Choosing a Breeder
Hopefully, all of us share our lives with our dogs as our companions first. They are an important part of our lives. The people that choose to do more with their dogs, in performance sports, therapy work, or in conformation competition, share a very special bond with their dogs through training and experiences together. Those that choose to go a step further into breeding, should know their dogs inside and out through training relationships, care, grooming and loving interactions with their dogs. Sometimes people make the mistake thinking that someone with a number of dogs cannot love them as much the owner with one dog. Nothing could be further from the truth if the breeder is active in the dog world, otherwise known as "the fancy". It is simply like a large family. A breeder that isn't actively involved with their dogs, and is just pumping out puppies, is a whole different "breed of cat".
It is the responsibility of every breeder who chooses to put dogs on the face of this earth, to do the best they can by the dogs and for the people that will love them. There are plenty of dogs in this world. If we are going to breed dogs, there should be excellent reasons for doing so, and those who bring them into the world should be willing to be responsible to those puppies for life.
Anyone who breeds dogs should be well mentored and responsible to their breed, their puppy owners, the breeders who came before them, and those that will follow. No matter how many years they have under their belt, a good breeder will consider themselves a student. Becoming a breeder is not just about having puppies; it is a combination of respect for the dogs along with art and science. Breeding dogs requires an extensive understanding of the complexities of the written breed standard, pedigree research, health testing issues, temperament issues of people and dogs, puppy rearing abilities, positive training techniques, a good eye for a dog, and responsible breeding practices.
We are committed to breeding quality dogs with great temperaments, health, sound movement, wonderful structure, breed type and intelligence that is indicative of the historic working ability of PWDs. (Health testing recommendations of the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America can be found at www.pwdca.org.) We are always assessing the whole dog. We also want the dogs to exhibit fabulous temperaments in many environments including the stressful show world. We carefully choose dogs for the breeding program that are biddable in training, and can perform the work they were intended to do. Longevity is also something that we are very interested in. Through pedigree research, we are looking for dogs whose family members are long lived and as free from disease as possible. Our breed traces back to a very small number of dogs. EVERY pedigree goes back to these dogs. Breeding dogs is not a perfect science, but breeders should honestly share the breed's health issues with you.
Our pups are handled every day in a home environment and given the utmost care. We believe in early neurological development with our puppies and we invest hours of work to ensure proper stimulation, socialization, training and love for each puppy born with us to ensure a good start in their new homes.
Support of owners with companion dogs and competition dogs, is very important to us. All of the families that we consider for our puppies are interviewed carefully. We feel it is a serious responsibility, to our families and to our puppies, to take great care in owner education so that you can make an informed decision. Our support for our families extends throughout the life of each dog. Each puppy is chosen for a specific family after an extensive temperament and structural test is completed on the puppies, when they are 8 to 10 weeks old. All puppies are sold on written contracts. We have had great success placing our puppies in this manner, and the dogs have great homes.
Please pick your breeder carefully, and maintain a relationship with your breeder. You are considering adding a member of your family. Breeders should know the families of their dogs back many generations, and that knowledge can be very valuable to you. Pick your teacher by the level of knowledge and commitment they have to share with you. You will enjoy the support of an experienced breeder with this particular breed. Remember, it costs no more and may cost less to raise and own a well bred, well raised puppy than it does a puppy that may have numerous issues.