Are Portuguese Water Dogs Easy to Train? 4 Reasons and 7 Training Tips

Portuguese Water Dogs are people-pleasers. This makes training easier for dog parents. As long as there are plenty of positive reinforcements and you have adequate experience to train a Portie, then the drills can be learned by your four-legged companion in no time.

Training is essential for any dog as this promotes a healthy relationship between you and your furry friend. Learn more about the trainability aspect of the Portuguese Water Dog breed through this article.

What Makes Portuguese Water Dogs Easy to Train?

Portuguese Water Dogs were primarily bred to become fishers’ helpers due to how responsive they are and suitable for working in the sea. Like Poodles, this Portuguese breed is highly regarded as smart and hardworking.

They were taught certain tasks like retrieving fishing gear, leading the fish into the nets, and delivering notes from one ship to another. 

What they’re bred for, however, became part of their instinctive intelligence. That tells that a modern-day Portie would need his human companion’s guidance in understanding how crates work and how to obey commands. 

These days, Porties can do so much more like agility sports. The breed is robust, active, and always ready for a new drill as long as he’s motivated.

3 Advantages of Training Your Portuguese Water Dog

A Portuguese Water Dog’s smartness is either a blessing or a curse. Don’t underestimate his learning and intellectual capacities, as he may end up becoming the one in charge. 

Training is one way of establishing order in your home, and it’s the same thing when you think about your relationship with your dog. 

To fully understand what this means, here are the 3 advantages of training your fur-buddy:

1. Proper Behavior 

Teaching your dog how to behave maintains peace in your place. It also eliminates concerns about him starting a fight with other dogs or pets. 

Untrained dogs can be problematic, after all. When they have not learned how to act properly, dog parents can end up seeing their shoes chewed on and their sofas gutted.

For some, this could be a make-or-break scenario. It’s undeniably one of the many reasons why dogs sometimes end up getting rehomed.

2. Healthy Relationship

It’s fun to do the same activities with your dog. If a Portie has been taught how to play the game of fetch, this keeps the relationship fun and interesting. Also, this lessens conflicts and disappointments with your dog. 

Dog parents would, no doubt, feel proud and unhesitantly show off their well-mannered Porties.

3. No Liabilities

Portuguese Water Dogs are not dangerous. But taking into account their sharp teeth and long nails, they can become unsafe around others if they have unpredictable temperaments. 

For example, a Portuguese Water Dog who has never been thoroughly socialized gets on the loose. The chances are that he’ll either terrorize everyone he sees or feel threatened by them and act out of fear. When that happens, it’s possible that your dog ends up being put down.

4 Possible Reasons Why a Portuguese Water Dog Can Be Hard to Train

Now, every Portuguese Water Dog is different. Some Porties are eager to learn, while others are not. If you end up bringing home a puppy who’s not motivated to keep up with the training, here are 4 reasons that would explain it:

1. Too Independent

It’s no question. Porties are indeed capable of thinking on their own. In their job as fishers aids, they no longer have to be dictated on what to do. They just act out of instinct.

With this mentality, your four-legged buddy may strongly exhibit this trait. He’ll prefer doing what he wants rather than listening to you.

2. Too Smart

In Stanley Coren’s “The Intelligence of Dogs,” the Portuguese Water Dog is at the 28th spot in comparison to over 100 other dog breeds included. That alone tells he’s learned and has a high potential in absorbing dog lessons, tricks, and tasks.

Though this could mean he can be trained to participate in dog shows, his brilliance would also prompt him to act stubbornly. He’ll question why there’s a need to obey you when he can do other things. 

3. Repetitive Commands

Watch out, dog parents. Your dogs might think you’re becoming too boring. Repetitive commands are somewhat insulting too to your dog. If he knows he’s doing well on a certain drill and you keep making him repeat the behavior, he won’t find it reasonable to show obedience.

4. Long Sessions

Just like kids, Portuguese Water Dogs have short attention spans. One piece of advice you have to bear in mind is to keep training short and meaningful. Around 15 minutes is enough time every day and slightly increases that as he becomes an adult. 

7 Tips for Portuguese Water Dog Training

1. Research All Essential Training: Your Portuguese Water Dog has so much potential in his paws. Aside from the basic drills like the crate, obedience, and leash drills, you also have to check out what other areas he can excel in. Then, order them from easy to complex.

2. Craft a Plan: Make a training schedule and stick to it strictly. Your treats and rewards should also be ready at your disposal. All other things you need for training have to be listed and purchased before you start teaching your dog some tricks.

3. Use Positive Reinforcements: Positive reinforcements come in different forms, such as the following:

  • Tasty snacks
  • Affection and pets
  • Praises

Use these to your advantage. Never resort to punishing your Portie as this yields no good results. 

4. Train Consistently: The key to training a Portuguese Water Dog is to consistently train him. Breaking the momentum could get your dog to forget what he learned a few days ago. 

5. Get Ready for Some Setbacks: No dog is perfect. Be lenient to your furry friend sometimes and allow mistakes in the process. Be mentally prepared to properly deal with these, and make sure you both get back on track when he’s ready. 

6. Have Fun: Some dogs love getting trained by their human parents. In fact, this is also considered a rich bonding moment. To get your Portuguese Water Dog interested, keep the drill fun and exciting. 

7. Know When to Seek Professional Help: If everything doesn’t work, it’s time to get some professional help. Dog trainers can aid you in getting your dog to act properly, especially in public. There’s no shame in that, and you can just keep on with the training once it becomes more manageable for you.

How Long Does It Take to School a Portuguese Water Dog?

Generally, Portuguese Water Dogs can get through the entire training process after just 2 weeks. That, however, means you train him religiously during the entire period while ensuring you follow the training tips and advice both from your dog’s vet and dog trainer. 

Some dogs of this breed may take longer to fully grasp the doggy lessons. That’s normal, though, as each dog is different. 

Fast learner or not, dog parents should maintain the same commitment to making their dogs act well in manners and behaviors.