If it looks like a Poodle, walks like a Poodle, and barks like a Poodle, it must be one—unless it’s a Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix.
Two members of the same family (Poodles and Portuguese Water Dogs) split centuries ago.
The Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix combines the history, heritage and popular conceptions of these breeds.
This takes us back to a type of dog that started it all in the beginning.
Where Does the Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix Come From?
As dogs and men began to work together, various types of dogs were bred and selected.
Guard dogs, herding dogs and hunting dogs were probably the first three sorts.
Some dog breeds may have been chosen and bred specifically for certain takes.
Many other dogs were simply allowed to be themselves, and work was tailored around them.
A need arose for dogs who could work as hunters and retrievers in the water.
These dogs would bring back ducks, geese and other waterfowl to their owners.
And these dogs are the parents of both the Portuguese Water Dog and the Poodle.
The major difference is that the Poodle is now generally regarded as coming from France, while the Portuguese Water Dog is from Portugal.
This mix brings the two branches of the family back together again.
While Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mixes are mixed breeds, they bring many of the advantages of purebreds with them.
This includes an intriguing history, good looks and a dog that is uniquely yours.
Fun Facts About the Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix
Because these pups like to fly “under the radar,” there’s not too many well-known fun facts about a Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix.
Some lesser known facts about these dogs include:
- They can be mistaken for poodles on a regular basis.
- Their tight, curly coats may make them better for those with allergies.
- This mixed breed generally results in excellent swimmers.
Beyond these general facts, Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mixes are a bundle of surprises just waiting to be unlocked by you.
After all, that’s one of the best parts about having a mix as your newest family member.
Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix Appearance
What does a Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix look like on a general basis?
They are 17 to 22 inches high and can weigh up to 60 pounds.
They are not going to be as small as some Poodles may be.
A Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix can have almost any combination of their parents’ coat colors.
This includes brown, black, silver, blue, white and red.
You may also find a fawn, cream or grey-coated Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix.
Their eyes are usually brown or amber, and their coats tend to be curly and on the shorter side.
While some dogs are different, it’s a pretty safe bet that their coats are tighter as well.
This means some extra time spent on grooming.
These dogs may have long necks, tapered tails and well-defined toplines.
Any combination of the above is also possible.
The best way to find out what your pup may look like is to find a litter or a group of older dogs and take a look.
Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix Temperament
What can you expect from these dogs and their temperaments?
As both of the parents are intelligent to start with, this mix tends to be even more clever.
This can have interesting repercussions.
Because of their need for mental stimulation, Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mixes can be very destructive.
However, this is not malicious or aggressive behavior. These dogs are just trying to figure out what they can and can’t do.
This attitude spills over into much of a Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix’s interactions with the world.
It also makes them great with small children because they are always up for a challenge.
Small children provide that in plenty.
They are also very friendly, extroverted and social.
Given these traits, deliberate socialization and training are a must in order to provide the best possible experience for you and your pup.
Training Your Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix
General guidelines about training puppies abound.
To a lesser extent, resources for working with adult dogs are also available. We offer both on our site.
While not everyone knows these things innately, it’s not too difficult to find them if you look for general rules and guidelines.
What are some specifics for this mix in particular?
Kind but firm training is a must, as is enough mental simulation.
Intelligence puzzles and obstacle courses may be great choices for a Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix.
A wide variety of toys and playtime will also help prevent boredom.
And don’t forget about the benefits of socializing your Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix with other dogs.
As these pups tend to be more sensitive and touchy when disturbed, it is a good idea to get them used to other dogs as soon as possible.
Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix Health
What does a Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix deal with in the health department?
What can be expected on a daily to yearly basis?
And what should you know about the projected lifetime of these dogs?
A Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix can be expected to live about 10 to 12 years.
While these dogs have no known chronic or ongoing health problems, a few concerns may crop up over the years, both major and minor.
Major concerns include the possibility of Addison’s disease, various eye issues and hip dysplasia.
Less serious issues that you may face generally circle around eye issues.
As with all pups, regular vet visits will go a long way to prevent and/or solve these issues before they become acute.
Eye examinations in particular can be requested if you find any cause to worry.
