Portuguese Water Dog

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Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog Overview

The Portuguese Water Dog, well, the name says it all! Originally from Portugal, this beautiful dog worked in the water and helped fisherman. They would deliver messages between boats, direct fish into nets, and retrieve objects in the water. It's safe to say, Porties, as they're nicknamed, love swimming! You will still find them splashing in the water these days, but also in the homes of loving families. The Portie is an affectionate and loving breed that makes a great family companion. They are adaptable to many living situations as long as they get enough mental and physical stimulation. Portuguese Water Dogs are best suited in an adventurous family, especially one who lives on the lake, near a beach, or with a swimming pool. Don't get me wrong, swimming isn't their only talent. As quick learners, they can thrive at whatever they're trained to do: agility, obedience, therapy, tracking and retrieving. Whichever it is, this active and athletic breed needs exercise and plenty of it! With enough movement and proper training there's very little a Portie can't do. This curly cutie is an excellent choice for people with allergies or who simply don't like shedding. Perhaps one of their most desirable characteristics is their hypoallergenic coat. Affectionate and loyal, fun-loving and hard working, and down right adorable, the Portuguese Water Dog is the packaged deal!

Did you know?

Obama has two Portuguese Water Dogs named Bo and Sunny. In fact, these pups have many pictures in and around the white house! They’re basically celebrities.

Portuguese Water Dog Stats

  • Kid-Friendly Kid-Friendly

  • Good with other animals Good with other animals

  • Hypoallergenic Hypoallergenic*

  • Easy to train Easy to train

  • Working dog Working dog

Popularity ranking**
17-23 in / 35-60 lbs (M)
Average lifespan
11-13 years
Activity level
Vocal and protective
Barking level
Vocal and protective
Coat length

Caring for your breed

Daily serving

Daily kibble serving

3-5 cups

Daily exercise

Daily exercise

2 hours


Grooming frequency

Brushed regularly

Dog Food

Feeding your Portuguese Water Dog

Porties aren't picky when it comes to their food. In fact, as a natural retriever, they will put just about anything in their mouth. This medium breed does best with high-quality kibble. The recommended daily amount is 2.5 - 3.5 cups a day, divided into two meals. Since Porties are so active, it's important to feed them a balanced diet to give them lots of energy. Look for products that have meat based protein, whole veggies, fruit, and healthy carbs and fats. Treats are an important part of training your dog, but be cautious not too many! Overfeeding your Portie may lead to obesity.


*Contrary to popular belief, there are no 100% hypoallergenic dogs. There are breeds, however, that have non-shedding coats and are suited well to allergy sufferers.
**The breed popularity ranking is based on the most current ranking of the American Kennel Club (AKC)

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