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Buy Portuguese Water Dog: Your Ultimate Guide

Portuguese Water Dogs, affectionately known as “Porties,” are an ancient and versatile breed with a fascinating history. Originating from the Portuguese region of the Algarve, these dogs were bred to assist fishermen in retrieving nets and rescuing drowning sailors.

How to Buy Portuguese Water Dog

how to buy Portuguese Water Dog
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The Portuguese Water Dog is an affectionate, adventurous, and athletic breed. Known for their love of water and webbed feet, Portuguese fishermen originally used these dogs to retrieve lost equipment and herd fish into nets. They are known for their high energy levels, good temperament with children, and their adaptability to different living conditions.

When considering buying a Portuguese Water Dog, here are some steps to follow:

  1. Research the Breed: Understand the breed’s characteristics, temperament, and needs. Portuguese Water Dogs are energetic, require regular exercise, and are happiest when they are with their families.
  2. Find a Reputable Breeder: Look for breeders who prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs. The Portuguese Water Dog Club of America provides a list of breeders and additional information about the breed.
  3. Consider the Costs: The average cost of a Portuguese Water Dog puppy can range from $2,500 to $5,000. Additionally, consider the ongoing costs of food, grooming, and veterinary care.
  4. Meet the Puppies: Visit the breeder to meet the puppies and their parents. This can give you an idea of the puppy’s potential size, temperament, and health.
  5. Health Checks: Ensure that the breeder has conducted necessary health checks. Portuguese Water Dogs can be prone to certain genetic conditions, so it’s important to have proof of health clearances.
  6. Prepare Your Home: Before bringing your puppy home, make sure your home is puppy-proofed and you have all the necessary supplies including food, a collar and leash, toys, and a comfortable bed.

Owning a dog is a long-term commitment and requires time, effort, and resources. Make sure you are fully prepared to provide a loving and caring home for your new Portuguese Water Dog.

Characteristics and Temperament of Portuguese Water Dog

buy Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dogs are easily recognizable by their curly or wavy coats, webbed feet, and robust build. They are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and adventurous spirit, making them excellent companions for active individuals and families.

The Portuguese Water Dog, often referred to as “Portie,” is a breed known for its spirited, friendly, and intelligent temperament. They are renowned for their loyalty and strong bond with their human companions.

Physical Characteristics: Portuguese Water Dogs are medium-sized, durable, athletic, and agile. They have a single-layered coat that does not shed, making them hypoallergenic. Their coat can be wavy or tightly curled and come in colors like black, black and white, and brown. They are also known for their webbed feet and muscular hindquarters, which make them excellent swimmers.

Temperament: Portuguese Water Dogs are active and well-suited to many dog sports. They are intelligent, trainable, loyal, and good with children and other pets. They have a friendly, excitable personality and enjoy being close to their owners. They also get along very well with kids and other pets, and they’re always eager to play. However, they do have an independent streak, but with proper amounts of exercise and training, they can be well-behaved dogs who strive to please.

Exercise Needs: Portuguese Water Dogs are active dogs and need regular exercise, such as hiking, swimming, or playing fetch. They thrive on vigorous exercise and athletic activities. A bored Portuguese Water Dog can pick up destructive habits.

Training Portuguese Water Dogs are intelligent and can be trained to do tricks. They pick up training and obedience skills quickly, which makes them great family pets. Consistent leadership is a must for this strong-minded breed with an independent streak.

The Portuguese Water Dog is a lively and robust breed, known for its high energy and affectionate nature. They make excellent family pets for active households.

Why People Choose to Buy Portuguese Water Dogs

Buying a Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dogs are increasingly becoming a popular choice for many dog lovers.  Their hypoallergenic coat makes them suitable for allergy sufferers, and their friendly nature makes them great family pets. Additionally, their history as working dogs means they thrive when given tasks to perform.

Here are some reasons why people choose to buy Portuguese Water Dogs:

  1. Great with Kids: Portuguese Water Dogs are known for their good-natured love of play and are usually very tolerant towards roughhousing, making them a great choice for families with children.
  2. Very Trainable: These dogs are eager to please and are smart enough to learn many different commands and tricks quickly. They perform well in obedience and agility trials.
  3. Low Shedding: Just like a poodle, the Portuguese Water Dog has a soft, curly coat that doesn’t shed much. This makes it a great choice if you have allergies or simply dislike shed fur.
  4. Great for Active Owners: Portuguese Water Dogs are great for hiking, running, swimming, and all sorts of other activities. They love to go along on adventures of all types, so if you are outdoorsy and active, a Portuguese Water Dog might be perfect.
  5. Super Smart: Portuguese Water Dogs are some of the most intelligent dogs, which means that they are fast learners and can easily figure out things that might leave other dogs scratching their heads.
  6. Good-natured and Even-tempered: These traits make Portuguese Water Dogs a big plus when it comes to children. They adjust quickly to their new home and family, so they will immediately accept your kids.
  7. Extremely Loyal: Portuguese Water Dogs are known for their loyalty and will become your children’s instant watchdog and protector.
  8. Loves to Play: They can keep up with active kids easily and are always happy to cuddle.

