Cutwater actively shows our dogs because it is the best way we know to insure that we are producing correct, high quality puppies.
In a dog show, or "breed ring", a dog is rated on how it conforms to the breed specifications. Winning dogs must be physically correct and display outgoing, confident attitudes. The unbiased opinions of expert judges confirm for us that our dogs possess the right form and personalities. While not every dog needs to be show ring perfect, every breeding should start off with that as a goal so that the unique qualities of the PWD are not lost. With few exceptions, Cutwater dogs must earn a breed ring championship or working title before they enter our breeding program.
Working competitions test both the athletic ability of the dog and its attitude. A working dog must be physically fit and must also have the desire to cooperate with its handler. It is very important to perpetuate these vital qualities in a breeding program. Dogs with "working attitude", whether they ever formally compete or not, are usually fun and easy dogs to live with. Some of the types of working competitions and the titles that are awarded are:
Agility - An obstacle course in which the dogs go up, over and through various obstacles, at the handler's direction, and in a prescribed time. The obstacles include a variety of jumps, a teeter-totter, an A-frame tower, tunnels and weave poles. There are several organizations, each with its own titles. Some examples of titles: AD (agility dog), NA (novice agility), AX (agility excellent), AXJ (agility jumpers excellent), MAD (master agility dog).
Water work - Only for PWDs, these tests simulate the tasks the breed used to perform for Portuguese fishermen. Titles include: Jr. Certificate (JWD), Apprentice Water Dog (AWD), Working Water Dog (WWD), Courier Water Dog (CWD), and Courier Water Dog Excellent (CWDX).
Obedience - A formal test of a dog's attention to its handler in performing specific exercises on command. Some of the titles: Companion Dog (CD), Companion Dog Excellent (CDX) and Utility Dog (UD).
Rally Obedience - A less formal, more relaxed form of Obedience, it is a very nice way for a beginning trainer to expose their dog to AKC competition. The titles are Rally Novice (RN), Rally Advanced (RA), and Rally Excellent (RE) . Rally provides a link from the Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) program to obedience or agility competition, both for dogs and handlers.
Cutwater is especially proud of our dogs who have earned dual-ring championships, that is, titles in both performance and breed ring competition. They are the future we envision -- beautiful athletes who preserve their working heritage, and yet are wonderful to live with - they make perfect family pets.
The Importance of Showing Dogs:
Breed Ring and Performance Competition
Bessie is a Breed Champion and has advanced agility, obedience and water titles
Photo © Jen Bale-O'Connell
Jagger - winner of PWDCA Specialty Sweepstakes and a Junior and Apprentice Water dog, also training in agility Photo © Jenna Bullis
Pippin is a Breed Champion, and has agility, obedience and water titles
Mandy - PWDCA Specialty Award of Merit winner, Breed Champion, Working Water Titlist, Advanced Agility and Obedience titles. Photo © Lisa Croft-Elliot
Sasha - Breed, Obedience and Agility titles
Photo © John Spivey