Portuguese Water Dog Breed Magazine - Showsight

RortuIuese Yater FoI q&a

With Karen arends, dr. Linda M. FoWLer, david haddocK & Janis Watts

exposure, it is possible that new judges may not under- stand the need for strength in the neck or a strong muzzle. Nor might they realize why the ear is set well above the line of the eye or many of the other structural needs that make up a working PWD. Having said that, it may well be that coat colors have puzzled many a new judge. With the black, white and various tones of brown, it can indeed be a puzzlement! This, too, is discussed at length at Judges Education programs. 6. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? KA: I would love to see more judges attending water trials, in order to understand why PWDs move as they do and the necessity of a substantial body, strong will and athletic ability. LMF: Unfortunately, there probably isn’t enough room in just one article for me to share as much as I would like. DH: A good Portuguese Water Dog has the traits listed above—all for good reason. A good one is pleasing to the eye and presents a body of an athlete and a will to get in the game. What distinguishes a good one from a great one comes from inside—the spirited disposition that is evidenced by confidence, stamina and that expression, which is uniquely the Portuguese Water Dog. JW: I have not touched upon the national club’s dedica- tion to the health and welfare of Portuguese Water Dog. We have, over the years, worked diligently at funding research and testing to discover causes and develop tests or cures for the various health problems associated with our breed. We require our breeders to document health testing before they are eligible for certain club programs and we have a health and litter database in which mem- bers list the dogs, the health testing done, any health issues and cause of death. We urge our members to meet health problems head on, to be forthright in sharing health information and when faced with a health issue or problem to seek out one of the various health committees for information.

that allowed for a full day’s work in and out of the water. I would encourage judges and aspiring judges of our breed to make an effort to see these dogs work in the water to better appreciate the desirable physical attri- butes for the Portuguese Water Dog. Even as a breeder, who now works her dogs in the water, it was a learning experience for me. DH: Here I go again, but you can’t judge this breed very well from the sideline and that includes staring at the dog in profile. New (and experienced) judges can be fooled by the various coat types and presentations. Look beyond the coat! Another thing—while they are swimmers, they are not fish! They are a wonderful breed of multiple util- ity. They must be agile, very discerning and very confi- dent. No shy dogs in the ring, please! JW: If these new judges have attended one of our PWDCA sanctioned, well-presented Judges Education Seminars/ Workshops and have also attended and been mentored at a water trial, then there should be very little room for misunderstanding this breed. Not having had that

“We urge our MeMbers to MEET HEALTH PROBLEMS HEAD ON, to be Forthright in sharing heaLth inForMation and When Faced With a heaLth issue or probLeM to seeK out one oF the various heaLth coMMittees...”

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