As the standards change in the US, the breed would change if we allowed the changes. There is much said on the internet describing the SWD as "reserved" and "gradually warm up to you". We, at LIJA place temperament and character first and foremost. Those who visit are greeted by our dogs and can enjoy their company. Remember, quality begets quality: the most import is the breeding of sound temperament, the socialization and the raising of the puppy, then moving forward you as the potential new owner keeping up on the socialization of the SWD.
EUROPEAN SPANISH WATER DOG: Unfortunately, when changes to a classification/standard are made within the United States no matter how small the change, in the long run it will change the breed. The SWD first and foremost should remain consistent throughout the world. So while the breed club(s) and domestic registries stand in agreement by making these changes, by adhering to the European/FCI classification and standard, we will remain steadfast in our determination to remain true to the breed and continue to preserve and protect the breed as intended. By standing with the rest of the world, we call our SWD the "European Spanish Water Dog". The United States is the only country with club(s)/breeders that support the SWD in the Herding Group. I once heard a person say, "Who are we to change a breed (classification) that was developed in Spain". So, ask then: why has the classification remained unchanged in Spain/Europe? Why only in the US?
ALL OUR DOGS ARE REGISTERED WITH THE FEDERACION CANOFILA DE PUERTO RICO (FCI) - THIS IS A WORLD-WIDE REGISTRY WHICH IS ACCEPTED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD WHICH WE HAVE KEPT UP TO DATE SINCE PURCHASING OUR FIRST SWD. REMEMBER: AN FCPR REGISTERED SWD FROM LIJA CAN BE REGISTERED WITH ANY DOMESTIC REGISTRY (AKC OR UKC). HOWEVER, YOU CANNOT REGISTER WITH THE FCPR IF YOU ONLY HAVE AN AKC OR UKC REGISTRATION.
The FCPR registration is accepted by the American Kennel Club as well as the United Kennel Club. So, ask yourself: Why would the AKC or the UKC accept this registration if this was not a solid, valid registry. Why are there people trying to discredit the FCPR when prior to 1985 this was the only registry available in the United States other than the registrations received from overseas. The breeders and owners who have experience in ANY breed as well as Judges can validate that the FCPR/international registration is the most desired and valid registry for dogs from European origins. Shame on the novices/breeders and clubs who try to discredit this registry yet support a domestic registry that has only JUST moved the SWD into the miscellaneous/other class.
Dog Shows: Any showing, hunting, retrieving, herding, activities the SWD does should be supported. For one to claim that the AKC /UKC are the largest venue is ludicrous! The American Rare Breed Association, for one, has been holding show venues for years (since I have been in dogs, which is since 1985) - Please note that I did not say I have been in SWD since 1985. I have shown AKC, have bred dogs titled in UKC, Molosser shows and the American Rare Breed Association. I have had SWD since 2002. I have also seen disqualifications on dogs in the ring, even with no competition in the ring, how does one continuously take Best In Shows without competition? Character, structure, movement - all have to be judged in the ring for Master Championships and International Championships to be awarded.
We do have the most active show history in the United States as well as generations of Champions to prove this. We will not show in the Herding Classification; however the SWD has only recently been changed to the Herding Classification with the AKC and UKC. Prior to this those in the US have had the opportunity to show against each other regardless of affiliation. An overseas breeder once asked about a breeder claiming to have the #1 SWD in the US. My answer is, how can a SWD be #1 if they did not go up against us or anyone we know?
We have had breedings and have used for stud:
Spanish/Portuguese/UKC/ARBA Champion Rancholunac from Casa De Rancho
Maestro from De Chesapeake
Tejas Kennels used Chuka for stud and Tejas sold a pup to Boston SWD.
We have sold foundation stock to: Highview SWD, Timberoak SWD
We no longer work with people who stopped registering with the FCPR and who have supported the change in classification to Herding.
We stand by our breeding program, our health testing as well as having the most diversified bloodlines in the US. It took us years to find our Rumor, as we wanted an outcross pedigree to strength our breeding program. Health test results (hips and eyes) can be checked at www.offa.org. Look for LIJA and you will see our health testing legacy. And please, while you are there make a mental list of the kennels/breeders in the US and see just how many of their dogs have had their health testing. Those working with foundation dogs, if they have bred at least 2 litters, then why is there only 1-2 dogs tested from their breeding program? For those showing their dogs, why are there no health test results posted on the dog that is being advertised as a top SWD. Breeders show their dogs to prove the excellence of their breeding program and to pass those genetics to the next generation. Why isn't a top winner being used for breeding?
Breeders should be responsible for their stud dog as well as approving/agreeing to breedings. Remember as the gene pool expands, your stud dog is contributing to the gene pool as well as contributing to the health of the puppy. We have placed many foundation dogs in many homes in the United States. These dogs are in the pedigrees presented to you. We have turned down 5 stud service request for Rumor due to no health testing/poor health testing.
Beware of breeders who have their own agenda and discredit others. Breeders and breed clubs should be positive and should be helping the breed move forward.