Frequently Asked Questions about Portuguese Water Dogs
Do they shed?
They do not shed very much, but they do shed (all mammals shed at least a little). Portuguese Water Dogs, as well as other single-coated breeds (Poodles, Bichon Frises, Kerry Blue Terriers, Wheaten Terriers, to name a few), do not have an undercoat that sheds. That undercoat shedding is what most people with allergies have problems with.
Portuguese Water Dogs are hypoallergenic, right?
Portuguese Water Dogs are considered to be hypoallergenic because they are single-coated. To be "hypoallergenic" is to have a decreased tendency to cause allergies. There is no such thing as a non-allergenic dog. Hypoallergenic dog breeds (single-coated or hairless) will still produce allergens, but because of their coat type will typically produce less than others. People with severe allergies and asthma will likely still be affected by a hypoallergenic dog.
If you have severe allergies it is suggested that you spend time with adult Portuguese Water Dogs before getting one. Many people are allergic to Portuguese Water Dogs, so please be careful. Spend time with the breed before bringing one into your home as a family member.
Are they good with children?
Portuguese Water Dogs get along great with children. You need to remember, however, that dogs are not human. Portuguese Water Dogs will often consider a child as a canine litter mate and could play harder than you would want; and they play with their mouths. It is important that you never let small children be unsupervised with your dog(s).
Can they stay by themselves all day?
Portuguese Water Dogs are people-oriented and long to be with their "crewmates" or family. Thus they do not do well in a kennel environment or left alone for long periods of time.
How big do they get?
Where can I see one?
Regional Club Representatives can guide you to the owners of Portuguese Water Dogs nearest to you.
How do I find a Portuguese Water Dog?
Please read the "Where should you get your puppy?" section of the PWDCA Puppy Information Packet.
List of PWDCA breeder members; it is a paid advertisement - please treat it as such. We do not supervise, guarantee, recommend, or endorse any breeder.
What are the Health issues I should be concerned with?
The health issues of greatest concern within this breed include Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD), Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Storage Disease (GM-1), and Juvenile Dilated Cardiomyopathy (JDCM).
Please reference the Health section of this site for more information.
The PWDCA, Inc. strongly recommends that any dog used for breeding be at least two years old, be examined for and evaluated free of hip dysplasia, individually tested for GM-1 status, Optigen rated for PRA status, and have an annual CERF/ECR test to determine overall eye health.