Standard Poodles and Portuguese water dogs or porties as they are fondly called are actually cousins belonging to the same water dog classification. A poodle-portie mix breed is active and smart like both parents and wouldn’t look different from either its mom or dad since poodles generally look similar to Portuguese water dogs.
The Poodle versus the Portie
The poodle has been known in the Western European region for at least 4 centuries now but no one really knows their true country of origin. Countries that have taken a claim on the origin are France or Denmark but what is certain is that the dog’s ancestors are the Barbet, the now extinct French waterdog, and possibly the Hungarian water hound. The name "Poodle" has most likely originated from the German word "Pudel," which means "one who plays in water". The Portuguese water dog on the other hand is native to Portugal where it bore the name “Cao de Agua,” which means "dog of water". Being great swimmers, porties are so valuable to local fishermen whom they worked with doing various tasks like herding and catching fish.
Both poodles and porties are classified as water dogs. Although these two breeds share several characteristics, there are several attributes that set them apart. Poodles, unlike porties or most other breeds for that matter, come in a variety of sizes. While Porties may come in mixed colors with black as the dominant shade, most poodles are solid colored. Other traits of these breeds are similar on the other hand. First is their level of intelligence. Porties are known to be a smart breed as the poodle is regarded as the second most intelligent dog breed. Poodles and porties both have curly or wavy coat texture that requires regular grooming. Both breeds are highly energetic and are very sociable or people-oriented. Like other dogs, they both appreciate daily exercise and are fairly agile.
Breeders cross poodles with other breeds for different reasons. The puppies that come out are then named using a combination of the names of their parents such as Labradoodle (Poodle and Labrador) and Spoodle (Cocker Spaniel cross) among others. These cross breeds are also referred to as “Designer Dogs.” Breeding designer dogs started in the late 1900’s when breeders theorized that mixing breeds would result in the puppies obtaining desirable traits of their parents. Since poodles were thought to have hypoallergenic coats, breeders wanted this trait to be passed on to the offspring. What they were not aware of however is that this cross breeding does not automatically produce a non-shedding dog.
Pordle? or Poortie?
Crossing a standard poodle with a portie would result in an intraspecies hybrid rather than a cross between two species. Although many breeders are resorting to cross breeding, the risks involved in this practice are high. Some dogs have genetic characteristics that may result in diseases if cross bred. Hip dysplasia which is a hip joint or bone disorder is one such condition. Another danger is the possibility of genetically passing on heart ailments, and eye or ear abnormalities. It is always well worth doing a background check on the dogs you are about to breed to determine if there are any health issues. Intraspecies breeding may result in the litter being struck with hereditary ailments even if the disease was never evident in their parents.