The Breed

The Portuguese Water Dog (PWD) is a strong, robust, medium sized, agile dog with the stamina and endurance to do a full days work. The PWD has a coat of non-shedding hair that continues to grow as human hair does. It has no undercoat and the coat can be curly or wavy. The colors are black or brown with or without white marking. The breed is a loyal, affectionate, energetic, and intelligent family companion and watchdog and it thrives on and demands human attention. The life expectancy of the average PWD is 12 to 15 years. They tend to mature slowly and remain active well into their senior years. Basic obedience training must start from the moment you bring your puppy home. Daily doses of exercise are a must or the PWD will provide its own exuberant exercise indoors and out. Rare is a PWD that does not like to be in the water. The PWD is not successful as a kennel dog. It is a people oriented dog and requires prolonged daily human interaction for proper personality development. The PWD has a unique sense of humor and its owner needs a sense of humor as well.

The PWD breed developed many centuries ago as a seafaring working dog that pre-dates the Poodle. Fishermen kept these dogs as a working part of their crew and paid them wages just as human crewmates were paid. The PWD would carry notes from boat to boat, guard the boats, dive down to pick up a tool, retrieve broken nets, etc. Modern technology caused the near extinction of this breed. The breed came to the US in the late 1960s. In the early 1970s, there were only 25 known PWDs in the world. As a result of a small number of dedicated breeders, by 1981 there were 500 dogs in the US. The PWDs are now involved in therapy, confirmation, water work, field trials, agility, and obedience work. Some have become number one in the nation in their selected field. We continue to strive to achieve all that we can for the Portuguese Water Dog.

Fisherman Bay PWDs -
Website and Graphic Design by Isaac Berg (Summer 2011)