PORTUGUESE WATER DOG
Portuguese Kennel Club. Revised by R. Triquet & J.
Mulholland and Renée Sporre-Willes.
DATE OF PUBLICATION
OF THE ORGINAL VALID STANDARD
Assistance with fishing and retrieving as well as companion dog.
Group 8 – Retrievers, Flushing Dogs, Water Dogs.
Section 3 – Water dogs.
Without working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY
In ancient times, the Portuguese Water Dog could be found throughout
the entire Portuguese coast. Thereafter, due to continuous changes in
fishing methods, the breed was located mainly in the Al garve region
which is now considered as its original birthplace. Its pre sence on
the Portuguese coast is probably very remote and thus the Por tu guese
Water Dog should be considered as an autochthonous Portuguese breed.
A dog of medium proportions, bracoïd tending to rectilinear to slight
convex. Harmonious in shape, balanced, strong and well muscled.
Considerable deve lopment of the muscles due to constant swimming.
Of almost square shape, with the length of body approximately equal to
height at the withers.
The ratio of the height at the withers to the depth of the chest is
2:1; the ratio of length of skull to muzzle is 4:3.
Exceptionally intelligent, it understands and obeys easily and happily
any order given by its owner. An animal with impetuous disposition,
wilful, courageous, sober and resistant to fa tigue. It has a severe,
penetrating and attentive expression, as well as re markable visual and
An excellent and resistant swimmer and diver, it is the inseparable
companion of the fisherman for whom it performs a multitude of tasks,
both in fishing and in guarding and protecting its boat and property.
While fishing, it will willingly jump to sea to retrieve escaped
fish, diving if necessary and likewise if a net breaks or a cable
becomes loose. It is also used as a liaison between boats and shore or
vice-versa, even at great distances.
Well proportioned, strong and broad. Parallel longitudinal axes of the
skull and muzzle.
Skull: Seen in profile it is slightly longer than the muzzle (4:3). Its
curvature is more accentuated at the back and the occipital
protuberance is pronounced.
Seen from the front the parietal bones are rounded with a slight de
pression in the middle; the front is slightly hollow, the frontal
furrow extends to two thirds of the parietal bones and the superciliary
arches are prominent.
Stop: Well defined and slightly behind the inner corners of the eyes.
Nose: Wide, with well open and pigmented nostrils. Black in black, white and pied animals. In brown specimens the nose is
the same colour as the coat, but never marbled.
Muzzle: Straight, broader at the base than at the extremity.
Lips: Thick, especially in front. Commis sure not prominent. Mucous
membranes (palate, under the tongue and gums) deeply pigmented in
black, deep brown in brown dogs.
Jaws/Teeth: Strong, healthy teeth, not visible when mouth is closed.
Strong and well developed canines. Scissor bite or pincer bite.
Eyes: Medium sized; noticeable and rounded in shape; set well apart and
slightly slanted. The iris is black or brown and the lids are thin and
black edged, brown in brown dogs. Unappa rent conjunctive.
Ears: Set above the eye line, held against the head, slightly raised
from the rear and heart-shaped. Thin in texture, their extremity never
reaches below the throat.
Straight, short, rounded, well muscled, well set and carried high;
connecting to the body in an harmonious transition. Without ruff or
Top line: Straight; level.
Withers: Wide and not prominent.
Back: Straight, short, broad and well muscled.
Loin: Short and well connected to the croup.
Croup: Well proportioned, slightly sloping with symmetrical and non
apparent hip bones.
Chest: Wide and deep. Its lower edge should reach the elbow. The ribs
are long and well sprung, providing great respiratory capacity.
Underline and belly: Gracefully shaped and reduced in volume.
Natural, of medium set-on, thick at its base, tapering towards the end.
Should not reach below the hock.
When attentive curls in a ring, not reaching beyond the middle of the
loin. It is a useful aid for swimming and diving.
FOREQUARTERS: Strong and straight. Upright. Slightly sloping pasterns
Shoulder: Slanting in profile and trans versely. Strong muscular
Upper arm: Strong and medium in size. Parallel to the main body line.
Forearm: Long and strongly muscled.
Carpus (pastern joint): Strong bones, broader when seen from the front
than from the side.
Metacarpus (pastern): Long and strong.
Forefeet: Rounded and flat with slightly arched toes of medium length.
The webbing, extending over the whole length of the toes, is composed
of limp tissue and covered with abundant and long hair. Black nails are
preferred but, according to coat colour, may also
be white, striped or brown. The nails do not reach the ground. Hard
central pad and normal thickness in the other pads.
HINDQUARTERS: Upright and well muscled. Slightly sloping hocks are
Buttock: Strong and well rounded.
Thigh: Strong and medium in length. Very well muscled.
Stifle joint: Turned neither in nor out.
Second thigh: Long and very well muscled. Turned neither in nor out.
Well slanting from front to back. All tendons and ligaments are strong.
Metatarsus (rear pastern): Long. Without dewclaws.
Hind feet: Identical to the forefeet in all aspects.
Easy movement with short steps at walk; light cadenced trot and
Thick, supple; not very tight; internal and external mucous membranes
pre ferably pigmented.
HAIR: The whole body is abundantly covered with strong hair, with no
There are two varieties: one long and wavy and the other shorter and
curly. The first is slightly shiny and woolly; the latter is dense,
lustreless and forms compact cylindrical curls. Except for the
underarms and groin the coat is even all over the skin. On the head it
a topknot of wavy hair in the long and wavy variety and of curly hair
in the curly variety. The hair in the ears is longer in the long and
COLOUR: The coat is black or brown of various shades, or solid white.
In black or brown coats, white is accepted in the following locations:
muzzle, topknot, neck, forechest, belly, tip of tail and lower
extremities of the limbs, below the elbows and hocks. The white coat
must not be albino, consequently the nose, eyelids and inside of the
mouth should be pigmented in black, and brown in brown dogs. In this
breed partial clipping of the coat, when it is too long, is typical.
The hindquarters, the muzzle and part of the tail are clipped, leaving
a plume of full length hair at the tip of the tail.
HEIGHT AND WEIGHT
Height at withers:
Males: 50-57 cm. Ideal height 54 cm.
Females: 43-52 cm. Ideal height 46 cm.
Males: 19-25 kg.
Females: 16-22 kg.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault
and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be
in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and
welfare of the dog.
Head: Too long, narrow, flat or pointed.
Muzzle: Too tapered or pointed.
Eyes: Light, too protruding or too sunken.
Ears: Incorrect set, too big, too short or folded.
Tail: Heavy, dropped in action or raised perpendicularly.
Behaviour: Aggressive or overly shy.
Size: Over-sized or under-sized
Jaws: Undershot or overshot.
Eyes: Wall eye, uneven in shape or size.
Deafness: Congenital or acquired.
Tail: Docked, rudimentary or non-exis tent.
Feet: Presence of dewclaws.
Coat: Hair different from the described types.
Colour: Albinism, marbled nostrils in whole or in part. Any other
colour than the described type.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be
N.B.: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully
descended into the scrotum.