Portuguese Water Dog Breed Magazine - Showsight

Off square; slightly longer than tall.

A solidly built, muscular body.

a dog used in rough, open ocean waters to retrieve nets and gear, to herd schools of fish, to carry messages between boats, to guard the catch and often to save the life of an overboard fisher- man. This canine crew member had to be solidly built, with well-developed muscles and strong, substantial bone. He needed a strong, fairly short neck and strong jaws to give him an advan- tage when dragging items through the water. Broad, well-flared nostrils for air intake and a broad, deep chest opti- mized his lung capacity for swimming distances. The dog you seek as closest to the ideal will be strong, rugged, sol- id and very muscular. Can you tell just by looking which dog that is? NO! You MUST put your hands on these dogs and feel for what your eye cannot discern. Get through and under the stylized presentations and feel for a dog of sub- stance and STRENGTH. A clean, well groomed dog is desirable and pleasing to the eye—the hands, however, must

on a loose lead to accurately determine his joie de vivre. His movement is fluid and easy, proud and happy. Head held high and tail carried up and gallantly with his “flag” flying. Remember, car- riage can be telling! Without a spirited nature, you do not have a correct Portu- Hard work requires this breed to be structurally correct, physically and temperamentally healthy, in fit, robust condition, having all the proper parts and all of the moving parts performing their functions in a well-balanced, fluid manner. Brains and brawn—a combina- tion which testifies to a correct Portu- guese Water Dog and his noble working heritage. If there is reasonable doubt that a dog in your ring is unsound thus unqualified and/or unable to perform the strenuous historical tasks asked of him, then please, do not reward this lack of soundness. Generic dog faults abound in the AKC breed rings for all breeds—allow an unsound Portuguese Water Dog to walk from your ring with championship points and you have done a major injustice to the breed and its future. The sport of purebred dogs is intended to determine the very best specimens of a breed in order to breed the best to the best to get the best. A SOUND dog is a universal application— Portuguese Water Dogs are no differ- ent—hale and hearty, robust and rug- ged—choose the strong, spirited and sound dog as closest to the ideal. guese Water Dog. SOUNDNESS As the triple S mantra of STRENGTH, SPIRIT and SOUNDNESS embeds itself in your mind, it’s now time to let go of any biases for or against coat type, col- or and clip. They are visual diversions and may serve to boggle the mind as there are, when combined, countless

be the final authority on the solidity of the underlying construction. SPIRIT To be capable of the work required of him, the Portuguese Water Dog must be quite spirited and brave as well as obedient and loyal to his master. His intelligence, never to be underestimat- ed, contributes to his energetic nature and his successful work history. His exceptionally broad skull protects the source of that extraordinary intellect— always alert and ready for orders. The eyes provide clues - consider his steady and penetrating expression as a natural reflection of his attentiveness and per- haps, his assessment of you! Whether a hardy, handsome male or a lovely, pleasing bitch—be certain the dog is “on the ball” and “tuned in” to his sur- roundings. A correct Portuguese Water Dog is a lion-hearted and plucky force of nature—the embodiment of spirit and intelligence! Be sure he is moved



310 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M AY 2018

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