Counter surfing dog for the new White House Pet?

cao_de_agua_portugues_2Portuguese Water Dogs (PWD) are a breed of water dog similar to poodles. Portuguese Water Dogs once existed all along Portugal’s coast, where they were taught to herd fish into fishermen’s nets, to retrieve lost tackle or broken nets, and to act as couriers from ship to ship, or ship to shore. Portuguese Water Dogs rode in bobbing fishing trawlers as they worked their way from the warm Atlantic waters of Portugal to the frigid fishing waters off the coast of Iceland where the fleets caught cod to bring home.

The dog’s eyes are consistently brown, and their coats can be black, reddish brown, white, or black and white, but do not shed. Male Portuguese Water Dogs usually grow to be about 20 to 23 inches (51 cm to 58 cm) tall, and they weigh between 40 and 60 pounds (18 kg to 27 kg), while the females usually grow to be about 17 to 21 inches (43 cm to 53 cm) tall, and they weigh between 35 and 50 pounds.

Usually PWDS are brown to black in color, gradually turn gray over their entire bodies as they age, with the possible exception of their ears and paws. Once begun, this color change, which is sometimes called “blueing”, continues throughout the dog’s life; it is caused by the growth of white hairs among the colored ones, much like the greying of a human being’s head or beard hair.

The hair of PWDs grows continually and requires regular brushing and cutting or clipping. Problems associated with this include the hair around the eyes growing so long as to impede vision, and matting of the body hair, which can cause skin irritations.

The traditional grooming cut is called the lion cut. The hindquarters, muzzle, and the base of the tail are shaved and the rest of the body is left full length. This cut was favored by the Portuguese fishermen. This cut diminished the initial impact and shock of cold water when the dog jumped from the boats, as well as providing warmth to the vitals. The hindquarters were left shaved to allow easier movement of the back legs and the dogs powerful, rudder-like tail.

Portuguese Water Dogs have a multi-octave voice. Maybe it will be the White House greeter.obama-doodle1

They tend to be quiet dogs although they will warn when the home is approached, and they will communicate their desires vocally and behaviorally to their owner. Their bark is loud and distinctive. They may engage in “expressive panting,” by making a distinct “ha-ha-ha-ha” sound as an invitation to play or to indicate a desire for nearby food. They sometimes whine. The PWD’s is highly intelligent, and tends to vocalize and will search out human master when specific alarms occur. This quality make s it an ideal hearing-ear or deaf-assistance dog. PWDs can be readily trained to bark loudly when a telephone rings, and then to find and alert a hard-of-hearing or deaf master.
Portuguese Water Dogs are active and well-suited to many dog sports. Their intelligence and working drive demand consistent attention in the form of regular vigorous exercise and mental challenges. Gentle and patient, they look (and are) soft, cuddly, and cute, but are not “couch potatoes”. When bored, PWDs will become destructive. A PWD can get into the garbage, silently snag food off the kitchen counters when your back is turned, and can even learn to open cabinet doors.

Portuguese Water dogs make excellent companions. They are loving, independent, and intelligent and are easily trained in obedience and agility skills. Once introduced, they are generally friendly to strangers, and actively enjoy being petted, which, due to their soft, fluffy coats. They love water, attention and prefers to be engaged in activity within sight of a human partner. This is not a breed to be left alone for long periods of time, indoors or out.

They are working dogs, content to be at their master’s side, awaiting directions, when trained, they are willing and able to follow complex commands. They learn very quickly, seem to enjoy the training process, and have a long memory for the names of objects. They are generally considered too small to be used as service dogs or guide dogs for the blind, but they make unusually good therapy dogs and hearing dogs (assistance dogs for the deaf).

These dogs will typically bond with one primary or alpha family member. Some speculate that this intense bonding arose in the breed because the dogs were selected to work in close proximity to their masters on small fishing boats, unlike other working dogs such as herding dogs and water dogs that range out to perform tasks. As water dogs, the PWD’s retrieving instinct is strong, which also gives some dogs tugging and chewing tendencies.

Teach the dog to serve/eat at the table

A PWD will commonly jump as a greeting. Some PWDs may walk, hop, or “dance” on their hind legs when greeting or otherwise enthusiastic. Some PWDs will stand upright at kitchen counters and tables, especially if they smell food above them. This habit is known as “counter surfing” and is characteristic of the breed. Although it can be a nuisance, many PWD owners evidently enjoy seeing their dogs walking, hopping, standing up, or “countering” and do not seriously discourage these activities.

The other dog option is depicted in the second photo – a Labradoodle.labradoodle_two

Labradoodles were first bred in 1988 by Wally Cochran of The Royal Guide Dogs in Victoria Australia. He responded to a request from a blind woman living in Hawaii. She needed a guide dog that wouldn’t aggravate her husband’s allergies. Hair and saliva samples from 33 different poodles in Hawaii were sent to the couple to see if the dogs would cause an allergic reaction in the husband; they all did. Wally then asked the manager of The Royal Guide Dogs about crossing one of their Labrador Retrievers with a Standard Poodle. He agreed, and so the first Labradoodles were bred.

There were only three puppies in the first litter; only one of which didn’t bother the husband’s allergies. The other two puppies also lived useful lives, one as a Remedial Dog, and the other as a Guide Dog. There was a waiting list of people wanting to puppy walk Guide Dogs, but when these new cross breeds needed homes no one wanted to take them in. Wally knew it was important that these puppies socialize with a family, so he aired a story on Channel 9 in Melbourne about “the new breed of Guide Dog.” In the show he first coined the word “Labradoodle.” Soon the phone rang incessantly with people wanting to puppy walk the amazing new “breed” of Guide Dogs.

Wally bred Labradoodles to other Labradoodles, calling the new puppies “Double Doodles.” He then bred Double Doodles to Double Doodles and called the offspring “Tri Doodles.” Out of the 31 Labradoodles that were bred at Royal Guide Dogs, 29 made it as Guide Dogs. People fell in love with the new breed, and soon there was an overwhelming demand for them.

Labradoodles are now bred to have either the truly Fleece coat or the Wool Curly coat. The fleece coat has a distinctly soft fleecy feel unlike any other dog coat. It hangs in loose loopy spirals like that of the Angora goat.

The Wool Curly coat resembles that of a poodle and feels like a soft woolly sweater. Both coat types are non-shedding and allergy friendly. The coats come in a variety of colors including: Black, Silver, Cream, Gold, Red, Apricot,Café. and Chocolate brown.

Labradoodles are sociable, friendly, non aggressive, and extremely intuitive. Very intelligence and easily trainable these dogs make excellent guide dogs, therapy dogs, and other assistance dogs. Their non allergic coats make them popular among people who have not been able to enjoy pets because of their allergies. (2)

StatCounter - Free Web Tracker and CounterWhich will it be?


Excerpts and Image 1 Courtesy of

Images 2. Courtesy of Dogbreeding PortugueseWaterDogFigo

Image 3. Courtesy of labradoodle


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