THE FOLLOWING IS A HUMOROUS (BUT PRETTY ACCURATE) DESCRIPTION OF WHAT AN OWNER CAN ACTUALLY EXPECT FROM LIFE WITH A PWD. WHAT IS A PORTUGUESE WATER DOG, REALLY?
COURTESY OF THE PORTUGUESE WATER DOG CLUB OF AMERICA
F irst, the Standard’s actual words, and then a look at those words in another light. Known for centuries along Portugal’s coast, this seafaring breed was prized by fishermen for a spirited, yet obedient nature, and a robust, medium build that allowed for a full day’s work in and out of the water. The Portuguese Water Dog is a swimmer and diver of exceptional ability and stamina, who aided his master at sea by retrieving broken nets, herding schools of fish, and carrying messages between boats and shore. He is a loyal companion and an alert guard. This highly intelligent utilitarian breed is distinguished by two coat types, either curly or wavy; an impressive head of considerable breadth and well- proportioned mass; a ruggedly built, well-knit body; and a powerful, thickly based tail, carried gallantly or used purposefully as a rudder. The Portuguese Water Dog provides an indelible impression of strength, spirit, and soundness. EXPRESSION Steady, penetrating, and attentive. TEMPERAMENT THE REAL STANDARD GENERAL APPEARANCE An animal of spirited disposition, self-willed, brave, and very resistant to fatigue. A dog of exceptional intelligence and a loyal companion, it obeys its master with facility and apparent pleasure. It is obedient to those who look after it or with those for whom it works. WHAT IT REALLY MEANS GENERAL APPEARANCE Notorious as a brawler for centuries along Portugal’s coast, this seafaring breed was prized by fishermen for a pushy nature and a robust, medium build that needed the mental and physical demands of a full day’s work in and out of the water to reduce its energy level to one that allowed it to hear and obey its master’s commands. The Portuguese Water Dog seeks and loves to splash and wallow in mud, water bowls, toilets with open lids, and any liquid—water, paint, etc. It does this with great finesse and stamina, unendingly, while aid- ing its master by retrieving any item that it sees and wants to carry, regardless of size, delicacy, or ownership. Its incessant retrieving instinct leads to a dog that must have something in its mouth to carry, chew on, or swallow, whether that item is edible or decorative, such as furniture.
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2021 | 311
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