Register of Merit

The PWDCA Register of Merit (ROM) program is an acknowledgment of outstanding working ability and versatility in the Portuguese Water Dog. It consists of four levels: the first level is the Bronze Register of Merit (BROM); the second level is the Silver Register of Merit (SROM); the third level is the Gold Register of Merit (GROM); the fourth level is the Platinum Register of Merit (PROM).

2020 ROM recipients will be included in the presentation made at the 2021 National Specialty. If present, those recipients can stand for recognition at that specialty.

BROM:To be eligible for the Bronze Register of Merit, a dog must have four titles from at least three different areas of competition.

SROM: The Silver Register of Merit expands on the degree with which the working dog must perform. To be eligible for the Silver Register of Merit, a dog must have five titles from at least three different areas of competition. One of these must be either a PWDCA water title or an award.

GROM: The Gold Register of Merit expands on the degree with which the working dog must perform, as well as allows honors to be recognized for an outstanding single accomplishment(s). To be eligible for the Gold Register of Merit, a dog must have earned at least six titles/awards from at least three different areas of competition. The required six titles must meet the following criteria: 1. Two of the dog's titles must be PWDCA titles (e.g., AWD and WWD). 2. The dog must have earned an award, OR have earned a title from a fourth area of competition. 3. A minimum of two advanced titles are required (the WWD counts as one of these). 4. There must be either one additional advanced title, an award, or an additional advanced PWDCA water title.

PROM: The Platinum Register of Merit recognizes the truly versatile dog. To be eligible for the Platinum Register of Merit, a dog must have earned at least ten titles/awards from five different areas of competition: four of which must be PWDCA water titles (e.g., AWD, WWD, WWDX, CWD or AWD, WWD, CWD, CWDX), and two of which must be awards.


Awards - AKC & PWDCA: (no substitutions)

A. *#1 PWDCA Obedience Dog (either Novice, Open, Utility, Overall, or Top Average)
B. #1 PWDCA Conformation Dog in Breed points
C. #1 PWDCA Conformation Dog in group (All-Breed) points
D. #1 AKC Agility PWD
E. AKC National Agility Champion (NAC)
F. AKC Preferred National Agility Champion (PNAC)
G. AKC Agility Invitational Breed Medallion winner
H. AKC National Obedience Champion (NOC)
I. AKC All-Breed Best in Show
J. AKC All-Breed Obedience High in Trial
K. AKC All-Breed Obedience High Combined (utility/open classes)
L. PWDCA National Specialty Best of Breed
M. PWDCA National Specialty Best of Opposite Sex to Best of Breed
N. *PWDCA National Specialty Award of Merit OR Select Dog/Bitch
O. PWDCA National Specialty Obedience High in Trial
P. PWDCA National Specialty Obedience High Combined (utility/open classes)
Q. PWDCA National Specialty Agility High in Trial
R. PWDCA National Specialty SuperDog winner

*Only one of these awards will count for a given year.


  1. For A, B, C, and D awards are calculated on a calendar year basis.
  2. Each type of award (A-R) may be applied only once when accumulating these awards for the ROM program.
  3. ROM awards do not qualify as awards for the ROM program.

Titles- Areas of Competition & Accepted Organizations

A. Agility titles - AKC, CKC
B. Conformation titles - AKC, CKC
C. Obedience titles - AKC, CKC
D. Scent titles: Tracking - AKC, CKC; Scent Work Combined Titles – AKC only
E. Water titles - PWDCA, PWDCC

Novice Titles:

A. Agility - NA, NAP, NAJ, NJP, NF, NFP
B. Conformation - CH
C. Obedience - CD, GN
D. Scent – TD, TDU, SWN, SWNE
E. Water Titles - AWD

Advanced Titles:


B. Conformation - GCH

C. Obedience - CDX, UD, UDX, OTCH, GO, VER, OM, OGM


E. Water Titles - WWD, WWDX, CWD, CWDX, MWD


Equivalent Titles

Except for water titles and scent work (not including tracking), titles qualifying towards a ROM award are American Kennel Club (AKC) and Canadian Kennel Club (CKC). Equivalent titles awarded by those registries will both count towards the ROM award (e.g., an AKC CD and a CKC CD are considered two titles, although from one area of competition). PWDCC water titles earned under equivalent rules and judging criteria are considered equivalent to PWDCA water titles. Titles from either PWDCA or PWDCC may be used, but the same level of competition cannot be used from both organizations.

Non-Eligible Titles and Awards: rally, lure coursing, herding, flyball, CGC (Canine Good Citizen), FDC (Farm Dog Certification), Therapy Dog, CKC Scent Detection, PWDCA Producer of Merit awards, freestyle, temperament test, and any other title or award not specifically listed in the Title or Awards sections above do NOT count towards ROM awards.

Accepted Registries for Titles: PWDCA, PWDCC, American Kennel Club (AKC) and Canadian Kennel Club (CKC).

