Category Archives: Portuguese Water Dog

Basic Dog Grooming: Supplies and Procedures


By Ruthie Bently

Each dog breed is different, and there are many hair types, show clips and grooming procedures for them. The basics of dog grooming, however, apply to every dog, whether it’s a Labrador Retriever, an Airedale Terrier, a Poodle or a Portuguese Water Dog. When grooming your dog, they should be relaxed and this should be an enjoyable experience for them.

Basic grooming supplies include a brush, comb, shampoo, conditioner (for longer coats), detangler, ear cleaner, toothpaste, toothbrush, dog toenail clippers, styptic pencil or powder, cotton balls and CANIDAE® Snap-Bits™ dog treats. All supplies should be for use on pets, not humans. The ph of our hair is different and you could dry out your dog’s coat and remove essential oils by using shampoo made for people. There are many good dog shampoos on the market and some of them are even “tearless.” I use the Snap-Bits after I groom Skye as an enticement for the next time, and they always work.

Brushing your dog removes dead hair and stimulates the glands that produce the natural oils which lubricate their skin and coat. I am constantly combing burrs and thistles out during the months when they are plentiful. I usually brush Skye’s coat outside as soon as the weather is warm enough to do so. Though she is a short-coated dog, like many dogs that shed, she can really blow coat in the spring and fall. I brush head to tail and use a rubber palm pad. The rubber creates a static charge with the hair and the hair sticks to the brush and massages Skye’s skin at the same time.

Bathing is important for all dogs regardless of age. Your dog’s activity level, what they get into, and how much they groom themselves will give you an idea how many baths they need in a year. There is no hard and fast rule, though some say you should bathe your dog at least once a month. If you have a dog that loves to roll in smelly things, or dig in the mud, you may have to bathe them more often. It’s good to bathe your dog yourself if you can, as it gives you a chance to examine them for injuries or any other abnormalities that a groomer may not be looking for. I found a cyst on my first dog’s back that way, before it came through his skin and became a major health issue.

Cleaning their ears is important because it lets you check for infection, ticks or ear mites that may be there. You can also look for anything that may have gotten lodged in your dog’s ears from their outside excursions. I clean out any heavy debris with cotton balls, and then use ear cleaner. Most ear cleaners are very easy to use; the one I use is self-drying and just gets squirted into the ear and then Skye shakes her head to remove it. You have to take more care with a dog whose ears droop, as it is easier for them to get an infection.

Cleaning their teeth is important because you can keep plaque from forming. You can also check your dog’s teeth for cracks, breaks or cavities that may be forming. It is important to use a toothpaste made specifically for dogs. Some human toothpastes have chemicals and artificial sweeteners in them that are toxic to dogs. Many veterinarians anesthetize a dog to clean their teeth. Depending on your dog’s age, this could be dangerous. There are human dental hygienists that clean dog’s teeth and use natural products and no anesthesia, but they can be difficult to find, so cleaning your dog’s teeth yourself is a win-win situation.

Keeping your dog’s toenails clipped prevents them from scratching and hurting themselves or you and your loved ones. It also keeps them from getting their toenails caught in fabrics or damaging the floors and furniture in your home. There are many types of clippers on the market, I know a breeder who uses a Dremel tool to trim her dogs’ toes because she likes the job it does. Having styptic powder is important if your dog has darker or black nails, as mistakes can happen and the styptic powder will stop the bleeding.

I love grooming Skye, as it gives us more special time together and my attention is wholly focused on her, which she loves. It doesn’t take much of my time and we get to bond further and get even closer. It has a calming effect on me and her occasional antics are hilarious, even if half of the bath water ends up on me.

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

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The Best Dogs for Allergic People


By Anna Lee

A lot of focus was placed on hypoallergenic dog breeds when President elect Obama promised his daughters, Sasha and Malia, that a new puppy would be moving into the White House with them. The cause of so much attention on their choice of dog (which ended up being a Portuguese Water Dog) was due to the fact that young Malia is allergic to dogs.

Many families face a similar problem as more and more people develop allergies but still want the responsibility (and the joy) of becoming dog owners. Here are some breeds that are considered good for families with allergies.

Schnauzers: the Miniature Schnauzer is an adorable little dog that loves kids, but requires discipline and socializing with other dogs. This little guy doesn’t think he is small and will try to take on larger dogs. Schnauzers tend to bark a lot, and make good guard dogs because of this. They weigh anywhere from 10-15 pounds and have a 15 year life expectancy.

If you want a larger dog, the Giant Schnauzer is a good choice. They are quick to learn but need discipline as they will try to take over. They can weigh up to 80 pounds and require exercise to release some energy. Life expectancy is 12-15 years.

Bichon Frise: If you want a small hypoallergenic dog, try the Bichon. They are adorable little dogs, requiring grooming every 4 weeks. They are small enough to carry around with you! Bichons are extremely intelligent and have a happy temperament. They prefer to be with people and are great with kids. Housebreaking might take a little longer than usual with this breed. They weigh from 7 to 12 pounds; life expectancy is about 15 years.

