Portuguese Water Dog Breed Magazine - Showsight

ӐortuIuese Yater ˩oI q&a

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

“PWDS HAVE IMPROVED IN THE LAST TEN YEARS, especiaLLy their teMperaMents and soundness.”

4. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are better now than they were when you first started judging? Why or why not? KA: PWDs have improved over the last 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 quick movement, a more refined body which can accommodate more coat, and showmanship seeming to be a more common extreme than in previous years. I do think their “PWDness” is often lacking and they are becoming a show dog rather than a working dog. LMF: I do not see any appreciable change in quality. DH: I clearly believe that Portuguese Water Dogs are healthier now, thanks to a fabulous commitment by our parent club and breeders. My concern otherwise is that too many exhibits are losing some of the essential breed characteristics that allow this dog to function. Our breed standard essentially calls for a robust, ruggedly built dog of substantial bone and muscle—all in a medium build. We are seeing too many exhibits that simply grow hair and craft it in such a manner to create this profile. A Portuguese Water Dog should present an indelible impression of strength, spirit and soundness. Coat can’t do that! Fortunately, we have many strong lines among the breeding program that continue to produce dogs that satisfy both ideal genotype and phenotype. When you see a correct one—and especially if you can see it work— you understand why these traits are important and must be preserved. “A GOOD PWD is correct Whether they are a 17-inch bitch or a 23-inch dog, Whether curLy or Wavy coated, Whether bLacK or broWn, Whether in a WorKing retriever or Lion cLip...”

JW: No, I don’t know that I can say that they are better, nor will I say they are any worse. I do think they have become more popular with the judges as we are seeing them more and more in group placements and BIS. Basi- cally, I think we have some very good PWDs today. How- ever, there are times I think that the old adage, “more is better”, is at work in the minds of some breeders, resulting in larger dogs and bitches, excessive bone and substance and now-and-then questionable temperaments. We, as breeders, must always keep in mind that the PWD is a moderate dog. 5. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? KA: I’d like judges—and breeders—to remember that PWDs should still be able to perform a day’s work. It’s taken many years to convince judges that we don’t have coarse Poodles, and although many nice dogs being shown are flashy and impressive, that’s not always the most correct PWD in the ring. PWDs are not an extreme dog in any way. Temperaments should never be aggressive or timid, and extreme angles, either restricted or over-angled, would prevent a true working dog from performing its duties for any length of time. LMF: Judges express great confusion about evaluating our breed, because of different trims, coat types, colors, size, etc. It saddens me to know that a number of them have trouble getting past all of the show to look at the dog underneath and not the trimmings. It is therefore, a true hands-on breed. A good PWD is correct whether they are a 17-inch bitch or a 23-inch dog, whether curly or wavy coated, whether black or brown, whether in a working retriever or lion clip or if they exemplify the standard spirited, yet obedient nature and a robust, medium build

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