The Portuguese Water Dog was called the Cao de Agua (dog of water) in Portugal where he had lived for centuries. He helped fishermen on their boats. He’s a great diver and swimmer and could retrieve broken nets, dive down to get fish, carry messages to shore and between boats and also guard the boat when it’s in port. In the 20th century, his breed started disappearing when technology made some of his tasks obsolete. However, the breed was rescued by wealthy shipping magnate, Dr. Vasco Bensaude.
He’s a loyal, hard worker with great endurance and strength. His waterproof coat can be wavy or curly and is either brown, black, white or a mix of brown or black and white. He needs lots of exercise every day. He’s intelligent and easy to train. His profuse coat is also hypoallergenic but it does need regular care. He can be kept on a retriever clip (coat clipped to one inch in length) or a lion clip (the coat on his muzzle and hindquarters are clipped to the skin.) He’s 17 – 23 inches high.