If you are looking to add a PWD to your family, please take the time to research and educate yourself on all aspects of the breed. While most breeds have their share of health problems, you will find that within the PWD community, most breeders talk about the issues openly and believe that good health can only be maintained with open communication.
We strongly recommend that you choose to purchase a puppy from a breeder who has completed all health testing on the sire and dam prior to the breeding. Keep in mind that testing cannot be completed until a dog has reached 24 months of age, so if you see a litter with a parent younger than 2 years old that is a RED FLAG.
There are EIGHT different genetic tests that RESPONSIBLE breeder's do for their dogs before breeding. If you are going to pay $3,000+ for your dog, you should be provided health test results for the parents. These tests include:
1. Hips (OFA or Penn Hip)
3. Eye Exam from a board certified ophthalmologist (yearly)
4. GM-1 Storage Disease
6. Early onset PRA
7. Juvenile Dialated Cardiomyopathy
8. Microphthalmia Syndrome
As a conscientious breeder it is our responsibility to educate potential puppy buyers about the breed. Any time one deals with a living, breathing being, the potential exists for health problems. Be realistic in your expectations as the day has yet to come when a puppy can be guaranteed to be 100% healthy. You can and should expect your breeder to have used all the resources available to breed a healthy litter.
The majority of PWD's are very healthy. Less than 2% of the breed are affected by serious illness. Please put this information into perspective and use it to guide you in the purchase or care of a PWD.
You can read more about the health concerns of the Portuguese Water Dog by logging on to the parent club website here: