The PWDCA manual is available on www.pwdca.org.
Either manual may not be copied or otherwise reproduced for sale without written permission of the PWDCC and PWDCA Water Trial Committees.
The Portuguese Water Dog is a working breed with a long history as a crew member on Portuguese fishing vessels. The dogs were responsible for carrying messages between boats and to shore, retrieving anything that went overboard, setting floats and guarding gear and boats in port. The natural working ability, adaptability and intelligence of the breed were demonstrated by the efficiency with which these complex tasks were completed. They were an invaluable members of the Portuguese fisherman’s team.
The Portuguese Water Dog today still retains these qualities – an affinity for swimming, strong retrieving abilities and an intensity in performing the task at hand.
In 1990 the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America completed the development of a series of water work exercises to demonstrate these natural qualities and instincts. These exercises test the dog’s ability to perform a task and its willingness to do so on command. The PWDCA Water Trial program provides an opportunity to earn titles (Junior, Apprentice, Working and Courier Water Dog) based on successful completion of increasingly complex exercises. These exercises include a variety of water retrievals from shore and boat as well as swimming with handler.
The goals of the PWDCA water trial are to promote:
- The development of the working attributes of the Portuguese Water Dog;
- A strong bond between dog and owner consistent with the Portuguese Water Dog’s heritage as a working companion; and
- The creation of a modern water work activity specifically related to the breed’s unique abilities and historical function.