Portuguese Water Dog Breed Magazine - Showsight

Q&a Portuguese Water Dog

“GROOMING CAN MAKE A MAJOR DIFFERENCE WITH A FIRST IMPRESSION AS THE DOGS ENTER THE RING. iT’s human naTure To enjoy waTching a beauTifully groomed dog raTher Than one ThaT mighT noT look as finished or appear To be noT in proporTion because of poor Trimming.”

3. What shortcomings are you most willing to forgive? What faults do you find hard to overlook? I have no problem with dogs that show extra exuberance and feel special, as long as they’re able to be kept under control enough for me to see how they look still and mov- ing during examination. I can overlook poor grooming— as well as “creative” grooming—and am willing to check out any portion of the dog that I feel may be due to grooming rather than the configuration of the dog. I can’t overlook an unstable temperament, either too aggressive or too timid. Extreme angles/movement--ei- ther too restricted or over-angled—are something that would prevent a true working dog from performing his duties. A poor quality coat would be a major detri- ment to a working dog, although the silly thought that they need an extra dark or teased coat when presented is unnecessary. 4. Has the breed changed from when you started judg- ing? Which traits are going in the wrong direction or becoming exaggerated? PWDs improved over the first 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 movement, a more refined body that can accommo- date more coat, and showmanship seeming to be more common than in previous years. 5. If you have attended water trials, how has this shaped your priorities in the ring? We have had our dogs swimming in water trials, pools and in the ocean. Swimming styles vary quite a bit, with the dogs that can handle waves and longer distances having strong, unexaggerated reach and drive, which helps them push forward smoothly while still being able

to turn and dive easily. There is some discussion as to whether PWDs use their tails as a tool while swimming, and I believe the tail is used to help as a rudder, not being set too high and being very mobile, yet strong. 6. Does it seem fewer dogs with wavy, as opposed to curly, coats are being shown today? Does one coat type have an advantage, especially at the group level? In the beginning of AKC acceptance, wavy dogs were usually placed as pets, as they did not appear as “fin- ished” and the hair can’t be sculpted for an aid in making dogs look more substantial and attractive to a novice eye. Once judges developed a better understanding of PWDs and it was found that the wavy coated dogs were needed to help maintain hair quality, there was a major change, with wavies being the most popular choice for buyers for a few years. As the years have moved along both coats seem accepted now, with individuals’ preferences being the deciding factor. 7. How important is grooming? It seems more dogs are shown in the lion clip rather than retriever. Is this true, and if so, can you comment on why? Are there any colors or color patterns that seem to be getting more or less popular? And if so, can you comment? Grooming can make a major difference with a first impression as the dogs enter the ring. It’s human nature to enjoy watching a beautifully groomed dog rather than one that might not look as finished or appear to be not in proportion because of poor trimming. The lion clip has come a long way in the show ring. Prior to AKC acceptance, PWDs were required to be shown in the lion clip as the historical clip. With the entrance of the retriever clip, which was a great tool for handlers and expert groomers to present a dog that was sculpted to

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