According to the breed standard, Portuguese Water Dogs should have a curly or wavy coat, but some PWDs are born with an 'improper coat.' This means that the dog has a coat inconsistent with the breed standard and is not suitable for the conformation ring. They may be referred to as smooth-coated, flat-coated, or smooth-faced—for none of which should a breeder charge extra, as this does not make the dog a rare example of the breed. If a breeder claims as much, they are trying to pull one over on you. An improper coat can be identified by a few weeks of age. There is now a genetic test available to detect the presence of the recessive gene that causes improper coats in breeding dogs, so a breeder may choose to test their dogs before breeding to prevent passing the gene. Improperly coated Portuguese Water Dogs will likely not be hypoallergenic as they tend to have a double coat that sheds. If you don't plan to show or breed him, there's no reason to pass up a Portie for an improper coat, as these dogs won't suffer from any additional health concerns and can still make wonderful, loving companions.