Portuguese Water Dog


Bred to help fishermen, the Portuguese Water Dog is native to Portugal, where its name Cao de Agua means “dog of water.” Exceptional swimmers and divers, the dogs would guard boats, dive for fish, and retrieve broken nets. Although technology has taken over its duties, the Portuguese Water Dog is proving itself as a family companion. This nonallergenic breed is enjoyed by those with allergies; President Obama and the First Family adopted a Portuguese Water Dog in 2009.


Medium; females 17 to 21 inches, 34 to 50 pounds; males 19 to 23 inches, 42 to 60 pounds.


Black, white, various tones of brown, parti-color.


Spirited, gregarious, brave, and water loving. Intelligent and loyal, obedient.

Energy level:


Best owner:

Active owner who wants an affectionate, playful, adventurous canine companion.


Daily mental and physical exercise (with obedience, swimming, and retrieving), regular combing and grooming (clipping or scissoring), inclusion in family activities.

Life expectancy:

10 to 14 years.