Aside from its name, there are a lot of interesting facts about the Portuguese Water Dog.
Named Cão de Água (literally, dog of water) from the region of Algarve in Portugal, the Portuguese Water Dog, or “Porties” for short, became famous especially when the former U.S President Obama and his family chose Porties as their pet (the Obamas actually have two named Bo and Sunny!) and brought it in the White House.
The earliest known record about the breed dates back in the early 13th century.
Its name was derived from its origin as it is known to swim through seawater to help fishermen in untangling fishing lines and even rescue them from drowning.
Portuguese Water Dog Price
The prices of Porties go as high as around $2,500 to $3,500 depending on different factors which will be discussed further in this article. For one, being popularized as the chosen pet of the former First Family, the price tends to go up because of the built reputation.
At Lancaster Puppies, you can choose from a variety of Portie puppies that are available for sale. Most of the puppies here are already AKC-registered so that’s one concern you can get off your list.
You can also purchase Porties regardless of age directly at the AKC Marketplace. You can choose from a list of quality breeders and all of their information so you have a better idea of the dog you are getting.
Another option in getting a Portie is through adoption. By rescuing Porties, giving them new homes and a 2nd chance at life, you also help rescue organizations accomplish their mission. The PWDCA Rescue is an organization devoted to ensuring the rescue and rehabilitation of Porties that have been given up or abandoned by their previous owners.
Other One-Time Costs
Along with your purchase, you should also consider in your budget some other one-time expenses to get you up and running as a Portie owner.
- Kennel and Crate
Porties are medium-sized dogs with the males typically measuring around 20 to 23 inches and weighing 42 to 60 lbs. while females are 17 to 21 inches in height and weigh 35 to 50 lbs. Dogs that are medium-sized can be ideal for any living conditions as they are fit to just about any size of dwellings.
When looking for a kennel, its material and the comfortability of your dog should be on top of your priority. Measuring your Portie can be a practical way of finding an accurate size for a kennel. Typically, the ideal kennel measurements should be around 42”L x 28”W x 30”H for an adult Portie.
If you’re looking for an indoor or outdoor kennel, you should be looking at around $79.99 to $97.99 for some of the comfortable, and stylish-looking dog houses.
- Registrations and Licensing
The dog licensing process in each state may vary but the requirements are virtually the same such as vaccinations and initial health checkups. Licensing your dog is required by the law and it ensures that your dog has undergone the necessary health-related requirements.
The cost of getting a license varies also depending on the location. In some states, a dog license may cost around $20 for a 1-year license validity; while some states offer permanent licensing that could set you back a fixed price of $200.
Since Porties are purebred dogs, they are recognized by the American Kennel Club. The AKC offers online registration that only costs $34.99 to $79.99 for basic and complete registration, respectively.
- Health Certificates
Securing a health certificate ensures that your Portie undergoes several tests and vaccinations to ensure they are safe and healthy. These vaccinations include certain shots necessary to prevent your dogs from contracting any life-threatening diseases and keep them from developing rabies.
Getting a dog health certificate usually costs around $38 to $173 depending on the purpose and where you live. The health certificate is a pre-requisite for getting a dog license or if you want to travel with your pet.
Porties are highly energetic and intelligent working dog breeds that are a natural when it comes to training. As their name implies and because of their history, Portuguese Water Dogs are known to be excellent swimmers. Because of this trait and having webbed feet, it can be an advantage if you want to train them for any water-related activities or sports.
Like most intelligent and energetic dogs, Porties tend to become destructive, stubborn, and misbehaved. Because of this, getting them trained should become one of your priorities to avoid this kind of behavior.
As for keeping them behaved, basic obedience training should be enough to keep them disciplined and well-accustomed in your homes and with your family members.
Dog training schools offer courses that cost around $125 for 1hr a day 6-week program of basic obedience training. Prices can vary depending on the course and the fee each trainer may charge.
