Grooming

Portuguese water dogs come in two different coat types: curly and wavy, and there are two different styles they can be trimmed: retriever trim and lion cut. Both can be achieved on the two different coat types. 

Retriever Trim

To achieve this trim, they will need to be either clipped or scissored every 6-8 weeks. This can be done by a professional groomer, or, if the owner is willing to learn how to do this, can be done by them. To maintain this trim, the coat needs to be brushed and combed on a regular basis each week. The retriever trim involves all of the hair on the body to be the same length with 1/3 of the end of the tail to be kept its natural length. The muzzle should be shorter than the body. The length of coat for this type of trim all depends on owner’s preference.

Lion Clip

The lion clip involves keeping the entire coat its natural length but clipping the muzzle and rear end (from last rib cage) short. Similar to the retriever clip, the 1/3 of the end of the tail needs to be kept natural too. The lion clip is easier to achieve, however, needs more maintaining than the retriever trim as it must be combed several times a week. 

Important information

As the Portuguese Water Dog loves swimming, it is important to rinse the coat with clean water to remove any salt, chlorine, dirt and other debris. By not doing so, this would make it harder a painful to brush/comb and could potentially cause skin problems. 

It is also important to understand that hair grows inside the ear canal of this breed. This means that ear plucking may have to be done on a regular basis which can be done either by the owner or a professional groomer. 

Don’t forget to also think about brushing their teeth with enzymatic veterinary approved toothpaste, and trimming their nails regularly.