Portugese Water Dog

Grooming Advice

Known as the “Fisherman’s Dog” for his exceptional ability and stamina as a diver & swimmer, this highly intelligent breed is also a loyal and obedient companion. Employed to retrieve broken nets, herd schools of fish and ferrying messages between boats, he is seen and distinguished by two coat types - either curly or wavy.

As a relatively new breed to the show scene, it is important the coat is presented correctly and enhances the characteristics of his breed.

The coat colours are a wonderful sight in the ring with black, white, shades of brown, black/white, brown/white with all the shades bar the browns exhibiting a bluish skin tone.

Most countries are exhibiting with a Lion Clip though some present with a Retriever Clip. I have my personal likes but we go with what is required! The main aim is to present this dog looking robust and able to do his job.

The Wavy coat is seen to be fairly long and loosely waved with a low sheen whereas the Curly coat is fairly harsh, dense with compact, cylindrical curls and somewhat lustreless.

For all Black coats use Plush Puppy Black Opal Shampoo diluted slightly for ease of dispersion throughout the coat. However, the more you dilute, the less intensity of toning. For badly burned, faded areas, I would sponge on undiluted to those areas. Leave on Black Opal for as long as you can for maximum staining/toning. Do keep away from white areas. If you must do this on a black & white, then dry wipe with a dry towel as much as you can and continue wiping with a barely damp towel and only then, rinse off with water. This helps avoid getting the product on the white areas.

The Black Opal is not a colour/dye. It is a strong toning shampoo albeit the strongest black toning shampoo I know of. Please do wear gloves. The more you use this the stronger the tone will be. Try to imagine putting your finger into an ink pot and though it has stained, it will still have translucency. Do it several times and it becomes less so. Same with Black Opal shampoo. This is also great for the bluish skin tone required for those black coated dogs.

For corrective texture for these coats, use Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo for the Curly coats and Plush Puppy All Purpose or Plush Puppy Conditioning Shampoo for the Wavy Coats. You do need a drape effect for the Wavy coats so the logical choice is for the conditioning aspects of your choice of shampoo though with a too soft coat or too limp a coat I would use the All Purpose. Plush Puppy Dilute all of these 5:1 I.e 5 parts water to one part shampoo. Rinse.

For the white areas use Plush Puppy Whitening Shampoo, being a toning shampoo to highlight the white areas. This is not a lightening/bleaching shampoo but will tone any of the unwanted warm colour from the whites. Repeated use achieves the best results. Dilute to 1 part shampoo to 5 parts water. Apply to the white areas, leave for 5mins and rinse.

- Cheryl Le Court