Costs of Maintaining the Portuguese Water Dog
Taking care of a dog is a responsibility that often requires continuous expense. As much as we want the best for our pets, budgeting and practicality should be kept in mind.
Keeping your dog well-fed or well-nourished is one of the fundamental bases of being a responsible owner. Getting Porties the right daily calorie intake and activity should be watched over since they have the tendency to become obese if not monitored well.
A well-balanced dog food for active dogs should consist mostly of a protein-rich mix with calories appropriate for their activity level. The ideal amount of kibble to be fed to Porties should be no lower or higher than 2.5 to 3.5 cups respectively, divided into two meals a day.
High-quality dog foods with the proper amount of nutrients ideal for your Porties may cost around $28.50 (for a 2-lb. bag) to $49 (for a 30-lb. bag).
- Portie Grooming
Portie’s coats can be either curly or wavy and come in a variety of colors, with the pure white coat being the rarest. Both coat variations are a single coat that does not shed compared to any other dog making them being considered as hypoallergenic.
Porties have a profuse single-layer coat that is recommended to be brushed every other day as it is prone to matting. Trimming is also necessary as their hair grows continuously.
Pet grooming kits are available online at a price of $25, while high-quality dog shampoos recommended for any coat type are priced around $17 up to $78 for a pack of 6 promo.
Pet salons offer grooming packages with prices ranging $45 to $85 depending on the package available.
As mentioned, Portuguese Water Dogs are purebred, medium-sized dogs, with a lifespan of 10 – 14 years. Like other purebreds, Porties are vulnerable to developing genetic disorders. These range from common health issues like hip dysplasia and eye problems to more serious diseases like heart issues (Juvenile Dilate Cardiomyopathy) and the GM1 Storage disease.
To be prepared with future medical expenses, getting pet insurance can be practical for dog owners. The average cost of getting pet insurance can be as low as $25.50 to $30.36 per month which is a small price to pay than the upfront costs of getting treatment or surgery.
- Toys and Accessories
Porties are affectionate, loving dog breeds that love to play with their owners. The problem is, they’re too playful, they see their owners’ belongings like shoes, socks and other stuff they can reach as toys. As a result, shoes end up chewed up and destroyed.
Getting them toys to play with can avert their playful, destructive behavior to something more appropriate. You can get durable chew toys online for as low as $6.49.
Price Factors of Buying the Portuguese Water Dog
The price of Porties has increased since its rise to popularity during the Bo and Sunny craze in the White House. Being a chosen pet by one of the most influential family on earth, it just goes to show the quality of this dog breed as a family pet.
Other than the popularity, their physical characteristics can also affect the price of Porties. For example, the price of rare pure white coated Porties can be priced a little higher than Porties with common colored coats.
The health condition (spayed/neutered) and health certificates, as well as prior vet visitations and examinations (vaccinations and medical/physical checkups), can cause additional expenses as well. However, this may be the cost you should be willing to take since this factor will make sure you’re getting a beloved healthy pooch from a very responsible owner or breeder.
Finally, other paperwork such as licenses and registrations can also affect the overall price of your purchase, although, this can be just as important to be taken into consideration.
Ready to be a Portie Parent? Here are Additional Information
The Portuguese Water Dog is a great dog breed that is not suitable for first-time dog owners. Just like any other working dog, the maintenance and commitment involved especially in training and daily activities can be a real challenge for inexperienced people.
Like any other working dogs, you should commit at least 2 hours a day to focus on their activities to maintain their fitness and health. So if you’re not getting exercise enough, be prepared to have a workout buddy.
As their name implies, Portuguese Water Dogs are natural born swimmers that have an inborn instinct diving right in a pool of water when they see one. So if you are near a lake, or river or have a pool at home, be sure to be amazed by this dog’s natural swimming abilities.
If you are ready to have a wonderful loving friend for life that will take you on an adventurous journey, then the Portuguese Water Dog is the right dog for you.