BA Portugese Water Dog 240x300 1

Portuguese Water Dog

Known as the “Fisherman’s Dog” for his exceptional ability and stamina as a diver and swimmer, the Portuguese Water Dog is a highly intelligent breed is also a loyal and obedient companion. Employed to retrieve broken nets, herd schools of fish and ferrying messages between boats, he is seen and distinguished by two coat types – either curly or wavy.

As a relatively new breed to the show scene, it is important the coat is presented correctly and enhances the characteristics of his breed. The coat colours are a wonderful sight in the ring with black, white, shades of brown, black/white, brown/white with all the shades bar the browns exhibiting a bluish skin tone.

Continue reading or click the button below to download the article.

Download Article

The Portuguese Water Dog

Known as the “Fisherman’s Dog” for his exceptional ability and stamina as a diver and swimmer, the Portuguese Water Dog is a highly intelligent breed is also a loyal and obedient companion. Employed to retrieve broken nets, herd schools of fish and ferrying messages between boats, he is seen and distinguished by two coat types – either curly or wavy.

As a relatively new breed to the show scene, it is important the coat is presented correctly and enhances the characteristics of his breed. The coat colours are a wonderful sight in the ring with black, white, shades of brown, black/white, brown/white with all the shades bar the browns exhibiting a bluish skin tone.

Most countries are exhibiting with a Lion Clip though some present with a Retriever Clip. The main aim is to present this dog looking robust and able to do his job. The Wavy coat is seen to be fairly long and loosely waved with a low sheen whereas the Curly coat is fairly harsh, dense with compact, cylindrical curls and somewhat lacklustre.

Firstly starting at the head, this is a breed that has a clipped face and the head coat is so important. For this use Plush Puppy Let’s Face It. This is a hypoallergenic sulfate free low foaming shampoo designed just for faces. It’s no tear formula features the highest quality Blue Cypress Extracts, Panthenol with Pro Vitamin B and SugaNate. These special ingredients clean, soothe, add moisture, aid healing and have anti-inflammatory benefits. A small golf ball sized amounts directly to the face and eye area allows you to thoroughly clean without causing irritation. It can also be used in and around the ears with the same benefits. Its low foaming design allows ease of rinsing, yet complete cleaning.

For all Black coats use Plush Puppy Black Opal Shampoo diluted slightly for ease of dispersion throughout the coat. However, the more you dilute, the less intensity of toning. For badly burned, faded areas, I would sponge on undiluted to those areas. Leave on Plush Puppy Black Opal Shampoo for as long as you can for maximum staining and toning.

Do keep away from white areas. If you must us Black Opal on a black and white coat, then dry-wipe with a dry towel as much as you can and continue wiping with a barely damp towel and only then, rinse off with water. This helps avoid getting the product on the white areas.

The Black Opal is not a dye. It is a strong toning shampoo albeit the strongest black toning shampoo I know of. Please do wear gloves. The more you use this the stronger the tone will be. Try to imagine putting your finger into an inkpot and though it has stained, it will still have translucency. Do it several times and it becomes less so. Same with Black Opal shampoo. This is also great for the bluish skin tone required for those black-coated dogs.

For corrective texture for these coats, use Plush Puppy Natural Body Building Shampoo. This shampoo does have great lift and a bodifying effect to the coat without an artificial feel plus it is wonderful for the coat as it is primarily naturally derived and infused with beneficial plant extracts.

For the Curly coats use Plush Puppy Natural All Purpose Shampoo with Henna or Plush Puppy Natural Conditioning Shampoo with Evening Primrose for the Wavy Coats.

We call Natural All Purpose Shampoo the ‘Shine’ shampoo as it features natural Henna stalk extracts that impart a beautiful gloss and shine to your dog’s coat. All Purpose Shampoo is primarily derived from organic sources and also features Alpine and Lichen herbs.  It is wonderful to use on normal to slightly dehydrated coats.

Natural Conditioning Shampoo is a nourishing shampoo, helping to increase hydration while slightly softening your dog’s coat. Derived from organic sources with a strong emphasis on Evening Primrose extracts to boost skin and hair regeneration.

You do need a drape effect for the wavy coats so the logical choice is to consider the conditioning aspects of your choice of shampoo. With a coat that is too soft or too limp, use the Plush Puppy Natural All Purpose Shampoo. Dilute all of these 1:5 (1 part shampoo to 5 parts water).

For the white areas of the coat use Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo with Ginseng diluted 1:5. This will not lighten or bleach but instead tone with optical brighteners. This is the same for darker colours as it reduces any warm tones hence intensifying the depth of colour. Repeated use achieves the best results. Apply to the white areas, leave for 5 minutes and rinse. It works brilliantly in reducing yellowing or warm tones in white coats or white area of the coat without bleaching or lightening. Herbal Whitening Shampoo is primarily derived from organic sources with Ginseng extracts, protein, and violet tone combined in a concentrated and rich formula.

After shampooing the coat, we want to add shine and hydrate the coat.

