Considering a PWD General Chat

Discussion in 'Portuguese Water Dog' started by michelej, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. michelej

    michelej New Member

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    Considering a PWD

    Hello! My family is considering adopting a companion family dog. We would be first time dog owners. We are no in rush to adopt as we want to find a reputable breeder and the right breed. All of the breeders we are looking at will have experience, be members of the AKC specialty breed clubs (Poodle Club of America or Portuguese Club of America) and do all recommended health testing and temperament testing (although some breeders who have been doing this for many years feel that they can test temperament on their own).

    We are an active home and enjoy being outdoors, trips to the beach and boating, etc. We also enjoy having company and playdates and would want an adaptable dog. We have a family member who works from home so the time during the day with a puppy would not be an issue. The breeds we are narrowed down to at this point are a Standard Poodle and PWD. We know that both breeds are extremely intelligent and high energy.

    I'm wondering, if between the breeds, those with experience would recommend one over the other.

    I should also mention that my kids are 2, 7, and 10. I'm not sure if my youngest is simply too young for a dog. We do plan to have both a private trainer and attend group classes.

    Any feedback is welcome!
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  3. MaliBu

    MaliBu New Member

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    Bu (Sheldon Bu)
  4. MaliBu

    MaliBu New Member

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    Bu (Sheldon Bu)
    You asked for personal stories. So, here goes:

    My little guy, Bu, left, (short for MaliBu) (AKA "The Little Badness," "Little Whippersnapper," "Mayhem," and "Little Thief")

    I've owned lots of dogs: A gawky-but-graceful Russian Wolfhound, a Xoloixcuintle (Mexican Hairless), Golden Lab, Black Lab, Chinese Crested, and several Pugs. But Bu is the very most willful and determined dog of all.

    He's too smart for his own good. He learns things right away, A determined little guy, too young to realize that most of his wants are dangerous. When commanded to do something you see the wheels turning in his mischievous little mind as he decides if he wants to comply. Relinquish this fine, smelly sock for a liver-coated treat? Two nuggets? Three? OK. Deal.

    We live on the beach. And when we go for walks, he wants to control. He grabs my German Shepherd's leash in his mouth and tries to pull him into the waves.

    I should already have researched trainers before getting Bu. We needed one immediately. But I wanted a good one who wouldn't eat up my retirement fund. But the perfect dog came along and I wasn't ready. I'm experienced with dogs. I would find one soon. I always had wanted a dog who would swim with me, and be a great family dog. The reviews, books, and articles online and in magazines all backed up my choice. Don't believe them. Porties are smart. A trainer is necessary here. And most dogs will be good with family if trained.

    YES, Bu was and is the very cutest puppy I've ever seen. But also the most manipulative and deceitful. First thing he did when I got him home from his midwestern breeder, was run to make a beeline for my German Shepherd's food bowl. But Athena, who takes her kibble seriously, was unnerved. Little Bu was only eight weeks old so Athena must have been gigantic. Bu shrieked and hid under the sofa. But once Athena again had possession of her bowl, Bu sneaked up from behind, bit her on the butt, and made a mad dash to his three-inch crawl space under the sofa. Athena growled and looked around. No one there! Bu loved this favorite game until he got too big to fit.

    Too cute. But this little tyke plays rough. Very rough Life is a constant rough-and-tumble game. Porties are mouthy. They bite a lot more than my other dogs did during puppyhood, which can last up to two-and-a-half years. Breeders say, it is important for you to shriek when they bite too hard (as if you wouldn't do it anyway). That's how puppies learns to bite humans without injuring them. Okay!

    They are masters of the art of surprise!

    To be free to romp at will, he watches me closely to catch me off guard. Suddenly he lurches forward with all his might -- a surprising blast of dynamite out of the blue.

    This is designed to make me lose grip of the leash. And it works. He is a virtual bullet jetting to his target -- the coquettish Pomeranian next door who does NOT understand rough play. Uh oh. The trainer said: Be ready. Hold tight. And let him launch himself . . . to a sudden stop at the end of the leash. He'll stop.

    Nope. He just learned to stop before reaching the end.

    Once, when I was sorting laundry, grabbed one of my bras, burst out the garage, and made a run for it. A hurricane of swirling fur, he tore down our road until a patrol car stopped. When a cop emerged he instantly jumped right into the front seat. The perplexed officer grabbed him, shrugged, handed me my bra -- the leash, and Bu, who was very happy with himself.

