Portuguese Water Dog

Description:
Made for water, the Portuguese water dog is a good swimmer that has a curly or wavy coat and a robust looking body. This dog has very good eyesight and a very keen sense of smell. It is medium sized; the male's height is around fifty-four centimeters and females around forty-six centimeters from the wichers down. This dog's head is fairly big but well proportioned and is very wide on the superior part. The eyes are medium sized, well separate and are dark. It has a well-defined stop and its nose is narrower near the muzzle than at the base. The muzzle is wide and should be the same size of the dog's coat. The neck should be straight, short, round, and muscular and should not have any dewlap. The chest should be wide and long. The tail should not be docked and should be wider at the base and narrow towards the tip and should not go past the dog's hocks. The front and hind legs should be strong looking and balanced. Its feet should be round and quite flat, and should have an abundant amount of hair on them. The coat of this dog should cover its body with a very resistant coat of hair. This breed actually comes in two varieties; one that has long and curly hair and one that has short and curly hair. The colors of this dog are black, white, or brown or in different mixes of these.

Ideal owner:
This dog is an outside dog. It is very athletic, extroverted and likes to work. The Portuguese water dog stands out from other dogs because of its water abilities and because of its beauty. It has become somewhat popular as a companion dog, and because of its versatility and soft temperament it is a good dog for almost anyone. It is an excellent fetcher, a very good water working dog, a great guard dog and very good with children.

Growth:
At around the age of eight weeks this dog should weigh around four or five kilograms. This dog grows very slowly and reaches its full height over the age of eighteen months and full maturity at around four or five years of age. If you are interested in getting one of these dogs, make sure to look for one that is friendly, cheerful, not shy, and is physically active as an individual and with the rest of the litter. The color of this dog's coat stays practically the same, except that the white spots tend to diminish. The pigmentation should be dark so check for that as well. The type of hair the dog has when it is a puppy will be the same when it grows into an adult. During adolescence this dog will become very active and along with this dogs intelligence, this time can be quite a challenge. Breeders say that this dog the Portuguese water dog is a very demanding teenager and it needs to be obedience trained at a young age. The growth of this dog is very even and its eating habits should remain the same. Make sure to not allow it to become overweight or obese.

General health:
Perhaps the most important health aspect of the Portuguese water dog is that it gets enough exercise and the right type of training. These dogs are naturally very active and very smart, however they can hurt themselves very easily if they are not stimulated every day. While this one factor might require a lot of time from the owner, the amount of care its coat needs is not as demanding. This dog does not shed which is an advantage. The coat is made of hair not skin, and the amount of care it requires, although it is simple, must be talked about with the breeder or a veterinarian. There are three hereditary problems that are a concern for breeders and veterinarians, which are hip dysphasia, progressive retina atrophy, and a very uncommon abnormality, which characterizes itself with a deficiency of enzymes. This last disease can be detected when the dog is around six weeks old by a blood test. The new owner of this dog will need to become informed about any patches of hair loss in the breed, which seems to transmit genetically.

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