breeding Portuguese water dogs since 2002

Miraval PWDs

Is a PWD puppy right for you?

It’s easy to fall in love with a cute puppy but making sure that you get the puppy that is right for you is a little more complicated.

A Portuguese Water Dog is not the right dog for everyone. They are very busy and mouthy. It’s like having a toddler forever. (Check out the FAQ  for more info.)

 Please do read the FAQ but here are some of the key things to think about. Much of what you have read online is not true. People who write for some dog websites have not lived with PWDs and are just repeating something they read somewhere else.

You are a good prospect for a PWD if you have the time, committment and interest to train a puppy. You will need to go to classes, hire a trainer or make the committment to do one of the GOOD online training programs.  We do not generally support Board and Train programs where you send your puppy out for training.

You understand that you and your dog are team mates. No more of that “I’m the alpha” stuff. Research and experience has proven that dogs, like people, learn best through positive reinforcement.

You don’t have really young children (under about 4.) These dogs are very mouthy, pushy, and physical. They can easily knock down a child or someone of any age who is frail. Puppies have needle teeth that can easily break the skin. These issues can be resolved through training and as the puppy matures, but it takes putting in the time and energy to get to that point.


Getting the right PWD puppy

It’s easy to fall in love with a cute puppy but making sure that you get the puppy that is right for you is a little more complicated.

Within every litter, there are puppies with different temperaments. It’s my job to make sure that I match the puppy with the right home.  As they grow I observe them, watch how they interact with other people, and at 7 weeks we use the Volhard’s Puppy Aptitude Test to get even more information about them. All of that, plus what I learn about you from your application and talking to you, goes into making the right match.

I take the process of finding the right home for these puppies very seriously. In nearly 20 years of breeding Portuguese Water Dogs, I have only had two dogs returned. (I feel responsible for the dogs I breed for their entire life. The contract outlines what happens if for some reason you can’t keep your dog. The dog’s welfare is my primary concern so we will discuss alternative homes. If necessary, I will take the puppy – or dog of any age – back and find it a new home.)

Next Steps

1.  First, fill out the puppy application. 

It’s a short application, asking for contact information and a few PWD related questions.

I’ll get back to you within a couple of days to schedule time for us to talk on the phone.

 2. Schedule a phone call to find out if we are a good match.

When buying a purebred puppy, the breeder and the buyer should have similar attitudes about housing, training, feeding and living conditions. This is the beginning of a relationship, not just a one-time transaction. This call gives us a chance to know each other better. I will get to know you and more about your living situation and you will have a chance to ask me questions.

At that point, we can usually all tell if this is a good fit and if we like one another, and you are sure you want a puppy, I will add you to the list, and ask for a deposit.

If I have a deposit from you and there isn’t a puppy that is a good match for you I will return the deposit or you can choose to put it towards a puppy in my next litter.  

That’s the only circumstance under which we return deposits. If we are holding a puppy for you we are turning away other potential homes.

3. Get involved with the puppies.

I will be posting photos and videos here and on the Miraval page on Facebook. You’ll also get an invitation to the private Miraval puppy owners FB group.

When the puppies are 4 weeks old (March 17, 2024) you are welcome to set up a time to come to visit them. .


Miraval puppies are special

The planning for these puppies started generations ago. For me, it started with choosing a healthy dog who met the PWD standard, had the temperament to take life in stride, and had genetics and characteristics worth passing on.

Not every dog meets that criteria. Dora (CH Mariner Faladora do Miraval, CD, AX, AXJ, WWD, S-ROM) (the puppies’ great-great-great-grandmother) was the third bitch I bought. Both Sara and Cressa were great dogs, but because of health and temperament concerns, they weren’t the right dogs to start a breeding program with.

The puppies’ parents are both very even-tempered, affectionate, fast learners and great examples of the PWD standard. They have both had extensive health testing which assures that the puppies will be free of all the genetic diseases we can test for.

Since I bred my first litter in 2002 I have done everything possible to raise healthy, well-socialized puppies. This means keeping their mother and the puppies healthy. But it’s more than just physical health that’s important. The puppies need to be exposed to new sounds, surfaces, people, and experiences regularly. They must learn how to learn and to problem-solve.

Since my litter in 2015, I have been using Puppy Culture as a guide to raising and socializing them.

Just three days after the puppies are born we start with ENS (early neurological stimulation) as outlined in the Puppy Culture Video about ENS.

By following the Puppy Culture protocol and using what I’ve learned in 24 years of owning and breeding PWDs these puppies are given the best start possible.

Follow along on the Pupdate page or Miraval Facebook page to see how they learn.

Sometimes there Are more great homes than puppies in a litter

I remember when I was looking for my first PWD. At the time there was a 2-year wait, but I got lucky and through a friend found a puppy in a few months.

Today there are many more puppies around and you won’t have to wait long for a good puppy. 

As a breeder, I want to make sure that all these pups go to homes where they will be well cared for and loved, where they will have good manners and basic training (and I can help with that) but ideally I also want to see them doing the things I have learned, from experience that they love to do.

Whether its agility classes, doing scent work or competing in water trials (based on the work they did on the boats in Portugal) getting out, building a relationship with you and enjoying new challenges can provide experiences beyond what you have imagined. 

With an occasional exception, all Miraval PWDs are sold with a limited AKC registration. That allows you to compete in all AKC and PWDCA activities except conformation (and your dog cannot be bred.)

Learn more about the activities you and your dog can participate in.


What else you need to know.

I live in central Massachusetts, although there are some places online that show me as still being in Tampa FL

I will not ship unaccompanied puppies. If you don’t live within driving distance you must fly here to pick up your puppy. The closest airports are in Providence RI and Boston.


  • Raised indoors in my home.  
  • Examined by our veterinarian and certified in good health prior to leaving. They will have been dewormed at 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks.  
  • Have their first set of shots. We provide detailed vaccination instructions for our vaccination protocol for you to share with your vet.  
  • Regularly introduced to new things  (new toys, household noises, different surfaces, etc.)
  • Have been introduced to clicker training and started on basic manners skills.
  • They are socialized, handled daily and have regular visitors when they are old enough. (Please come here to help socialize them.)
  • Started on crate training  and housebreaking
  • Started on basic manners skills using clicker training.  
  • Pre spoiled, very loved, and always welcome back if the purchasing family finds that they cannot keep their puppy for any reason at any time.  


  • Lifetime support about health, training, behavioral issues or anything else. We WANT to hear from you!  The puppies are part of our family until the day they take their last breath.
  • Puppy pack including a litter-scented bed, a new toy, food, a clicker and treats  
  • A before the puppy goes home shopping list.
  • Resources and training materials starting before the puppy goes home.
  • AKC registration. (Issued by the club after purchase .)
  • Medical records  
  • Microchip and registered with AKC Reunite  
  • Special offer for discounted or complimentary pet insurance   
  • Contact with the other families who have your dog’s littermates.  

Ready to get started? The next step is to fill out an application. After you submit it I’ll get in touch to set up a time to talk.