A home doesn’t feel complete without a dog — at least, that’s how you feel if you’re an avid dog lover. There’s something special about having that lovable, canine companion by your side, and you likely already have it in your mind that you will always have a dog. But, when you have a family, especially with young children, choosing the right dog becomes even more of a process. Your choice hinges largely on whether or not your new potential pup is good with kids.
If you’re thinking about getting a Portuguese Water Dog, the good news is this pup is a great match for households with children. Plus, since this dog sports a hypoallergenic coat, they’re an especially good fit for owners suffering from allergies. However, there are a few things worth noting. Therefore, if you’re considering adding this breed to your family dynamic, make sure you know all you need to know before you purchase or adopt your dog.
The Portuguese Water Dog: Affectionate and Playful Companion
Portuguese Water Dogs are adventurous pups that love to romp about and play and engage in all sorts of activities. In fact, it’s this very quality that makes them a great fit for children, although perhaps not so much for children under two. These pups can tend to have a strong will, and while very loyal and loving, could easily knock your one-year-old over with their rambunctious, doggy antics. Of course, early socialization and proper training can help defuse these habits.
However, this dog will take very quickly to everyone in your family, offering constant devotion, protection, and companionship.
Here are 6 reasons why a Portuguese Water Dog is the best family dog:
- Good-natured and even-tempered, which is always a big plus when it comes to children.
- Adjust very quickly to their new home and family, so they will accept your kids right away.
- Extremely loyal and will become your children’s instant watchdog and protector.
- Loves to play and can keep up with active kids easily.
- Smart and eager to please, so your kids can definitely participate in the training process.
- Always happy to cuddle.
Getting To Know the Portuguese Water Dog
Portuguese Water Dogs are a great family pet and do well with other pets and children, as long as you take the time to train them properly. Since these pups also come with lots of energy, you must provide them ample opportunities to channel their active natures. Of course, every dog is different, so before you bring home your new pet, it’s vital to meet the actual pup that you plan to add to your family.
Still, some breed basics can help you make your final decision. After all, your dog’s temperament is super important, but so are other qualities like grooming needs, size, health issues, and other factors. Therefore, it’s always good to know everything you can about any dog you consider bringing home.
For example, a Labrador makes a wonderful companion for children. Still, if you don’t have the time to exercise them properly, they can get into lots of mischief and be pretty destructive. This quality often accompanies many large breeds, as well as small high-energy breeds too. Therefore, it’s good to look at the big picture before you choose your pup.
Here are some good-to-know facts about the adventurous and playful Portuguese Water Dog:
The average height of a Portuguese Water Dog is between 17 and 23 inches, and the average weight is roughly 35 to 60 pounds. The males, as is common with most dog breeds, are usually slightly larger than the females.
A Portuguese Water Dog lives an average of 11 to 13 years.
Although this pup sports a hypoallergenic coat, their coat requires extensive grooming to keep it healthy and tangle-free. Whether your pup has a wavy or tight, curly coat, weekly brushing is a must; although, you only need to give them an occasional bath. It’s also important to trim their nails regularly, as is the case with all breeds. Plus, check their ears often for signs of infection and stay on top of regular dental care and consistent teeth brushing.
Overall, this breed is healthy, but the National Breed Club recommends some evaluations and DNA tests, to test for things like hip dysplasia and Progressive Retinal Atrophy. You can learn more about this breed’s health by checking out the Official Breed Club Health Statement.
If you're bringing home a Portuguese Water Dog, have a leash always within arm’s reach because daily walks and runs are a must! This athletic pup is extremely active and needs lots of opportunities for vigorous exercise every day. In addition to exercising their body, this pup also needs proper mental stimulation, so they do well with things like agility training, tracking trials, and other canine sports. Of course, as their name would suggest, this dog also loves anything to do with swimming.
Even though this pooch loves to play, there will be times you need to leave them on their own. To help keep them out of trouble, provide your Portie with lots of engaging activities they can do on their own. Great examples are things like treat puzzles and interactive toys like the Rolly Cannoli. These types of products, along with ample exercise, can help keep your pup focused and out of trouble.
Portuguese Water Dogs, like most dogs, need early socialization, training, and positive exposure to a variety of people, places, and things. These pups are even-tempered, so once they have the right training, they make awesome companions.
Porties are very intelligent, and they respond well to training but ensure you use positive reinforcement to keep the training sessions upbeat. These dogs can also be very independent and might try to challenge their owners if they aren’t shown who’s boss.
Dogs and Kids
When you’re ready to add a dog to the family, proper preparation is vital. Before even bringing your new pup home, make sure you talk with your kids about the appropriate way to interact with animals. Set firm and consistent rules with both your children and your new family dog. It’s essential that everybody, both human and canine, know what is expected of them and how they should behave. Older children can benefit significantly from being a part of the training process, which can also help your new dog recognize the children as an important part of the pack.
When you’re ready to add a Portuguese Water Dog to the family, petfinder.com is an excellent place to start your search. If you decide you want to provide a home to an animal in need, you can also check out Portuguese Water Dog Rescue. For more helpful information, valuable resources, and fun tidbits about all things pet-related, check out our blog! At Neater Pets, you’ll find engaging ideas and tips to help you be the best pet parent that you can be.