Someone give it to me straight, tell me about portuguese water dogs.

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

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Pain Doesn't- Train
Barked: Sat Apr 7, '12 6:13pm PST 
PWDs need a ton of exercise and training to keep both their minds and bodies active. They are also very bouncy dogs, and don't think twice about jumping up on small children and the elderly. They are not easy dogs to train, either. They can be very stubbon and also very sensitive. By the look of that coat, I'm assuming you know just how much grooming these dogs need! They need a ton of it and daily. It is a myth that Portuguese Water Dogs don't shed and are allergy-friendly. In fact, they shed quite a bit and are not a good dog for people with allergies. They are also prone to hip dysplasia, eye diseases, heart diseases, skin problems, and immune-related disorders. They are not a healthy breed by any stretch of the immagintation.

Barked: Sat Apr 7, '12 7:30pm PST 
Incorrect on allergies and shedding Tod. They are single-coated, like poodles which means they are less likely to aggravate allergies. They have no undercoat to shed. And no dog is hypoallergenic but PWDs are really not any worse for most allergy sufferers than poodles.

PWDs are stubborn standard poodles with a head for mischief. Unless you are active, prepared to do *something* with them, walk away. A walk a day will not cut it. They're athletes, jocks in you will. They want to rock climb and do triathlons, not jog sedately next to you. They've also gotten quite popular since the Obamas acquired one and many turn up in rescues and shelters. The breed club is actually very open about their breed and serves as an excellent resource.

Edited by author Sat Apr 7, '12 7:33pm PST

Tanuk CGC

Sherpa Tanuk of- Everest
Barked: Sat Apr 14, '12 8:50pm PST 
I somehow ended up with three Porties at work, lucky me. I can't say this is a breed I like by a long stretch, but their personalities have grown on me over time. All three have pretty much the same personalities, to a "T." They are smart, but are stubborn and don't use those smarts for good. They're very mischievous and will take any opportunity to initiate a game you probably don't want to play. They're not the easiest to train either, expect a challenge in that department, with training never truly ended. They do require a lot of exercise, but it needs to be varied because they bore easily with the same routine. They all are mouthy too...and I'm beginning to think it's a breed thing rather than a how they were raised thing, since they all seem very orally fixated. All three like water, but they're not super motivated to be in it all the time like the retrievers. They're medium sized, so a good manageable size for taking to all kinds of activities. Their coat is also VERY soft, different from the poodle's. Overall they are fun and clownish, but you need to be patient and able to appreciate their humor.

However, the biggest turn off for me has to be the BARKING. They have a penchant to bark an ear grating, high pitched bark whenever they want something, when they don't get their way, when something needs to be happening, when they're bored, when something is going on, when nothing is going on, when they *think* something might be going on without them, when they want attention, when they don't want attention...you get the picture. They bark, A LOT. And it's not a pleasant bark.

Vance CGC

You kids g'off- my lawn!
Barked: Tue Apr 17, '12 1:14pm PST 
The best way I can describe the breed is that I've known many PWDs with dedicated owners who did sports (specifically watersports - the love of water cannot be emphasized enough) and/or therapy work with their dogs. I've known many more people who met these dogs, decided they wanted a dog just like that, ran out and bought a PWD puppy and ended up rehoming him about 6 months later.

If you're truly serious about wanting an active companion that you must work with, then I think a PWD would fit your needs well. But active means truly active on a daily basis - not "I like to hike on the weekends," or "Swimming in the summer is fun and it'd be neat if my dog can tag along." Otherwise they become an obnoxious, jumping, mouthy, barking mess.

I also find the barking a bit much, personally, but keep mind that I (and Tanuk, haha) have non-barking breeds. They are definitely on the high end of the noise spectrum tho.

Their grooming needs are up there with Poodles. Even if you keep them in a short coat, you still need to have it trimmed every 6 weeks or so. DIY, it's a lot of work and going to a groomer... Around here it would start at $80 a visit, depending on the dog's condition and what you want. The nice part is they are low-shed and low-dander.

And again, they LOVE water. I work with a PWD that I have to restrict water access or she'll dump bowls over just to lay in water.
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