Portuguese Water Dogs are great family pets and do well with other pets and children, as long as you take the time to train them properly. Their unique combination of intelligence, energy, and affection makes them a popular choice for many families.

Considerations Before Buying a Portuguese Water Dog

Before bringing home a Portuguese Water Dog, it’s essential to consider factors such as space, time, and lifestyle. These dogs require regular exercise, mental stimulation, and socialization to thrive.

Portuguese Water Dogs are wonderful pets, but like any breed, they may not be suitable for everyone. Here are some factors to consider before bringing a Portuguese Water Dog into your home:

  1. Intelligence and Trainability: Portuguese Water Dogs are highly intelligent and trainable. However, their intelligence means they require mental stimulation and may become destructive if bored.
  2. Allergies: While no dog breed is 100% hypoallergenic, Portuguese Water Dogs shed less than other breeds, making them a good choice for allergy sufferers. However, they can still trigger allergies with dander and saliva.
  3. Friendliness: Portuguese Water Dogs are friendly and usually warm up quickly to strangers. However, they can be wary of people they don’t know.
  4. Energy Levels: These dogs are high-energy and require plenty of exercise. If you’re not an active person or don’t have the time to provide them with the exercise they need, this breed may not be the best fit for you.
  5. Cost: Portuguese Water Dogs can be quite expensive. Make sure you’re prepared for the financial commitment of not only buying the dog but also ongoing costs like food, grooming, and veterinary care.
  6. Grooming: Their curly coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting. If you’re not prepared to invest time and money into maintaining their coat, this might not be the breed for you.
  7. Socialization: Early socialization is important for their development. They need to be exposed to a variety of people, places, and experiences when they’re young to grow into well-rounded dogs.

While Portuguese Water Dogs make great pets, it’s important to consider these factors to ensure they’re the right fit for your lifestyle. 

Finding a Reputable Breeder

When purchasing a Portuguese Water Dog, it’s crucial to find a reputable breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs. Research breeders carefully, ask for references, and visit their facilities if possible.

When looking for a reputable breeder of Portuguese Water Dogs, it’s important to do your research and be patient. Here are some steps to guide you:

  1. Identify Responsible Breeders: Look for breeders who are serious and dedicated, often referred to as “hobby breeders”. They breed dogs for the enjoyment and pride that comes from producing high-quality, happy, healthy puppies.
  2. Check Credentials: Ensure the breeder is a member of their national breed club, such as the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America (PWDCA). Membership in such organizations often indicates a commitment to the breed’s health and welfare.
  3. Health Checks: Reputable breeders should be open about the health of their dogs. The PWDCA has developed a Health and Litter Log (HLL) for full disclosure of all significant health issues.
  4. Visit the Breeder: If possible, visit the breeder’s facility. The environment should be clean and the dogs should appear healthy and well-cared for.
  5. Ask Questions: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. A good breeder will be happy to answer any queries about the breed, their breeding practices, and the specific puppy you’re interested in.
  6. Breeders Should Ask You Questions Too: Reputable breeders are genuinely interested in finding quality homes for their puppies. They should ask you about your lifestyle, why you want a Portuguese Water Dog, and how you plan to care for the puppy.
  7. Look for AKC-Registered Parents: The American Kennel Club (AKC) maintains a list of Portuguese Water Dog puppies and breeders. All dogs listed here are from AKC-registered parents.
  8. Check Other Verified Sources: Websites like Wuuff also list approved and verified Portuguese Water Dog kennels.

Finding a reputable breeder may take time, but it’s worth the effort to ensure you’re bringing a healthy and well-bred Portuguese Water Dog into your home.

