Cão de Agua Português FCI Standard
In its native Portugal the dog is called the Cão de Água, which can be translated as «dog of water». The Portuguese Water Dog was purposefully bred to be a supreme swimmer and highly treasured helper for Portuguese fishermen. The dog was responsible for accomplishing multiple tasks and it was considered to be a full-fledged member of the crew. Among its duties were herding and catching fish, getting out of water broken fishing tackle, delivering messages from one ship to the other or from ship to the shore and defending moored ship in a port. The popularity of the breed stretched so far that even non-commercial fishermen had an opportunity to rent it for their fishing adventures.
In the early XX century the old ways of fishing were neglected in favour of more progressive technologies of the fishing industry. The Portuguese Water Dog lost its essential function of fisherman’s companion so its number dwindled dramatically. The breed was saved from the imminent threat of extinction by affluent dog fancier, Vasco Bensuade. He launched an extensive breeding program to restore the population of the dog in its homeland and to promote it in other countries. This program resulted in partial rehabilitation of the Portuguese Water Dog’s popularity. In modern days it’s widely used as a companion dog as well as participated with fabulous success in obedience competition, water trials and agility contests.
The Portuguese Water Dog made its way to the United States in 1958. The American Kennel Club (AKC) granted its full recognition to the breed in 1984. Thanks to the presence of the dog called Bo Obama in the White House this breed came in the spotlight in the recent years.
The breed gets on with unfamiliar people since it had to tolerate constantly changing crewmembers on a boat in its not so distant past. However, the Portuguese Water Dog is usually reserved with strangers. This breed is also vigilant enough to become an outstanding watch dog. However, it won’t be able to perform the responsibilities of the guardian with sufficient effectiveness since it’s deprived of necessary aggression.
On the whole the Portuguese Water Dog doesn’t have aggressive issues with other dogs. Moreover it will greatly appreciate the company of other canine animals if it has been exposed to their presence since its puppyhood. Its owner should exercise extra caution when his dog plays with a small dog since the Portuguese Water Dog can accidently hurt it in the heat of the game. The breed is ok with other home pets and mostly treats them with proper respect if they have been introduced to each other timely and correctly. It’s highly likely though that the sight of a stray cat will stimulate a dog’s hunting instinct so it would be prudent to use a leash at all times in walking with it.
• canine hip dysplasia;
• elbow dysplasia;
• ear infections;
• eyes problems;
• GM1 storage disease;
• juvenile dilated cardiomyopathy.
The Portuguese Water Dog sheds insignificantly so it’s regarded as highly suitable for allergy sufferers. The hanging ears of the dogs tend to have dirt and debris stuck in them. This may lead to appearance of irritation and infection so they should be checked and wiped with soft wet cloth on a regular basis.
Nevertheless it has a tendency to have its own opinion on everything and won’t oblige to your commands blindly. It’s crucial for training success to form trusting and respectful relationship with the dog and to become an unquestionable leader for it. The Portuguese Water Dog reacts best to reward-based techniques of training and totally ignores your commands if you try to impose them with rude corrective methods.
The Portuguese Water Dog also strives to receive a constant mental stimulation and can become hyper active, excessively vocal or even destructive if it gets bored or lacks physical activity. It’s important to mention that it’s quite possible for a truly committed family to keep the dog satisfied with its life and in a good shape.