Portuguese Water dogs make excellent companions. They are loving, independent, and intelligent and are easily trained in obedience and agility skills. Once introduced, they are generally friendly to strangers, and enjoy being petted, which, due to their soft, fluffy coats, is a favour that human beings willingly grant them. The modern PWD, whether employed on a boat or kept as a pet or a working therapy dog, loves water, attention, and prefers to be engaged in activity within sight of a human partner. This is not a breed to be left alone for long periods of time, indoors or out. As water dogs, the PWD’s retrieving instinct is strong, which also gives some dogs tugging and chewing tendencies. Because of their intelligence and working drive, they require regular intensive exercise as well as mental challenges. They are gentle and patient — but not ‘couch potatoes’ and boredom may cause them to become destructive.