Portuguese Water Dogs (PWDs) were bred to help fishermen off the coast of Portugal, their main jobs included herding fish into nets, delivering messages and fetching tools off the coastal floor. Portuguese Water Dogs were trained to use their mouths to perform their daily work. Even though they are mainly household pets now, Portuguese Water Dogs (PWDs) still use their mouths to communicate and perform work. Portuguese Water Dogs can be trained to fetch items, find items, scent items and even move items. Portuguese Water Dogs have a wide variety of talents that allow them to perform a variety of jobs. One of the things we train our Portuguese Water Dogs to do is play hide and seek, we ask them to find a certain person and off they go! It is so much fun and they really can learn to differentiate different people!
Back to biting, yes Portuguese Water Dogs have a tendency to be more mouthy than your regular household breeds. This is especially true in the teething puppy phase! We work hard here at Gro-T Kennels to only reinforce the behaviors we like, so when puppies start biting, we provide other items like toys or chew treats for them to bite on. When puppies start trying to bite fingers or toes, we redirect by introducing a toy to play with instead. You can find things like Bully Sticks, pig ears, cow ears, cow hooves and meaty bones all over our house. These chew treats and toys are a life saver when it comes to saving your fingers from a mouthy puppy! Even though puppies are super cute and its hard not to let them nibble a finger, it doesn't really hurt yet, it will hurt and its better to teach a puppy not to bite from the very beginning! Our puppies are not allowed to do anything that we wouldn't allow our adult dogs to do, so no biting!
As Portuguese Water Dogs pass the puppy phase into adult hood, they will often use their mouths as a means of communication! If they want your attention and you are not giving it, they might reach up and grab your hand with their mouth. A Portuguese Water Dog that has not been allowed to bite, will understand that biting is not allowed, so they will not bite but a mouthing of your hand can be an effective way for them to communicate with you. They also use their voices often when communicating and can have a wide range of sounds that mean different things. Portuguese Water Dogs are so smart!