The Portuguese Water dog breed once served as crew on fishing trips, retrieving lost gear, and herding fish into nets.
There are TOP 10 interesting facts about Portuguese Water Dog.
There, the dogs are called cau de agua or "dog of water," and bred to be excellent swimmers. They were first trained to assist Portuguese fishermen while they were out at sea. The helpful dogs would pull in nets, fetch items that fell overboard, and even scare fish into the nets. The athletic dogs could dive as deep as 12 feet to herd the fish in the right direction.
The skilled swimmers helped the sailors of the Spanish armada by carrying messages between ships in the 1500s. Some say that when the English took out the Armada in 1588, some of the dogs managed to swim ashore and mate with the local dogs—which means their bloodline may have influenced the development of the Irish water spaniel and the Kerry blue terrier.
3) Smart Dogs
Portuguese Water Dogs are extremely intelligent. They love learning new things, but they can also become bored easily. They remember the names of many items, better than most dogs can, but without appropriate exercise and mental stimulation they can become destructive and chew up all your things. They love a challenge, so make training fun! This dog makes an excellent running companion and is also well suited to agility training.
Portuguese Water Dogs are not couch potatoes. Oh sure, they can be if you provide ample opportunities for them to vent their energy and do interesting things. If you can't meet their needs, they will become rambunctious and bored, which they usually express by barking and destructive chewing.
5) Independent Mind
Portuguese Water Dogs are smart and capable of learning a great deal. But they do have an independent mind of their own. They can be manipulative and willful. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.
Portuguese water dogs make good guard dogs. They will alert their owners to anyone around the home with their distinct vocalizations.
These furry dogs were born to swim. They have flat, round paws with webbed toes that work like flippers to push them effectively through the water. A rudder-like tail helps them navigate, and a thick waterproof coat keeps them warm in even the coldest waters.
8) No Shedding
Porties are closely related to poodles, and have a similar single coat. Their curly or wavy fur does not shed. As with other dogs that don’t shed, Portuguese water dogs are believed to be hypoallergenic, meaning they don’t irritate those with allergies to pet dander to the same extent as other dogs.
Sadly, Portuguese water dogs can be predisposed to hip dysplasia, cataracts, progressive retinal atroph, distichiasis or ingrown eyelashes and GM-1 Storage disease, a fatal nerve disease, though it has mostly been bred out of the them. These illnesses can reduced by checking out the parents and their health before you adopt. To make sure you get a healthy dog, never buy from a puppy mill or pet store.
10) Almost Extinct
As advancements in technology began to change the fishing industry, the need for fishing dogs began to wane and Portuguese water dogs were nearly wiped out. Luckily, in the 1930s, a wealthy shipping tycoon named Vasco Bensaud took an interest in the breed. He adopted a dog named Leao, who became the founding sire of the modern breed. Bensaud founded the Portuguese Water Dog Club and held the position of secretary-general for many years.