PWD Breed Characteristics
Positive characteristics common to the breed:
  • PWDs are fluffy and cute. They have soft coats that feel good to caress, and they actively enjoy being petted.
  • PWDs have single coats that do not shed, producing less dander, and are therefore considered hypoallergenic.
  • PWDs are very playful. They retain that puppy-like behavior as adults and love to fetch. Many also have a wonderful sense of humor.
  • PWDs are loving and love being with people. They have been referred to as "velcro dogs" because they stick tight to their owners.
  • This is a smart breed. PWDs learn easily and enjoy mastering new skills. Training a Portuguese Water Dog for obedience, agility, tracking, or water work is a great way to stimulate his mind and give him the activity he enjoys.
  • Once introduced to strangers, they are generally friendly.
Negative characteristics common to the breed:
  • Those soft long coats require lots of grooming. Weekly brushing and combing (using a metal comb) is required. If you do not stay on top of the grooming, your PWD's coat will become a knotted nightmare.
  • Young PWD puppies will nip and bite (which can result in injuries caused by their razor sharp milk teeth) and must be trained to not bite people. Some older PWD puppies will nip to get attention. Adult PWDs will sometimes snap or bite when provoked or if they feel threatened.
  • PWDs are "mouthy" - carrying and chewing objects. Care should be taken to not leave inappropriate objects within their reach. They are powerful chewers and should be supervised with their toys, as they can quickly dismember and destroy many a plush dog toy.
  • PWDs are easily aroused and their high-intensity, reactive behavior is often uninhibited. PWDs require owners who are committed to being the boss. Lacking such, PWDs will become the boss themselves. This may seem cute at first, but there's nothing cute about an uncontrollable dog.
  • PWDs are often willful and NOT that interested in pleasing their owners. They get bored easily and can become quite destrutive if not supervised or crated. See some true stories.
  • PWDs tend to be rowdy and are exuberant jumpers - knocking people and objects over. They are also very get-in-your-face dogs. Other dogs may find this behavior threatening and react negatively, which can result in a fight. People may interpret PWDs' impulsive behavior as aggression.

If a breeder tells you that their PWDs don't exhibit the above negative breed traits, buyer beware!!!

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