Portuguese Water Dog
Look it's the presidents pooch! Well not exactly but President Obama's family member Bo is raising the profile of the Portuguese Water Dog around the world.
Originally bred in Portugal to help fishermen pass the long days in their small fishing boats in the Iberian Peninsula. With their intelligence, natural love for water and unique webbed feet these fishermen helpers would dive for lost tackle and swim long distances between boats carrying messages.
Almost extinct the breed was thankfully rescued by some dedicated breeders and now enjoys a healthy population in North America. Unlike some breeds that have been over bread these puppies are still relatively hard to find and usually have a price over $2000.00 for a pet level puppy.
The Portuguese Water Dog that joined our family goes by the name Zucca (Italian for Pumpkin) and she has brought a great deal of joy to our growing family. At the time of writing this she has just celebrated her 3rd birthday and still has a lot of puppy in her, a lot! We got introduced to the Portuguese Water Dog through a friend that knew we were looking for a hypoallergenic dog and he had some experience with them.
Our criteria for looking for a dog was:
- A hypoallergenic dog breed
- A water dog that is cottage friendly
- Hearty enough for snowy winters
- Great with kids
- Friendly with other dogs
- Small enough to fit on the front seat of a car
- Big enough to look like a real dog
- Low maintenance grooming
All these requirements were perfectly met by the Portuguese Water Dog and our girl Zucca has definitely lived up to these criteria. One thing that anyone considering purchasing or adopting a Portuguese Water Dog needs to understand is these are a high energy dog, not as high as a border collie but not far off. Exaggerated claims that they need 2 hour walks everyday are far-fetched, but they do need a visit to a dog park to run a couple of days a week. We drop ours off at doggie daycare once a week for 8 hours to burn off some energy. A trip to a lake or pool will turn the Obama dog into overdrive! I would recommend the Chuckit Floating Toys for a long game of water fetch, we have several and they last a very long time. See her in the video playing with it.
Portuguese Water Dog Playing Fetch
in Lake Ontario
As high energy as they are they are also a very affectionate dog that loves to cuddle and will usually shadow you around the house, Zucca is always in the room with us. Considering these dogs were bred to sit with someone all day in a boat this trait is not surprising.
Before you decide to have a Portuguese Water Dog or any breed of dog join your family please to research different breeds and be honest with yourself if you're ready for a 15 year commitment. If you do decide to get your own Obama Dog I'm sure he or she will bring you years of joy. Please comment if you have any questions.