Conformation is important for evaluating breeding stock and for preserving the Portuguese Water Dog. Dog fanciers exhibit their dogs in dog shows to evaluate potential breeding stock and to showcase the results of different breeding programs. At these shows, dogs are judged by how well they "conform" to a written standard that describes the physical and temperamental ideal for the breed. The number of Portuguese Water Dogs you can expect to see in the ring varies depending on the type of show, the area of the country, and the size of the show. At the PWDCA National Specialty, a show for exclusively Portuguese Water Dogs, you can expect to see hundreds of representatives of the breed; at a smaller all-breed show, you will find substantially fewer or, possibly, none.
No matter the size of the entry, seeing Portuguese Water Dogs competing in the show ring, with their proudly carried tails and lively movement, is an exhilarating sight.
Taking in a dog show is a wonderful way to learn more about the breed and to meet breeders and handlers dedicated to showcasing quality Portuguese Water Dogs.