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Portugese Water Dog



General Appearance

A dog of medium proportions, bracoïd tending to rectilinear to slight convex. Harmonious in shape, balanced, strong and well muscled. Considerable development of the muscles due to constant swimming.


Height at withers Males 50 – 57 cm. Ideal height 54 cm. Females 43 – 52 cm. Ideal height 46 cm.
Weight Males 19 – 25 kg. Females 16 – 22 kg


The whole body is abundantly covered with strong hair, with no undercoat. There are two varieties one long and wavy and the other shorter and curly. The first is slightly shiny and woolly; the latter is dense, lustreless and forms compact cylindrical curls. Except for the underarms and groin the coat is even all over the skin. On the head it forms a topknot of wavy hair in the long and wavy variety and of curly hair in the curly variety. The hair in the ears is longer in the long and wavy variety.

The coat is black or brown of various shades, or solid white. In black or brown coats, white is accepted in the following locations muzzle, topknot, neck, forechest, belly, tip of tail and lower extremities of the limbs, below the elbows and hocks. The white coat must not be albino, consequently the nose, eyelids and inside of the mouth should be pigmented in black, and brown in brown dogs. In this breed partial clipping of the coat, when it is too long, is typical. The hindquarters, the muzzle and part of the tail are clipped, leaving a plume of full length hair at the tip of the tail.

Behaviour & Temperment

Exceptionally intelligent, it understands and obeys easily and happily any order given by its owner. An animal with impetuous disposition, wilful, courageous, sober and resistant to fatigue. It has a severe, penetrating and attentive expression, as well as remarkable visual and scent faculties. An excellent and resistant swimmer and diver, it is the inseparable companion of the fisherman for whom it performs a multitude of tasks, both in fishing and in guarding and protecting its boat and property. While fishing, it will willingly jump to sea to retrieve escaped fish, diving if necessary and likewise if a net breaks or a cable becomes loose. It is also used as a liaison between boats and shore or vice-versa, even at great distances.

Important Proportions

Of almost square shape, with the length of body approximately equal to height at the withers. The ratio of the height at the withers to the depth of the chest is 21; the ratio of length of skull to muzzle is 43.

Breed Movement

Easy movement with short steps at walk; light cadenced trot and energetic gallop.