The new First Dog will be a Portuguese Water Dog!
After he was elected, The United States President, Obama, promised his two daughters a puppy. They decided on a Portuguese Water Dog because one of their daughters, Malia, has allergies and this breed is considered hypo-allergenic as well as friendly.
Also known as “Cao de Agua” which means ‘dog of the water’, and the ‘Portuguese Fishing Dog’, this breed’s native land is Portugal where they were trained to help fisherman. Being web-footed and great divers, Portuguese Water Dogs worked with the fishermen off the coast of Portugal to help heard fish into the nets, retrieve lost tackle or broken nets in the sea, and also act as couriers between ships (and ship-to- shore). They were strong, hardworking and dependable enough-and were considered to be a part of the ship’s crew. Rumour has it, some even got paid!
While their origin is not certain, it’s believed that the Portuguese Water Dogs descended from ancient Asian herding dogs who came to Portugal with traders hundreds of years ago. It’s also believed that they were also used as hunting dogs before being used by fisherman in Portugal.
The Portuguese Water dog is very similar to the Standard Poodle in many ways so we weren’t too surprised to learn that the Poodle is their closest relative. In fact, this breed predates the poodle and is believed to have been to have been working with Portuguese fishermen for over 400 years.
If you would like to read the rest of the article, please head on over to the article on the Happy Doggie Blog!
Photo by Asutcli on Flickr