Portuguese Water Dog Club of Canada

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We encourage all PWDCC members to participate in the PWDCA sponsored PWD Health and Litter Log. Whether your dog is a pet or a show champion, your dogs’ health information can ensure healthy dogs for generations to come. All purebred and mixed breed dogs are prone to hereditary health problems. The Portuguese Water Dog is no exception. The Portuguese Water Dog Club of Canada encourages its members to be aware of health issues and responsible breeding practices to reduce or eliminate hereditary health problems. The information provided herein should help you in your quest for a responsible breeder and a healthy dog. There may be other health issues not specifically identified, ask the breeder if there are any other hereditary issues in their lines. Always ask to see the actual health certificates and go online with the open registries to verify the certificates. (www.ofa.org, PWD Health and Litter Log)

PWDCC Recommended Health Tests for Breeding Dogs

The PWDCC recommends the following health tests as the accepted standard for breeding pairs.

Individual testing for both sire and dam:

Current passing CAER (formerly CERF)
Final OFA Hips certification rating Excellent, Good or Fair or
OVC certification Normal hips

Individual testing Normal for either sire or dam:
with at least one parent testing normal (non-carrier)

prcd-PRA (as of April 15, 2020)
Microphthalmia Syndrome DNA (as of April 15, 2020)
EOPRA with at least one parent testing normal (non-carrier)
(as of April 1, 2018)


OFA Elbows

OFA Certificate for Clear by Parentage Testing, CBP, (for one generation only) for:

with at least one parent testing normal (non-carrier)
Microphthalmia Syndrome DNA
EOPRA with at least one parent testing normal (non-carrier)

Each OFA Clear by Parentage certificate for the conditions listed indicates a Normal/clear for the puppy as per the sire and dam’s Normal/clear status.

The OFA Clear by Parentage Testing Program requires both Sire and Dam to be tested normal for any or all of prcd-PRA, Microphthalmia, GM-1, IC-13, JDCM and EOPRA. Both Sire and Dam must be DNA tested with AKC. And their puppies must also be DNA tested to confirm that they are veritably the get of the Sire and Dam of record. Then a certificate is generated by OFA with the pup’s individual clearance number. Any get of this pup will have to be individually tested as this CBP clearance is good for one generation only. A claim of CBP clearance without an OFA certificate and individual number is not acceptable.

Additionally, a breeder may have this for his/her breeding dogs:

CHIC Certificate: The Canine Health Information Center, also known as CHIC, is a centralized canine health database sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). Each breed club determines the test criteria appropriate for their breed.

A CHIC number is issued when test results are entered into the database satisfying each breed specific requirement, and when the owner of the dog has opted to release the results into the public domain. The CHIC number itself does not imply normal test results, only that all the required breed specific tests were performed and the results made publicly available.

A CHIC report is issued at the same time as the CHIC number. The CHIC report is a consolidated listing of the tests performed, the age of the dog when the tests were performed, and the corresponding test results. As new results are recorded, online CHIC information is updated.

Health sites and links:


  • OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals), www.ofa.org
  • OVC (Ontario Veterinary College), www.ovc.uoguelph.ca (program in effect up to October 31, 2011, suspended further testing effective this date)


  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy Testing (prcd-PRA) Testing by Optimal Selection, www.optimal-selection.com/optimal_selection_dogs
  • OFA CAER test past (current for (current for one year from date of test, not required after a dog reaches 120 months of age), note conditions that preclude a certification are detailed on the OFA site at www.ofa.org

Storage Disease Testing

Juvenile Dilated Cardiomyopathy Testing (JCDM), and Microphthalmia Syndrome DNA Testing by Section of Medical Genetics, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania www.vet.upenn.edu/research/academic-departments/clinical-sciences-advanced-medicine/research-labs-centers/penngen/penngen-tests jdcmtest@vet.upenn.edu

Improper Coat Testing (IC-13)

Optional tests for either or both the Sire and Dam:

Breeding must not take place between 2 carriers of prcd-PRA, JCDM GM-1, IC or Microphthalmia Syndrome DNA as indicated by the test result certificates.

Breeding a clear or normal dog to a carrier or to an affected dog is permissible.

These tests are REQUIRED for a breeder/member:

  • who is a participant in the PWDCC Litter Listing Program on the Available Puppies section of the club web site, and;
  • to publish breeding related advertising in the Waterlog as set out in the Waterlog Advertising Policy for dogs 2 years of age or older.

The links below contain some health issues that are currently identified in the Portuguese Water Dog.

Eyes PRA, Optigen, CERF
Storage Disease GM-1
Addison’s Disease