The first mention of a dog with a black fur coat, similar to the Portuguese Water Dog, dates from about the 13th century. They were raised to retrieve fishermen’s nets and help with other things in the water, such as moving the net to another boat. When necessary, they guarded the boat. The number of Portuguese water dogs declined in the 1960s when fishing methods changed and the dogs were no longer needed. Therefore, it has been registered as the rarest dog with a pedigree, but the interest in this breed as a family dog has replaced its traditional role of fisherman.
They have become very well known in the last decade. This is due to former US President Barack Obama and his family, who had two Portuguese water dogs – Bo and Sunny – during their stay at the White House.
How Much Does a Portuguese Water Dog Cost?
The Portuguese Water Dog became very popular once it was chosen to be the pet of the Barack family during their stay at the White House. Due to this fact, its cost has increased.
The cost of a Portuguese water dog is influenced by many factors including:
- the physical characteristics – dogs that have common colored fur cost less than the ones with pure white coat;
- health certificates and health condition (neutered/spayed), plus the vet examinations and checks result in a higher price;
- registration and other licenses may affect the price.
However, you should expect to pay anywhere between $2,550 and $3,550 for a Portie, depending on the factors mentioned above.
You can choose from a wide variety of Portie puppies available for sale at Lancaster Puppies. When buying from there you don’t have to worry about the AKC registration as most of the dogs are already registered.
Regardless of the age of the dog, you can always find one right on the AKC Marketplace as there are many quality breeders.
Portuguese Water Dog details
The Portuguese water dog is medium in size, with a strong and muscular body. The head is round, with a short snout, and the ears are quite wide and drooping.
There are two types of this breed: one with long curly hair and another with short curly hair.
The fur can be black, white, brown, or a combination of these colors.
The lifespan of a Portuguese water dog is 10 to 14 years.
What are the extra costs?
Portuguese water dogs are very easy to train. Some will show signs of independence, which is why it is advisable to start training very early. They respond very well to goodies and rewards, and should never be treated harshly. Discipline, physical correction, and shouting will cause the dog to develop avoidance behaviors. They have a constant need to please and generally behave very well, which means that the training should be exemplary. Once the basic commands have been mastered, the Portuguese water dog should advance to agility and listening training.
Depending on the trainer you choose and the course, be prepared to pay around $130 for one hour per day six weeks program of basic obedience training.
The coat of the Portuguese Water Dog should be brushed and combed regularly. For show and company, especially for the variety with long and wavy hair, the “lion” haircut is preferred, where the hair on the muzzle, back, and lower limbs is cut short. For working dogs, the “retriever” haircut is preferred, where the hair on the whole body is cut short, to just a few centimeters. The long fur grows continuously so it is easily tangled if it is not brushed a few times a week. If you do not have enough time to take care of it and if you do not participate in shows, you can opt for a very short haircut.
You should budget around $18 to $80 for a pack of 6 promo high-quality dog shampoos and almost $30 for a per grooming kit. Though, if you want to take your pet to a saloon, be prepared to pay anywhere between $50 and $90, depending on what services you choose.
Also, don’t forget about dental care. It is best to brush his teeth with a toothbrush at least a few times a week to remove any tartar deposits. Nails should also be cared for at least monthly if it does not brush them naturally during walks.
Like many other breeds, the Portuguese Water Dog can suffer from various inherited eye diseases and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Therefore, eye checks and evaluation of dogs’ hips before mating are important. They should also undergo DNA testing to identify a rare but serious inherited heart disease that can occur in this breed.
It is recommended to get pet insurance in order to be prepared for any medical expenses. Pet insurances cost anywhere between $28 and $35 per month.
Toys and accessories
The Portuguese Water dog is a sociable, obedient, and tireless dog and likes to spend time with its owner. It will listen to everything you ask of it because it wants to please you. Moreover, it will try to do all sorts of tricks to make you laugh. It is so playful that many times it will turn the owner’s shoes and other belongings into toys and in the end destroy them. That is why you should purchase some durable chew toys that cost around $8.
The amount of food you need to give your Portuguese water dog depends on its size, age, metabolism, and activity level.
Dogs with a lower level of activity should be given less food or they may be prone to obesity. You can keep your dog in shape if you feed it at least twice a day. After a meal, it is good for the dog to rest for at least 30 minutes.
You should budget anywhere between $30 (for a 2 lb. bag) and $50 (for a 30 lb. bag) for high-quality dog foods which have the ideal amount of nutrients.
Licensing and registrations
As the Portuguese water dogs are purebred dogs, they are recognized by the American Kennel Club. You should budget anywhere between $35 and $80 for the AKC registration.
Crate and kennel
Be prepared to pay anywhere between $80 and $100 for an outdoor or indoor kennel for your Portie. The ideal size for an adult Portuguese water dog is around 42” L x 28” W x 30” H.
Important things to consider
The Portuguese Water Dog needs at least one hour of exercise a day, preferably much longer. He is obviously a true “water lover” – you will often see him going right through puddles! Make sure he is on a leash in areas where the water is not safe (on frozen lakes, etc.).
This dog feels good next to an active owner and in a fenced yard where he can move freely. He can also fit in an apartment if he is provided with the daily movement he needs. He needs a high level of activity and he likes to swim a lot. He also has inclinations for various canine sports.
He has a habit of jumping on people, but not in an aggressive way, but because he is friendly and wants to show his affection. However, he doesn’t like to be alone, so if you do end up leaving him alone for too long, he will start nibbling on everything in the house.
It is forbidden to give the dog sweets. Even if he asks for some and likes them or eats them, sweets, in general, don’t do him any good. Chocolate and ice cream are toxic to him. Excess can be life-threatening.
It is always a good idea to research before deciding on the right type of dog for you and your family. You can find a lot of additional resources about Portuguese water dogs through the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America (PWDCA), as well as talking to current breed owners. PWDCA also provides rescue and adoption services for Porties dogs.
How can I save money?
It would be a good idea to adopt a Portie instead of purchasing one. This way you can both save money and offer a new home to an abandoned dog. There are many rescue organizations and local shelters that are looking for new owners for these dogs.