Portuguese Water Dog Breed Magazine - Showsight

ӐortuIuese Yater ˩oI q&a

With Karen arends, dr. Linda M. FoWLer, david haddocK & Janis Watts

“SLIGHTLY OFF-SQUARE; robust; WeLL-Knit; substantiaL in bone and MuscLe, yet MediuM in buiLd; thicKLy-based and poWerFuL taiL; distinctiveLy Large head; aLert and spirited; resistant to Fatigue.”

but conversely, they are great at manipulation. Their keen sense of humor can be either enjoyable or irritating, but all-in-all, they are a fantastic member of the family! 2. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? KA: PWDs that lack any of the traits above will not be able to perform the tasks they were originally bred to do. Even though I want to see a substantial, strong, balanced dog with an attitude, being able to maneuver quickly, with excellent agility is also a must. LMF: 1) Strength; this breed should have the ability to work in the water tirelessly for a full day. 2) Balance; dogs with an effortless side gait, reach and drive on land and also perform well in the water. 3) Exemplary temperament; confident and happy worker with an endearing attitude. DH: Slightly off-square; robust; well-knit; substantial in bone and muscle, yet medium in build; thickly-based and powerful tail; distinctively large head; alert and spirited; resistant to fatigue. JW: Type, distinctive head, substance, stable and durable temperament, structure and soundness to do a day’s work on a boat. Having done water work with my own PWDs, I have come to look for specific aspects in the structure. Those that provide the strength and ability to do the job they were bred for. Some of those being strength of muzzle, well-muscled neck, rudder-like tail, well-sprung ribcage, as well as rear and front muscle strength for swimming and diving. 3. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? KA: My biggest concern is that many PWDs are becoming too pretty and flashy, with happy personalities in all situ- ations, and without the substance and determination to be considered a true working dog. Their lovely coats can help camouflage a PWD’s shortcomings. I’m concerned seeing PWDs being shown with their heads held up and back too far and taking short, quick steps, with an abun- dance of angulation in the rear, rather than the smooth, easy-flowing, powerful gait they need.

LMF: We continue to lose desirable angulation. DH: Yes—the coat! Exaggerated grooming that

attempts to construct a picture of essential breed type does not alter the need for the essential traits listed above. Creative grooming to indicate breadth of top skull or a well-defined stop no more indicates correct form and function than wearing an NFL jersey makes you a good quarterback. In this breed, the profile will fool the casual observer who doesn’t put their hands on and into that coat. JW: I’ve noted some instances of shorter and more square muzzles. While the standard does not call for a long muzzle, it does call for a ‘substantial’ muzzle wider at the base than at the nose. Also, I see more rear angula- tion than desired, certainly not consistent with that of the front. Not necessarily a trait, but in my opinion, the grooming is becoming way too much overdone, resulting in sculpted, topiary-looking dogs. A longer coat in the wavy is acceptable, but for a curly coat, I definitely prefer a shorter coat (as defined in the standard) so that I can see the true outline of the dog.

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