Portuguese Water Dog vs Goldendoodle

Portuguese Water Dog vs Goldendoodle

Are you in search of your perfect dog? Narrowing down the options in choosing the right companion for you is not an easy one, but if you have a penchant for athletic and intelligent canines, the Portuguese Water dog and the Goldendoodle are top-notch breeds to consider

Both share qualities that many dog lovers look for such as being active, smart, loving, and alert. Undeniably, they are also striking in looks with their naturally wavy or curly coats and features that are not just there for display. These two breeds are slightly the same in appearance and temperament, but the rest of their characteristics are contrasting

Portuguese Water Dog vs Goldendoodle
Portuguese Water Dog vs Goldendoodle

To further see each of the dog’s uniqueness, let’s compare them thoroughly through this article.

Breed Origins


The success of the Labradoodle paved the way for breeders to consider crossbreeding the ever-loyal Golden Retriever with the hypoallergenic Poodle. It was in 1969 when the first Goldendoodle was bred and it only took 21 years for this hybrid to be recognized widely.

Both designer dog breeders from Australia and America worked hard to achieve great results with the crossbreeding, so both countries could be considered the Goldendoodle’s places of origin.

Mainly, the reason why breeders chose the Poodle and the Golden Retriever as their formula for a new dog is because of the even temperament the Golden Retriever has and the excellent intelligence level possessed by the Poodle. Just like the Labradoodle counterpart, the Goldendoodle is a great choice for those who need service dogs.

Portuguese Water Dog

Originally hailed from the Algarve region of Portugal, the Portuguese Water dog was bred and taught how to gather fish and direct them to the open nets of the fishermen. Some wait their turn to be told to retrieve fallen fishing gear in the water or act as couriers from one ship to another.

The Portie dogs can be seen riding fishing trawlers as they navigate the Atlantic seas until they reach the coast of Iceland, but their working history abruptly ends. When traditional fishing turned into a modern process, many dogs of this breed became unwanted and their numbers started to decline. When they were at the brink of extinction, Dr. Bensaude took a male Portie and mated him to all the female Porties he could find.

The effort was outstanding that the majority of the PWDs we see today can be traced back to one source!

Size, Appearance, & Coloring


Goldendoodles come in three sizes, so depending on which kind of doodle you want, the size will vary. Miniature Goldendoodles can weigh from 15 to 30 pounds, medium ones are 30 to 45 pounds, and 45 to 100 pounds for a standard doodle. These sizes are largely based on the kind of Poodle you mate your Golden Retriever with.

In terms of looks, the Goldendoodle generally has a round and broad skull with a long muzzle. The eyes are usually oval-shaped and dark. Although most of the eye color is brown, there can be instances when your Goldendoodle will have the rare green and blue. 

The coat quality doesn’t have consistency at all considering that this dog is a hybrid. This dog can either be slightly smooth in the eyes, loosely curled or rough-looking. The fur characteristics will be dependent on the kind of crosses the breeder used. You can see Goldendoodles that look more like a Poodle and others will have more Golden Retriever features such as having a deep chest and a thick tail.

There are plenty of colors to choose from for a Goldendoodle. The coat color possibilities are:

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Silver
  • Cream
  • Blue
  • Sable
  • Red

Portuguese Water Dog

The Portuguese Water dog is a medium-sized canine that can weigh anywhere between 35 to 60 pounds. Just like any other dog breed, the female Portie will be smaller than her male counterpart. Regardless of gender, the PWD has a robust build and a hardy look. The combination helped this breed to withstand extreme weather conditions that would enable him to work all throughout the day.

People would often mistake this dog for a Poodle, but if you look closely, the Portie has a large, broad head and eyes that are just the right size for his face. His hind legs are strong and can be easily seen depending on what cut he’s sporting. The tail is thick and tapers like that of a Golden Retriever, the chest, deep, and the paws webbed great for his swimming skills.

His wavy or curly coat can be in different colors. Normally, the main ones you can see from this dog are:

  • Black
  • White
  • Various shades of brown

Some Porties are particolored, but the white coloring shouldn’t cover 30 percent of his body.



Goldendoodles are highly affectionate dogs that are super friendly to anyone. These are just a few of his traits that make him a popular choice as a house pet for many American households! His endearing, calm, and gentle nature won’t give you any reason to worry if he’s playing with your kids because he loves human company.

Considering that this dog is a cross, his personality will be dependent on his upbringing and on the kind of dog his parents were. There is such a thing as genetic temperament which means that the attitude and behavior of the parents can be passed onto the offspring.

Although the Goldendoodle has a great reputation as a dog, you still have to meet his parents so you’d be assured that you will not be getting a problematic companion.

