Portuguese Water Dog

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The Portuguese Water Dog (cão de água português) is a breed of dog traditionally used to assist fishermen in Portugal. When modern technology made the dog's traditional work obsolete, it was in danger of being lost, but the breed was saved from extinction by dedicated fanciers including Dr. Vasco Bensuade, a wealthy businessman.

It belongs to the retriever family of dogs and is classed as a working dog.


Portuguese Water Dogs are of medium size with a curly or simply wavy single coat, an imposing head and tufted tail. They resemble poodles to a degree.

The breed standard requires an exceptionally intelligent and loyal dog with great stamina.

PWDs, as they are known, are a rare breed but recent events may change this: in April 2009, it was announced that US President Barack Obama is to select such a breed as a pet for his daughters in the White House. The new puppy is called "Bo" (apparently after Bo Diddley) and is reported to have been a gift from Portuguese Water Dog-fancier Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy.