The Obama girls Sasha and Melia have finally decided on a dog for the white house. Their pick is the Portuguese Water Dog and the dog could be moving in to the White House as soon as April.
Portuguese Water Dogs (PWD) are a breed of water dog similar to poodles. Portuguese Water Dogs once existed all along Portugal’s coast, where they were taught to herd fish into fishermen’s nets, to retrieve lost tackle or broken nets, and to act as couriers from ship to ship, or ship to shore. Portuguese Water Dogs rode in bobbing fishing trawlers as they worked their way from the warm Atlantic waters of Portugal to the frigid fishing waters off the coast of Iceland where the fleets caught codfish to bring home.
In Portugal, the breed is called Cão d’Água (pronounced “Kown-d’Ahgwa”; literally “water dog”). In its native land, the dog is also known as the Portuguese Fishing Dog (Cão Pescador Português). Cão de Água de Pêlo Ondulado is the name given the wavy-haired variety, and Cão de Água de Pêlo Encaracolado is the name for the curly-coated variety.
The Portuguese Water Dog is a fairly rare breed; only 15 entrants for Portuguese Water Dogs were made to England’s Crufts competition in 2002, although their personality and non-shedding qualities have made them more popular in recent years. The breed enjoyed increased public awareness in 2009 when it was announced that a Portuguese Water Dog had been selected to be the Obama family dog in the White House.