    Bu also is a thief. He eats everything whether YOU know it's there or not. And he always needs to chew on SOMETHING. And he'll take anything he can get. I went online and got him a "dog pacifier" shaped like a long nipple. I've invested in bully sticks and several packs on my Chewy bi-weeklky "auto refill" list. In one traumatic week Bu crushed the top of my nail polish bottle (leaving a bright red trail along my porous marble floor). He chewed up my expensive German slippers, demolished my wooden hairbrush handle, ripped holes in a hot new T-shirt, ate the heels of some gorgeous brand new designer boots, crushed a vial of birth control pills, chewed the handle off some scissors, and swallowed a Tide detergent laundry pod. Animal poison Control hotline was going to charge me $75 before taking my call, and luckily he vomited it up before I got out my wallet.
    One Portie book said, "If you are not with him, just trust that he is getting in trouble."

    Even if I AM with him, he is CONSTANTLY FINDING THINGS that he knows I want, and running off. Plastic pens, lipsticks, dark brown hair dye squirter bottles. Stuff I'd never suspect would interest him. In the kitchen everything must be set far back on the counters. He waits until I turn my head and then climbs onto a stool and goes for the booty.

    So now the rooms of my house all have baby gates.

    If he is not in his crate (which, he now actually likes), and hears a dog outside there is an endless percussion. His bark is louder than an up-close rock band. You can hear him a block and a half away. When he was a puppy his bark was extremely shrill. I used to try to calm him and sing him to sleep. He thought that was nice and settled until I stopped (one reason I love him, ha!). When I'm driving and he's in the back seat, he leaves my ears ringing! Literally.

    If I didn't own my own condo, I would have been evicted by now.

    Finding a trainer was quite difficult. Some live-in dog schools were fancy and plush beyond belief, with dogs swimming in their own pools, and doggy beauty parlors for hair and nails. Walking through this tropical paradise, the big ones were lounging on long chaises decorated with palm prints. A friend took his Frenchie for training at one of those places. The review: "sort of better. than before."

    Eventually, I found a good one who holds weekend classes. He is 45 minutes away but worth the drive.

    If you are an adult with no kids and want a new job, a Portie is good.-- for sure.

    He will talk to you if you get lonely (Imagine a very judgemental aunt who has had a stroke and cannot find words but can only talk through tone of voice and grunts. There are loud crescendos of excited approval when I go near the treat drawer. And dismal moans if he doesn't get one. Now that he is not barking much, he whimpers lightly when "it's urgent." Or he'll just give a little bark if he wants my attention. If petting his belly feels good he will sort of purr with pleasure.

    I got Bu because I live alone and wanted a swimming partner for spontaneous moments when the waves were so perfect that I couldn't resist swimming without a friend. He LOVES to swim. From early puppyhood, like a hopping bunny, Bu has been bounding through the waves to catch tennis balls. He lives to play, but his claws are sharp. Don't wear shorts.

    His every motion is fast and furtive. Pant, pant, pant...

    With his gorgeous thick, wavy coat, he gorgeous. Drivers stop and gawk and ask about him. Grown men stop me to inquire. His fur is softer than cashmere. He has a mischievous, oh-so-naughty face and posture! A constantly wagging tail. He is irresistable. He'll snuggle up and cuddle, then rest his head on my shoulder and then try to move it down to, uh, a softer, more comfortable place.

    Warning: Do not wear Chanel. Or any fragrance, for that matter. He will be all over you trying to lick every place you dabbed it on. Save it for when you're going out -- without him.

    Don't: Reward his ill behavior by bribing him to stop it. (Barking, for example)

    Do: Aways carry treats

    Start regular brushing or grooming from an early age. Fur knots bother them.

    Get an expensive remote device to administer a tiny shock if he gets out of line (vibrations are too mild for him). It should be sturdy, waterproof and about $211.00.) Prong collars are very helpful but difficult for old hands to attach. My trainer found one that is pretty easy to clip on around his neck. USE IT ONLY FOR TRAINING. His skin is sensitive.

    Be ready for "silvering." Bu's puppy fur was deep chocolate brown contrasted with the whitest white curly chest, tail tip, and boots or socks on each little foot. He had a white waterfall down his nose. Then, he was was in the sun for a long time last year and the salt water gave his curls a very "flamed" look. He was dancing fire -- cinnamon collor. As he matured, the top of his coat started turning silver -- like my old aunt's natural hair. The breeder called it "silvering." Hmmmnnn. So, look at your dog's parents if you want to know what his coat will be like as an adult. Bu's puppy coat was as soft as hampster or bunny fur. He is still very soft, but now it's more like cotton.


    Be careful. Be informed. And do NOT believe all that is published.

    He is a devil. And a baaaaaaaaaad boy. And also an angel. I love him SOOOOO much. I have spent so much money on him. But PLEASE BEWARE! THIS BREED IS NOT AT ALL FOR EVERYONE AND BECAUSE THE DOG IS SO WILLFUL, HE WILL NEED SOME PROFESSIONAL HELP WITH TRAINING AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

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