Features May 2010 Issue

Canine Water Sports for Acquatic Service Dogs

“Water work” sports are for dogs who love the water!

The curly brown dog stamped his feet and stared at his handler. He had retrieved the plastic dummy countless times. Now what? Something as simple as that look is all it took to start Kathryn Monroe of Mahtomedi, Minnesota, on a quest. It would ultimately take her across the country in search of the knowledge and skills to train her Portuguese Water Dog, Gaucho, to do what his breeding dictated. Work. Water work, specifically. Like many people, Monroe had gotten involved with a breed because she was looking for a dog with an affinity for something she loved. Monroe is a boater. When asked if she had water sports in mind when she chose a PWD, she said, “Water sports? I hate water sports! I don’t swim, and I don’t like to be cold and wet.

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