Breeds of dogs: Cao de Agua Portugues

Breeds of dogs: Cao de Agua Portugues

Origin, classification and history

Origin: Portugal.
F.C.I classification: Group 2 - pinscher, schnauzer, molossoid and Swiss cattle dogs.

There is no doubt about the relationship of the Cão de Agua Portugués with the "French Poodle". The affinities of these two breeds not only derive from the fact that they both have a passion for water, but also from many morphological characteristics. It is assumed that it has the same ancestor as the "Barbet". According to a German naturalist named Fitzinger, the progenitor of these two breeds would have been a native dog of north-western Africa, bred by the Berbers and brought by the Moors to the Iberian Peninsula, and then imported from here to France. These would later cross with Portuguese shepherd dogs and, for subsequent selection, the first specimens of this breed would be born. There are two varieties of Cao de Agua, those with long and wavy hair and those with short and curly hair. In ancient times this breed was widespread on the whole Portuguese coast. Its cradle can be identified in the Algarve province. Not widespread but known. Fairly widespread in the USA.

General aspect

Medium-sized dog, sub-convex mesomorphic with a tendency to straight. Morphologically classified as a Braccoid type. Just below average in size. The breed is known for its particular little lion grooming. Its head is covered with particularly long hair on the ears, but not excessively thick, which forms, on the top of the skull, a mane. He has a penetrating and lively gaze. It has a massive and well proportioned head. Good construction. Medium-sized type, well proportioned, very robust. The remarkable muscle development is due to swimming.


Its role is that of an auxiliary in the water of the fisherman. Excellent swimmer. It is a breed particularly gifted in carrying. Sometimes he proves jealous and possessive towards his master. He is considered by many to be an excellent companion, but with a great personality. His agility is now known to many. He has a good intelligence and a good instinct for adaptation. He is an extraordinary diver, he is an inseparable companion. He readily obeys the master's orders. He is impetuous and very willing. His resistance to fatigue and his great courage are his best qualities. Always docile to the people who care for him.

Rossina, female from Cão de Agua Portugués - (photo

Rossina, female from Cão de Agua Portugués - (photo


- males between 50 and 57 cm
- females between 43 and 52 cm.
- males from 19 to 25 kg
- females from 16 to 22 kg.

Trunk: with wide and deep chest, it goes down to the elbow. Long, circled ribs. Wide withers not prominent. Croup well developed, has a very slight inclination. Sides of full appearance.
Head and muzzle: the skull, seen in profile, is slightly longer than the muzzle; its curvature is accentuated more in the back than in the front. The muzzle is narrower to the nose than to the base. Stop well marked, it is placed slightly behind the inner corners of the eyes. Thick lips.
Truffle: wide. Nostrils well open and finely pigmented. Black in black, white, or white and black specimens. Brown in specimens of this color.
Teeth: not apparent. Highly developed canines. Strong jaws, without prognathism.
Neck: straight, short, turned and well developed.
Ears: cordiform; small and attached below the eye line. Except for a small rear opening, they are close to the head. The tip of the ears must not fall below the neckline.
Eyes: medium size, well spaced and slightly oblique, round, neither protruding nor sunken. Brown or black. The eyelids, of thin skin, are bordered in black. Conjunctiva not visible.
Limbs: front strong and straight. Strong arm of normal length. Long and muscular forearm. Long and strong metacarpus. Round and rather flat feet. Nails slightly raised above the ground. Hindquarters with strong, medium-length, very muscular thighs. Patella parallel to the midline of the body. Long and very muscular legs. Straight tendons well developed.
Shoulder: well inclined and muscular.
Pace: cheerful, with small steps. The trot is light and the gallop is energetic.
Musculature: highly developed and evident in all parts of the body.
Tail: uncut. Thick at the hairline, it gradually narrows towards the tip. It should not be attacked too high or too low.
Hair: thick, strong, it covers the whole body uniformly. It can have two types of hair: long and slightly wavy, or short with small flat, cylindrical and very narrow curls. The first type is bright and fluffy; the second one is very thick. It is groomed in the classic lion way.
Allowed colors: black, white and brown in various shades. Or mixes of black and white and brown and white. The white coat does not denote albinism. Undercoat absent.
Most common defects: prognathism, enognatism, long head, too pointed muzzle, too light eyes, badly inserted ears, presence of spurs, cut or short tail, incorrect movement, non-standard measures, colors not allowed, defective rear end, monorchidism, cryptorchidism.

curated by Vinattieri Federico -

Video: Portuguese Water Dogs - Cão de Água Português - Casa da Buba Lagos (September 2021).