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If you are considering a PWD puppy you should first download the puppy packet from the PWDCA. We encourage all prospective puppy owners to read the entire 27 pages of the PDF puppy packet on the PWDCA web site:

You should next read our article on How to Choose a Breeder.

Our Philosophy About Puppy Placement

Our goals at Dacher have been consistent throughout our two decades of breeding PWDs. We strive to breed dogs who are healthy, have excellent temperament and that have exceptional breed type. We believe that in each litter only one or two dogs are breeding prospects (show dogs) and the remainder of the litter we feel will be excellent family companions (pet dogs). We do not require our puppy owners to show their puppy and in fact only place our puppies with a limited AKC registration which does not allow breeding or showing in conformation. This type of registration does allow the owner to register the puppy and participate in all other AKC or PWDCA events such as obedience, agility or water work. With each generation we try to improve our breeding stock by selecting those special puppies. These puppies we keep and show ourselves. Because of the careful selection of our original PWDs we need only to make small improvements in each generation. This has allowed us to produce relatively homogenous litters and the difference between our companion and show puppies is very slight. The typical Dacher puppy possesses excellent breed type and frequently the difference in the show puppy and the rest of the litter is a minor trait (depth of eye color, placement of a single tooth, coat thickness, or tailset). These subtle differences in the puppies in a litter are usually imperceptible to an untrained eye.

The first four pages of the PWDCA puppy packet describe the unique demands of owning a PWD puppy. We love the breed but over our years of experience we realize that PWDs are not for everyone. A PWD is a highly energetic, intelligent, strong, athletic dog that requires training, grooming, and daily exercise. A PWD puppy also requires an owner with a sense of humor.

We usually only have one or two litters a year. These breedings are planned several years in advance. We are always available to discuss PWDs and puppies and will schedule weekend educational visits to meet our adult dogs and introduce you to the breed. We do not accept reservations for a future litter until we are sure our bitch is pregnant by ultrasound at four weeks after breeding. We then contact those who have indicated to us by email, phone call or visit that they are interested in a puppy to see if they would like to receive a puppy packet for the expected litter. All packets are mailed the same day and contain a puppy questionnaire, pedigree of the litter, information about the parents as well as additional information about the breed and us. The date we receive back a completed ownership questionnaire determines your place on our puppy list. However we do not guarantee a reservation for a puppy until we interview you and your family during a puppy visit between four and six weeks after their birth. Since each litter contains a different mix of gender, coat types, color and markings we go over the questionnaires one week after birth to be certain that we have the specific type of puppy that each prospective owner has requested. If we do not have the type of puppy requested then we contact the individual and see if they are flexible about the sex, color or coat type. As conscientious breeders we prepare a great deal of printed material to go home with our puppies as well as our web site to educate our new owners. We are always available by email or phone to answer questions regarding our puppies and consider all our puppy owners part of our extended family. We believe that mentoring for the life of your puppy should be a priority of a breeder.

Our puppies are all home raised and not brought up in a kennel situation. This allows an early exposure to our human world including household sounds, smells, and human interaction. Constant exposure to our voices and touch as well as beginning clicker training at feeding time prepares the puppy for his/her later home. We feel that this interaction is extremely important in developing a well-adjusted puppy that will mature into a wonderful pet. All Dacher puppies undergo Puppy Aptitude (temperament) Testing at 7 weeks (the crucial 49th day after birth) and the results of this testing is used in selecting the best home for each puppy. We try to place our puppies in an appropriate family situation based on the individual puppy's temperament and each family's activities. After the seven week Puppy Aptitude Test (PAT) each individual puppy is thoroughly evaluated structurally. Over the next 48 hours (Days 50-51 after birth) we use the PAT test results, our notes on each puppy's development and interaction with their mother and littermates and other breeders evaluations of the puppies to make our final placement decision. Remember we match individual puppies to their new families based on your puppy questionnaire and your personal interview so it is very important that all the information you provide us is accurate. We strive for an ideal match between PWD puppy and their new family.

We also assume each family seeking placement of a Dacher PWD puppy understand the expenses in owning a PWD. One time costs include feeding and water dishes, collars, leashes, a wire crate, dog bed, a collection of grooming tools including brushes, combs, scissors, nail trimmers and clippers. Ongoing expenses include quality dog food, dog treats, dog toys, shampoos and coat conditioner. Veterinary care costs including examinations, immunizations and preventive medications such as heartworm and flea control. With the increases in the use of human medical technology in standard veterinary care pet insurance is becoming necessary. Fees for registration, county licenses, puppy and obedience classes add up. Annual dues for membership in dog organizations such as the Portuguese Water Dog Club of Northern California are another cost but offer a variety of fun activities for you and your pet. The greatest unexpected expense is that a puppy requires time and energy particularly in training during the first year of life. However we emphasize that like the MasterCard commercial the joy of living with a PWD is PRICELESS!

Hopefully this description of our philosophy has answered your questions about how we approach puppy placement but if you have any questions please call or email us.

Below is a brief Quicktime Movie of the First Eight Weeks of a Puppy at Dacher.



 If you have a Windows PC you will need to download Quicktime 7.6.9 for XP, Vista, or Windows 7 to view the movie.

View A Dacher Puppy Photo Album

Bella at Ten Weeks of Age

Created August 2007
Modified January 1, 2012