The Portuguese Water Dog, also known as the Cao de Aqua, the Portuguese Fishing Dog, the Portie, and the Water Dog, is an old breed used to herd fish into nets, to retrieve lost tackle and to act as a courier from ship to ship, or ship to shore. This hardy breed worked from the warm Atlantic waters of Portugal to the chilly waters off the coast of Iceland. The Portie is known for its unique appearance when clipped in a lion trim, and for its distinctive webbed feet. The Portie was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1983 and classified in the working dog breed group.
The adult male Portuguese Water Dog stands 20 to 23 inches at the withers; adult bitches stand 17 to 21 inches in height. Males weigh 42 to 60 pounds, and females weigh 35 to 50 pounds. Their hair requires regular brushing and grooming cuts, but they shed very little and are considered to be a hypoallergenic dog.