Working Water Dog

Water Work

The Portuguese Water Dog, past and present, is a working breed. As a contributing crew member on Portuguese fishing vessels, tasks that were attributed to the breed included retrieving overboard objects, carrying messages, swimming fishing floats into place and guarding the boats, nets and catch when in port. The regular and successful completion of these tasks required teamwork between dog and owner, efficiency in accomplishing the work of the day, natural willingness and the intelligence to adapt routines to changing conditions. 

The Portuguese Water Dog today exhibits eagerness, intensity and strong swimming and retrieving abilities. In order to preserve these qualities and maintain for the future the breed's natural instincts, the PWDCA has designed a series of water work exercises which reflect the historical working background of the Portuguese Water Dog. These exercises consist of two aspects: the dog's ability to perform a task and its willingness to do so on command.

The PWDCA water trial program is the beginning of another chapter in the history of the Portuguese Water Dog as it provides a context in which to record our present efforts to preserve the past and insure the future of this noble working water dog. 

Water Trial Documents

2016 Approved Water Trials
2015 Water Trial Manual
2016 Water Trial Manual Addendum 
2016 Versatility Clarification 
2016 Versatility Participant Questionnaire 

Trial Secretary Documents

Water Trial Application
Water Trial Entry Form
Water Trial Judge's Sheets (JWD - CWD)
Water Trial Judge’s Sheets (Versatility) 
Water Trial Dog Aggression Form
Water Trial Results Worksheet

Trial Judge Documents

2016 Versatility Judge Exercise Questionnaire 
Water Trial Judge Application
Water Trial Judge's Report of Dog Aggression

Water Trial Goals

The goals of the PWDCA water trial are to promote an environment that encourages:
  1. The development of the working attributes of the Portuguese Water Dog;
  2. A strong bond between dog and owner consistent with the Portuguese Water Dog's heritage as a working companion; and
  3. The creation of a modern water work activity specifically related to the breed's unique abilities and historical function.

For questions concerning water work, please contact Susan Cucura (

Water trial applications should be sent to Susan Cucura (

Submit water trial results to Jane Freeman (

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