• To encourage and promote quality in pure-bred Portuguese Water Dogs and to do all possible to bring their natural qualities to perfection; 
  • To urge members and breeders to accept the standard of the breed as approved by The American Kennel Club as the only standard of excellence by which Portuguese Water Dogs shall be judged; 
  • To do all in its power to protect and advance the interests of the breed by encouraging sportsmanlike competition.; 
  • To conduct PWDCA sanctioned water trials, supported entries, and other Portuguese Water Dog activities deemed appropriate by the Board, including but not limited to licensed specialty shows, obedience trials, agility trials, and tracking tests under the rules of the American Kennel Club. 
  • To provide a support network for Portuguese Water Dog owners including educational and social events. 


Policy #1 – Expense Authorization

Revised November 16 , 2021

1. Budgeted expenses are authorized up to the budgeted amount.
2. Unbudgeted expenses of up to $500 may be approved by either the President or the Treasurer.
3. All unbudgeted expenses over $500 require approval of a majority of the Board of Directors.
4. Budgeted expense overruns are subject to the same approval procedures as outlines in 1, or 2 above, to the extent of the overrun.
5. In the case of an expense offset by revenue, this policy will apply as to the net effect of the expense and revenue.
6. Budgeted expenses for water trials may be authorized by the President’s designated representative(s). Such representative must adhere to items 1 through 5 above, obtaining approvals as necessary.
7. Documented approval may be by signature or e-mail.

Policy #2 – Funds Disbursement

Revised January 30, 2023

  1. Funds for authorized expenses of up to $1,000 may be disbursed by either the Treasurer or President.
  2. All fund disbursements over $1,000 require documented approval of both the President and Treasurer and/or included in approved budget.
  3. Disbursements of up to 105% of the budgeted and/or authorized amount will be considered in compliance with the Expense Authorization Policy. Such variance allows for minor changes in price quotes, taxes and fees, shipping, etc.  
  4. Disbursements may be made by check, PayPal or debit card.
  5. Disbursements for water trial expenses may be made by the President’s designated representative.
  6. The debit card may be used for disbursements up to $3,000 for water trial costs.
  7. Documented approval may be by signature or e-mail.

Policy #3 – Donations

Revised November 27, 2018

In keeping with the Club’s objective of encouraging and promoting quality in pure-bred Portuguese Water Dogs, the Club may make charitable donations to further the health and well-being of the Breed.  A portion of revenues generated by certain club activities, such as water trial raffles, auctions, and other fund-raising events, may be donated to Portuguese Water Dog and other canine specific charities. The amount and the beneficiaries of these donations will be approved by the Board after the event(s) have been completed and, in any event no later than December 31st each year.

In addition to benefiting the Breed, these actions will enhance the quality and quantity of items donated for fund-raising events, encourage higher bids and greater raffle participation, and contribute to the image and goodwill of the USSPWD Club.
Preferred organizations to which the Club may make donations shall have 501(c) 3 or other nonprofit tax status.

Policy #4 – Membership

Revised November 17, 2022

Membership Types

  • Individual – An Individual member has one vote in club elections.
  • Family – Family membership is any number of people living in the same household. There will be two voting members per family. 
  • Qualified Complimentary Member – A Qualified Complimentary membership, as defined below, has no voting rights.

Application to Membership– New members and members who have let their membership lapse will complete a New Registration membership application form. Application and payment will be made exclusively through the USSPWD Club website.   An automated website notification of application will be sent to both the Website Administrator and Membership Director who will in turn e-mail the application to all Board members asking if there are any objections to approving membership. If there are no objections within ten days, the applicant will be accepted for membership.  The Membership Director will send a personal e-mail to the new member welcoming them to the USSPWD Club.

Membership Late in Year– New members joining in the fourth quarter of the current membership year will have their dues applied to the remainder of the current year and to annual dues for the subsequent membership year.  The Membership Director will adjust membership payment records to reflect this application.

