Portuguese Water Dog Breed Magazine - Showsight



can accommodate more coat, and showmanship seeming to be a more common extreme than in previous years. I do think their “PWDness” is often lacking and they are becoming a show dog rather than a working dog.

5. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed?

We recently moved to the town of Burleson, Texas, where we have more spare time and energy not having to deal with acreage. We are trying to slow down in our outside activities, using much of our time with for dogs—four over the age of 12 and needing extra attention. Whenev- er possible, we spend time with our family in various areas of Mis- souri and California, especially

I’d like judges—and breeders—to remember that PWDs should still be able to perform a day’s work. It’s taken many years to convince judges that we don’t have coarse Poodles, and although many nice dogs being shown are flashy and impressive, that’s not always the most correct PWD in the ring. PWDs are not an extreme dog in any way. Temperaments should never be aggressive or timid, and extreme angles, either restricted or over-angled, would prevent a true working dog from performing its duties for any length of time.

my most adorable grandson, Asher. I officially began my life with dogs in the early 1960s when I joined the newly formed 4-H Dog Care group in California and moved quickly into the world of obedience and soon after working some of the dogs with cattle and training young horses. I began showing in obedience in 1965, while helping a friend in the confor- mation ring, going into conformation with our first PWD in 1984. I have been judging since 2002 and enjoy having oppor- tunities to learn about and examine dogs closely in various areas of the country.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed?

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. 7. And, for a bit of humor: What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? Many years ago I considered myself quite the dog trainer, but it didn’t take long for PWDs to bring me back to real- ity. With a young dog and a bitch in season, we headed off to the high desert of California. Showing outside was okay because I knew PWDs are always willing to please their people. Everything went fine until the recall. I was a bit concerned that the dog was coming in a bit fast, but he slid in at a sit—and, of course, humped my leg. Every- one thought it was very cute, but the judge wouldn’t consider it an official sit. KRIS COFIELL 1. What are the two most important traits you look for when judging the Portuguese Water Dog? Are you usually fi nding them or not? Type. Is the outline/silhouette correct for the breed? Structure/movement. Is the dog properly constructed so that it can do its intended job? I am seeing far more short backed dogs and/or high on leg. The breed standard calls for “Off-square. Slightly longer then tall when measured from the prosternum to the rearmost point of the but- tocks and from withers to ground.” 2. How important is grooming to you when judging the PWD? Could you judge a ring full of clean but untrimmed dogs? Could you fi nd the best specimen regardless of grooming? The PWD is a hands-on breed. There are many talented handlers, breeders, groomers who create a beautiful dog through absence or presence of coat. Muzzles that

1. Describe the breed in three words. Balanced, strength without coarseness and attitude.

2. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? PWDs that lack any of the traits above will not be able to perform the tasks they were originally bred to do. Even though I want to see a substantial, strong, balanced dog with an attitude, being able to maneuver quickly, with excellent agility is also a must.

3. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated?

My biggest concern is that many PWDs are becoming too pretty and flashy, with happy personalities in all situa- tions, and without the substance and determination to be considered a true working dog. Their lovely coats can help camouflage a PWD’s shortcomings. I’m concerned seeing PWDs being shown with their heads held up and back too far and taking short, quick steps, with an abun- dance of angulation in the rear, rather than the smooth, easy-flowing, powerful gait they need.

4. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are better now than they were when you fi rst started judging? Why or why not?

PWDs have improved over the last 10 years, especially their temperaments and soundness. Since that time there have been many changes with different extremes, depending on which PWD is most popular at the time. With each style there have been exaggerations, right now with flashy quick movement, a more refined body which

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

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