Life with the Portuguese Water Dog
Before considering PWDs, you may want to go to the AKC web site and avail yourself of their wonderful program that matches potential dog owners with various breed characteristics. Be honest about answering questions regarding your family, life style, activity level, etc. If the Portuguese Water Dog turns out to be a good choice for you consider the following:
** Prepare yourself and your guests for an exuberant greeting each and every time you reappear. Greetings include: being jumped on, twists and turns in the air, barking (telling you about their day), and being herded.
** Prepare your guests for a dog that may not greet them at all and prefers to sit back and check them out as if a burglar has arrived. Remember, they guarded the boats.
** An appetite and begging routine that leads many owners to overfeed and over treat their dogs to the point of obesity.
** Counter surfing in the kitchen as an art form to make up for the owner who doesn’t overfeed and “just because they can”.
** These dogs do not like being left in the yard due to boredom, lack of human companionship, heat, cold and often use their ability to escape a six foot fence.
** Prepare yourself for a mouthy dog that does best with a stuffed toy or ball in its mouth. Puppy biting must be curtailed immediately. Toilet paper and $5000 checks left in vulnerable places are all fair game.
** A dog with a sense of humor that may parade in front of guests with your underwear or toilet paper strung from the roll.
** A dog that may choose to “hump” the legs of your guests or their favorite stuffed toy in view of everyone watching.
** A dog that “needs a job” such as walking, retrieve games, swimming and formal AKC event training.
** A loyal companion who will demand to share your life, your bed, your couch, the car seat, your boat, etc.
** A dog who will lay peacefully by you when well exercised but springs into action if the door bell rings, the leash, car keys or toy appears in your hand.
** A dog that even when wet doesn’t smell “doggy”.
** A dog that doesn’t shed a lot like other dogs. (All humans and dogs shed some). Usually we describe the hair on the hardwoods as “dust bunnies”, a hair version of tumble weeds.
** A dog that can be tolerated BY SOME PEOPLE with allergies.
** A coat that requires brushing/combing, preferably every few days. Although it requires less maintenance when kept short knots still form by the skin so some brushing is needed.
** A coat that will need to be clippered or scissored by a groomer or family member willing to learn.
** A dog that can be TOO exuberant for young children under 6.
** A dog that may have a tendency to guard the family and children (even from their friends) and needs monitoring with young children.
** A dog that requires exercise and stimulation to keep it happy.