One breeder describes PWDs as contagious. They have something to offer to all. But wait, the PWD has a complex personality. It is shaggy, playful and loves its people; however, it is not a mild breed. As a true working dog it is a dog of intelligence, fiery, self-willed and brave and the standard describes them as an alert guard loyal to those that look after them. Its owners have to be equally self-willed and young at heart. PWDs are loyal to their owners, they can be clownish manipulators, pranksters, and always constant companions. They employ a vast vocal range to express their desires and a distinctive bark to alert you of possible intruders - a legacy of their working heritage guarding their master fisherman’s boat or standing on its bow and barking to alert others of its position. As puppies, the PWD is mouthy, active, curious and constantly shadowing its owner. And did I say they BARK to alert you of visitors and usually anything out of the ordinary?
New owners are always asked about their daily lifestyle. If you work away from home you will need to have someone visit your PWD daily when you are away. Crate training will also be discussed and encouraged; these strong willed puppies need structure and lots of attention and care. TagAlong's new owner contract states and requests that puppies attend a puppy classes and basic obedience. In addition puppies require socialization and exposure to people, places and noises so be prepared to devote special attention to your new puppy.
Excelling in popular performance activities, this strong working dog stands from 20 to 23 inches for males and 17 to 21 inches for females (weight: males, 42 to 60 pounds, and females, 35 to 50 pounds). They are top performers in the show ring, agility and all levels of obedience; as well as, rally, tracking, PWDCA sanctioned water work and freestyle. Owners need to maintain variety in their training routines. Challenging activities, training and direction are a must to positively channel the working drive of the PWD.
The PWD may have a curly or wavy, non-shedding coat. Frequent grooming, clipping or scissoring is necessary to maintain its attractive coat, free of mats. So please get ready to comb and brush your dog and learn to groom or expect to spend time and money taking your PWD to the groomer monthly. You will observe two clips on the PWD, the retriever clip and the lion clip. Coat colors vary from black, white and various tones of brown; also combinations of black or brown with white (Irish and parti coats). Often those new to the breed become interested in the Portuguese Water Dog because of its so called non shedding and non allergenic qualities. However, this is not the primary reason to select a Portuguese Water Dog.
Owners come from a variety of lifestyles, but all must train and lavish the PWD with plenty of attention. Because this is a mouthy breed busy families with young children who are not experienced dog trainers may not be the best homes. Breeders conduct in-depth interviews to select homes that have the time, energy and patience to mentor their mouthy, adorable puppy to maturity and a lifetime of precious memories.