Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Someone in my family has allergies. We want a PWD because they are hypo-allergenic.
A: No dog is hypo-allergenic. PWDs have hair, not fur so they shed less than most breeds. They have less dander, which, along with the saliva, are the substances most people with allergies react to. While they don’t shed, they do create dust-bunnies. As they scratch they will loosen hair which can roll around on the floor. The also have wavy or curly coats which will pick up pollen and dust from the environment.
While you may not be allergic to the dog themselves, if you have other kinds of allergies you may find that they carry those allergens into the house on their coats.
Q: I want a dog for my children. I read they are great family dogs.
A: Having a PWD is like having a toddler — for many years. They are smart dogs, who require a lot of attention. They can be good with children, but generally an adult needs to be the primary caregiver and be responsible for training. They do need a lot of attention. They won’t do well just out in the yard by themselves. They really do want to be with people. Left by themselves they will get into trouble and become destructive.
Q: I just want a pet. Do I have to have a show dog to get a PWD?
A: No. Some breeders are looking for owners who do want to have a dog that they are willing to show, but there are MANY breeders who are looking for people who will give a puppy a good home as a companion. If you do not want to show your dog, DO NOT sign a show contract. It’s not fair to you, or to the breeder to start a relationship that isn’t based on honesty.
Having an intact dog (a dog that is not spayed or neutered) is a big responsibility, and a dog must be intact to be shown. A bitch (female dog) will start coming into season for between 5 months and a year. They will generally be in season twice a year for a month at a time. During that time they are attractive to male dogs and must be kept inside or on a leash at all times. You have to be careful around other dogs, and you may find that your home becomes a magnet if you have loose or stray dogs in your neighborhood.
Male Dogs can’t get pregnant, but they can be run by their hormones. The sweetest, most obedient dog will have a personality change around a bitch in season. Another issue for the owners of intact dogs is that other intact male dogs will react to them. Even if your dog isn’t “doing anything” his presence may seem threatening to another intact dog, and cause a reaction.
I strongly recommend that intact dogs not be taken to dog parks or other off leash areas where they may run into other intact male dogs.
Q. I’m not sure, I might want a show dog. Can I get one from you?
A. Maybe. I take very seriously the responsibility of selling intact (not spayed or neutered) dogs. While most of the puppies I produce would be able to “finish” (get their Championship) their owners have to be committed to taking on the responsibility and expense of showing their dog in the Breed (Conformation) ring.
However All Miraval puppies are eligible to participate in all kinds of dog sports, where they can earn titles and ribbons — and have lots of fun. You can do agility, obedience, tracking, water work, barn hunt, therapy dog, search and rescue and other things with your dog. These activities are happening all over the country – and the world. If you are interested in getting involved I’ll help you find resources near your home.
Q. If I want a pet does it matter if their parent’s are Champions.
A. Technically no, but if you are getting a PWD it’s because you have decided that you want a dog that has the characteristics of a PWD. You want a dog that meets the PWD Standard.
One way to ensure that your PWD will look and act like a PWD is to get a puppy whose parents have been judged to be good examples of the Breed. One of the ways that we do this is by showing dogs in AKC dog shows. Here, licensed Judges choose the dog, and bitch that are closest to meeting the PWD standard on that day. A dog that is a Champion has won enough times, and defeated enough other dogs to have been awarded the title of Champion.
The PWD is a working breed. They worked on the fishing boats in Portugal. While we can’t test each of our dogs to see how they would perform there, the PWDCA has developed water trials that are based on the work PWDs did on the boats. The PWDCA awards titles (Apprentice Water Dog, AWD, Working Water Dog, WWD, Courier Water Dog, CWD, and Courier Water Dog Excellent, CWDX) to dogs who have mastered the skills necessary to pass these tests.
PWDs also compete in other performance sports obedience, agility, and tracking. Titles in these show their athleticism, ability to work with their human teammate, and intelligence. A dog with “titles at both ends.” shows they are well-rounded and well socialized.