Having a Portuguese Water Dog with Children or Other Pets

Portuguese Water Dogs are good natured and tend to get along with kids as well as other pets. But because of the Portuguese Water Dog's strength, you'll want to be careful if you're thinking of bringing one into a home with children or other pets.

A Portuguese Water Dog who moves into a house with kids won't have any trouble adjusting to them, but the PWD is not recommended for a family with very small children. Your puppy will grow much faster than your children and soon, you will have a very strong, bouncy, exuberant, adolescent dog. She will not intentionally injure a child, but could do so just by virtue of her strength and enthusiasm. You should always supervise play between a PWD and children.

Never leave a baby unattended with any dog, no matter how trustworthy you think the dog is. A baby’s high-pitched squeals and sudden, jerky movements can trigger a dog’s prey drive.

If you already have a dog and are adding a PWD puppy, the relationship will probably be fine, especially if the two dogs are of the opposite sex. But again, the Portuguese Water Dog is boisterous and strong, and may be too rough for some breeds. If you have a Labrador Retriever, odds are you'll be fine. If you have a Chihuahua or other toy breed, you may want to consider adding a playmate to the family that's more size-appropriate.

Portuguese Water Dogs can cohabitate with cats, but again, be careful. If the cat is full grown and already established in the household, things will go better than if you are adding a cat and the PWD is already there. Make introductions between your dog and cat slowly, keeping them in separate parts of the house for a few days and gradually stretching out introductions. And always make sure that kitty has an escape route and can get somewhere where the dog can’t follow.

Got “pocket” pets? Individual dogs may get along with specific rabbits, guinea pigs, or gerbils but generally, what is a pet to you is lunch to your dog. Keep small, furry pets out of reach of your Portuguese Water Dog.

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