Oh, the lovely Portuguese Water Dog. An interesting name, and a wonderful companion—and did we mention that even the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, is a fan?
Bo (the First Family’s dog), and other Porties actually can be traced back to the dogs who lived along Portugal’s coast, herding fish into nets and helping fishermen with other sea-focused tasks. Strong, muscular and hard-working, this breed is still used for water rescues because of their impressive abilities in the water.
They were introduced in the United States in the ’50s, and have since gained a following—especially among people who love a smart, sassy and super active dog to take along on adventures. However, you do have to keep them occupied and entertained, because they have an uncanny ability to get into mischief. But plenty of time outdoors (and in the water!) will keep them happy, loving, and companionable.
Their lovely locks also set them apart and make them one of the more hypoallergenic breeds around. Those locks still require some maintenance on your part, though. Not exactly sure where to start? Let us help you by giving you info about some of the most popular Portie haircuts around. We promise to make this fun and informative and help you keep your pup looking healthy and fresh.
But first, a few quick grooming tips to help you on your way:
- Porties have two different kinds of coats: one has compact curls, and the other has fur that’s more wavy with a slight sheen. There’s no undercoat to deal with, but you do have to be on the lookout for tangles and mats with this kind of coif.
- It’s best to brush and comb these guys every day to keep them in good shape—a sturdy slicker brush is usually your best bet when it comes to getting through that fur, and a comb can help with stubborn tangles.
- As we’ve mentioned, this breed is fairly high-maintenance, so you’ll want to give them a full coat trim every month or so. Keep up your own grooming schedule a few times a week between visits.
- Regular baths (every month or two) are also a good idea for this breed—they’ll help with tangles, matting, and keeping them smelling oh-so-fresh! Just make sure to thoroughly rinse out that thick fur, you don’t want any leftover residue irritating the skin.
- Speaking of smelling fresh, brush your Portie’s teeth weekly to keep their mouths and plaque under control.
1. Retriever Clip
This haircut is a straightforward, classic clip for the Portie, where the whole coat is trimmed down to about an inch all over the body—carefully following their natural outline. The legs blend with the rest of the body, but the feet are a little rounded at the end. The head also blends into the body, except on the top, which can look dome-shaped. A few more special tricks? The ears are trimmed, the muzzle is also cut short and even (no beard here!), and the tail has longer hair at the end.
2. Lion Clip
The fur on the front of their body follows the outline of their form, but is longer than the retriever clip by a few inches. This look is a real show-stopper but tends to be a little more intense to keep up.
3. Summer Clip
Looking to keep your pup’s coat even shorter? Though not quite as common, the summer clip is great for warm weather when your dog is spending lots of time in the water, rolling around in the mud, and generally needing lots of extra cleaning.
This is a practical cut, while also keeping fido looking dapper and sweet.
However you decide to groom your pup, they will look wonderful, furry and oh-so-cuddly—and you’ll be happy once you find the right style that fits in with your family (and budget and free time).
Just remember to always pay attention to the cues that your dog is giving you, and if something is causing them stress, then it may be time to find a different approach/hairstyle/groomer/etc. We hope these hairstyle ideas and grooming tips have been useful for jazzing up your pup’s coif. Happy clipping!