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Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix: Pictures, Info, Care Guide & More

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

wet portipoo having fun under the sun

The Portipoo is a mixed breed created by breeding a Portuguese Water Dog and Poodle (usually standard) together. This breed varies quite a bit, as they are a mixed breed. Therefore, they can inherit any trait from either parent. They’re a bit “randomized,” in other words.

Height: 17–23 inches
Weight: 40–60 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Colors: White, black, brown, gray, apricot, cream, red
Suitable for: Active families, Experienced dog owners
Temperament: Loyal, intelligent, active, friendly

You never know exactly what you’re going to get with this breed. Mixed breeds aren’t the same as purebred dogs, which typically follow a standard and mixed breeds don’t have any standard.

However, these dogs are more likely to exhibit some traits than others. For example, they can usually weigh up to 60 pounds, but if a smaller poodle size than standard is utilized, this breed will be smaller.

They’re often extremely active and best for experienced dog owners. They’re highly intelligent, but that isn’t always a good thing, as you’ll see below.

Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix Characteristics


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Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix Puppies

Similar to adults, Portuguese Water Dog Poodle puppies are very energetic and playful. They require tons of exercise, though you should be careful not to over-exercise them. They require plenty of socialization and training to become well-behaved adults. These dogs are extremely intelligent, so they often take well to training. However, they also need lots of mental stimulation. Without it, the puppies can become quite destructive.

This breed isn’t as common as some other mixed breeds. However, mixes including Poodles are becoming more and more common, so you may be able to find a puppy easier than you’d expect. Your best bet is a specialized breeder, though you may have to travel far to pick up your puppy. They may come at a higher price than other breeds due to their rarity.

As always, be sure to research any breeder before purchasing a puppy from them. Ethical breeders will produce healthy, well-adjusted puppies. Ask about what health tests they perform before breeding the parents, as well as any health certificates and health records for the puppies.

Parent Breeds of the Portipoo
Image Credit: (L) Lynda McFaul, Shutterstock | (R) Jumpstory

Temperament & Intelligence of the Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix

Portipoos are very people-oriented and energetic. Therefore, they’re pretty easy to train and often perform the commands in real-world settings. They perform well in dog sports and other high-intensity activities that require a lot of training and respond well to positive reinforcement techniques.

These dogs also love to be around their family and love attention and affection. They require plenty of attention compared to other breeds.

Portipoos tend to be extremely intelligent. However, they can also be headstrong if not trained early. Therefore, it’s important to lay a strong foundation as a puppy before they become stubborn around the age of 1–2. (Dogs often experience an adolescent period just like humans, when they can be more stubborn.)

These dogs need lots of exercise and playtime. Their intelligence means they require lots of mental stimulation, too. Many of them love swimming, but they have to be introduced to the water at a young age, otherwise, they may be fearful of it.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

These canines are known for being good family dogs for the right family. They’re often very friendly and outgoing with the right amount of socialization. They’re also very loyal to their family, including children.

They’re large enough to be quite relaxed around kids. Often, they know they’re large enough to avoid getting hurt by children, which reduces the chance of fearfulness. They’re also pretty patient and gentle, which are also good traits for them to have around children.

However, they only do best in active families, as they have a very high-energy temperament. They may also not be suitable for families with younger children, as they can be a bit too hyper and energetic. They need regular exercise and playtime.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mix can absolutely get along with other pets. If they’re socialized from a young age, they can be friends with just about any other pet (that isn’t obviously a prey animal, like a rabbit).

Of course, you should always supervise the Portipoo with other pets, as they can be a bit too rough in some cases.

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Things to Know When Owning a Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Portipoos need a balanced diet, just like any other dog breed. However, they do not have any special dietary needs.

Because of their active nature, they may require more protein and overall calories than other dogs. There are many dog foods out there for active dogs, and these may work best for Portipoos. A high-quality commercial food is vital for their health.

However, be sure to choose the correct food for your particular dog. Puppies should consume puppy dog food, for instance. If your dog is overweight, you may want to switch to low-calorie dog food. Older dogs sometimes benefit from senior dog food, though this isn’t necessarily a requirement for all senior dogs.

