Exceptional breadth of topskull.
variations. Let them go! The triple S’s are to be your guide. In your capacity as an AKC Judge, you already know basic canine structure and movement and what constitutes generic and almost universally applicable faults for all dogs. Need I mention that cow hocks, elbowing out, crabbing, moving close, sickle hocks and shyness are undesir- able in the Portuguese Water Dog? I didn’t think so. As an AKC Judge who takes his/her adjudication assignments to heart, you will have already com- mitted the Breed Standard to memory and most importantly, you will be look- ing for the Portuguese Water Dog that exudes the triple S’s. Specific characteristics, under the triple S banner, which are important for breed type are what you need on your “cheat sheet”. You can’t be expected to know the breed as well as some- one who owns and breeds them but you are expected to be familiar with what makes a Portuguese Water Dog unique. Your ideal will have the follow- ing. Overall look; slightly off square, robust and structurally unexagger- ated. Movement; balanced, effortless, free-moving and never forced to cover more ground than he should. Structure; relatively short neck, deep chest, well- sprung ribs, broad, strong back and level topline, short loin, tail thick at the base and set on slightly below the line of the back, powerfully muscled hind- quarters, rear legs parallel to each other and straight, angulation in balance with
front assembly and a long rear pastern. Head; NO—this is NOT a head breed but the head is an important aspect of breed type with an exceptionally broad skull, a substantial muzzle with a very strong jaw, eyes set well apart and obliquely, a definitive stop, ears set well above the line of the eye and a promi- nent forehead with a central furrow you can only feel. Height at the shoulder is quite variable and acceptable so please, don’t discount a smaller dog or bitch of quality nor reward a large dog because it looks impressive. The triple S compo- nents apply to the whole package and how it manifests these vital characteris- tics. The Portuguese Water Dog—heads up, tails up—an honest, able and sure tour de force! A matter I must mention is that the Breed Standard lists seven Major Faults which, in the rest of the world, are considered to be Disqualifications. The AKC discouraged the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America from having these Disqualifications in its Standard and you need to know that when I say “dis- couraged” I’m being diplomatic. Please, Judges, pay attention to these Major Faults. Undershot dogs are becoming Champions; shy dogs, droopy tailed dogs, dogs refined in muscle and bone and snipey muzzled dogs as well are being rewarded with points. That is not appropriate in today’s breed ring. That is not appreciated by the dedicat- ed caretakers of the breed. Seeing dogs with major faults become CH’s and then
go on to the whelping box and breeding careers because of inappropriate judg- ing decisions projects a dim light on the whole AKC judging process. The Portuguese Water Dog Club of America has worked hard to preserve and protect this praiseworthy canine. The essence of the breed has been staunch- ly maintained in its Breed Standard and 76 years after the original Standard was committed to paper, Portuguese Water Dogs continue to reflect the image and the spirit of their noble working ances- tors. Breeders have worked hard to fol- low the original blueprint and in doing so have preserved the integrity and uniqueness of this fisherman’s work- ing companion… a dog that exudes STRENGTH, SPIRIT and SOUNDNESS. Your educated assistance in our endeav- or, Judges, is greatly appreciated. BIO Maryanne B. Murray has been involved with Portuguese Water Dogs since 1979 as an owner, breeder, exhibi- tor and recently as a judge. She has produced numerous PWD champions under her BRINMAR kennel name. Maryanne is currently Chairman of the PWDCA Breed Standard Commit- tee and over the years has served as PWDCA President, Secretary, Direc- tor, Newsletter Editor and Chairman of numerous committees. She received a Maxwell Award from the DWAA and is currently working on documenting the history of the PWDCA.
312 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M AY 2018
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