The Water Português Cão (Portuguese water dog) It is a breed of dog of the Algarve, Portugal. They were used as working dogs by fishermen from time immemorial, but in the 20th century have become a rare breed.
While, the origins of the breed are somewhat obscure, What if one certainty is that the history of these dogs is very old.
A likely reference to the water Português Cão is found in the text of a monk, that in 1297 He described the rescue of a sailor by a dog with similar characteristics than the race hablamos… “long, black hair, cut up the first rib, and with a tuft at the tip of the tail“.
The common standard of shearing of these dogs, Mark to be as the description of the monk. Also, a photo of early 19th century, It represents the arrival of the King of Portugal to the beach of Bethlehem, shows a water dog, swim to the boat of the King.
Originally, water dogs – excellent swimmer is- they were used by the Portuguese fishermen in their boats as helpers in varied tasks, as be... fish networks arreo, recovery of objects falling into the water, carrying messages between ships or between Earth and the sea, among others.
The writer Raul Brandão, in his book the fisherman (1932), It describes the activity of a fishing boat in Olhao, and much of its description was based on these dogs and their marine skills.
From the 20th century with the advancement of new technologies both in fishing and in the communication, the work that was usually done by dogs gradually was replaced, and there was no need to travel with dogs on board. Like everything else in life, progress has their 'pro' and its 'against', in the Decade of 1930 the number of copies of the race diminished a lot, and the few copies that survived were in the Algarve coast.
The 1934 It was a crucial year for the subsistence of this breed, and perhaps the starting point for the recovery of water Cão, Portuguese was the Lisbon exhibition in 1934, under the direction of Frederick Pinto Soares. Enter the story, Vasco Bensaude, a rich businessman who lived in the Azores Islands, He had attended the canine event, because it is also devoted to the breeding of dogs in water. He was so impressed with the water Português Cão than, He decided to purchase four copies and thus begin a careful in his Kennel breeding program, Algarbiorum. Y, what he achieved with the support of two loving friends in the race, Pinto Soares and Fernandes Marques.
In Lakes, found a beautiful male who called Leão and was taken to Lisbon, followed by Dina, a female of Sesimbra. Two specimens found in the Algarve joined his Kennel, Nero, a male of curly hair and Venesa, a female of wavy hair. In 1937, born the first litter (Leão and Dina). Ushering in the "Algarbiorum" saga.
Vasco Bensaude was responsible for the recovery of the water Português Cão of Portugal and began the modern history of the race. He was responsible for his "Fausto Pereira Dos Santos" Kennel, and became an expert in the formation of Portuguese water dogs.
For many years, Vasco Bensaude was dedicated to the breeding of dogs but when in 1968 felt that his end was near, delivered to Conchita Cintrón, Castelo Branco the 17 copies of dog water Portuguese who had in his kennel and all your files.
Conchita Cintrón, was a brilliant person, breeder of Pointers, It carried out the Portuguese water dog breeding in his fifth Indian OJ, in Feijó, to the South of Lisbon.
Due to the tenacity and commitment to Conchita Cintrón dogs were placed in United States, where this wonderful race reached great popularity thanks to the commitment and efforts of another great personality in the history of this race, Mrs Miller Deyanne Farrell, He managed to diffuse them in America and around the world.
In 1972, in United States a group of breeders founded the American Club of the Portuguese water dogs (Portuguese Water Dog Club of America).
The Portuguese water dog is a breed of medium-sized, of strong Constitution, good muscular and compact body. Males have an ideal height for 54 cm., While the females measure approximately 46 cm.. The weight range from 19 until 25 kg in males and 16 and 22 kg in females.
There are two types of fur: long, wavy, with bright or short hair with hair is curly and more opaque.
The fur may be completely black, white or brown, or black or brown with white spots. Typical cutting is done in the muzzle and the back of the body, leaving a ball of hair at the tip of the tail, It gives an appearance of a lion.
Hair grows them continually so it required to be regularly brushed and trim or cut.
The Portuguese water dog hair cut can be done two ways or styles:
The lion Court
In the Lion Court, the hindquarters, the snout, and the base of the tail they shave and the rest of the body is left in its normal length. This is the traditional cut and perhaps the most functional, given the historical importance of race as a partner of a fisherman. The lion cut diminished the initial impact and shock with cold water, given that performed various aquatic work. The hindquarters are afeitaban to allow easy movement of the hind legs and tail, used it as a rudder.
The Retriever cut
The Court Retriever is left 2,5 cm long in a uniform manner on the body (Although some owners prefer the part of the snout and the base of the shorter tail). It's a more recent Court and style originated because breeders wanted to make the race more attractive and less unusual looking for buyers.
Is considered an exceptionally intelligent animal, with an active temperament, slightly restless, but obedient. It is also very resistant to fatigue. It is an excellent swimmer, being able to dive and swim underwater to recover the lost objects.
In the Natural Park of RIA Formosa, one of the attractions is the Kennel where was saved from extinction the Portuguese water dog, today known as the dog Obama, and where still today continues raising.
The Portuguese water dog is an excellent companion, loving, independent and intelligent it is easy to train in tasks of obedience and agility skills.
Because they are working dogs, the Portuguese water dog, in general, usually always close to his master awaiting instructions and if - due- trained, It is able and willing to follow orders very complex. They learn very quickly, They seem to enjoy the training, and they have a great memory for names of objects. These features and its single layer coat, have not moved, makes an excellent dog services several such as assistance dogs for the deaf, dogs Guide, Therapy Dogs.
Are very good companions for people who understand what they need, the Portuguese water dog is not a dog for any. Due to his intelligence and the need for unity in the work, require regular intensive exercise, as well as the mental challenges. They are kind and patient, but not “teleadictos”, physical inactivity and boredom can awaken destructive behaviors.
Recently, the race gained an unexpected publicity after the family of the President of United States, Barack Obama, Choose a pet Portuguese water dog. The dog, called Bo, He was introduced to the public 14 April 2009, due to the great interest shown by the media.
- Alternative names: Perro de agua portugués / chien d’eau portugais / portugiesischer wasserhund / portuguese water dog
- Group 8 / Section 3 – Water dogs
- Varieties: to) curly hair; b) wavy hair
Dogs breeds: Portuguese water dog