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Portuguese Water Dog Are Soon to Flood Shelters

Updated on April 16, 2009
Whitney05 profile image

Whitney has over 10 years of experience in dog training, rescuing and dog healthcare.

Portuguese Water Dogs

The Portuguese Water Dog were bred to help herd fish to the fishermen off the coast of Portugal. The breed is a fairly rare breed, and currently is almost never found in an animal shelter due to a 'lost dog' case, behavior problem, unwanted litter, etc.

These dogs can be great companion dogs. They have a high energy and need a lot of exercise, which doesn't make them appropriate for all people or families, but they do have wonderful temperaments towards all people, including strangers.

Portuguese Water Dogs are very intelligent, which can strongly work against owners who are not prepared to deal with their drive to do something (IE activity and exercise is a must). Their 'couch potato' and cuddley appearance will definitely mislead you.

The breed can be very vocal, and with their high energy, you don't want to have this large dog pent up in your apartment. They make great indoor and outdoor dogs, but you want to make sure that you keep up a regular, scheduled exercise routine for your PWD.

The Portuguese Water Dog can average at 17 to 23 inches at the shoulders, and weigh between 40 to 60 pounds.

Obama's Portuguese Water Dog

Since the Obama's have decided to get a PWD, there has been a lot of talk. Will this be another Dalmatian situation?

Remember when the first non-animated version of 101 Dalmatians movie was released?

Shortly after everyone was breeding Dalmatians, and shortly after that they flooded animal shelters. People saw the cute white and black spotted dog, and had to have one. No one did their research on temperament and disposition, and no one realized how to work with the breed or the exercise requirements. Shelters had them for years afterwards.

Will Bo, Obama's new PWD, start a popularity trend for the breed? Probably. He's cute and fluffy with his white boots giving a stark contrast to his black coat. Why wouldn't he start a new dog trend?

Before you, your friend, or your family member runs out to buy a PWD, you want to make sure that you research the breed and its requirements. Not everyone can handle such a high energy dog. You just may find that by bringing a Portuguese Water Dog into your home, you're releasing a jumping bean into a small, confined area where it'll just bounce off all the walls.

Adopt a Portuguese Water Dog

Even though Obama adopt Bo from an animal shelter, claiming that it's rare to find a Portuguese Water Dog for adoption in a shelter, you can find them available for adoption.

Although, he is right that it is rare, it can be done.

I suggest if you want to follow in the Kennedy's and the Obama's footsteps, you check your local and surrounding animal shelters, as well as any potentially local breed specific shelters for your own Portugeuse Water Dog, before you find a breeder.

Just remember that you want to do your research about the breed before you bring one home because this breed is not for every person or family, and there really is a breed or mix-thereof that suits everyone like a glove.

Controversies Surrounding Bo Obama

And, on a side note... The question floating around is whether or not Bo was truly bred for the Obamas. You make your decision.

  • Bo's breeder also bred the Kennedy's dogs, and is a big fand of Obama.
  • His litter was named 'Hope and Change'
  • He was initially purchased by someone in Washington.
  • He was returned in March, which perfectly fit the Obama's timeline for searching and getting their daughters a dog.
  • After being returned to the breeder, he immediately went to the Kennedy's estate so that their personal dog trainer could train him.
  • After about a month and a half, Bo is ready for Malia and Sasha.

It all sounds a little fishy to me, but hey what can you do? Nothing...

Now, as for the adoption concern... Do you consider getting a puppy from a breeder adoption? Granted, yes the puppy was returned by the original owner, but the first owner had no choice but to give the pup back to the breeder; it's in the breeder's contract.

Many believe that the dog was bred for the Obama family all along, and the initial purchase and return was set up to make it appear as though the Obama's were rescuing a dog and to potentially ease the criticism of buying from a breeder.

What's your opinion?

President Obama and His Family with Bo

Click thumbnail to view full-size


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    • ReuVera profile image


      9 years ago from USA

      Whitney, great and very clever hub! Looks to me you are right with your suspicion.

      Check my hub about luck for dogs, will you?

    • Whitney05 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia

      The main concern was his daughter's allergies. I think it's Malia who has allergies to dog dander. These dogs are considered hypo-allergenic. Although, all dogs have dog dander, and people with dog allergies are affected differently to different breeds- hypoallergenic or not.

    • SpikeTheLobster profile image


      9 years ago from South Coast, UK

      Sounds like he was bred-for, or at least not a real adoption. Pathetic. Why didn't they just get a mutt, some mix of thirty-seven different breeds instead of continuing the 'pedigree' snobbery? And you're right - expect shelters to be flooded with them soon. More animal suffering because of fashion. Sigh.


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