The Portuguese water dog is a robust dog of medium build, slightly longer than it is tall. It is strong and well-muscled, able to work both in and out of the water for long periods. It has a profuse single coat, either wavy or curly. Two clips are acceptable: the lion clip, in which the muzzle and middle part, up to the tail tip, are clipped; and the retriever clip, in which the entire coat is scissored to about 1 inch in length, with the tail tip again left full length. The water dog’s expression is steady, penetrating and attentive, reflecting its spirited disposition.