Portuguese Water Dog Breed Magazine - Showsight


Our standard calls for the PWD to be strong, substantially boned, powerful, robust, solidly built, intelligent and spirited. The head is also an essential characteristic. JW: Type is important to me. And, equally important is structure 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 independent- ly and efficiently in the water, sound enough to com- plete difficult tasks and endure a full day’s work for the fisherman. While there may be a few that do not meet my expectations, 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 find the best specimen regardless of grooming? KC: 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 are scissored in the Lion Trim with comb-able length of coat to give the appearance of substance. Robust build that when felt is not, etc. I had the honor of judging at a National Specialty in Sweden in 2007. With an entry of over 100, the majority of dogs were in very long coat with seven or ten bladed rears and muzzles. The more dogs you see in Lion Trims with full coat, the easier it is to understand what is happening under the coat when the dog moves. Again, ultimately you must put your hands on the dog to truly understand how the dog is built. VM: You are asking that question to an ex professional han- dler, I appreciate a clean, well-presented dog. I like them being trimmed. I can appreciate the time and effort that goes into a well groomed dog, that being said, I realize that the dogs being shown “across the pond” are also

clean and generally well presented, but it is very difficult to determine movement and balance on dogs who have so much hair that you have to sometime guess to those features. A dog could look lower to the ground than he actually is just because his coat is hanging to the floor. One thing I particularly do not care for on the European- look dogs is the length they leave the hair on the ears, I guess it all blends in with the rest of the length of coat. All in all, with that much coat, I’m pretty sure they would sink. MR: Grooming is not important to me. This is a totally hands on breed, so with no coat or wet coat one needs to feel the dog. I do not like product in the coat. I actually told the handlers at the National to wet their dogs down due to the heat. JW: The Judges Education Committee of the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America urges judges to look beyond the grooming of the breed. Other than cleanliness, the grooming should not and cannot make the dog. It is not difficult for me to look beyond the elegant, sometimes creative, grooming that has become the trend, particu- larly with the curly coated dogs. 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? KC: Of course. It’s a working breed! The dog should have bone and substance without being coarse. This is an athletic breed, capable of so much: water work, agility, tracking, obedience, etc. if you get an opportunity to see a PWDCA Water Trial it will give you an appreciation of


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