Portuguese Water Dog

Originally from Portugal, the Portuguese Water dog was trained to help herd fish into the fishermen’s nets. They were also used to communicate between ships, carrying notes. Also known as Cao de agua or cao de agua Portugues.

Stats:Weight: 35-60 pounds (16-27kg)
Height: 17 to 23 inches (43-58cm)
Color: brown, white, or black and white
Coat: curly or wavy
Life span: 10-14 years

This is a fairly rare breed, but are gaining in popularity due to their personality and non-shedding qualities.


The Portuguese Water dog is closely related to the Standard Poodle but has a long undocked feathery tail. They are highly intelligent, have curly coats, and do not shed.

They are smaller than the Standard Poodle. They have webbed toes for swimming, and a loud bark. Coat colors include: brown, white, or black and white.


Very intelligent and excellent companions. They are easily trained for obedience or obstacle courses. Does not like to be left alone for long periods of time. Strong retrieving instinct.


Because of small gene pool they are prone to genetic defects. Cataracts, progressive retinal atropy, GM1 storage disease, and juvenile dilated cardio-myopathy.


Needs to be groomed on a regular basis. Shed very little, so good for people with allergies. A few dogs have an ‘improper coat.’ This means the dog lacks an undercoat. The dog is otherwise healthy, but should not be bred.

Class: : ACK working

Overall: Not for the couch potato. Dogs like attention and exercise.

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Portuguese Water Dog