Puppies grow very quickly. Before you know it they are one year old and equivalent to a teenager. There is a lot of essential learning and socialization that will need to happen in those early months.
The Portuguese Water Dog is an intelligent breed which means they learn "the bad" as fast as they learn the good. You can direct that learning by starting your puppy's training early and taking him to school. Find a facility that has instruction in puppy manners as well as the important lessons of Come, Sit, Down, Stay and walk on leash. These classes will not only teach your pup control it will also be beneficial for the socialization that all Portuguese Water Dogs need at an early age. A good set of classes will also teach you how to teach your dog.
When to start?
Begin the training as early as possible. Waiting until the dog is six months old will only result in having to get rid of bad habits. Early training allows you to start your PWD off with good habits. Once you learn the basics of how a dog learns and how to train on your own you can continue to teach your dog after the sessions are completed. You will find that a PWD loves to learn. He will be open to new experiences and there is a huge variety of canine activities that you can enjoy with your PWD. From Water Work and Agility to Flyball and therapy work, a Portuguese Water Dog is often talented in a multitude of disciplines.
Finding a Trainer
To find a trainer or obedience school you can go through your veterinarian. If there is a Kennel Club in your area they may have classes available for puppies. Your local shelter may have names of qualified instructors, or go on line to APDT.com (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) for a list of dog instructors in your area. Private lesson are fine but group classes are invaluable for the socializing your puppy needs. Observe a class before you enroll. Ask yourself if the dogs are enjoying the class? Is the instructor available for questions after the class? Will you be comfortable with the teaching methods that the trainer utilizes? If the answer to any of these is "no", you may want to keep looking.