Portuguese Water Dogs, like the one the Obama girls just got, make great family pets, says The Early Show's resident veterinarian, Dr. Debbye Turner Bell, but they're not necessarily the right choice for everyone seeking a breed considered hypoallergenic.
According to Turner:
The Portuguese Water Dog is a wonderful dog.
From the coast of Portugal, the PWD is a hearty, robust breed that works hard and swims extremely well. They were used as couriers and retrievers for Portuguese fisherman. They retrieved fishing nets, carried messages between boats, and could even dive for fish.
The PWD is a member of the working dog group, which means they are great athletes, very intelligent, and quite trainable. However, PWDs need firm leadership and plenty of physical and intellectual outlets. They shouldn't be left alone all the time, and aren't well-suited to be kept in a kennel all day. They need attention! A PWD owner should be the dog's intellectual equal, or the dog may develop undesirable behaviors.
PWDs are considered "hypoallergenic" because they have a single coat and don't shed excessively. It is important to note that all dogs shed and have the potential to illicit an allergic response in humans. Portuguese Water Dogs come with a wavy or curly coat. And they're most often trimmed in a "working cut" or "lion cut."
Quick facts about Portuguese Water Dogs:
1. Medium in size
3. Coat colors: black, white, and various tones of brown
4. Life expectancy: 10 years
For much more on PWDs, visit the Web site of the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America.
Turner's favorite "hypoallergenic" breeds:
(All of the following information is directly off the Web site of the American Kennel Club):
For still more on water dogs, click here.