The Portuguese Water Dog was originally bred to help fishermen with their daily work, and as such the breed loves the water. These unique dogs also love to run, and they need a wide area in which to exercise and play. It is important that these dogs get plenty of regular exercise, whether walking with their owners or running in a fenced yard or dog park.
The Portuguese Water Dog is a fairly large breed, standing between 16 and 22 inches at the shoulder and weighing in at between 35 and 55 pounds. The breed does share some of the health problems associated with larger dogs, including a tendency toward hip dysplasia and inherited eye conditions. It is important for dog owners to discuss these special needs and health concerns with their animal’s veterinarian.
The coat of the Portuguese Water Dog has evolved to help the animal cope with long periods in the water, and as a result the coat is profuse and heavy, and the hair can be either wavy or curly. This thick and lush coat should be brushed on a regular basis to prevent the formation of mats and other problems and it is important for owners to be aware of these special grooming needs.