For the Curly coat, use the following mix after shampooing and rinsing. Add 1 tablespoon of Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil to 4 litres of water, then either sponge on or sluice well through the coat and LEAVE IN. DO NOT RINSE. This is quite a unique product in that it is not greasy and totally water-soluble. It gives an outstanding healthy vigour to the skin and coat.  It will maintain the texture and moisture in the coat. Again leave in and do not rinse. You will get a nice healthy sheen on the coat with this routine.

For the Wavy Coat, use Plush Puppy Reviva Coat, worked liberally through the hair and left in. Do not rinse. For dehydrated areas add 1 tablespoon Plush Puppy Natural Silk Protein Conditioner to 1 litre of water and work through those areas only, usually the ends of the coat, then rinse. Follow with the Reviva Coat throughout the whole of the coat. Leave in and do not rinse out.

The Portuguese requires a strong, healthy coat so I am prompted always to treat this coat between shows.  There are two ways to do this.  One is with Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil diluted 1 tablespoon to 4 litres of water and left in. Do not rinse.

The second is to use Plush Puppy Coat Rescue, worked to a watery slurry with warm water and squished through the hair and left as long as possible before rinsing off. Of course this depends on how long the dog can stand still, or how long you can wait before rinsing it off. The Coat Rescue will add some structure back into the porous damaged hair and the Seabreeze Oil will hydrate and protect. Both have their uses and both are invaluable in any grooming area. We could not live without these two products.

For your out of coat situations or where you just want more hair for example on the legs, use Plush Puppy Volumising Spray . This will add that “more coat” feel and look to the hair without feeling sticky or foreign.

Where you want the Wavy Coat to lie down or “drape” for want of a better description, add Plush Puppy Blow Dry Cream. Dilute 1 tablespoon to 2 cups of warm water and apply liberally to the applicable area. Leave in and do not rinse. This will flatten and soften the coat.

For a less wavy or less static state to the Wavy Coat, add 1 tablespoon Plush Puppy Swishy Coat to 500ml of warm water and sponge well through the coat. If tempted to spray this mix through the coat, it must be done evenly and underneath to all layers to get maximum benefit. Spraying across the top layers will do little to settle the underlying wave.

Blow-dry the Wavy Coat using the Plush Puppy Ultimate Pin Brush until 3/4 dry and finish with a loose look by using a widely spaced 1/2 bristle 1/2 dialon brush such as the Plush Puppy Ultimate Anti-Static Porcupine Brush.  Ensure you use a loose action.  Do not stretch or pull too harshly as to over smooth.

Finish with a Plush Puppy Professional Grooming Comb  built for absolute ergonomic comfort in various sizes. The lightweight oval shaped spine houses fine and coarse pins made of hardened stainless steel that reduce drag and static to the coat. Perfect for use for this breed of dog.

At times due to various reasons including the weather static electricity can create flyaways. If this occurs use Plush Puppy Anti-Static Coat Control. This is a lightweight spray infused with organic extracts of Witch Hazel Leaf, Linden Flower, Birch Bark and Nettle.  It also includes a UV filter to stop sun damage and protect against heat damage.

All of these recommendations are tools for getting the best out of your coat where the elements have worked havoc on the condition. These are a robust and energetic breed and not one to be pampered and live their life indoors. Yet, you want that pristine coat at its best, so be prepared to do the hard yard and get the main work done prior to the show.

The very best grooming at home and shows is Plush Puppy O.M.G. Grooming Spray. A light spray of OMG and brushing in allows this product to refresh the coat leaving it feeling wonderful.  It separates the coat and leaves the most amazing finish. Available in either a Ready to Use at a dilution of 1:20, or in the Concentrate. I would recommend an approximate dilution of 1:25 for the Wavy Coat and 1:30 for the Curly Coat.

To blow dry the Curly Coat, use your dryer. Never cage dry.  Dry until 100% dry and then spray with OMG to spring back the curl. The Wavy coats are different and can be gently brushed dry to maintain both a knot free coat with the natural wave. If required a mist of OMG will restore more of the wavy to the coat. Use the OMG on Show day for coat control, finish and brushing when necessary.

Lastly a quick spray with Plush Puppy Odour Muncher. It literally munches the odour and works well for smelly problems such as emergencies in transit.  It leaves a light fragrance, certainly not too much and definitely not too little.

Finally an ever so light sprinkle of Plush Puppy Pixie Dust. After all, it is a dog show, and we refuse to allow the “hair do” dogs to have it all over the rest! This looks brilliant when showing outdoors or under spotlights. It just grabs the pinprick of light down onto your dog.

The Portuguese has a varied and somewhat interesting history with many proposals as to his origins from the known to the speculative. Suffice to say he is a beautiful and wonderful working dog ideally displaying strength, spirit and soundness. Presented well he should be noticed immediately in a line-up. His colourful coat displays, his all-over pleasing silhouette and his attentive expression give this dog prominence. He is often the one to try to beat, coupling glamour with common sense.

There are more ways to do things than meets the eye and your Portuguese has huge assets that properly tweaked and managed can be darned hard to go past.

Recommended Products

Styling & Finishing

Volumising Spray

£25.00£130.00

Styling & Finishing

Seabreeze Oil

£29.00£91.00

Styling & Finishing

Odour Muncher

£11.50£21.50

Styling & Finishing

Blow Dry Cream

£16.50