Portuguese Water Dog

It is a given that the Portie breed is a hardworking dog, but behind his seriousness toward whatever tasks he needs to accomplish, he possesses an entertaining clownish attitude that can brighten up anyone’s day. He is faithful to his owner and would constantly look for a sort of affection whether it be cuddling on the sofa whilst watching TV or having an early peaceful walk around the neighborhood.

If there are young kids in the family, this sociable dog will get along with them easily. Since kids are tireless, letting them bond with the dog is a good idea so the children will become exhausted by the end of the day and you would have no problem telling them to go to sleep. 

Porties do well with other pets like cats too! Raising them up together while they are young will create a stronger bond without the prey drive instinct.

Exercise Needs


Surprisingly, despite the Goldendoodle’s medium size, his body could contain very high levels of energy. If he’s in a good condition, there is a chance that you have to accompany him in exercising for two hours! This shouldn’t sound too overwhelming for you as long as you tailor a strategy to keep the load less heavy for you.

It’s great if the Goldendoodle has doggy playmates or if he gets to interact with kids on a regular basis. You and your other family members could also switch turns in playing games of fetch with your playful Doodle.

Portuguese Water Dog

In keeping your Portuguese Water dog fit and healthy, the number one suggestion many dog lovers would give you is to give him a dog companion. If he has someone to play with while you’re out for work, his need to burn off excess fat will not be compromised.

On a daily basis, taking this dog out for a walk four times is ideal. Avoid rough and hard surfaces or playing games with him that would make him do rapid body movements or twists. This dog is energetic so depending on which level he’s in, the time he’d need to spend for exercise will vary.

Trainability & Intelligence Level


As with any dog, the Goldendoodle is easy to train if he’s still a puppy. Regardless of age, however, the general consensus is that this dog can learn new tricks smoothly due to his intelligence level and desire to please his owner. This is actually predictable already since he’s a combination of two very easy-to-train breeds!

For more successful training, the Goldendoodle responds well to positive reinforcements such as treats, pets, and other fascinating rewards. He must learn which behaviors are not acceptable as early as possible so he wouldn’t have any chance of repeating them in the future.

Portuguese Water Dog

In a practical sense, the Portie dogs are highly intelligent, but teaching them new skills is neither hard nor easy. First of all, Porties are eager to please their owners due to their affectionate nature. But, owners of this dog should take note that this canine is not a big fan of repetitive sessions and training. He loves challenges and physically stimulating activities. Let’s just say that you shouldn’t underestimate his smartness. Give him varied drills and he’ll pick those up very quickly.

Maintenance Level

Averagely, both dogs are high maintenance. They both would need high-quality food appropriate for their size, age, health, and activity level. As for grooming, the Portuguese Water Dog would require daily brushing and combing to avoid matting and tangling. Occasional baths can be done only if he’s dirty or smelly.

Meanwhile, the Goldendoodle who has no standard coat type would need to visit his groomer every 8 to 12 weeks presuming he has unruly hair. Dedicated Goldendoodle owners don’t really find this taxing as regular grooming sessions keep their dogs neat and tidy-looking.

Health Issues


In buying a Goldendoodle, you should seek out health clearances from the breeder first. Since this is a crossbred dog, he is prone to several diseases which his parents are also vulnerable to. This includes:

  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Patellar luxation
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Portuguese Water Dog

Obesity is one of the significant problems that could impair the quality of lifestyle of a Portie dog. Once this worsens, many other illnesses and diseases will start showing such as heart disease, digestive disorder, back pain, and joint problems. Choosing the right dog food is a priority as this greatly impacts health. Not only that, but never let your dog indulge in great amounts of food.

Other health problems may also include:

  • Eye problems
  • Dental disease
  • Addison’s disease
  • Cancer

Breed Popularity

The Portuguese Water dog is in the 50th rank out of 200 breeds registered in the American Kennel Club (AKC) which is impressive for a dog that is considered to be rare. On the other hand, since the AKC doesn’t acknowledge hybrid dogs, the Goldendoodle has no exact standing in terms of popularity. However, due to the desirable traits of the doodle dog, this one is commonly sought out just like the Labradoodle.

Fun Facts


  1. Goldendoodles are a designer breed.
  2. They are oftentimes labeled as teddy bears.
  3. They generally live long and healthy lives.
  4. They are hypoallergenic!
  5. Great for first-time owners.

Portuguese Water Dog

  1. There are more than 10,000 Porties all over the world today.
  2. They love the water!
  3. They used to be soldier dogs during the Spanish Armada.
  4. Two Portie dogs dwelled in the White House during Obama’s presidency.
  5. His coat is waterproof!

Final Thoughts

The biggest difference between the two is that the Portie is a purebred dog while the Goldendoodle is a hybrid canine. They share a very similar personality so either of the two is not a bad choice. However, if you are into having more options for sizes and looks, a Goldendoodle is the right companion for you. He can be either small, medium, or standard!

Edward Hollon is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Edward has been writing for petdii for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Edward has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Edward knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.