Portuguese Water Dogs, or Porties, as they’re affectionately known, have recently become famous as the breed of choice for the Obamas. Bo, the First Dog, was chosen in part because he is as hypoallergenic as they come. These dogs are also a great choice because they are intelligent, affectionate and loving towards people and animals. As the name suggests, Porties love water activities–they even have webbed feet to help them swim.
Male: 42-60 lbs. Female: 35-50 lbs.
Porties are athletic dogs that need a good daily walk or run to satisfy their exercise needs. These dogs love water sports and will be especially happy if there is a pool or a beach nearby where they can swim and play.
While no dog is completely hypoallergenic, these dogs are as close as they come. Porties shed very little, so they are a good choice for people with allergies or people with a fear of flying fur.
Barking and Volume:
It’s not characteristic of these dogs to bark frequently, but they have loud woofs and will make their opinion known if they’re left alone for too long or are not receiving enough mental stimulation. Keep them well-occupied with games and sports to minimize frustrated barking.
Portuguese Water Dogs are very intelligent, obedient and easy to train. Given the chance, they will easily pick up complex commands and they do well with agility and, of course, water-related activities.
Health Factors: The breed is susceptible to hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), juvenile dilated cardiomyopathy and GM-1 Storage Disease (a fatal nerve disease found in some puppies). *A responsible breeder can help minimize the risk of genetic disorders.
Grooming: In addition to regular brushing, you may need to take your Portie to the groomer once a month. This is required for special clips (such as the lion clip, where the muzzle and back half of the coat are shaved).
Training: Porties will respond well to basic training and will happily take on more complex tasks.
For many Porties, it will be enough to brush or comb their curly coats a few times a week to keep it tangle-free. However, some parents like their dog to have one of the special trims often seen with this breed, so a trip to the professionals will be required. Also, since these dogs love to play in water, you should give them a bath when they come out to get rid of any potentially dangerous chemicals.
Affectionate and energetic, these dogs have a stable temperament and play well with children. As with any breed, make sure they’re supervised around small children in case the dog gets overexcited.
Friendliness: Towards Animals
Porties are easy-going dogs that get along well with other animals. As with all breeds, they’ll get along best if introduced from an early age.
Friendliness: Towards People
These dogs are lively, loving and easy to please. They make great family dogs. Porties may take some time to get used to strangers, but it’s not in their temperament to be aggressive.
BE PREPARED FOR: An intelligent, fun-loving family dog that often comes with a high initial price tag.