Portuguese Water Dog Breed Magazine - Showsight


was losing the substance aspect a while back and it was so depressing to judge the weedy, little dogs with no heads and no bone and no substance and tiny. Some were getting so small. And coat, a beautiful, healthy coat. Thankfully over the past few years we have started rebounding to the robust dog that they are supposed to be. 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? 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. 3. Do you believe a PWD should be muscled and strong? If so, why? Yes, they have been bred for a strenuous task, they are a working breed. When my dog is done at the dog shows, I plan on doing water work with him. This breed does

have boundless amounts of energy and it needs to be channeled.

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?

The standard reads that males should be between 20" and 23", that’s quite a bit of leeway; I personally favor the dog with more leg, more bone and substance, as long as they are balanced, according to the standard. But many mis- understand the correct balance in this breed. I asked for the picture of the shaved down PWD from the PWDCA Illustrated Standard be put in this article, if it could not be inserted because of space, I hope people will look it up—in my view, it is a great illustration. I think what needs to be emphasized here is that for some time this breed has been losing its leg and getting too low which also throws the correct balance off badly. Low and long is not correct in this breed. The fact that we are seeing dogs with more leg under them and more substance is a good thing! As long as they keep their balance, which is, also misunderstood in this breed. Because dogs were getting shorter on leg, judges were thinking that they were to be more rectangular in shape that is not true. The standard states they should be, “Off square; slightly longer than tall when measured from prosternum to rearmost point of the buttocks.” And I want to emphasize the word slightly. A fellow PWD lover told me something just recently that was told to her by George Ward, “If you were standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon, and I said to lean slightly forward, how far would you lean?” The standard also uses the term well knit. If you Google that, it is described as meaning strongly and compactly built. So, in my opinion, this breed needs to get some of the size and substance back, because it had been lacking or losing it for some time. JOYCE VANEK My mother raised and showed

Cocker Spaniels when I was a little girl. I started breeding and showing Miniature Schnau- zers in the late 60s-70s and the OES in 1976. I got my first Por- tuguese Water Dog in 1980 and returned it to the breeder. Started exhibiting a bit with 4H—my Miniature Schnauzers were shown my the various stud

dog owners. I first showed in obedience with my OES about 1978. Conformation in 1979. Followed by herding and water trials and agility. I started judging in 1992. then fol- lowed with an addition to our family a fabulous Portuguese Water Dog who became Multi BIS and multi performance titled Timbermist Lancar Flor de Mar CDX AWD Number one PWD.

S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M AY 2018 • 299

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