On a day-to-day basis, these dogs have no special medical or health needs.
As with every dog, quality food will go a long way to prevent troubles down the road.
Talk to your vet or breeder about your options to make sure your choices are headed in the right direction.
Daily care for a Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix includes frequent (two or more times a week) brushing and grooming home sessions.
They’ll also need quality time with you.
Do Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mixes Make Good Family Dogs?
Depending on the family, the first answer is yes.
Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mixes are highly adaptable and very intelligent, which makes them a good fit for most family situations.
Because they are very active dogs, they might not be the best for a family who is not at home very often or who is not physically very active.
Elderly people may have a harder time keeping up with these dogs.
However, for families with small children, children with special needs or changing schedules, a Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix might be the right dog for you.
Because they adapt and adjust quickly, these pups can handle situations that are not predictable or set in stone.
Every family is different, but overall, this mix is qualified to become a new member of almost any family.
Rescuing a Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix
While it brings different challenges than a puppy, it gives a dog another chance and another life with a loving, caring owner.
Because a Portuguese Water Dog looks so much like a poodle, it may be hard to rescue this exact breed.
Check your local shelters and ask around; those people may have other resources to help your search.
Focused social media pages may help you out as well.
As you network, you may find families or people who have to give a beloved dog up or strays that have not been taken to a shelter just yet.
These are all viable options.
Regardless of the network you tap into, it can be done.
It might take a little longer and be a little harder, but you have a great chance of finding your forever friend as a rescue.
Finding a Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix Puppy
If a rescue can’t be found or a puppy is preferred because of other family situations, how does one go about finding a Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix puppy?
First of all, please avoid puppy mills, obvious and otherwise.
These places are out to make money off of unsuspecting people and unloved dogs. No one wins in these situations.
These places may also sadly be some of the first places you find through the Internet.
When talking to or meeting any breeder, take a double (or triple) look at their practices and papers.
Look for breeders who do not pressure you in any way to buy a pup right away, who may have a wait list or nothing available at the moment, and who will interview you as to your ability to raise one of their pups.
Breed clubs for Portuguese Water Dogs or other local focus groups surrounding this mix are a great place to start, as are any referrals they may give you.
Online focus groups can also be very helpful.
Raising a Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix Puppy
When seriously considering a new addition to the family, it’s important that your potential puppy be raised and trained as you grow together.
What are some of the best ways to raise a Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix puppy?
Most puppy advice training is not breed-specific.
It doesn’t need to be, as most puppies need exactly the same sorts of things.
A great place to start getting an overview of the subject is our puppy training page.
For Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mixes in particular, it may be helpful to focus on their intelligence.
These dogs are very smart and may not need to be told things very often.
However, this can lead to them finding new avenues for mischief. Thus, the emphasis on training their intelligence.
In any case, loving, caring and firm training will only improve the bond between you and your pup.
Pros and Cons of Getting a Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix
In summary, what are some of the pros and cons of a Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix?
- Difficult to find this exact mix
- Can be hyperactive and destructive
- Highly adaptable and intelligent
- Does well with uncertain and/or changing situations
- Good with children
Similar Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mixes and Breeds
If you can’t find a Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix or decide that you like some of the traits, but it’s just not a good fit, what are some of your alternative options?
Don’t worry. Most poodle mixes share many of the admirable traits of the Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix.
Depending on the other parent, you may be able to find (to some extent) a pup that is almost ideal for your needs.
Both parent breeds are an option as well.
Ask around at various places for other ideas. Everyone will have an opinion.
Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix Rescues
Where can you find a Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix to rescue?
Your best bet is the Internet and focus groups once again. Depending on your location, they may or may not be available.
Check particularly with Poodle rescue organizations because they may have a much better understanding of the rescue landscape that you may have.
Is a Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix Right for Me?
If you are looking for an intelligent, loyal and adaptable companion to be at your side, this mixed breed is right for you.
If you are willing to put in the time and effort to help this dog bond with your family, the answer is probably yes.
Best of luck to you on your decision.
References and Further Reading:
“Health Concerns,” The Poodle Club of America
“Poodle (Miniature/Standard),” American Kennel Club
“Portuguese Water Dog,” American Kennel Club