Why do they have a shaved bottom?
The Portuguese Water Dog boasts having a single, but an extremely thick and water-resistant coat. Even though they are low shedding dogs, they are high maintenance on the grooming front because their coats need a daily brush to prevent any mats or tangles from forming which is particularly true of longer, wavy coated dogs. It takes careful attention and time to keep on top of the grooming. If not carefully and regularly groomed wavy hair is likely to mat and ‘felt’. If you do not keep on top of grooming the coat can and will become matted and uncomfortable for the dog. New owners must not underestimate the importance of good grooming and must consider the regular cost of grooming unless they are willing to do it themselves. We are more than willing to advise and help.
The Portuguese Water Dog, like Poodles and other low shedding breeds, needs to be clipped or scissored on a regular basis. Their coat will continue to grow longer and longer until it becomes unmanageable. You can learn to clip your dog yourself or take them to a professional groomer regularly. The latter can become costly; so many owners opt to learn to groom themselves. It pays, in the long run, to purchase a good dog clipper, and keep it maintained. Even if you choose to have your dog clipped by a professional, you will find a good pair of scissors at home for tidying to be useful. Expect to pay £40+ per clip every 8 weeks if your PWD is professionally groomed.
Portuguese water dogs come in two different coat types:
Curly - compact, cylindrical curls, somewhat lusterless. The hair on the ears is sometimes wavy.
Wavy - Falling gently in waves, not curls, and with a slight sheen. All of our dogs are wavy coats.
For both types of the coat there are two different styles that Portuguese Water Dogs can be trimmed:
Retriever trim: An everyday, family-friendly coat. (Think Chester)
To achieve this trim, they will need to be either clipped or scissored every 6-8-10 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 the first 2/3 of the tail shaved and only the last 1/3 at the end of the tail to be kept it's natural length. This is their characteristic "Flag" tail. The muzzle should be shorter than the body. The length of coat for this type of trim all depends on owner’s preference. It is often cut about 1” but would also be possible to cut far shorter or to keep the natural length all over the body and just trim the face & feet.
Lion clip: The working cut and UK breed standard if you wish to show. (Think Holly, Jasmine & Rafferty)
The lion clip involves keeping the entire coat it’s 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 with it needing to be combed several times a week. This cut takes some getting used to, especially if you don’t like being the centre of attention, but it does look fantastic when they run.
Ear Hair: It is also important to understand that hair grows inside the ear canal of this breed. It is worse in some PWD than others. Chester is far worse than Jasmine. This can lead to discomfort and if not kept under control can lead to ear infections (ear smells of yeast). This means that ear-hair plucking may have to be done on a regular basis which can be done either by the owner or a professional groomer. We can show you how.