Dog breed quiz


FCI-Standard N° 37 / 22. 01. 1999  / GB



(Cão de agua português)


TRANSLATION : Portuguese Kennel Club, Mrs. R. Binder-Gresly.


ORIGIN : Portugal.




UTILIZATION : A swimmer and diver of quite exceptional qualities and stamina, this dog is the inseparable companion of the fishermen to whom it is of great utility not only during fishing but also as a guard to defend their boats and property.

Whilst his master is fishing the dog is attentive and, should a fish escape (from hook or net), jumps, voluntarily, into the sea to retrieve it, diving under water if necessary.

It also swims out to retrieve any broken net or loose hawser.

These animals are also employed as liaison between boat and shore or vice-versa, even when the distance is considerable.


CLASSIFICATION F.C.I. :            Group     8          Retrievers-Flushing Dogs-                                Water Dogs.

                                             Section 3     Water Dogs.

                                             Without working trial.


BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY : In bygone times this breed existed everywhere along the coasts of Portugal.  Today, owing to modifications in the fishing systems used, the breed has become restricted practically to the province of Algarve which should now be considered its home.

The presence of these dogs along the Portuguese coasts can be traced back to very remote times and entitles them to be regarded as a purely Portuguese breed.


GENERAL APPEARANCE : Dog of medium proportions, outline slightly convex with a tendency to rectilinear, braccoid type.

Mediolinear type, well balanced, robust and well muscled.  The muscular development due to constant swimming is noticeable.



BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT : An animal with an impetuous disposition, self-willed, brave, quarrelsome, unassuming and very resistant to fatigue.  It has a hard, penetrating and attentive expression, as well as splendid visual and remarkable olfactory faculties.

A dog of exceptional intelligence; docile and obedient with apparent pleasure to any order given by its master.


HEAD : Well proportioned, large and broad.



Skull : Seen in profile it is slightly longer than the muzzle; its curvature is more accentuated at the back than in front and it possesses a well defined occiput.  From the front the parietal bones are seen to be dome-shaped and to have a slight depression in the middle.  The forehead has a central furrow for two thirds of the length of the parietals and the superciliary ridges are prominent.

Stop : Well defined, slightly further back than the inner corner of the eyes.



Nose : Wide.  Nostrils well open and finely pigmented.  Black, in animals with black, black and white or white coats.  In browns the nose is the same colour as the coat.  Never flesh-coloured.

Muzzle : Narrower at the nose than at its base.

Lips : Thick, especially in front.  Inner corner of lips not apparent.  Mucous membranes (roof of mouth, under the tongue and gums) with accentuated black pigmentation.

Jaws/Teeth : Jaws strong, neither over- nor undershot.  Teeth good, not apparent.  Canines strongly developed.

Eyes : Medium sized, set well apart and a bit obliquely, roundish and neither prominent nor sunken.  Brown or black in colour.  The eyelids, which are of fine texture, have black edges.  No haw.

Ears : Leather heart-shaped, thin in texture and set well above the line of eyes.  Except for the rear edge of the ear being slightly lifted off, the ears are held nicely against the head.  The tips should not reach below the throat line.


NECK : Straight, short, nicely rounded, muscled, carried high and free; springing cleanly from the shoulders.  No ruff, no dewlap.



Withers : Wide and not prominent.

Back : Straight, short, broad, well muscled.

Loins : Short and nicely joined to the rump.

Croup : Well formed and only slightly inclined, with symmetrical hips hardly apparent.

Chest : Wide and deep, reaching down to the elbow.  Ribs long and well sprung providing great respiratory capacity.

Belly : Drawn up in a graceful line, of reduced volume.


TAIL : Not docked, thick at the base and tapering; medium set-on.  It should not reach down below the hock.  When the dog is attentive the tail should be held in a ring, the front of which should not reach beyond the medium line of the loin region.  The tail is of great help when swimming and diving.



Position of legs : Vertical.  Slightly oblique pasterns and hocks are admissible.


FOREQUARTERS : Strong and straight.

Shoulders : Well inclined and very strongly muscled.

Upper arm : Strong and of medium length, parallel to the medial axis of the body.

Forearm : Long and strongly muscled.

