How to Choose a Breeder
So you think you want a Portuguese Water Dog. Now you must find a breeder. Be aware that anyone can put a male and a female dog together and produce puppies. What you should be looking for is a reputable breeder who will not only produce quality puppies, but one who will also act as a mentor and resource for you as the puppy owner. Such breeders do not breed puppies for a profit, but instead are interested in the betterment of the breed, often trying hard to breed a line that is free of, or as close to free of, most of the diseases that are present while still maintaining the basic characteristics as specified in the breed standard. As a result, reputable breeders very rarely make a profit on a litter of puppies.
Some features of a reputable breeder include:
A reputable breeder will be nosy and probing -- this should not put you, the potential buyer, off but instead should provide you with reassurance that the breeder cares more about his or her puppies and their lives than how their questions may inconvenience or offend you.
The diseases that the PWD breeding stock can and should be tested for are listed here by the OFA and are based on those highly recommended by the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America. Please note that while responsible breeders test for these diseases and don't breed carriers to carriers, they cannot guarantee that your puppy will be "free" of all genetic diseases as some diseases do not have testing available and some diseases have very strong environmental components that activate gene expression (or deactivate it). Make sure that you are a well-informed buyer before committing to a puppy from any breeder.