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Breed Characteristic Information

INTELLIGENCE :
Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don't get the mental stimulation they need, they'll make their own work -- usually with projects you won't like, such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are daily walks, a run in the park and of course, a good swim.

SENSITIVITY LEVEL :
Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called "easygoing," "tolerant," "resilient," and even "thick-skinned," can better handle a  louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. High- sensitivity dogs are often competitive, intense and reactive,  often being sensitive how their owners correct behaviors.  These breeds typically excel at various jobs and sports.

TOLERATES BEING ALONE :
Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to worry or even panic when left alone by their owner. An anxious dog can be destructive, barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise getting into things that not only cause trouble for the owners but can be harmful to the dog.  These breeds do best when a family member is home during the day or if you can take the dog to work, or even drop the dog off at a pet daycare facility.

AFFECTION LEVEL :
Some breeds are independent and aloof, others seem to gravitate to one person and are indifferent to everyone else; and some show loads of affection with the whole family.  Breed isn't the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around and are better socialized outside the home at a young age feel more comfortable with people and bond more easily.

CHILD FRIENDLY :
Some breeds have an infinite amount of patience with children, some can play endlessly and some are
naturally protective of children.
Being gentle with children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and not paying much mind to a running, screaming child are all traits that make a kid-friendly dog.

**All dogs are individuals. This rating is a generalization, and they're not a guarantee of how any breed or individual dog will behave. Dogs from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences, training on how to get along with kids, and personality. No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances.  Medium or larger sized dogs can also get a bit too excited about greeting or playing with a toddler or very young child and cause injury out of enthusiasm rather than anything else. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period.

DOG / CAT FRIENDLY :
Friendliness toward dogs or other animals and friendliness toward people are two completely different things. Some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs even if they're great with people; others would rather play than fight; and some will turn tail and run. Dogs who lived with their litter-mates and mother until at least 6 to 8 weeks of age, and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppy-hood, are more likely to have good canine social skills.
There’s a short period in every puppy’s development, from very early puppy-hood to three or four months of age, when his experiences have a big effect on his entire approach to life. If he has lots of positive encounters with other dogs during that developmental window, he’s far more likely to grow up to be dog-friendly. If he doesn’t, he can become fearful and aggressive.
There are some breeds that are not only tolerant of their feline counterparts but regard them as just another part of the family.  These dogs are unlikely to be rough with your cat even when playing.  The best chance of having your dog get along well with kitty, is to introduce them when the dog is still a puppy or very young.

FRIENDLY TOWARD STRANGERS :
Stranger-friendly dogs will greet guests with a wagging tail and a nuzzle; others are shy, indifferent, or even aggressive. However, no matter what the breed, a dog who was exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes, and shapes of people as a puppy will respond better to strangers as an adult.


SHEDDING LEVEL :
Some breeds, like the Portuguese Water Dog, are a single coated breed. They have no undercoat to shed from.  Most people who have allergies are affected by the shedding done by dogs with an undercoat. All dogs shed at least some coat from time to time. The trade-off with dog breeds that shed little is that they typically require more grooming, stripping and trimming to keep their coats in shape.

WATCHDOG ABILITY :
This trait refers to a dog's tendency to bark at the things that you want a watchdog to bark at, like intruders and vandals.  We need to draw a distinction here between watchdog barking, which is a good thing up to a point, and inappropriate or excessive barking, which is definitely an undesirable trait.

DROOLING POTENTIAL :
Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you've got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; if not, you may want to choose a dog who rates low in the drool department.

GROOMING NEEDS :
Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog that needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it.  The Portuguese Water Dog, like Poodles and other low shedding breeds
needs to be clipped or scissored on a regular basis. Their coat will continue to grow longer and longer, until it becomes unmanageable otherwise. You can learn to clip your dog yourself, or take them to a
professional groomer regularly. 


GENERAL HEALTH :
Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia. This doesn't mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they're at an increased risk. If you're buying a puppy, it's a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you're interested in, so you can ask the breeder about the physical health of your potential pup's parents and other relatives.

