why having a solidly built, muscular body is important. Again, avoiding becoming coarse and ponderous. VM: 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. MR: The PWD standard calls for dogs to be strong and robust (muscled) We need to judge by the standard. JW: I do firmly believe that a PWD should be muscled and strong! The breed standard calls for, among other things, 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 PWD 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? KC: The breed standard allows for a large range from the smallest/lightest bitch to the tallest/heaviest allowable dog. Judges must take the height of a dog in to consid- eration when judging bone/substance. Too frequently, judges go down the line-up and feel head and bone as a last determination and reward the dog who has the biggest head/bone. This is often the tallest/biggest dog. Head size and bone should be proportionate to the height of the dog, so biggest dog may not be most
correct proportionately. Again, seeing a PWD work in the water gives you a far better idea of what is called for in the written standard. VM: 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 misunderstand the correct balance in this breed. I asked for the picture of the shaved down PWD from the PWD- CA 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, I feel, also misunderstood in this breed. Because dogs were getting shorter on leg, judges were thinking that they were to be more rectan- gular 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. MR: Bigger or taller? The dogs should be in proportion and be within the weight and height suggested in the PWD standard. As always, one needs to dig through the coat, to really realize what is under that coat. JW: 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. However, 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 DQs and it is not listed as a major fault, so perhaps the thinking is that bigger is better! However, the PWD 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.
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