The Portuguese Water Dog was a loyal companion who accompanied the fisherman aboard his boat. The dog was required to spend long hours working in a variety of ways such as helping with fishing lines or, before the advent of radio, the dog would courier messages from boat to boat or boat to shore. When visiting foreign ports, the Portuguese Water Dog was left to guard the boat and its catch.
In the 1970s, when our breed was quite rare, many Portuguese Water Dogs were used for breeding. Today more than 10,000 Portuguese Water Dogs are registered around the world, so there is no longer a need to breed any other than the healthiest, most correct dogs. As the standard says, "This highly intelligent utilitarian breed is distinguished by two coat types, either curly or wavy; an impressive head of considerable breadth and well proportioned mass; a ruggedly built, well-knit body; and a powerful, thickly based tail, carried gallantly or used purposefully as a rudder. The Portuguese Water Dog provides an indelible impression of strength, spirit and soundness."
Portuguese Water Dogs are very versatile. In addition to being much adored family members, they excel in Therapy Work, Agility, Tracking, Obedience, Rally, and Flyball. Some have done Lure Coursing, Herding and Dock Diving. They are at their happiest when they have a job to do. PWDs have a great sense of humor and will use it quite often. If left to their own devices, they may come up with entertaining games that would be frowned upon in your establishment! We have a saying - "Out of sight equals in trouble" and it definitely pertains to this breed!