Cost of Owning a Portuguese Water Dog

Cost of Owning a Portuguese Water Dog
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Owning a Portuguese Water Dog comes with various expenses, including initial purchase price, veterinary care, grooming, and supplies. It’s essential to budget accordingly to provide the best care for your furry friend. Owning a Portuguese Water Dog is a significant financial commitment. Here’s a breakdown of the costs you can expect:

  1. Initial Purchase Price: A Portuguese Water Dog puppy is likely to cost between $1,500-$2,890, with the average price being $2,200. The price can go as high as $3,400 for purebred dogs.
  2. Adoption Costs: If you’re considering adoption, you might find an adult Portuguese Water Dog for adoption through a rescue organization, typically costing between $200-$800.
  3. Initial Setup and Supplies: You are required to spend on initial supplies after purchasing or adopting your new Portuguese Water Dog. The cost of getting your dog set up in their new home will vary depending on your location, veterinarian, and the supplies you select, ranging from $740-$1,625.
  4. Monthly Costs: The monthly cost of owning a Portuguese Water Dog depends on location, lifestyle, and the dog’s specific needs. You can expect to spend approximately $100 to $200 monthly on their expenses. This includes high-quality dog food, treats, regular vet check-ups, vaccinations, grooming, and insurance.
  5. Annual Costs: The annual expense of owning a Portuguese Water Dog, after the first year, comes to almost $1,900. This does not include special costs like dog walking, travel/boarding, pet insurance, etc.
  6. Lifetime Costs: The lifetime expense of owning a Portuguese Water Dog (having a lifespan of 10-12 years) is estimated to be around $22,355. If you include additional services like pet insurance, dog walking, and boarding, the total cost of ownership could rise between $62,555 and $124,515.

These costs are estimates and the actual costs can vary based on various factors, including location, the specific needs of your dog, and the choices you make as a pet owner.

Training and Socialization

Portuguese Water Dogs are intelligent and eager to please, but they can also be independent and stubborn at times. Consistent training and socialization from an early age are essential to ensure they grow into well-behaved and confident adults.

Grooming Needs of Portuguese Water Dogs

The curly or wavy coat of a Portuguese Water Dog requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. Regular brushing, occasional baths, and professional grooming will keep their coat looking their best.

Here are some essential grooming tips for Portuguese Water Dogs:

  1. Understanding the Coat: Portuguese Water Dogs can have two types of coats – one with compact curls and the other with fur that’s more wavy. Understanding the type of coat your dog has is the first step in grooming.
  2. Brushing: Regular brushing is crucial to prevent matting. It’s recommended to brush these dogs at least once a week, although some sources suggest brushing 4-5 times per week.
  3. Bathing: Bathing should be done every month or two with dog shampoo. This helps keep the dog feeling fresh and smelling great.
  4. Trimming: Trimming is necessary to keep the coat at a manageable length. It should be done every six to eight weeks.
  5. Haircuts: There are various types of haircuts for a Portuguese Water Dog. The most popular ones are the retriever trim and the lion clip. The retriever trim keeps the entire body the same length, while the lion clip leaves the muzzle and rear end extremely short.
  6. Dental Care: Regular dental care is also a part of grooming. Brushing the dog’s teeth as frequently as possible is recommended to reduce plaque and prevent serious dental issues.

Regular grooming not only helps keep your Portuguese Water Dog looking its best, but it also contributes to its overall health and well-being.

Health Considerations

While Portuguese Water Dogs are generally healthy dogs, they can be prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and juvenile dilated cardiomyopathy. Regular veterinary check-ups and a healthy diet can help prevent and manage these conditions.

Common Misconceptions about Portuguese Water Dogs

Despite their many positive qualities, there are some misconceptions about Portuguese Water Dogs. One common myth is that they are aggressive, which is untrue. With proper training and socialization, they are friendly and outgoing dogs.

Famous Portuguese Water Dogs

Some well-known Portuguese Water Dogs include Bo and Sunny, who belonged to the Obama family during their time in the White House. These dogs helped raise awareness about the breed and showcased their intelligence and charm to the world.


Portuguese Water Dogs are a unique and versatile breed that brings joy and companionship to countless families around the world. By understanding their needs and providing them with love and care, you can enjoy a rewarding relationship with your Portie for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Are Portuguese Water Dogs good for families?

    Yes, Portuguese Water Dogs are excellent family pets known for their friendly and affectionate nature.

  2. Do Portuguese Water Dogs shed a lot?

    No, Portuguese Water Dogs have a hypoallergenic coat that sheds minimally, making them suitable for allergy sufferers.

  3. How much exercise do Portuguese Water Dogs need daily?

    Portuguese Water Dogs are energetic dogs that require at least an hour of exercise each day, including walks, playtime, and swimming.

  4. Are Portuguese Water Dogs easy to train?

    While they are intelligent and eager to please, Portuguese Water Dogs can be independent and stubborn, requiring consistent training and positive reinforcement.

  5. What is the average lifespan of a Portuguese Water Dog?

    The average lifespan of a Portuguese Water Dog is around 10 to 14 years with proper care and attention.

Sources and References
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About the author


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