PLAYFULNESS :
A lively and versatile breed like the Portie generally has plenty of energy and usually enjoys a good play session, especially if it's with his family.  Their playful nature keeps them enjoying activities like fetch, hiking, agility, and swimming . Some dogs are perpetual puppies always begging for a game, while others are more serious and sedate.

PREY DRIVE :
Dogs that were bred to hunt, such as terriers, have an inborn desire to chase and sometimes kill other animals. Anything whizzing by, cats, squirrels, perhaps even cars can trigger that instinct. Dogs that like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you'll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren't a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs.

POTENTIAL FOR WEIGHT GAIN :
Some breeds have hearty appetites and tend to put on weight easily. As in humans, being overweight can cause health problems.  The same goes for your dog. If you pick a breed that's prone to packing on pounds, you'll need to limit treats, make sure he gets enough exercise, and measure out his daily kibble in regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time.

MOUTHINESS :
Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn't puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or "herd" their human family members, and they need training to learn that it's fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a chew toy that's been stuffed with kibble and treats.

SIZE :
Dogs come in all sizes, from the world's smallest, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if he is compatible with you and your living space.

SOCIAL NEEDS :
Like us, dogs are social creatures. They need to spend the majority of their time in the company of others, whether of their own kind or of different species.  That being said, there are some breeds that can tolerate being alone for several hours at a time.  Other breeds become anxious even when their owner just steps out of the room.  Each dog regardless of breed has individual social needs.  Adequate social contact, mental challenges, exercise and interactive play are essential with a highly social dog to help prevent attention-seeking behaviors and problems related to boredom and frustration.

GOOD FOR NOVICE OWNERS :
Some dogs are simply easier than others.  They take to training better and are fairly easygoing. They're also resilient enough to bounce back from your mistakes or inconsistencies. Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time owner to manage.

APARTMENT FRIENDLY :
Contrary to popular belief, small size doesn't necessarily an apartment dog make. There are plenty of small dogs  too high-energy and yappy for life in a high-rise. Being quiet, receiving adequate exercise and mind stimulation, staying fairly calm indoors, and polite with the other residents, are all good qualities in an apartment dog.

EXERCISE NEEDS :
Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise -- especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, such as herding or hunting. Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility.

WONDERLUST POTENTIAL :
There are breeds such as Nordic dogs or Siberian Huskies that are more free-spirited than others.  These dogs were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they'll take off after anything that catches their interest. Other breeds such as hounds simply must follow their noses, or that bunny that just ran across the path, even if it means leaving you behind.

INTENSITY :
A vigorous dog may or may not be high-energy, but everything he does, he does with vigor: he strains on the leash (until you train him not to), tries to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who's elderly or frail. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life.


BARKING TENDENCIES :
All dogs make noise but some breeds sound off more often than others. When choosing a breed, think about how the dog vocalizes with barks or howls, and how often. Certain dog breeds tend to bark a lot, usually with good reason. Other breeds of dogs have a reputation of barking less. Also, don’t overlook the fact that each individual dog (regardless of the breed) has his very own unique personality and style, and barking may or may not be his preferred method of communication.  Lack of socialization can also influence a dog's tendency to bark.

TRAINABILITY :
Easy to train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word "sit"), an action (sitting), and a consequence (getting a treat) very quickly. Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training. Many breeds are intelligent but approach training with a "What's in it for me?" attitude, in which case you'll need to use rewards and games to teach them to want to comply with your requests.

ENERGY LEVEL :
High-energy dogs are always ready and waiting for action. Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they're more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells. Low-energy dogs are the canine equivalent of a couch potato, content to doze the day away. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you'll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.



* The information provided has been collected from reliable resources along with our personal experiences not only the PWD breed but others as well.  Even though a dog from a reputable breeder is consistent to that particular breed's characteristics, there's enormous variety in the way a dog acts and reacts to the world around him. Those differences can be due to how much he was handled as a youngster, how well he was trained after bringing him home, and of course the genetic of the dog. In the end, your dog's preferences and personality are as individual as you are--and if you can accept that you're bound to enjoy each other.