Wow, our new calendar is now available. This is the second year running that there is now an Australian based Portuguese Water Dog calendar. All dogs featured were bred in Australia! There is no other pwd calendar like this in the world. Just click on the picture above to order.
Is the Portuguese Water Dog a Glamour Dog?
The Portuguese Water Dog is a working dog. They were bred to perform a number of strenuous tasks that required skill, courage, and determination.
Look at the bitch on the left. She is a black (with a small amount of white) curly in a lion trim. This trim allows her freedom of movement in the water. On land and in the show ring, it allows us to see her wonderful rear angulation, her correct top line, and her beautiful tail set. When she trots, you are able to clearly see whether her movement is correct. Her movement is not hidden by an incorrect trim.
This bitch presented here, is exactly how the dog should be prepared for the show ring.
The breed should NOT be prepared for the ring in an attempt to display the dog as an instrument of "glamour". This bitch has been brushed out fully and washed two days before the show. Her coat has been allowed to lie naturally without the fluffing and puffing that some attempt to bring to the breed. The Portuguese Water Dog is not a poodle nor a bichon frise, and attempts to make it look so only give insult to the Portuguese people who founded this breed.
Why are they shaved at the rear?Good question - this is purely a functional requirement of this working breed. The length of coat was needed at the front for the dog to be protected from thermal shock when it dived into the water, and the clipped hindquarters was required to allow the breed freedom of movement to drive through the water.
This means that a dog that is not in a lion trim could not perform the work it was bred to do.
Mistakes people makeThe Portuguese Water Dog should only ever be shown in Australia in a lion trim. It is incorrect for a dog to be shown here any other way. Dogs shown in any other trim should be non-awarded.
The dog should not be over trimmed. If the dog appears "messy" than that is more correct than a dog that appears "glamorous". A dog shown in Australia recently was referred to in a report as being groomed within an inch of its life. This can only indicate that the dog was groomed incorrectly. Did the Portuguese fishermen groom their dogs like this? The answer, of course, is no.
The dog should be clean, and free from knots, but it should not have hair spray, hair dye, or perfume put in the coat which is happening in some instances.
Function over FormThe key to judging any dog is to assess the dog along what it was bred to do. Good judges will always revert back to the fundamental question: based on how this dog is presented today, "could it do the job that it was traditionally bred to do?"
So in the case of the Portuguese Water Dog - a dog in an incorrect trim would be unable to perform the work it was required to do as per tradition.
Additionally - the dog should not have masses of fringe over its eyes, as with a long fringe it would be unable to see its way to do its job.
Portuguese fisherman shaved off the dogs annually. Hence, the long coats that some breeders keep their dogs in, is, of course, unnatural, and not keeping with tradition.
More Questions?If you have any more questions, you'd like to ask, please click here to contact us directly. We are more than happy to help you.