pure thing and, here at Premier Pups,...

More Comparisons to Similar Breeds

Hypoallergenic Puppies

Allergies to dogs are a common thing around the world. As of 2021, it’s been reported that up to 20% of the world’s population suffers from pet-related allergies. Allergies to animals, especially to dogs, are triggered when the proteins that are found in the dog’s skin cells, saliva, and urine, are carried and spread through the shedding fur. Loving dogs is easy but living with them when they shed their dander-filled fur isn’t – not when you have allergies.


More Portuguese Water Dog Insights



The Portuguese Water Dogs are low maintenance when it comes to grooming. They need a quick brush or comb every 2 or 3 days, and an occasional bath to keep their coats soft and gorgeous. Their ears should be cleaned regularly, and their nails clipped once or twice every month. Because they are sometimes prone to dental issues, it is beneficial to brush their teeth a few times every week and supply them with plenty of dental chews.  

Grooming is essential for maintaining the health and appearance of your Portuguese Water Dog. For tips on how often you should bathe your dog, read our guide on How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog

Exercise Needs

The Portuguese Water Dog is an energetic and active dog that needs plenty of exercise. Since these dogs love to romp around freely, swim, dive, and run, it is recommended to take them out for exercise a few times every day. 30 to 60 minutes of walks combined with canine games or sports are ideal for the Portuguese Water Dog. They enjoy long walks, jogs, and games that stimulate their minds and keep their bodies active.  

Wondering when it's safe for your puppy to go outside and play? Check out our guide on When Can Puppies Go Outside


The Portuguese Water Dog is prone to very few health problems, most of which are minor. These dogs may experience health issues such as CHD - canine hip dysplasia, Addison’s disease, juvenile dilated cardiomyopathy, and certain eye problems. A more serious problem that may arise in the breed is progressive retinal atrophy.  


Portuguese Water Dogs have an average life span of 12 to 14 years. Routine vet checkups, a balanced diet, and plenty of exercise can increase the Portie’s life expectancy.  


Porties are very smart dogs who train easily. Famously known to pick up quickly on basic tricks and commands, these brilliant dogs crave a real challenge. They love to be mentally stimulated and will always look for new things to learn and hopefully impress with. The Portuguese Water Dogs respond best to positive reinforcement methods as well as fun, interactive, and complex training sessions. Because they are very intelligent dogs, Porties tend to get bored easily and lose interest when they are not challenged, so it is important to have new lessons prepared for when that happens.  

Although they thrive and are happiest near their owners, Portuguese Water Dogs are independent in nature and can be left alone for up to 8 hours each day as long as they have plenty of interactive dog toys around to keep them busy.  


A breed many centuries old, the Portuguese Water Dog originates from the Algarve region of Portugal. These resilient dogs were the shipmates of Portuguese fishermen who sailed from the Coast of Portugal to Iceland in search of Cod. Proving to be hardy, tireless, and exceptional swimmers, the Portuguese Water Dogs were trained to chase and lure fish into nets, pass along messages between fishing boats, and retrieve fallen fishing equipment from the water. By all accounts, the Portuguese Water Dogs were just as much fisher dogs as their fishermen counterparts. With their waterproof coats and webbed paws, the remarkable Porties could dive comfortably in the warm waters of the Portugal Coast as well as in the icy cold waters of Iceland.  

When fishing vessels and equipment became modernized, the Portuguese Water Dogs retired from their long years of fishing and moved on to build their career in sporting competitions, show rings, and service work. A breed of remarkable intelligence and true working dogs, the Portuguese Water dog impressed with great learning skills once again and soon found favor among high society families as well as common folk. A most adored companion pet in Europe and the United States, the Portie is one of the rarest and most sought-after breeds today.

In 1972 the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America was founded in their name, and in 1984 they became a recognized breed with the American Kennel Club.

The Portuguese Water Dog is also a parent of the doodle breed Mini Portidoodle. This amazing doodle is a mix between a Poodle and the Portuguese Water Dog. Mini Portidoodle puppies inherit the PWD’s excellent personality and temperament. 

The Portuguese Water Dog has a rich history. To understand more about dogs and their behaviors, explore our article on Why Do Dogs Eat Grass? Understanding Canine Behavior