Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix- A New Owner’s Guide

Portuegese Water Dog Poodle Mix

Designer dogs combine the qualities of different breeds, which, even though they make them desirable, can come with a lot of confusion trying to understand the dog. The Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix is one of these, considering the similar qualities of its parents. 

The Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix is an interesting dog, with the parents having many similar qualities. It combines the intelligence and playfulness of the Poodle with the active and friendly temperament of the Portuguese Water Dog, making it a sought-after dog for families.

If you are looking to bring this bubbly and cuddly dog home, there are several things you need to understand. Thankfully, this article is a great resource on how the dog behaves, what it looks like, care and maintenance needs, and more. Read on to find out. 

A Brief Overview of the Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix

The Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix resulted from a long trail of dog breeding when men worked with dogs. As working dog breeds were created, guard dogs, herding dogs, and hunting dogs became some of the first groups. 

As breeding continued, there was a need for a hunting dog that would retrieve waterfowl. And this water-loving dog was the parent breed of the Portuguese Water Dog and the Poodle. This explains why these two dogs are similar and often interpreted as one. 

Generally, the Portuguese Water Dog and Poodle come from the same family, even though they are believed to have originated from different places. The Portuguese Water Dog came from Portugal, while the Poodle came from France.

The brewing of these two brings them back together as the family they were in their earlier days. The mix combines the advantages of both purebred dogs, making a desirable dog with good looks and a fantastic personality.  

Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix Background

The history of this dog is tied back to the earlier days of the parents, who belong to the same family of working dogs. And even though they appear to be somewhat similar, their individual histories are quite different. 

Since the PWD mix has not been around for long, there is not much history to dig into. However, the parents are some of the oldest dogs and have a long trail of where they came from and how they came to be. Below is a brief history of each parent. 

Portuguese Water Dog Background

The Portuguese Water Dog is believed to have originated from the Algarve Region of Portugal. From this area, its popularity grew, spreading across Portugal’s coast, where the dog was taught to herd fish into nets, retrieve lost tackle, and work as couriers from ship to ship. 

As the name suggests, this dog had excellent skills working in water and quickly became a favorite dog among Portuguese fishermen. It was known for its superb swimming skills and high intelligence, which made it a sought-after breed for hunting. 

In 1934, a wealthy Portuguese man named Dr. Vasco Bensuade became interested in the breed after seeing it at a dog show in Lisbon. Following this, he conducted extensive research to find more dogs. Fortunately, he found a few working PWDs and acquired a male and a female. 

Bensuade got more PWDs, which saw him acquire Leao, the foundation for the kennel Bensaude built. For over 30 years, Bensuade bred PWDs but rarely sold them; instead, he would gift them to friends. After he died in 1957, his wife gave away the dogs to a trusted friend. 

Around the same time, a couple from New York acquired two PWDs in exchange for two Affenpinschers. This couple bred the dogs and created a litter. Unfortunately, the strain died out, and there were no more PWDs in the United States. 

After 10 years, PWDs resurfaced when another couple of New Canaan imported a female, raised it, and acquired a male a year later. The first litter was born in June 1971 and became the first breeding stock in the United States. 

The parents of this dog, the Millers, gathered PWDs owners to create a breed club, the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America, with their dog becoming the first record of the club. In 1984, the breed became eligible for full AKC registration in the working group. 

Today, the United States has more PWDs than any other country, and their popularity continues to grow. Even though the dog is an excellent working dog, most people keep it as a pet.

Poodle Background

Poodles have roots in France, even though others believe them to have come from Germany. Poodles were the most popular dogs bred as working dogs to retrieve waterfowl for hunters. 

The dog was attractive to hunters, thanks to its intelligence and excellent swimming skills. Even so, there was a challenge with the dense, full coat of the Poodle, so the hunters had to trim the fur to improve the dog’s buoyancy in the water. 

The Poodle maintained its popular status through the years, becoming a luxurious breed amount French nobles. The numbers grew across Europe, and the dog became the most popular dog among royals. This earned the Poodle the title ‘National God of France.’

Poodles come in different sizes, the standard size being the only recognized size by the American Kennel Club. The other sizes are Toy, Miniature, Moyen, and Teacup. 

Today, the Poodle is one of the most sought-after family pets, thanks to its bubbly, energetic, and friendly demeanor. And it is an excellent choice for breeders looking to create more hypoallergenic dogs, thanks to the Poodle’s hypoallergenic coat.

What Does the Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix Look Like?

The Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix looks vary depending on the dominant genes from the parents. Like other designer dogs, the mix can take the looks of the Poodle or the Portuguese Water Dog or have a combination of both parents. 

The trick, however, is that both parents are quite similar and often mistaken for each other. So there is no standard appearance of puppies and what you might think is a Poodle might be a PWD Poodle mix and vice versa. 

