Portuguese Water Dogs have been in our family for nearly 25 years, and we have been learning the art of breeding, raising, and training this beautiful breed for over 10 years. That's why we're proud to continue that tradition by providing other families with a wonderful and loyal pet of their own. Based in Little River, Victoria, Ocean Diver Kennels is located on an expansive 1 acre property complete with a dedicated kennel complex and wide open space for plenty of play and exercise. We are committed to raising quality puppies that will quickly become a beloved member of your family and providing a lifetime of support for you and your pup.
The Portuguese Water Dog is considered one of the world’s most ancient breeds, owing their origins to the Asiatic steppes around 700 BC. It’s unknown how they originally came to Portugal however they were eventually utilised as fishing dogs that became highly respected and useful in the operation of any fishing vessel.
The Portuguese Water Dog was used for a range of activities such as herding fish, collecting nets, retrieving items that have fallen overboard, and passing messages between other boats or the shore. One of the standout features of the Portuguese Water Dog is their signature lion trim haircut, which has their face shaved to remove any hair from their eyes, and their rear ends shaved from their last rib onward, except for a small flag left at the end of their tail. to protect them against the harsh and cold ocean water but allow them greater maneuverability in the water to perform their duties, and the flag serving to making them more visible in the water.
These loyal companions were considered to be just as valuable as a human deck hand aboard a fishing boat and caring for them was considered an honour. However the advent of modern technology has unfortunately left the Portuguese Water Dog jobless and at one time threatened their very survival. The decline in fishing resulted in a subsequent decline in the breed as they were no longer needed, however many consider Dr. Vasco Bensuade as a saviour for the breed who begun an official breeding program in the 1930’s to revitalise the breed. Thankfully today the Portuguese Water Dog population is extremely healthy and live all over the world, bringing great joy and pleasure to their families.
The Portuguese Water Dog has a great many attributes that set it apart from other dog breeds, making them a popular and highly sought-after choice for many families. The most commonly noticeable difference in the Portuguese Water Dog is their coat, which is actually made of hair and not fur, making it non-shedding and hypoallergenic, which is ideal for families with allergies and anyone hoping to escape the usual cleaning requirements most dogs bring.
Additionally, they present with two distinct coat types, curly and wavy, pictured above, with the curly coat (on the right) developing compact, cylindrical curls that bunch tightly together, and the wavy coat (on the left) falling gently in waves and often with a slight sheen. Even though the Portuguese Water Dog is no longer living aboard fishing vessels like they used to, they have retained their webbed feet, which allow them to move more efficiently and glide through the water.
The males of the breed are often slightly larger than females, however on average the Portuguese Water Dog measures around 50cm tall, or knee high on most people, with a healthy weight between 15kg and 27kg depending on their size. The Portuguese Water Dog typically has a large head, with thin, heart shaped ears that flop down the side of their head. They have a firm and level top line along their back with a tail that arches over their back when alert. They are a very strong and muscular breed, which can be felt along their shoulders and in both their front and back legs, which allows them to best propel themselves through the water.
The Portuguese Water Dog was bred to work, meaning that they’re a very active and energetic breed that requires plenty of daily exercise to keep them happy. Their history had them living in close quarters with people, but also defending the boat against pirates and sea lions that sought to steal their catch. Today this means they love to play and live with people, however will bark at strangers and make excellent guard dogs, that will protect their home from intruders.
The Portuguese Water Dog thrives when considered part of the family, with a routine, regular exercise, and inclusion in family activities. They are very loyal and love to engage with others, however it’s important that they are adequately socialised from a young age and are provided with sufficient training. Owners failing to do so will be left with a rowdy pup, unable to interact with other dogs and people, and will often resort to destructive behaviours as they seek the attention of their owners.
They are highly intelligent and confident, and respond well to obedience and agility training, with the ability to learn sophisticated tricks, especially in the water such as dock diving and retrieving games. The Portuguese Water Dog doesn’t respond well to being kennelled or left in a crate for long periods of time, owing to their active nature, and prefer to spend time in the company of their family, and should not be left alone for extended periods. With plenty of training, time, attention, and love, your Portuguese Water Dog will become a pet like no other, as you and your family relishes in their fun-loving and curious nature.