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.
Yes, Portuguese Water Dogs have webbed feet which historically helped them perform their duties as fishing boat dogs.
If there is water nearby, you can about bet any Portuguese Water Dogs in the vicinity are biding their time until they're allowed to jump into it. Porties have a strong love for water.
Because of their impressive swimming capabilities and fondness of water, Portuguese Water Dogs were tasked with the retrieval of 'splash hits'—home run hits that left the ballpark and splashed into the Bay—for the San Francisco Giants in the 1990s. The team of six Portuguese Water Dogs was known as BARK, or the Baseball Aquatic Retrieval Korps. The Portie-retrieved baseballs were coveted amongst fans and were sold as collectors' items, and the money BARK earned was donated to local animal rescue organizations.