How Big Does it Get?

The size of the Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix varies throughout the stages of life. The dog can grow as tall as 17 to 22 inches. The dog can weigh up to 60 pounds at maturity. For context, the mix is a small-sized dog, but not smaller than the Poodle. 

But it is important to note that the size of the Poodle used for breeding directly impacts the size of the mix. If a Miniature Poodle is used, the Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix will be smaller than a standard Poodle. 

Coat Type and Colors

The Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix has a short coat, usually curly and tight like the parents. Since both parents’ coats are pretty similar, it is hard to differentiate coats between puppies of the same litter. 

The Portuguese Water Dog Coat comes in two varieties, one is compact curls, and the other is wavy and shiny. The coat does not shed and has no undercoat, regarding them as hypoallergenic. 

The Poodle has a naturally curly and coarse coat, which is dense and long. It does not shed, but the hair is prone to tangling and matting, which is solved by occasional clipping and brushing. The Poodle’s coat is also considered hypoallergenic. 

From this, it is clear that the mix will present hypoallergenic qualities, thanks to the parents’ coat. But, like other dogs, the mix needs regular brushing and clipping to keep the coat in good condition. 

Regarding coat color, the mix comes in various shades such as brown, black, silver, white, blue, and red. Other available but rare colors are fawn, cream, and grey. The colors depend on the parents’ color, with some puppies taking the color of one parent or a color combination from both parents.

What is the Temperament of the Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix?

The Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix is an intelligent dog, more clever than its parents. The mix is curious and always alert to learn something, a quality that explains why the parents were once considered the best working dogs. 

It is cuddly, affectionate, and loving to its human family and other pets. The dog, like its parents, is seasoned to relate well with people, being an offspring of working parents. It is therefore adaptable to new environments and can manage well around unfamiliar people. 

Care and Maintenance of the Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix?


The Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix is a small-sized dog; therefore, food formulated for small dogs works well. However, finding proper nutrients for your dog can be challenging as it may have specific nutritional needs. 

On this note, it is crucial to consult a vet on the right dog food to support your dog’s energy levels and overall health. And you can also get advice on the appropriate frequency and amount of food for your dog to maintain a healthy weight. 


Like other dogs, the Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix needs vigorous exercise to stay healthy. Ideally, the dog should have about an hour of active time playing, taking long walks, running around, etc. This is enough exercise to keep the dog active and healthy. 

In addition to physical exercise, the Portuguese Water Dog mix requires mental stimulation to exercise its intelligence and feed its curiosity. On this note, playtime interactive with toys, puzzles, and games is essential to keep the dog mentally engaged. 


The intelligence of the mix makes it an easy dog to train, but this comes with the challenge of dealing with a curious and sometimes stubborn dog. With patience, however, this dog can pick up on commands and cues faster than you would expect. 

The trick is to keep the training sessions short and interactive; that way, you can increase the dog’s attention span. Also, incorporate positive reinforcement by praising the dog and offering treats with every step in the right direction. 

Here’s a short video of an owner training her Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix:

Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix Health 

There are no known chronic conditions that this mix is prone to; however, like other dogs, genetic health problems may arise in the different stages of development. Major health concerns with this mix are similar to those that affect the parents. 

The dog may suffer from Addison’s disease, eye problems such as cataracts and Progressive retinal atrophy, ear infections, and hip dysplasia


1. How Long Does the Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix Live?

The Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix can live between 10 to 14 years with proper care and routine health checks. 

2. Is the Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix a Great Family Dog?

The mix is a great family dog, thanks to its balanced temperament, few grooming needs, and high adaptability. It relates well with small children, adults, and other pets; therefore a good fit for any family setup. 

3. Is the Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix Hypoallergenic?

Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mixes are considered hypoallergenic since both parents have hypoallergenic coat types. This means that the coat does not shed or come loose; instead, loose hair tangles can be solved by regular brushing. 

4. How Much Does the Portuguese Poodle Mix Cost in 2022?

This mixed breed dog is rare to find; therefore quite a pricey dog to buy. The Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix can cost upwards of $2,500. Both parents are considered high-quality dogs, so you can expect the puppies to be on the higher side in terms of price. 

Final Thoughts

The Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix is a bright, curious, playful, and affectionate dog. It is a hypoallergenic dog; therefore, suitable for allergy sufferers. These qualities, together with its ease of maintenance, make this mix a good choice for everyone, regardless of family dynamics. 

Maureen G.

Maureen has been a Content Writer in the pet niche for over 5 years. She has vast knowledge on dog-related topics including dog breeds, dog health, dog care, and nutrition. With keen interest on the evolving world of dogs, Maureen stays on top of developments, specifically designer dogs. She is a part-time volunteer in dog shelters and rescue centers, therefore conversant with the day-to-day lives of dogs.

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