The Portuguese Water Dog (or PWD) gets its name from its original use as a fisherman’s friend. Portuguese Water Dogs help catch fish by swimming between fishing boats with the net ropes and trapping the fish in the nets. They have also been known to dive overboard to catch fish that fall from the nets when being pulled on board. Although they still love getting wet, PWD’s are much more common now as a fun-loving family companion. In recent years this breed has experienced a huge increase in popularity, largely due to U.S. President Barack Obama adopting one for his family to serve as the First Dog of the U.S. This prestige, along with its affectionate nature and strong-willed temperament, suggests that the popularity of the Portuguese Water Dog will remain strong for some time yet.
Lifestyle and Living Environment
An energetic breed, Portuguese Water Dogs love running almost as much as they love to swim. They make great jogging companions, and so are ideal for puppy-seekers that share this mutual interest. These dogs are small enough to live comfortably in an apartment, however it is of paramount importance that their exercise needs of between 30 to 60 minutes per day are met, as if not they may become bored and often destructive. Although sometimes timid when meeting new people, Portuguese Water Dogs do very well with young children, and so families need not be deterred. These dogs are also considered hypoallergenic due to their lack of shedding, and so are particularly suitable for people that are prone to allergies.
Common Health Issues
Portuguese Water Dogs are prone to: Elbow Dysplasia, Hip Dysplasia, Juvenile Dilated Cardiomyopathy, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Storage Disease (GM1), Addison’s Disease and Hemangio Sarcoma.