The Portuguese water dog is a robust dog of medium build, slightly longer than it is tall. It is strong and well-muscled, able to work both in and out of the water for long periods. It has a profuse single coat, either wavy or curly. Two clips are acceptable: the lion clip, in which the muzzle and middle part, up to the tail tip, are clipped; and the retriever clip, in which the entire coat is scissored to about 1 inch in length, with the tail tip again left full length. The water dog's expression is steady, penetrating and attentive, reflecting its spirited disposition.
Like poodles, Portuguese water dogs are a single coated breed. They have no undercoat to shed from. Most people who have allergies are affected by the shedding done by dogs with an undercoat. So that’s not a problem with Portuguese water dogs!
Portuguese water dogs are easy to train in obedience and agility.
Portuguese water dogs are highly intelligent. They can even remember the names of many items, better than most dogs can. To prevent boredom, they need consistent physical and mental exercise. This is not a dog that would do well with a human couch potato.
The Portuguese Water Dog is one of exceptional intelligence and trainability, obeying any orders given by its master with willingness and pleasure. It is obedient both to those who care for it and to those for whom it works. It has a spirited disposition, is brave and independent, and resistant to fatigue. Its expression is hard and penetrating. The breed has splendid sight and a fair scenting capability.
Portuguese water dogs can live 10 to 14 years.
Portuguese water dogs can have either a wavy or a curly coat.
Portuguese water dogs are great with children and other pets. However, they can be exuberant, so with small children and pets it’s a good idea to keep an eye on them.