Accepted Registries for Awards: American Kennel Club (AKC) and PWDCA awards will be accepted towards a ROM award. Only those awards listed above will be recognized (A-R above).

  1. Applicants MUST be current members of the PWDCA.
  2. Dogs must be owned or co-owned by a PWDCA member in good standing at the time that it earns the final title that qualifies the dog for a ROM award.
  3. Dogs applying to receive any level ROM award must have all current health data/test results on record in the on-line PWDCA Health and Litter Database. If the dog has not been health tested in one or more areas, “not tested” must be noted for those health tests. The dog’s health record must be updated for the year in which you are applying for an award or certified that no changes or updates are needed. To do this, log into the HL&L, click on the dog’s name, click EDIT, click on the Health tab, and click on the box that says “As of [date], I certify that no changes or updates are needed for this dog’s health.” Then click SAVE. View this document for more help.
  4. It is the sole responsibility of the ROM award recipient to provide the ROM Administrator all information necessary to verify a ROM award following the steps listed here and on the ROM Application.
  5. Applicants applying for a ROM award non-sequentially (i.e., applying for the SROM before receiving the BROM in a prior year, or for the GROM before receiving either the SROM or BROM in prior years, etc.), should fill out the forms for the prior awards in addition to the award applied for.
  6. All required information must be submitted to the ROM Administrator by the published date due for that year, usually 45 days prior to a National Specialty, in order to receive the ROM award at that year's Specialty. It is the responsibility of the ROM award recipient to ensure that there is adequate time for the ROM Administrator to verify all information; otherwise, a ROM award may be postponed until the following National Specialty. Any recipient not attending the Awards Banquet will have their ROM award mailed to them within 30 days after the banquet.
  7. In the event that a National Specialty is not held during a calendar year, then the Awards Committee will mail the ROM award to the recipient.
  8. ROM awards may not be used in advertising until the ROM award recipient has been notified in writing by the Awards Committee that their dog has met the requirements for the ROM award. (A ROM award cannot be advertised as "pending notification.")
  9. In the event that a dog who has received a ROM award is later stripped of a title (by the awarding registry), or it is discovered that incorrect or falsified documentation was provided to the Awards Committee, the Awards Committee and/or PWDCA Board of Directors retains the right to revoke a ROM award. Any dog/recipient that has a ROM award revoked shall be listed in two future PWDCA club publications.
  1. Download the Awards Application Form to your computer and open it in a PDF reader program.
  2. Complete the Awards Application Form and email or print and mail it to the ROM Administrator, along with all relevant supporting documents and a high resolution photo of the dog or dog/handler team. Include an email address for communications with the ROM Administrator related to the application. Incomplete applications will be returned.
  3. Before submitting the application, the ROM Applicant should go to the Health & Litter Log, login, and find their dog in the database, and update the health information. All information in the PWD Health and Litter Log must be updated annually in the year that your dog is receiving the ROM, whether there are changes or not. Click on the dog’s name, click EDIT, click on the Health tab, and click on the box that says “As of [date], I certify that no changes or updates are needed for this dog’s health.” Then click SAVE. View this document for more help.
  4. Submit the application with all necessary title/award documentation. For proof of titles, sign into the Members Only section of and scroll down to Titles and Awards to access the titles databases. For any qualifying title that is listed in the AKC or PWDCA water title databases, no additional documentation is required. For each title used for the ROM award, check the box in the application to indicate whether the title is listed in the title databases.
  5. For awards or titles not listed on the PWDCA website, you must provide supporting documentation for the title or award. The free AKC report is accepted for all AKC title documentation, or you may submit copies of the highest level title certificate from each venue of competition. Canadian (CKC) title certificates MUST be scanned and sent in the application email or must be copied and mailed as hardcopy with the printed application form.
  6. A high resolution photo of the dog or dog/handler team MUST be included with the application for use in the awards banquet program. Photos may be scanned (at 300 dpi or above) and emailed (preferred) or mailed. Original photos will be returned.
  7. It is preferable that all supporting documents, application, and photo be sent to the ROM Administrator in one email, with your dog's call name listed in the subject of the email (e.g. Fido BROM), or all together in a single envelope if submitting by mail. If it is not possible to send all documentation in one email, please contact the ROM Administrator.The ROM Administrator verifies the applicant’s PWDCA membership, dog's current health data on record in the PWD Health and Litter Database, and the application documentation. The applicant will be notified if additional information is required or if there is a problem with the application. The ROM award designation may be used in advertising upon recipient's receipt of written confirmation of the ROM award from the ROM Administrator.

If sending the application through the postal service or other carrier, do not send via certified mail or “signature required.”
Send all applications to Kari Lavalli via email to or mail to

Kari Lavalli
4 Pleasant Street
Blackstone, MA 01504 

Questions? Please contact the ROM Administrator, Kari Lavalli.