Portuguese Water Dog Information
Some believe that the breed traces as far back as 700 BC to the wild Central-Asian steppes, near the Chinese-Russian border. The early people who lived there raised cattle, sheep, camels, or horses. They also raised dogs to herd the animals.
One theory is that some of the dogs were captured by the fierce Berbers. The Berbers spread slowly across the face of North Africa to Morocco. Their descendants, the Moors, arrived in Portugal in the 8th century, bringing the water dogs with them.
Another theory is that some of the dogs left the Asian Steppes with the Goths, a confederation of German tribes.
These theories explain how the Poodle and the Portuguese Water Dog may have developed from the same gene pool. At one time the Poodle was a longer-coated dog, as is one variety of the Portuguese Water Dog.
In 1958 a couple in the United States received a pair of Portuguese Water Dogs from England as part of a trade for rare breeds.
In 1972 there were only twelve Portuguese Water Dogs known in the United States and by 1982 the number jumped to over 650. In 1984 they were accepted into the American Kennel Club.
Needless to say, they love water. They will not think twice about jumping in a mud puddle, lake, stream or even a kiddie pool. These dogs are great for those who love the outdoors and want to be active with their pet.
When they're puppies, they can be quite a handful if not properly trained. They love to race around and play and cannot resist jumping in a pond or lake. Water bowls can also be fun for them to play with too.
They do very well with children and other pets, however when they're young they may accidentally knock down small children and elderly people just in casual play. They're very friendly and seem to welcome friendly strangers easily.
If considering a Portuguese Water Dog, you may want to consider the fact that many can be very dirty dogs- they don't mind rolling in mud puddles, and mulch, leaves and other yard debris can cling to their coat and be tracked into your house.
Males should be 20-23 inches tall and weigh 42-60 pounds. Females should be 17-21 inches tall and weigh 35-50 pounds. Their colors can be black, white, various tones of brown. Their coats need combing and brushing regularly to keep them tangle free and get out any leaves, twigs or other items that may have gotten in the coat.
Health concerns with the breed include addisons disease, renal dysplasia and Hip Dysplasia.
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