Although you may have spotted the Portuguese Water Dog once or twice in your Instagram feed, or on the official Obama family site, you may be unaware of their fascinating history as a fisherman’s best friend. Formerly named the Portuguese Sheepdog during their long stint as working companions, these dogs are now primarily bred for companionship and can be found among people of all professions. Their signature charm and intelligence scores big with people of all ages—which is why it should come as little surprise that this is one of the most popular family dogs in the country.
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Although you may have spotted the Portuguese water dog once or twice on Your Instagram feed or on the official Obama family site you may have been Unaware of their fascinating history as A fisherman's best friend formerly named The Portuguese sheepdog during their Long stint as working companions these Dogs are now primarily bribed for Companionship and can be found among People of all professions Their signature charm and intelligence Scores big with people of all ages which Is why it shouldn't come as little Surprise that this is one of the most Popular family dogs in the country Portuguese water dogs once served as Crew on fishing ships retrieving lost Gear and herding fish into Nets today This dog breed makes for a fun-loving Family companion represented by Bo Obama Former first dog of the U.S who still Retains their intelligence and love of The water not to mention the web fee That made them so valuable to their Human family Now let's meet the Portuguese Water Dog Let's look at their history The first mention of a dog resembling Are modern Portuguese Water Dog comes From a written account from a monk in 1297. who reported seeing a sailor Pulled from the Sea by a dog with a Black coat the hair long and rough cut
To the first rib and with a tail tuft According to the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America For centuries the dog thrived from the Coast of Portugal and Spain with Possibly apocryphal counts of the Spanish Armada employing the dogs for Ship to ship Communications Their numbers steadily declined Throughout the 19th century as the Number of fishermen waned and Technology Increasingly phased out their jobs and By the 1930s the dog was nearly extinct The tide was reversed in the 1930s by a Portuguese shipping magnate named Vasco Ben sod who began purposely seeking the Dogs out from fishing villages with an Eye towards and re-establishing the Breed in the 1960s two Americans named Diane and Herbert Miller Jr brought the Dogs to the U.S the first one a Descendant of Ben sod's Kennels The Portuguese Water Dog Club of America Was founded in 1972 and the breed was Recognized by the American Kennel Club In 1981. now let's look at their Appearance Though the Portuguese water dogs lineage Goes back almost 800 years making their Origins somewhat murky experts think of Poodles at the breed's closest genetic Cousin It makes a lot of sense when you See them the two breeds have a lot of Similar characteristics
The Portuguese Water dog's coat comes in Two varieties curly or wavy in both Cases the hair is medium to long and Single coated the coat comes in shades Of brown tan black and white with the Latter being the rarest by a hefty Margin Some Portuguese water dogs will have buy Or even tri-colored coats with black and Tan being the most common Another common coloration is for either All black and all brown varieties to Sport a splash of white on their chins Referred to as a milk chin hopefully Coats are cut in one of two Styles the Lion cut or the retriever cut the former Cuts the muzzle hind quarters and base Of the tail short leaving all the rest Long while the ladder cuts the coats Evenly over the entire body down to About one inch in length The Portuguese water dog is an extremely Infrequent shutter most of the hair they Do release gets caught up in their waves Or curls while no dog is truly Hypoallergenic they all shed to one Degree or another Portuguese water dogs Are well known as a breed that's great For people with allergies to hair or Dander they have webbed feet to Aid in Swimming and their bodies aren't quite Square being slightly longer than they Are tall Female dogs come in at 17 to 21 inches
Tall with male Portuguese water dogs a Bit taller at 20 to 23 inches Now let's discuss their temperament much Like their poodle cousins the Portuguese Water dog is stunningly smart originally Bred to be fishing dogs they were Trained to hurt schools of fish into Nuts retrieve broken nuts and tackle and To act as couriers delivering messages From ship to ship and ship to shore Because of their smarts and appetite for Work Portuguese water dogs might do Better with experienced dog owners now That they have largely made the Transition from fish to families Portuguese water dogs love learning Tricks and playing games They will often act like clowns to try And make their people laugh and get Their attention if you're looking for a Dog to compete with they do Fantastically well in obedience agility Fly ball and of course water Competitions If you're considering competition Sports Make sure to have your pup checked out By a veterinarian first Portuguese water dogs are gregarious Outgoing dogs who are happy to make new Friends they can do very well in family Households with the right circumstances They are often affectionate and very Good with children and other pets but They're going to need a fair bit of
