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Portugese 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.

Kashmir- ♥ CGC

Boxer Beach Bum
Barked: Fri Apr 5, '13 7:44pm PST 
Recently i house sat for a coworker who has 2 lovely golden retrievers. They were lovely and so well behaved. My boyfriend who we thought was just allergic to dog saliva came to watch movies and have dinner with me. I kept the dogs away from him and when they came near i told him to wash his hands and then sent them away again. He developed some bumps on his arms and shoulders and i was like great so now he is allergic to dog fur/dander. So I am looking for a future breed that wont flare up his allergies as bad. I came across the Portie searching online. Anything you can tell me about them? So far they seem pretty good for people with allergies. I love active dogs and its a plus that they love water.
Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
Barked: Sat Apr 6, '13 6:04pm PST 
My trainer that also has dog allergies ( if she runs a class with a lot of labs she suffers) has porties. High energy, smart and she says the do weave poles better than poodles due to their build.
Charlie- Chaplin

A day without- laughter is a- day wasted
Barked: Wed Apr 10, '13 8:32am PST 
Just bumping up the post so others may see it and so you don't think you've been forgotten by, I believe, the only active Portie dogster member =)

I'll go ahead and write something long within the next 24-48 hours haha.

Charlie- Chaplin

A day without- laughter is a- day wasted
Barked: Wed Apr 10, '13 10:00am PST 
I wrote it sooner than expected, sorry for grammar errors. Too tired to proof read

They’re smart, very smart, and I’m surprised they don’t make it onto intelligent breed lists – I suppose it’s because they’re still relatively uncommon. They can and usually will take advantage of an inexperienced owner/trainer. Chaplin certainly did to me and my trainer had to point this out. He knew just what to do to get the treat when we worked on down stays until she pointed out to me what I was doing wrong and how I was reinforcing his shenanigans.

ATTENTION HOGS! They demand the spotlight, all eyes on them. Chaplin is especially so and often times Baby gets left out because Chaplin is in your face, on your lap, rolling around at your side, demanding your attention. If you like a snuggle bug, these are good dogs for that. They always know where the squeaker is in their toys and love to bite there when you’re on the phone or watching T.V...

Exercise is very necessary though I find that taking him to the dog park has been the best way to blow off steam. However, he does have a great off switch in the home, I’m not sure if this is with most PWDS. There’s something about playing and wrestling with other dogs that takes his energy out better than going on long walks and now that he’s older runs on the beach and such. If they aren’t learning a lot they will also be bored and destructive. These dogs were bred to work and they’re good at it. Similar to poodles, these are multi-faceted creatures. They’re good for carting, water sports, dock diving, agility, nosework/tracking, they’re good at retrieves, and I know of a few that herd. He does love water, though like with any dog, it’s not one size fits all. His mother, for instance, hates water. But Chaplin went swimming even in the winter in ice water without trouble. They have webbed feet and their coat is very dense; a man tried to make hats for sale out of PWD fur but they were a flop, why? Because they were so warm people began to sweat heavily and thus the sweat froze in winter and they got cold again.

Being bred to work they are good at it and most do so out of the joy of making you happy as well as themselves. Positive reinforcement is really the best way to go with these sensitive and sometimes willful/stubborn dogs.

However, when it comes to sports, like agility, when they’re on they’re on, but they are independent and can be defiant, sometimes they decide they know how to run the course better than you instruct them to and there’s really no arguing. If they want to do the weaves and then the tire when you say A-Frame and then “over” that’s how they’re going to do it.

Good watch dogs. The difference between Chap and Baby is Baby barks at anything and anyone he isn’t intimately knowledgeable with. Chaplin on the other hand studies the situation for a moment and then decides to bark.

They are not, however, intimidating dogs. Some dogs, even though they do not look intimidating, can sound like it and deter people before they get a good look. A PWD just sounds comical when they bark. Several of the PWDs that go to our dog park are known for their strange vocalizations and most people get a good laugh out of their barks.

Another thing to comment on, most are very “talkative” dogs, I’m fortunate Chaplin is not; they have a very wide vocal range as well. Some people can’t deal with this.

They’re bouncy dogs, even some of the best trained PWDs can’t control themselves when their owner returns home. It’s been a huge struggle to get him to stop jumping up on family as we enter the house. At least he doesn’t do it to strangers anymore =). They’re also notorious for being counter surfers. Once again, fortunately for me Chappy doesn’t do this one much either (much). When he’s left alone and gets bored he has on occasion leapt up to grab the tea bags in order to decorate my house.

Which reminds me. PWDs are home decorators. Most of them can’t be trusted alone in the house, out of sight and in trouble. No matter how clean you are most will find something to maul and leave a nice mess for your return. Crate training is a must. Some of them grow out of it after 3 or so years and some don’t. These dogs are very mouthy and anything will go into their mouths including you so be sure to set boundaries right away. It has its pros at times… I don’t have to coat his glucosamine and other supplements with peanut butter/other foods like I do for Baby =)

Coat care is high maintenance. These dogs come in two coat types. Curly and wavy. Wavy tends to be silkier and shinier looking while curly lacks some luster. They must be brushed consistently to keep their fur from tangling if kept longer. It’s easiest to keep them in a “retriever clip” but they must get hair cuts frequently like poodles. Most first time PWD owners have to have their dogs shaved down all the way in the first year of ownership because they didn’t realize how matted their dog’s fur got (you can’t really tell just from looking at it). But no, they do not shed (though will lose some hair during brushing) and none of my friends with allergies have had problems with Chaplin. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible and your boyfriend should hang around some before ruling out an allergen possibility.

As a whole they’re pretty healthy dogs, of course always go to a reputable breeder to better insure this.

These dogs are amazing but not for everyone. Loyal, smart, endearing, good work ethic, loving, energetic that will love to assist you with your tasks – he was of great help during my Easter egg hunt. If you think you can keep up with them ok. But it’s something to consider. Have I ever regretting getting Chaplin? Heck no! Not even when I come home to a house filled to the ceiling with torn up tea bags and boxes, destroyed folders, books, and other items I could’ve sworn I left on the top shelves of the house. He just looks up at me with those adorable, soulful eyes and he’s forgiven.

If you're more interested let me know, if you still want one I can give you the name of my breeder to hold onto for the future. She's really amazing and does a great job pairing you up with a dog. All of her puppies are temperament tested by three different professionals. She's sweet as pie and really listened to my needs in a dog as well as every one else's. She actually stays in touch with you, gives a little starter kit for your puppy, makes sure you take a bandana covered with the littermates' scents, etc. She's all around aimed to set you up for success.
Kashmir- ♥ CGC

Boxer Beach Bum
Barked: Wed Apr 10, '13 11:46am PST 
Thank you for all the infor Charlie Chaplin. cheercheer I will keep this in mind for choosing my next dog!