The Portuguese water dog (Cão de água português)
During the long voyages of the Portuguese discoveries to faraway lands, in the XV and XVI, the sailors normally used to take dogs with them. Some where used for hunting at the new lands, others where for entertainment.
The Portuguese decided to create a breed that could be strong and at the same time could handle the rough seas. For that, the Portuguese used a breed that already existed in the time of the Roman Empire called the “canis leo” the “lion dog”. The “canis leo”. Its appearance, with the hair in the front half and shaved in rear half gave them that lion look. At the same time the dog would get agility in the rear legs and warm on the chess.
The “Portuguese water dog” it is a strong muscular animal. There are two kinds, the short hair and the long hair that covers the all body. The long hair is shiny and wavy; the short hair is rough and thick. Their colors are black, white a maroon. Both kinds are between 16 and 25 Kg (7 to 12 lbs). and a median length of 40 a 56 cm (18 a 25 inches).
The “Portuguese water dog” is a very docile animal, playful, loves to run in open fields intelligent, brave, energetic and very loyal. It is also very good with children and friendly.
In Portugal there is a well known Kennel called the “Canil da Ria Formosa” at the Portuguese National park of “Park Natural da Ria Formosa” that keeps preserving the breed of this animal.