Both the Standard Poodle and Portuguese Water Dog are large breeds with a positive attitude and brains to match their hearts. While these dogs have similar personality traits and physical traits, they are also quite different in some ways. Let’s take a look at each of this breeds and see what’s the same and what’s different.
While everyone associates the Standard Poodle with frou-frou and France, it was actually originally bred in Germany as a water dog to retrieve fowl. It was only later that that the Standard Poodle we all associate with goofy haircuts was standardized in France.
The Standard Poodle is a highly intelligent breed that is easy to train. In addition to its intelligence, it’s also a highly energetic and sociable breed. They love to play fetch or just run around in the yard to get off some of that high energy reserve.
While the Standard Poodle is typically somewhat reserved with strangers, it only takes a short time for them to warm up to the new source of petting and ear scratching. Of all the Poodles, the Standard Poodle is the best for families with children, being highly tolerant of all of the things that children are prone to do to dogs.
The Standard Poodle is a generally healthy breed. In fact, all of the Poodles are known to be very healthy. In spite of their overall healthy reputation, some dogs of this breed will have particular issues that are more commonly associate with the Standard Poodle. Although, this is true with all breeds. There are just some issues that one breed is more apt to get than other breeds.
- Addison’s Disease – Addison’s Disease is the most commonly reported illness among Standard Poodles. It’s a disease in which insufficient glucocorticoid and/or mineralocorticoid production occur. Symptoms can include unexplained lethargy, frequent GI upset, and an inability to tolerate stress. It can be fatal but if caught early, it is treatable.
- Gastric Dilation Volvulus – Also known as bloat, GDV, is a condition is which excess gas gets found in the stomach. This can lead to a twisting of the stomach which can be fatal. Every vet I ever knew recommended stomach tacking during spaying or neutering to prevent stomach twisting in the case of bloat.
- Hip Dysplasia – Hip dysplasia is a condition in which the head of the femur doesn’t sit correctly into the socket of the hip. It can range from mild to severe. In mild cases, it leads to early onset arthritis and a lack of range of motion. In severe cases, it can lead to lameness. Mild cases can be treated with medications while severe case may require surgery.
The Standard Poodle lives an average of 12 years, although I have seen several that far exceeded this median age. As with many breeds, the most common cause of death reported in Standard Poodles is cancer. A UK study found that 30% of Standard Poodles succumbed to cancer.
The Standard Poodle doesn’t shed, so it is considered a hypoallergenic dog. Although regular bathing to keep the dander to a minimum should still be done.
The Standard Poodle requires either a fenced yard or multiple walks per day. This is a high energy breed, and like any energetic dog, a lack of stimulation can lead to destructive behavior as the dog tries to blow off steam.
Portuguese Water Dog
The Portuguese Water Dog originated in the Algarve region of Portugal. Like the Standard Poodle, it is a water dog. However, rather than being a hunting dog, the PWD has used a working dog for fisherman. It was used for things like retrieving lost tackle or broken nets as well as a courier from ship to ship.
Like the Standard Poodle, the Portuguese Water dog is highly intelligent and affectionate. They are friendly with strangers and other animals as long as they’ve been properly socialized. Because of their energy level and high intelligence, both the Standard Poodle and PWD derived great pleasure from both basic obedience training and other endeavors such as agility training.
As with all purebred dogs, the Portuguese Water Dog is more prone to certain conditions than other breeds. While this breed is not known for being made of glass, these conditions can be a cause for concern. However, a PWD that comes from a responsibly bred line is far less likely to have these conditions.
- Hip Dysplasia – Like the Standard Poodle, the PWD, if improperly bred, is prone to hip dysplasia.
- Benign Juvenile Epilepsy – This is an idiopathic disorder in which seizures occur in puppies at 5 to 9 weeks of age and then resolve at 8 to 13 weeks. In addition to being scary, many puppies suffering from this show signs of neurological disease as well.
- Cerebral Anomaly – This is an umbrella category encompassing any abnormality of the brain and includes Benign Juvenile Epilepsy.
The Standard Poodle and Portuguese Water Dog both have roughly the same lifespan. Whereas the Standard Poodle lives and average of 12 years, the PWD has a slightly longer lifespan, averaging around 15 years. In either case, that’s a good lifespan for a larger breed.
Like the Standard Poodle, the Portuguese Water Dog doesn’t shed, which puts in the category of hypoallergenic. That being said, it should also be regularly bathed to reduce the amount of dander on its skin.
Both the Standard Poodle and Portuguese water dog are highly energetic and require adequate amounts of exercise. A fenced in yard is best, but if you don’t have one, multiple walks will do the trick. This breed absolutely must work in some capacity to be happy.
The Standard Poodle and the Portuguese Water Dog – Family Faves
Both the Standard Poodle and the Portuguese Water Dog make excellent family companions. Possessing high intelligence, friendly demeanor, and a love for their people, both breeds are ideal for families that want a four-footed addition to the family with tons of personality and heart.