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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Portuguese Water Dog

Group: Utility (Group 6)
Club: Utility Dog Club Of Victoria Inc (Group 6)
Contact: Arthur Fry
Phone: 9740 8788

Brief History

The Portuguese Water Dog originated in Portugal, where they were used on the fishing boats. Their job was to help the fishermen pull in nets, herd fish into nets, retrieve gear and take messages from boat to boat. Their job became redundant in modern times with the advent of new technology.

Average Life Span

When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime.

The average life span is 12 to 15 years.


This is a loyal, fun loving, strong willed and energetic breed.

General Breed Description

The Portuguese Water Dog should be a strong, muscular and hardy dog with a rectangular outline. He is very intelligent and very energetic. He is a fisherman’s dog and has great swimming skills. His tail, with a plume on the end, should be held curved over the back when attentive. The dog comes in 2 coat types, wavy or curly, both of which are non-shedding. The colours are black, brown, white, black with white and brown with white.

Coat and Care Requirements

The Portuguese Water Dog should be groomed weekly, bathed monthly, and pet trim clipped every 3 to 4 months.


Height: Males: 50 to 57cms (19.5 to 22.5ins), Females 43 to 52cms (17 to 20.5ins).

Weight: Males 19 to 25kgs, Females 16 to 22kgs.


All breeds have individual health issues. When speaking to breeders it is recommended you enquire about the breed’s health and what health testing the breeder does. The Portuguese Water Dog is generally a healthy breed, however health conditions do occur occasionally. These may include Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Hip dysplasia (HD), Microphthalmia (eye disease), Juvenile Dilated Cardio Myopathy (JDCM) and Gangliosidosis (GM1).


The Portuguese Water Dog is suitable for most people, but must be trained to be obedient. He is very intelligent and will test the limits at times!

In Conclusion

Now you know a little more about this breed. If you have decided this is the dog for you and wish to investigate further, please contact the Breed Club or Dogs Victoria. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog events where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs. With any breed of dog, it is important to research and determine suitability for your lifestyle before committing to a puppy which will be a part of your family for many years to come.

Whilst many breeds are recommended for families, it is imperative that when children are with dogs they are supervised at all times. Basic obedience training is a vital part of dog ownership.

Dogs Victoria is about the responsible ownership of all dogs and in particular the preservation of pure breeds.

Link to ANKC Breed Standard:

Registered Breeders