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the PORTUGUESE WATER DOG

the STORY


saponetta do lusiadas
ch.Quincy in an ideal montage
ch.vialeamare do lusiadas

 

Though there are no precise trustworthy documents about the origin of this breed it certainly has to be considered a very old one. According to some authors this dog descends from Water Dogs that were considered sacred in the Persian Gulf in the 6th Century BC. Others maintain that it descends from a Moroccan shepherd dog and that the breed came to Europe across the Strait of Gibraltar following the Moors in their Conquest. In the Iberian Peninsula it crossbred with local breeds originating the Portuguese Water Dog , the Co de Agua, in Portugal and the Barbet in France. And in France apparently it has a story of guarding flocks.

In its life aboard the Moor's ships during the Conquest the dog had to adapt to tasks that could justify its presence there as man's companion. The changes in its aptitudes from those of a mountain dog to those of a seafaring dog required time of course but owing to its intelligence, great learning ability, coupled with its independent spirit, great endurance and passion for action, it became for years and years the beloved companion of Portuguese seamen and fishermen. Self-willed and of spirited disposition it is able to perform complex tasks like keeping vigil to the sea and signaling the presence of a shoal, warning the crew about sharks. And he would carry messages between boats or food and drinking water from shore to boats, dive to retrieve fish escaping from the nets, retrieve broken nets or save fishermen from drowning. This activity is well documented already in ancient texts (one dating from the 13th century).

 

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The dog was actually considered part of the crew of a boat to the point that each dog was entitled to a fifth of the fish to eat, just like the fishermen , plus he was entitled to a salary: one fourth of the cash money earned by the fishermen! The fisherman the captain chose to look after the dog was entrusted with the money as with feeding and taking care of the dog. A task considered to be an honor for the fisherman appointed . New fishing technologies made the Co de Agua's work unnecessary. And few of these dogs survived the change.

This breed makes its first public appearance at the Lisbon International Dog Show in 1934 under the breed name of "Barbedos". One was white, the other black, They were named Cacio and Garon and they were shown in the traditional "lion clip". They arose great interest and particularly the interest of Vasco Bensaude, a shipper and owner of a vast empire of merchant ships. He was also General Secretary of the Portuguese Dog Club (at the time Seco de Canicultura of the Portuguese Hunters Club). Together with other people fascinated with these dogs he managed to save this breed: he went to search for the water dogs of the Algarve fishermen and was able to obtain the first individuals. The very few fishermen who still had these extraordinary work dogs were absolutely unwilling to part with them or even to sell their puppies, who were rarely even bestowed as very precious gifts . But Bensaude's first expedition to Algarve met with success: he bought Nero and Venesa and afterwards got Leo and Dina. Leo was an absolutely outstanding dog. He was unusual in all respects and he set the model for the official standard of the breed. The first registered litter by Leo and Dina was born in May 1937 . Leo and Dina together with Nero and Venesa may be considered the official founders of the breed.

 

pati rodrigues pati rodrigues pati rodrigues pati rodrigues

do lusiadas kennel by fabiana bazzani - (florence ) - ITALY

mobil phone 349-5789127 in italian language | e-mail : info@dolusiadas.it