If you like to fish, why go alone? Behold the authentic fishing dog. The Portuguese Water Dog’s ancestor collected torn nets or tuna fallen from the deck, it guided fish herds and took messages from a ship to another and to the shore.
Made for water, the Portuguese Water Dog is a swimming dog, with a wavy or curly coat, with a robust build. It has an excellent sight and good sense of smell. It is medium sized; height to the withers: males, 54 cm, and females, 46 cm, and the height to the rump, 56 cm the males and 46 cm the females. The head is large and well proportionate, with exceptional width in the upper area. The eyes are medium sized, well separated, dark colored. Well defined stop, and muzzle narrower close to the nose than the base. The nose is wide, and the same color as the coat.  The neck is straight, short, and round with strong muscles and without dewlap. The chest is wide and deep. The tail, without docking, wide at the base, narrowing toward the end, without passing the hock. The fore and hindquarters, powerful and balanced. Round and quite flat feet, with an interdigital membrane that reaches the tip of the fingers, with a soft texture and well garnished with long hair. Coat: the entire body abundantly covered in resistant hair. Without undercoat. There are two hair varieties: long and wavy hair; shorter and crispy hair. The hair is trimmed in lion or collector mode in some countries. Unique color: white, black or brown in their different tonalities; compound, mixes of black or brown with white.
With a lion trim, the Portuguese Water Dog defies expectation: a cat that likes to swim. It is a loyal and affectionate partner, admirable guardian, and the athletic and cheerful company animal that your active family would like to take on board. 
An outdoor, athletic, extroverted and hardworking dog, the Portuguese Water Dog stands out amongst water dogs for their intelligence as for their beauty. It has certain popularity as a company animal, although due to its versatility and soft temperament it is recommendable for many. It is a competent collector, excellent worker in water, a good guardian and a great friend to children. Its good nature will make it win new swimming and fishing companions.
An eight week puppy weighs between 4 and 6 kg. It is a slow growing breed, which reached its maximum height after the 18th month and plain maturity after four or five years. The interested party should look for a kind, cheerful, never shy puppy, with a good activity level individual as well as within the litter. The color keeps basically the same, except for white spots that usually diminish. Pigmentation should be dark. At this age two types of coats may be appreciated. The type of hair appreciated at this age will be determinant for the adult coat. The white colored dogs are not a sign of albinism, as long as the nose, the eyelid edges and palate are pigmented in black. Adolescence is marked by much activity, which altogether, with the breed’s great intelligence, can be an authentic challenge. Breeders say that the adolescent Portuguese Water Dog is a real “teenager”, very demanding, and that requires obedience at early age. Growth is continual, and the eating habits should remain the same, always avoiding obesity.
Choose a vibrant puppy with dark pigmentation that shows some enthusiasm when meeting you. The breed doesn’t the lively and extroverted personality of a Golden Retriever, but is more reserved, although never shy or cowardly.
The adolescent Portuguese Water Dog is far from perfection in every sense: an authentic youngling that runs away from orders and requests. Agree with your dog since it is young; and don’t wait to begin teaching it. 
Perhaps the most important health issue in the Portuguese Water Dog is exercise and training. These dogs with much activity and very clever can easily self destruct if not stimulated every day. While this aspect can require much of the owner’s time, hair care not so much. It doesn’t shed. The coat is hair, not skin, and its care, although simple, should be discussed with a breeder/professional. There are three hereditary concerns for current breeders, known, hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy and a rare anomaly called storage disease, and it is characterized by an enzyme deficiency. This disease can already be detected by a blood test after six weeks of age. The new owner should be informed (and insist on a guarantee) about the patch hair loss that can be transmitted genetically.