Portuguese Water Dog

Other names

Portugiesischer Wasserhund

Life expectancy

14 years

Age adult

22 months

Height (Shoulder height)

52 cm


21 kg

Coat texture

long hair, wavy or half long ruffled

Coat color

black, brown, white, each with or without white markings

Common illnesses

GM1 gangliosidosis

Food expenses per month in €

about € 48

Suitable for children

Rather yes

Needs a garden

Rather not

Hunting motivated / needs alternative employment

Rather not

First dog suitable

Rather yes

Allergy friendly

Rather yes


Very atletic


Needs much attention

Care and grooming

High grooming effort

Eager to learn



Needs a lot of exercise


headstrong / vivacious / robust / happy / alert / loves water

Bred for

assistant in water (catch fish, cast out and take in of fishnets; diving and retreiving objects), save shipwrecked people, work or hunt in water

Common illnesses

GM1 gangliosidosis

Dog type according to FCI

retrievers - flushing dogs - water dogs

FCI description

Retrieval dogs are to find shot game and bring it to the hunter. They are mainly used for duck or small game hunting. This is where their love of water comes from. They have a "soft mouth" in order not to damage the delicate prey with their teeth. Since they always want to please their humans, are usually compatible, social and balanced, they are popular companion dogs. Nevertheless it must not be forgotten that they want to live out their needs as hunting dogs, i.e. they have to be intellectually and athletically challenged. Today they are also often trained as rescue dogs, and their fine nose and love for people help them to do so.

Flushing dogs look independently (without visual contact to the hunter) for the track in thicket and unclear terrain for tall game or small game. If the game is found, the hunt-dog is track-laut, scare it up and drives it through its gebell to the hunter. They are agile, independent, tend to bark and have a certain obstinacy. However, when they are engaged in a species-appropriate way, with a lot of exercise and nose work, they are patient and friendly dogs.

Water dogs work hunting in the water, fishing, catching fishing nets or helping shipwrecked people. They are alert, adaptable, agile and seek spiritual challenges.

You should give dogs in this group the opportunity to use their sense of smell and their urge to move and partly to hunt.

Short description

The Portuguese Water Dog helped fishermen fishing, fetched objects out of the water, helped bringing fishnets into the boat and was considered being the fishermen’s best friend on high sea. Nowadays, he rather is a family dog or working dog. He is demanding of attention and human contact, and responses well to obedience training. His dense coat requires regular and extensive grooming.

This information is indicative and adheres to the breed standard. Each animal is an individual and has a personal character, as well as its own needs. Thus, a breed is not a guarantee of certain behaviors, etc.