The Portuguese Water Dog (PWD) is a medium-sized ancient breed of working dog native to Portugal and in ancient times was considered sacred. Called the Cao de Agua, it means “dog of water”, possessing webbed feet which aids in its swimming. Originally, they worked alongside Portuguese fishermen herding fish and retrieving nets, being prized for their strength, spirit and aptitude for swimming and diving. So much so that they were considered part of the crew. Additionally, they were used to carry messages and food from one ship to another.

The PWD can be quite sensitive, very curious, highly intuitive and fiercely loyal. They are independent but have a very strong need to be near their owner. They love to play, can be easily trained and are very active.

Their coat colors are black, white, brown, white with dark markings, or black or brown with white markings. The coats are thick and may be curly or wavy in texture. Males typically range from 20-22 inches in height and 42-55 pounds in weight. Females typically range from 17-20 inches in height and 35-49 pounds in weight. Life expectancy is 10-14 years.