P is for PORTUGUESE WATER DOG | #AtoZChallenge

39 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2016, Blogfests, Dogs, Writing/Blogging
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#AtoZchallenge Day 16: P is for PORTUGUESE WATER DOG
Day 16, April 19


Portuguese Water Dogs are originally from the Portuguese region of the Algarve, from where the breed expanded to all around Portugal’s coast, where they were taught to herd fish into fishermen’s nets, to retrieve lost tackle or broken nets, and to act as couriers from ship to ship, or ship to shore. Portuguese Water Dogs rode in fishing trawlers as they worked their way from the Atlantic waters of Portugal to the waters off the coast of Iceland where the fleets caught cod. – WIKIPEDIA

This breed has gained in popularity over the last decade.

My first experience with a Portuguese Water Dog did not leave the best of impressions, as he was incredibly hyper. Splash was just over a year old and had obviously not had much interaction with other dogs. Good thing he liked them, but he would get so wound up, it was almost impossible to calm him down. This is not a happy scene with multiple dogs in residence. Splash wore me out and I was glad when it was time for him to go home.

Bogart, aka Bogie, was also playful, but a little older and calmer.

#AtoZChallenge: P is for Portuguese Water Dog

Elvis (don’t you love these names?) would get carried away, sometimes.
We had to watch him more closely as he could become too aggressive.

#AtoZChallenge: P is for Portuguese Water Dog

Snoopie is a regular Christmas holiday guest and one of the sweetest.

#AtoZChallenge: P is for Portuguese Water Dog


What do you think of the Portuguese Water Dog?
Do you know any?

Looking forward to your comments!


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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
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39 thoughts on “P is for PORTUGUESE WATER DOG | #AtoZChallenge

  1. Portuguese water dog! They look adorable! Are they related to poodles at all? Do you know if they have hair or fur? We’re looking for a hypoallergenic pet currently.

  2. I think the Portuguese Water dog is such a cute breed, they are adorable. I have never actually met one though so I don’t know what I would make of their hyper-activity!

  3. I’ve heard of the breed, but it’s not one of the breeds I can immediately recognize on sight. I’ve known how to identity most breeds since age eight. Overall, I’ve always been fond of water-loving breeds, since I love the water myself.

  4. I always wondered about these doggies so this was great to learn about. I don’t get why people cut their hair like a lion…looks stupid if you ask me and would be colder for them in the winter or if in the water.

  5. I hadn’t heard of this breed and wouldn’t think ‘water dog’ to look at them, except for the fur. Good thing it’s so thick for the country they’re used to! I’d say the Newfies have competition with this one:-) I wonder if they’re all that hyper, if it’s a trait of the breed or just that one dog? I bet you were indeed exhausted!

  6. Aww, thanks for the education. They’re adorable, but I’m glad that you found this video on them. It’s nice to know more about them too. What a great way to get to know about a dog. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Wow, that is a lot of Portuguese Water Dog visitors. So what can you really do with a hyper dog? Let it run in circles for awhile? Or is there anything you can do?

    1. The best thing is to tire them out. We used to take the dogs for a daily playgroup into the neighbouring backfield of the local elementary school. They ran around like maniacs and had a wonderful time. Most of them were mellow after that, but not Splash. He wanted to play 24 hours a day! 😛 He just wasn’t used to having other dogs around and it was too exciting for him.

  8. Great subject! I only know of these from the Obama family. I have an assistance dog, and she is an Australian labradoodle, which can look similar, except mine is a mini, so much smaller! Her blog is on mine.

  9. I can believe they are hyper. My son had two Irish Water Spaniels with very similar characteristics at one time. They caused havoc as the River Severn was just across the road and under a railway bridge, The river was a magnet to them.

  10. I havent heard or seen this one. Fascinating post Debbie. I find the pics rather cute and my own Irish terrier is easily excitable and a crazy little fella but v loveable 🙂

    1. Portuguese Water Dogs are gaining in popularity here in North America, but not sure about elsewhere. Irish Terriers are lively, for sure! 🙂

  11. I have never heard of this breed before. Seems like they can have very different temperaments. They look beautiful though.
    Tasha’s Thinkings (70) | Wittegen Press (72) | FB3X (AC) (73)

  12. I haven’t heard of Portuguese Water dogs before. They look really cute and the name, Splash, seems so apt. 🙂

  13. I never heard of this breed before. What a well of information. I’m really enjoying this. I suppose a Portuguese Water dog would be a great dog to have if you have a beach house. So where do I get a beach house … quick?… Got to make a dog a happy home. 🙂

  14. I love these posts where you discuss dogs I’ve never seen or heard of before. These dogs are interesting and beautiful. Judging from the description, it sounds as if the name is appropriate. I could see this dog on a farm, hunting with his owner, swimming in the pond to fetch a fallen duck or running through the fields to burn off energy.

    1. Hi, Corinne; I forgot about the Obama connection. They have two of them. This breed has been popular in Canada for the last decade or so. Thanks for dropping in! 🙂

  15. Happy to learn about Portuguese Water dogs and their unusual activity involving herding fish into nets and acting as couriers between ships. Amazing.

  16. Don’t you hate when you have a dog that has aggression tendencies? I know I do. It sets the whole household into a tension. It’s funny how the attitude in the house changes as soon as the aggressive one leaves. Just like everybody, including myself, breathes a sigh of relief.

    Splash sounds like a handful. Snoopie is gorgeous.

    I don’t personally know any Portuguese Water Dogs but I know they gained popularity here when the Obamas got one. 🙂

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. You’re right about that, Michele. It does make for a tense situation. Splash wanted to play 24 hours a day and it was hard to get him to settle down. The other dogs warned him off a few times, but he didn’t care. Whew! Elvis was a little strange. He would start out playing nicely, but then get pushy and bark in the other dog’s face, which doesn’t go over too well. Snoopie is a real sweetheart. 🙂 That’s right! I forgot about the Obama connection. They have two of them, I think.

  17. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

    I am very impressed by the Portuguese Water Dog! I enjoyed learning how their bodies are specially designed for swimming and other water activity, both work and play. It’s hard for me to believe they were trained to swim from ship to ship and ship to shore and rescue drowning sailors. I can imagine how hyperactive Water Dogs can be and how they could set off a chain reaction of bad behavior when they get around other dogs. I don’t think I’d want the job of grooming all that hair three times a week. Thank you for introducing another fascinating breed, the Portuguese Water Dog, dear friend Debbie!

    1. This is an interesting breed, for sure. The trouble with Splash was that he wanted to play ALL the time. The other dogs sometimes warned him off but he didn’t care. Then there was Elvis. He always started out playing nicely, but then would sometimes become pushy and aggressive, barking in another dog’s face. From personal experience, grooming three times a week isn’t necessary; once or two twice should do, depending on what the dog has been up to.

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