Designer Dogs: Cockapoo, Labradoodle and Schnoodle

These hypoallergenic Designer Dogs (i.e., a cross between two purebred dogs) take on the traits of each breed.

* The Cockapoo is a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. Sizes range from teacup weighing less than 6 pounds to maxi at 19 pounds. They are playful dogs and they love everyone. If you want a small, fun-loving dog that would fit well into any lifestyle, this is a perfect choice. They are fast learners, and you need to stay one step ahead of them.

* The Labradoodle is a mixture of a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. A yellow Labradoodle looks like a Yellow Lab with a soft perm! A Lab mixed with just about any breed with result in a wonderful, loving dog. It is the ‘poodle’ part of the mix that makes the designer Labradoodle hypoallergenic. Depending upon the breeder, the dog can have smooth hair like a Lab, or wavy hair.

* The Schnoodle is a Schnauzer Poodle mix, and they are a great family dog. Because both breeds are hypoallergenic, this dog is very allergy friendly. They are loyal, affectionate, obedient and loving, and have lots of personality. Whether you live in an apartment or a farm, they will fit in fine as long as they are with people. They love to ride in the car, so plan your family vacations with them in mind.

The Portuguese Water Dog is classified as a gun dog by the United Kennel Club. Its original job was to herd fish into nets and to retrieve broken nets and lost tackle. They have a wavy coat and do not shed. These are not low maintenance dogs, as they require a lot of grooming. Although basically a quiet breed, they do have a loud bark. They have strong wills so discipline and obedience training is necessary. If you’ve seen any news segments on the “First Dog,” you may have noticed he is extremely playful! Life expectancy is 10-14 years.

More hypoallergenic breeds to consider: most Terriers, the Chinese Hairless, Irish Water Spaniel and Spanish Water Dog.

You can be a dog owner even if you or your family members have allergies. Get a dog from the above list and enjoy responsible pet ownership! It is suggested that once you decide on a particular breed, you spend some time with one in order to properly determine that you are not allergic to it. A small investment of time will pay off big time in the end.

Read more articles by Anna Lee

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Breed Profile: Portuguese Water Dog


By Ruthie Bently

The Obama family recently got a new puppy, and Sasha and Malia named him “Bo.” This breed was picked because the Portuguese Water Dog is purported to be better for people with allergies. Bo is a black and white Portuguese Water Dog, and was six months old when he went to live at the White House. In light of that, I thought I would do this month’s breed profile on the Portuguese Water Dog.

The Portuguese Water Dog was first recognized by the AKC in 1981, so they are a relatively new breed to the AKC. They are a member of the working group and the size standard for the breed is a height of between 17 to 21 inches at the withers for females and 20 to 23 inches for males, with a weight of 35 to 50 pounds for females and between 42 and 60 pounds for males. The reason for the diverse size ranges are due to the fact that smaller dogs were better suited to smaller ships, and large dogs were better suited for larger ships. Their lifespan is between ten and fourteen years of age.

In their native country of Portugal, they are known by three names. Cao de Agua, which means “dog of water,” is the main name they are known by. The two other names are Cao de Ague de Pelo Encaradolado, which is the name given to the curly coated variety, and Cao de Agua de Pelo Ondulado, the name given to the long-haired variety of water dog. Their duties included being a courier between ship and shore and from ship to ship, as well as retrieving lost nets or tackle, and herding fish into nets. They were even used by the Portuguese in the frigid waters of Iceland when the fleets sailed there to bring saltwater codfish back to Portugal.

According to the AKC, the Portuguese Water Dog was originally bred to be “a calm, intelligent breed of fine temperament, rugged and robust, with a profuse non-allergenic, non-shedding, waterproof coat, and webbed feet; he is an ideal outdoor dog, capable of limitless work.” They come in many colors including black, brown, white, black and white, brown and white, black and silver, brown black and white, and brown brindle. There are several theories that Portuguese Water Dogs and Poodles come from the same genetic lineage. The Portuguese Water Dog is shown in two clips: the lion clip and the working-retriever clip, and there are fans of both.

By the early 20th century, the numbers of the Portuguese Water Dog had dwindled and the breed was on the verge of extinction. This was due to advances in fishing and getting away from the fishing traditions that had been in place for many years. Thanks to the efforts of Vasco Bensuade, a wealthy Portuguese shipping magnate with a fondness for dogs, the breed was saved. Because of his efforts a breed standard was written. Bensuade’s first dog Leao, (which means lion) became the founding sire of a kennel that Bensuade set up. After his death, Algarbiorum Kennel was acquired by Conchita Branco, who was a former lady bullfighter.

However, despite Bensuade’s best efforts the Portuguese Water Dog was again on the verge of extinction in the 1960’s, as there were only about 50 dogs in existence in the world. Fate stepped in again, in the form of Deyanne and Herbert Miller, Jr. Due to the persistence of the Millers, the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America was formed in 1972 with fourteen other breeders. The breed was admitted to the AKC in June of 1981 under the miscellaneous category, and in 1983 they were admitted to the working group.

Today I am happy to report that there are over 5000 Portuguese Water Dogs, so it doesn’t seem like it will be going away soon. If you want an active dog that loves to work and swim, this may be the breed for you.

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.