Exercise 🐕

Portuguese Water Dog Poodle mixes are extremely active and require a lot of exercise. Plan to take them on walks and play with them regularly. These canines love just about any type of activity, including swimming, playing fetch, and walking.

You’ll need to take them on at least a 30-minute walk, as well as offer plenty of playtime and other activities. Be careful not to overexercise these dogs, especially as puppies. They can push themselves too hard and damage their growth plates, which can lead to hip dysplasia.

Training 🎾

These dogs are extremely intelligent. Therefore, they take well to training and are often extremely obedient. They’re great dogs for those that want to participate in dog shows or similar activities.

Early socialization is necessary to prevent behavioral issues, though. They’re prone to separation anxiety and can be fearful of others if not socialized early.

You’ll need to provide plenty of training, too. While they do learn quickly, they are extremely intelligent and need a lot of mental stimulation. This mental stimulation need can be fulfilled partly by regular training. You’ll often need to “make up” new things to teach them. Expect them to learn several tricks that aren’t exactly practical if only to keep them entertained and challenged.

Grooming ✂️

Portipoos require regular grooming. They have thick, curly coats in most cases, and they require regular brushing to prevent matting, as well as professional grooming. Brushing also helps keep their coats clean, as the brush can remove loose hair and dirt. Baths aren’t required that often. However, they do need a bath every 2–3 months.

It’s important to use mild, gentle shampoo for these dogs, as they may be more prone to skin irritation. You can also get them a bath when they visit the groomer’s, which may be enough to avoid giving baths at home.

Health and Conditions 🏥

As a mixed breed, Portipoos are much healthier than other dog breeds. Being a mix prevents them from inheriting many of the common health conditions that affect other dogs. However, they’re still prone to some health issues, largely due to their bigger size.

For instance, they can be prone to hip dysplasia, which is a genetic condition that affects the joints. It causes mobility problems and arthritis-like symptoms, though at a much earlier age than arthritis. We don’t know exactly what causes hip dysplasia, but diet and exercise may play a role.

They’re also prone to progressive retinal atrophy—a degenerative eye disease that leads to blindness. They may also develop Addison’s disease, a hormonal condition that affects the adrenal glands. These can lead to weakness, weight loss, and lethargy.

Because Portipoos have floppy ears, they are prone to ear infections. Keeping their ears clean can help, including drying them completely after swimming. Skin allergies are often common, causing itching and irritation.

Minor Conditions
  • Ear infections
  • Skin allergies
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Addison’s disease

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Male vs Female

There aren’t substantial differences between either sex in this mixed breed. Because their size varies widely, males aren’t necessarily larger than females as a rule. However, males do tend to be on the larger side.

Of course, sex-specific characteristics common to all dogs affect this breed too.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Portuguese Water Dog Poodle Mix

1. They were bred as working dogs.

Both the Portuguese Water Dog and Poodle were bred as working dogs. That’s one reason they’re so energetic—they were bred to work all day.

2. Their coat texture is unique.

Portipoos often have a similar coat texture to Poodles. However, their coats are usually not exactly the same. It can be wirier, like the Portuguese water dog. Each puppy is unique, depending on the traits they inherit from their parents.

3. They’re a relatively new breed.

While both the Poodle and the Portuguese Water Dog have long and well-documented histories, the Portipoo is a relatively new breed. The hybrid breed was first developed in the 1990s and since then, they have become increasingly popular as companion dogs due to their friendly and intelligent nature.

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Final Thoughts

The Portipoo is a crossbreed resulting from the breeding of a Portuguese Water Dog and a Poodle, usually of standard size. Being a mixed breed, this dog can display a wide range of traits inherited from either parent, making them somewhat unpredictable in terms of appearance and personality.

Despite their varied traits, there are certain characteristics that are more common in Portipoos. They can weigh up to 60 pounds, but if a smaller Poodle is used in the breeding process, the resulting breed will be smaller as well.

These dogs are generally very active and require a considerable amount of exercise, making them a better fit for experienced dog owners who can meet their physical and mental needs.

Portipoos are known for their intelligence, but this can also pose a challenge for their owners as they require a lot of mental stimulation to avoid boredom and destructive behavior. Although not following a breed standard, the Portipoo has gained popularity as a companion dog due to their friendly and affectionate nature.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Suri Designs, Shutterstock

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