Portuguese Water Dog Breed Magazine - Showsight


2. Your opinion of the current quality of the breed? Quality has diminished—poor fronts and rears. Occlusion and missing teeth on the rise but a lot of lush, profuse coats. Too many poor toplines and underjaws need improvement. 3. Any shift in the balance of popularity among breeds? Why do you think this happened? Definitely a shift in breed popularity to the short coated breeds and “exotic” also known as incorrect or disquali- fying colors and patterns. As far as dogs in conformation, the coated breeds have reduced in entries. Many exhibi- tors seem less interested in the upkeep, conditioning and coat care. It is an art and requires a lot of skill and time. 4. Any trends you are seeing which you’d like stopped? I’d like to see a trend started—a wet PWD contest at PWD shows. Wouldn’t that be interesting and revealing and fun?! 5. Any particular challenges breeders face in our current economic/social climate? The ever-rising costs, instant gratification and the unin- volved make a quick buck breeding machines 6. What makes your breed the ideal companion in these 21st- century times? My Portuguese Water Dog’s size-formidable, but portable. Temperament-outgoing, unflappable, sweetly curious and investigative—okay, nosey. Alert, athletic, very “in the moment” companions. Hike, yes! Run, yes! Swim, yes! Cuddle, yes! Relax,when it’s time to chill, yes! 7. Is this an advantage in the show ring? A fit and well-conditioned, enthused dog is always correct for the show ring 8. Anything else you’d like to share? Newcomers to the Sport would benefit by staying for the entire show. Attend matches—where some offer free handling and training opportunities. Volunteer to learn and help with the “workings” of a dog show. Arrange talking with breeders, exhibitors, judges and handlers and juniors (when they are not in the throes of showing) Many people are very approachable. Check the conforma- tion and performance info on the AKC website. Newcom- ers to judging—attend breed seminars, go to breed-spe- cific events (water trials, hunt tests, carting, etc). JANIS WATTS 1. What are the two most

Type is important to me. And, equally important is struc- ture and soundness. I’m looking for a specimen that looks like a Portuguese Water Dog and has all of the structural components to enable it to work independently and effi- ciently in the water, sound enough to complete difficult tasks and endure a full day’s work for the fisherman. While there may be a few that do not meet my expecta- tions, I believe that for the most part, our breed is doing well. 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 Judges Education Committee of the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America urges judges to look beyond the grooming. Other than cleanliness, the grooming should not and cannot make the dog. It is not difficult for me to look beyond the elegant, some- times creative, grooming that has become the trend. I hear breeders often mention they wish the dogs could be judged while wet and, while I would not at all mind judging a ring of untrimmed dogs, I would prefer the hair be short rather than at full length. Could I find the best specimen regardless of grooming? I would sincerely like to think so!

3. Do you believe a PWD should be muscled and strong? If so, why?

I do firmly believe that a Portuguese Water Dog should be muscled and strong! The breed standard calls for a strong jaw, strongly muscled neck, well-muscled back, very strongly muscled shoulders, strong upper arm and foreleg and a strong hock. This muscle and strength is necessary and extremely important to enable the dogs to perform their work in the water. The Portuguese Water Dog should be a robust, substantial dog that is the picture of strength and soundness.

4. Bigger and taller is not necessarily correct in PWDs as there is an ideal height quoted in the Standard. Are you seeing this in the breed and if so, why are the bigger, taller dogs are being rewarded?

Granted, we have three-inch span in female height and a four-inch span in the males and that allows for quite a bit of variation. I do think we are seeing more, both bitches and dogs, at the top end of the standard and above. Very recently, while watching the breed from ringside, I discovered that one of the dogs I thought was a male, was in fact a bitch. Why are the bigger, taller dogs rewarded? Well, we have no dis- qualifications and it is not listed as a major fault, so per- haps the thinking is that bigger is better! However, the Portuguese Water Dog is a moderate dog in all aspects, and all things being equal, the dog that best fits the ideal as stated in the standard, might well be the best choice.

important traits you look for when judging the Portuguese Water Dog? Are you usually fi nding them or not?

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

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