The History of
Portuguese Water Dogs
Like many breeders, Navio began with a love for animals. I had been raised with large dogs while my wife, Patty, came from a Poodle family. When we married, we didn't expect to have children so we acquired quite a circus of pets. We have had iguanas, parrots, macaws, and cats. We also, after a running battle, acquired an AKC registered black dog, nicknamed "Beal". I never was one for small dogs so I held out until Patty agreed to a large dog, in this case a long-haired German Shepherd. If you have never seen a long-haired black German Shepherd, he looked like a black bear. His nickname was Beal, but his name was Beelzebub. When we lost Beal, we couldn't bring ourselves to get a look-alike so we got another German Shepherd who had standard markings. We often talked about "showing" Manitou, but somehow never got around to it.
When our beloved Manitou, our last German Shepherd, began to show his age, we decided to look for another breed of dog. Patty took the lead in this quest and, after much analysis and study, we decided on the Portuguese Water Dog as the right breed for us. Like the German Shepherd, the PWD is a medium to large dog. Unlike the German Shepherd, it was a haired dog that had become nearly extinct, but the breeders were working hard to bring the breed back without acerbating the inherent defects in the shallow gene pool by over or indiscriminate breeding. We liked that since we saw first hand what over-breeding can cause.
We searched, like many who are reading this, for a PWD and finally, in December of 1991 we purchased a cute little female born on September 5th, 1991, who we named Carousel's Sasha de Cazenave. At the same time, the Show Ring/Breeding Bug bit Patty.
We discovered that Patty had a great eye of dog quality. Sasha turned out to be a barn burner and championed is a truly short time (3 months). Patty was also making contacts in the PWD world, and evaluating the available males for Sasha. Patty researched the genetic backgrounds of the dogs and studied their temperaments because Patty was determined to produce great dogs with wonderful temperaments. We finally settled on Champion Farmion The Bismark "Bizzie", the top point winning Male Specialty Dog in the country at the time.
From this 1993 breeding we got Riker, our only male and Rick's Dog. We were so happy with the breeding that, in 1996, we repeated it and kept Melinda. Patty's selections continued to champion in record times (2 months for Riker and 3 Months for Melinda).
Last Updated: August 22, 2001
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