Pastern joint (Carpus) : Heavy boned, broader seen from the front than from the side.

Pastern (Metacarpus) : Long and strong.

Forefeet : Round and flat.  Toes not much knuckled up and of medium length.  The interdigital membrane which extends over the whole length of the toes, is limp and well covered with long hair.  Black nails are preferred but white, brown and striped nails are also allowed according to the colour of the coat.  Nails do not quite touch the ground.  Central pad very hard, the others normally thick.


HINDQUARTERS : Straight and very strongly muscled.

Buttocks : Long and well rounded.

Thigh : Strong and of regular length.  Very strongly muscled.

Stifle : Parallel to the medial body plane.

Second thigh : Long and strongly muscled, parallel to the medial body plane.  Well inclined from front to rear.  All tendons and ligaments well developed.

Hock joint : Strong.

Hocks : Long.  No dew-claws.

Hind feet : Similar, in all respects, to the forefeet.


GAIT / MOVEMENT : Free movement.  Walking with short steps; a light rhythmical trot and an energetic gallop.




HAIR : The whole body is profusely covered with a resistant coat.  There is no undercoat.  There are two varieties of coat : wavy long hair and short curly hair.  In the first variety the long hair is rather soft with a slight lustre; in the second the shorter hair is dense, lustreless and forms compact cylindrical curls.  Except for the armpits and the groins, the hair covers the whole body evenly.  On the top of the head there is a topknot of wavy hair in the long-haired variety and of curly hair in the short-haired.  In the long-haired variety, the hair of the ears is decidedly longer.


COLOUR :Either self-colour or combinations.  Self-colours are black, white or brown in various shades of brown; combinations are black or brown with white.  A white coat does not imply albinism provided nose, mouth and eyelids are black.  In animals with black, white, or black and white coats the skin is slightly bluish.

It is a specific feature for this breed that as soon as the coat grows very long, the middle part and hindquarters of these dogs, as well as the muzzle and the tail are clipped.  At the end of the tail the hair is left at full length in the shape of a plume.



Height at the withers :

Males :     between 50 - 57 cm the ideal size being 54 cm.

Females : between 43 - 52 cm, the ideal size being 46 cm.

Weight : For a male :    19 - 25 kg.

              For a female : 16 - 22 kg.



                                                                       Males          Females

Head             Length of the skull                       12, 5 cm      11   cm

                     Width of skull                              11    cm       9,5 cm

                     Length of bridge of nose                9    cm       7    cm

Chest             Circumference                            61    cm       56   cm

                     Width of the chest                       15    cm       13   cm

                     Depth of the chest                       21    cm      18   cm

Topline           Length of the trunk                      45    cm       40   cm

                     Width of the trunk                       11, 5 cm      10   cm

Length           Of the body                                51    cm       45   cm

                     Of the tail                                   32    cm       27   cm

Height            At withers                                  54    cm       46   cm

                     From ground to elbow                  29    cm       25   cm

                     At the rump                                52    cm       46   cm



FAULTS : Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.



·       Head : Very long, narrow, flat or pointed.

·       Nose : Flesh-coloured or discoloured, totally or partially.

·       Muzzle : Funnel-shaped or pointed.

·       Jaws : Over-or undershot bite.

·       Eyes : Wall eye, light coloured, different to each other in form or size, very sunken or very protruding.

·       Ears : Wrong setting, very big, very short or folded.

·       Tail : Docked, rudimentary or non-existent.  Heavy, droopy in action or carried upright.

·       Rear-pastern : Presence of dewclaws.

·       Coat : Different from the types described.  Albinism.

·       Size : Over- or undersize.

·       Deafness : Either inherited or acquired.



                                                                       Males   Females

     Head : Carriage, skull, muzzle, bridge of nose,

     mouth, eyes, ears, nostrils.                              20           20

     Neck, withers, shoulders and forelegs              10           7

     Brisket, loins, upper and lower line of body      15           15

     Croup, pelvis, hind legs                                   10           13

     Feet, toes, nails                                              10           10

     Tail : Carriage, form and set-on                       5            5

     Coat and its texture, colour, density                 5            5

     General aspect, harmony of form, movement,

     height, sex characteristics                               25           25


                                                                              100         100


N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.