Lack of Rescues May Hinder First Dog Search

Portuguese Water Dog Club of America says PWD rescue puppies are very rare.

Posted: February 28, 2009, 5 a.m. EST

The Obamas may have trouble finding a Portuguese Water Dog rescue, according to an official with the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America.

“There are not many of these dogs and very few rescues,” says Mary Harkins, rescue coordinator for the PWD Club of America, in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “Most of those are older. It is very, very rare to get a rescue puppy.”

Earlier this week, Michelle Obama told People that she was leaning toward a PWD rescue.

“Temperamentally they’re supposed to be pretty good,” Obama said. “From the size perspective, they’re sort of middle of the road – it’s not small, but it’s not a huge dog. And the folks that we know who own them have raved about them. So that’s where we’re leaning.”

PWD lovers fear the media attention may backfire on the breed.

“The gene pool is so small that the next thing you know you have unscrupulous breeders that can ruin the breed,” says Lesley-Ray Karnes, one of the top retriever trainers in the U.S. “They’re wonderful dogs, but there aren’t many of them.”

More about the search for the Obama dog -


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Sarah   Offutt, NE

4/22/2009 2:05:10 PM

I don't think their popularity will pick up much because they are so rare most people and crappy breeders won't be able to afford them.

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madie   greensboro, NC

3/1/2009 3:28:57 PM


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S   Three Oaks, MI

3/1/2009 3:23:59 PM

It's important to remember that it's best for both the family AND the dog that they choose if they find the right match so that the dog finds a permanent home. Who cares how long it takes?

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Logan   Bakersfield, CA

3/1/2009 7:11:48 AM

finally one breed what don't end up all the time in shelters and rescues.the article was very interessting.

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