Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog


The Portuguese Water Dog (PWD) is a rare European breed who is loved worldwide. These friendly dogs are incredibly smart and hard-working. They would make a great addition to any active family.

Lifetime Care

Breed Profile


17 – 22



35 – 60


Life Span

10 – 14




Hip Dysplasia 

of dogs

What is it? 

The abnormal growth of a dog's hip joint that can cause arthritis or leg lameness.  

% of Portuguese Water Dogs affected 


Clinical signs 

Symptoms include limping, leg lameness, and a reluctance to move or exercise.  


Treatment can range from proper diet and exercise to medication and surgery. 

Eligible vet bill


Reimbursement Rate

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan could cover*


Your Net payment


Click For Price

*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been satisfied and the annual coverage limit has not yet been met. Annual deductible, co-insurance, benefit and coverage limits, and exclusions may apply. Eligibility may vary. Visit https://www.spotpetinsurance.ca/sample-policy for full terms. For Canada enrollments only, reimbursement rate is based on the pet's age.



The Portuguese Water dog is a very smart breed.  


These loyal pups are known to be very affectionate. 


Thanks to their hard-working nature, these dogs are capable of thinking and acting for themselves. 

Lifetime Care


Their coat is curly or wavy. 


Portuguese Water Dog colors include black, brown, black and white, brown and white, and very rarely, pure white. 




Frequent brushing helps to keep the PWD coat from mats.  


Thanks to their high intelligence, these dogs are very easy to train. 

Portuguese Water Dog Breed Information

The Portuguese Water Dog is a European breed loved around the world. Although they look very similar to their poodle relatives, there are a few key differences. Their curly coat is a bit wavier, and they have a larger, more robust body structure. They also sport webbed toes that help them greatly in their swimming endeavors.  

 These dogs are extremely intelligent and love to please their owners. This means that they can be highly trained even in complex tasks and the process is a breeze. They’re also very loving. The Portuguese Water Dog is very affectionate, especially with their owner and special people in their family. Yet, they can be very independent. This is, in large part, due to their high intelligence.  

Portuguese Water Dog: Introduction to the Breed

Introducing any new pet to your home and bringing them into your family is a huge decision. While your life will change in many ways, keep in mind that the dog’s entire world will alter as they integrate into their new life with your family. This is why it’s so important to research the breed and reflect on your family and lifestyle. Think about what attributes you’d like in a furry companion, and which you know you’d rather live without. Explore a few things to know about the PWD before buying one.  

Portuguese Water Dogs are generally: 

  • Friendly

  • Loyal

  • Attached

No need to worry about inviting guests over to your home with this breed around. The Portuguese Water Dog is generally very friendly to strangers. Although this doesn’t make them a good guard dog, you can rest easy knowing these crowd pleasers won’t show aggressive behavior to friends or neighbors.  

This breed is known for its fierce loyalty, often to one specific family member. Although they do hold enough love to go around, they will see one person as their true master. Before bringing the dog home, determine who will be responsible for the bulk of training and teaching. Even if it’s extra work, you will be rewarded with a lifetime of love. 

Thanks to their loyalty, these dogs form strong attachments. This is why it’s important to spend a lot of time with the Portuguese Water Dog. These pups shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time either inside or outside. It can lead to undesirable behavior.  

What are the Origins of the Portuguese Water Dog?

 The Portuguese Water dog is a breed that originates from the Algarve region of Portugal. It’s clear they are related to the Poodle through their curly coat and affinity for water. The PWD was originally used as a working dog to help fishermen.  

 The breed was almost extinct when, in the year 1930, a wealthy Portuguese shipping magnate by the name of Vasco Bensaude stepped in. He began a breeding program for the dogs and today half of the Portuguese Water Dog population has lineage that can be traced back to him. The breed remains rare but strong today.  

 They still work hard and thanks to their high intelligence can be trained for highly complex tasks. Many PWDs work as therapy dogs. 

What are the Risks for the Portuguese Water Dog?

The Portuguese Water Dog is a generally healthy breed. However, as with any purebred dog, inbreeding has led to genetic problems. The main issue these dogs struggle with is Hip Dysplasia. This is a painful disease where the dog's hip joint grows abnormally. It can cause leg lameness or arthritis. Thankfully, it can be treated with weight management, medication, and surgery. Here are some other illnesses to look out for in your PWG. 

 Other Portuguese Water Dog health problems may include: 

  • Cataracts.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy.

  • Distichiasis.

  • GM1 Storage Disease.

  • Juvenile Dilated Cardiomyopathy.

 Thankfully, many other Portuguese Water Dog illnesses can be avoided with the proper care. Brushing, exercising, proper diet, and routine medical visits can all play a role in helping keep your pup fit and strong.

 At Spot Pet Insurance, our mission is to help give your beloved dog the long, happy, and healthy life they deserve.


  • www.ortocanis.com

  • Wikipedia