The Portuguese Water Dog is a lively, fun-loving dog who is gaining popularity because of his non-shedding coat. At one time the Portuguese Water Dog was critically important to the fishermen of Portugal, but he almost became extinct when modern commercial fishing methods made this intelligent dog's job obsolete.
Originating in Asia, when the Portugese Water Dog's ancestors were brought into Europe it was believed they developed into various dogs: In Germany, they became the Poodle; in Ireland, they became the Irish Water Spaniel. In Portugal, they were put to work in the water to herd fish into nets, and became the Portuguese Water Dog. The hardworking, seaworthy history of Portuguese Water Dogs shows up in the breed of today. The dog is adaptable to any living situation--city or country--as long as he gets enough exercise. He is loaded with energy and doesn't tire easily. He is highly trainable, and water, of course, is his favorite place to play.
Excerpts from the Standard
General Appearance:A spirited, robust swimmer and diver; loyal and alert.
Size, Proportion, and Substance: Height--males, 20 to 23 inches at the withers; females, 17 to 21 inches. Weight--males, 42 to 60 pounds; females, 35 to 50 pounds.
The Portuguese Water Dog has a thick, even coat, with no undercoat. It can be either curly or wavy. It does not shed, but it does require care. Two clips are standard. The Retriever Clip gives a natural appearance. The coat is clipped overall to a length of one inch. A plume of long hair is left at the end of the tail. In the Lion Clip, the middle and hindquarters of the dog, as well as his muzzle, are clipped short while his front half (except the face) and tail tip are left a full, shaggy length. Either clip is acceptable in the show ring. The coat comes in black, white, brown, or white with black nose, mouth, and eyelids.
Excerpted from The Complete Dog Book For Kids © 1996, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.