Physical activity and training so you Want to be sure you have the time to Devote to these things before adding a Portuguese water dog to the family Also much like the poodle the smart Portuguese water dogs will get bored Easily if you're not keeping them Stimulated there are very high energy Dog that will require at least an hour's Worth of exercise every day This is another reason why competition Training is such a great activity for Them But no matter how you choose to do it Keeping your dog fit and happy needs to Be a priority because they have a strong Tendency to chew when they're bored or Frustrated if you leave your Portuguese Water dog at home alone for too long or Don't exercise him enough you will come Home to all your stuff chewed up Portuguese water dogs do very well in Households with cats and other dogs they Have a low prey drive making them a good Choice for households with other small Animals as well they love playing with Children but they can be a little too Rambunctious for very small ones Portuguese water dogs also excel in Therapy or service training and some Undergo training to become service dogs For deaf or hearing impaired individuals Easily learning to bark when the phone Rings or there's a knock at the door now
Let's take a look at their living needs Mental and physical stimulation are the Two biggest factors for housing a Portuguese Water Dog as long as you are Taking them out for a run or a game of Fetch every day they can adapt very Nicely to apartment living And if you have a pool or lake nearby Holy mackerel there in heaven If you're considering competition Sports Make sure to have your pup checked out By a veterinarian first Because the dogs have a very low prey Drive they're typically safe to have off A leash or in the front yard with Supervision they're not likely to Dart Off after a squirrel Supplying a variety of toys is a great Idea to keep them from being bored by Giving them a choice of toys and with a Little bit of patient positive Reinforcement training you can quickly Teach them which things are okay to chew On and which things aren't next let's Take a look at caring for these water Dogs Yep they're going to be a handful here's A fun Portuguese Water Dog fact their Hair never stops growing have you seen Those pictures of the sheep in Australia Who wandered off for seven years and Came back looking like a giant cotton Ball That's going to be your Portuguese water
Dog if you don't groom them every six to Eight weeks In addition to the trims you're going to Be brushing them every other day to keep That wavy or curly hair from adding up And clinging desperately to every twig And leaf it Vines Also if you let your dog take a dip in a Chlorinated pool a salt water body or a Lake with algae in it you'll want to Give them a quick hosing down right After to make sure the hair doesn't hold Onto smells finally let's discuss their Health Like other breeds Portuguese water dogs Can suffer from hip dysplasia to Hopefully prevent hip problems owners Should wait to spay or neuter their dogs Until they're 18 months or two years old Some research has suggested spaying or Neutering dogs in their first year can Perceive joint damage and other diseases In some breeds Spaying and neutering around the Six-month Mark can spur a growth spurt Before Portuguese dogs growth plates are Closed which can cause joint problems Portuguese water dogs can also have Issues with cataracts and Progressive Retinal atrophy a recessive gene that Causes night blindness and can lead to Total blindness your vet can conduct a Simple DNA test to find out if your dog Is a carrier of the gene or not
We can also check for a dog's ability to See in various conditions by checking Their response to light Watching their pupils react to light and Dark changes One thing to do with animals is to set Up a room with obstacles in various Light settings and see how they navigate Those obstacles with bright light then Again and progressively lower light Settings You may also want to have your vet test For juvenile dilated cardiomyopathy Which is another recessive gene that While extremely rare is fatal New puppy owners should have their vets Conduct all attests and screenings Recommended by the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America the official breed Club If you're looking for an exercise Companion or a velcro family dog The Fluffy exuberant Portuguese water dog Might be your new best friend thanks so Much for watching y'all don't forget to Subscribe to see our next video about The animals we love best