Portuguese Water Dog Breed Magazine - Showsight


performance points. “Rixa” was also an exceptional Therapy Dog, with many hos- pital visits under her harness. The Portuguese Water Dog’s “fair nose” is showcased in Tracking, Scent Work, Nosework, Truffle and Sorel Mush- room Hunting, and most especially, in the exceptional work many do in Search and Rescue. A PWD, “Dutch,” was among the first to search Ground Zero. To read more about his work go to: http://www. eightpondfarm.com/narrativeWTC.html . Another PWD, handled by Connie Mil- lard, “Spider,” who also happens to be the litter brother of the aforementioned “Rixa,” excels in Search and Rescue and served as part of the Katrina recovery effort as part of Missouri’s Task Force. Spi- der is also an avid Sorel Mushroom Hunter in the woods near his home. Other PWDs serve in Search and Rescue and, in Europe, in the Coast Guard. It often comes as a surprise to many in the US that the FCI includes the Cao de Agua in Group 8: Retrievers/Flushing Dogs/Water Dogs [UK Gundog Group]. While not the most common of hunting dogs in the US, more than one Portuguese Water Dog has successfully assisted own- ers with fowl retrieving on hunting excur- sions. From Doug, breeder and hunter: “Caeli is an upland bird versatile hunter, will quarter, seek & ‘point’ and is ruthless in finding wounded birds.” Doug prefers to hunt grouse, but Caeli will retrieve big pheasants as well. She has persisted finding lost birds when his companions’ Retriev- ers, Setters & Spaniels quit trying. “When Caeli says there’s still a bird in there, there’s a bird in there!” When you think about the activities the dogs did for the fisherman, this versa- tility seems obvious. From the Portuguese history of the breed: For centuries, the tradition of using the water dog on fishing boats was firmly established over all the

‘Taylor’ at Gate

‘Forsythe’ Carting

An example of one very versatile dog is “Taylor,” Herding AHBA, Agility AKC and CPE, Rally UKC and AKC, Scent Work AKC and CPE, Nose Work NAC- SW, Barn Hunt, Obedience CDSP and AKC, Dock Diving UKC and NADD, which is recognized by AKC, AKC Fast- CAT, AKC Companion Dog titles, Farm Dog and CGC, and Portuguese Water Dog Club of America water titles Courier Excellent and Working Excellent. The Annual PWDCA National Spe- cialty showcases the versatility of the PWD and the desire for a “front- and back-titled dog” by starting with two days of two rings of water trials. Breeders and owners handle more than one hundred PWDs to water titles and in a Senior Water Show- case at PWDCA Nationals. Additionally, PWDCA Sanctioned Water Trials are held across the country annually. As many of our best breeders like to say, “The best way to evaluate a dog’s structure is to see them dripping wet and working.” During those years when suitable sites can be found, Tracking is often on the same weekend, with dogs participating in both Tracking and Water Work on the same weekend. Courier and Master level include a “reverse retrieve” in which the dog takes a buoy ball at the stern of boat and swims approximately 75 feet straight out to nowhere and drops on command upon the judge’s signal.

This showcase of Heritage Water Work is followed by Agility, Obedience, Rally, and now, as many Scent, FastCat, Trick Dog, and other events as can be squeezed into the schedule and location. Many dogs go from the Breed ring to Obedience to FastCat on the same day. Also highlight- ing this versatility is SUPERDOG, a very special honor awarded at the end of the National Specialty. This honor recognizes the overall versatility of the Portuguese Water Dog. It rewards the capabilities and efforts of the individual PWD that com- petes in three or more events and accumu- lates the most overall points for placements and qualifying performance. To be eligible for SUPERDOG, dogs must be entered and compete in at least three of the seven possible areas of competition: Conforma- tion, Obedience, Agility, Water, Rally, and (if offered) Tracking and AKC Scent Work. Louise Mowbray, who has titled mul- tiple breeds in Obedience, Tracking, Con- formation, and Agility says, ”More than any other breed I have ever had, the PWDs have always been willing to learn what I ask of them.” Proof is found in the multiple VCD PWDs Louise has trained and han- dled with advanced water titles. None is more titled than VCCH MACH3 “RIXA” UDX3 OM3 RE MXC MJB2 MXF T2B THD CWDX and 2011 PWDCA Nation- al Specialty SUPERDOG, one of only a few to win SUPERDOG with exclusively

‘DeeDee’ photo by Olaf Christien

‘Oscar Crouch’ photo by Phyllis Ensley

photo by Dean Lake


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