PWD Exercise Needs
Many people don't realize that a Portuguese Water Dog is a working dog. Their historical purpose was to assist the Portuguese fisherman and do a day's worth of work. In order to have an efficient worker, breeders selected animals that showed potential for drive and stamina. Breeders continued to breed for the active, intelligent, strong working dogs. The traits were nurtured until today we have a breed of dog that is active and inquisitive. This means, to the average pet owner, that their PWD needs to be exercised effectively each day to keep mind and body healthy. An under-exercised puppy can be very destructive as they try to work off the built up energy. They can be very annoying, demanding attention from their owners. If left to their own devices a Portuguese Water Dog will undoubtedly get in trouble. All PWDs at an early age should be monitored carefully to avoid unwanted behavior.
At the very least a PWD should have a minimum of two 20 minute sessions of free running a day. They prefer to do things with their guardians rather than left to their own devices. A fenced in yard is great for a PWD owner. Your dog can have their own secure area to zoom around or chase a ball and stretch those legs preferably in the company of a human. Some owners who are away all day take their dog to dog day care where they are able to get plenty of exercise. These dogs become model citizens at home after a day of exercise.
Note: Controlled strenuous workouts such as long jogs should be done only after the growth plates on a puppy are finished growing, at about one year.