Breed History

In Portugal the Water Dog is known as Cao de Agua meaning "Dog of the Water"

Historical theory finds the Portuguese Water Dog on the development road from the central Asiantic Steppes early as 700 BC to the Iberian Peninsula in the 8th century; and on the British coastline as working crew of the ships on the Spanish Armada in 1588.

These Portuguese Water Dog seafaring working dogs carried messages between ships and to shore, stood watch in the bow, barking warnings of danger in the surrounding fog.  In his homeland the Portuguese Water Dog thrived as a courier between fishing boats. Portuguese Water Dogs dove fearlessly into the sea to retrieve broken nets and tackle gone overboard, and are loyal friends to the fisherman and his family.

Modern marine technology - radar, radio communications and equipment - caused the near extinction of the Portuguese Water Dog. The Sturdy medium sized, highly intelligent canine was displaced by modern fishing methods.

In August of 1972, there was less than 25 known pure bred Portuguese Water Dogs thoughout the world. The founders and members of the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America united to revive the breed and secure strong, healthy foundation stock.  

On June 5th 1981 the Portuguese Water Dog was admitted to the American Kennel Club Miscellaneous Class more than 500 dogs lived in the United States. On January 1st 1984 the Portuguese Water Dog became eligible to compete in the AKC Working Group.