Qualified Complimentary Members– New puppy owners and those who adopt from PWDCA Rescue will have their dues waived for the first year of membership provided that (1) they have never been members of the USSPWD Club and (2) if obtained from a breeder, the breeder of the prospective member’s puppy is a member of USSPWD Club.  Breeders should instruct qualified new puppy owners to complete a new puppy membership application via the website. Those who adopt from PWDCA Rescue will be informed by the Regional Rescue Coordinator. Owners who obtain their puppies or rescue dogs in the first nine months of the calendar year will have their membership dues waived for the current year. Owners who obtain their puppies or rescue dogs in the last three months of the calendar year will have their membership dues waived for the subsequent year.

Failure to Pay Dues – Membership will be terminated as of March 31 for all members who have not paid annual membership dues.  A notice to these members will be sent out informing them of their termination and they will be removed from the club’s e-mail announcements and club directory.  

Membership Benefits– Members of the USSPWD Club will be given priority treatment when registering / participating in USSPWD Club sponsored events, except where prohibited by sanctioning organizations.  Non-members of USSPWD Club will be charged a non-member fee at all USSPWD Club events at which a fee is charged.  If non-members elect to join the USSPWD Club at or within one week of such events, the non-member fee will be refunded.  Application for membership will be executed as described above.

Procedure – Non-Member and Member Event Fees–A Non-Member per person and/or per dog fee of at least $10 will be charged for all activities/events except for the following:

  • Water trial entry fees
  • Entry fees for other titling events
  • Breed dog show receptions where all participating PWD owners are invited, regardless of membership

In general, registration for Club events for both members and non-members will be through our website.  Failure to register for an event will result in an additional $10 per person or per dog fee, depending on the event, for both members and non-members.

Policy #5 – Water Camp Registration and Payment

Revised October 23, 2023

Registration for club sponsored Water Camps will be via our website with payment due at time of registration through PayPal or credit card. A list of known water camp locations and dates will be published by the beginning of the year and any additional camps will be communicated as planned.

Registration for camps will close three days before the first day of the camp (i.e., end of day Tuesday for a one-day Saturday or two-day Saturday and Sunday camp).  Registration after the closing date will be allowed only with the approval of the Water Camp Co-Ordinator.

The number of teams registering for water camps may be limited to ensure all participants have sufficient time for training, and/or for safety reasons during extreme heat conditions. 

Camp fees will be refunded for changes or cancellations made up to two weeks before the first day of the camp after which fees are non-transferable and non-refundable.

In the event the Club cancels the Camp for any reason all camp fees will be refunded.

Policy #6 – Club Communications

Revised October 28, 2022

The USSPWD Club website ( and will be the Club’s primary and on-going method of communication.  At a minimum the website will contain:  information and entry forms for upcoming events, contact information, and other Club documents. Event registrations and entry forms will be available only on the website.    
Our e-mail distribution service, currently Constant Contact, will be used to communicate with our members concerning upcoming events and items of interest.  These e-mails will have a link to our website for entry forms and further information if applicable. Whenever possible, the e-mail distribution list will be tailored to the target group receiving the e-mail, such as event participants, breeders, members who have not renewed membership or new puppy owners.  
Our Facebook group, USSPWDC will be open to all members to post pictures and information related to their Portuguese Water Dogs.  Facebook will also be used by the Club for event information and to provide a link to our website for entry forms.  Any PWD owner may also join our Facebook group.   PWD owners within our geographic area will be solicited for USSPWD Club membership on an annual basis.  A group administrator must approve any new Facebook membership.  Any unauthorized or inappropriate posts will be removed.
No vendor service or merchandise solicitation is allowed on the Club’s website, via Club email or on the Club’s Facebook group other than for the Club’s own merchandise and, with Board approval, merchandise from Partner PWD Clubs.
The Courier Magazine will be used to advertise events, both in the Courier calendar and individual ads, when appropriate.  The Club will subsidize at least one Courier ad per year that features members’ achievements.

Policy #7 – Club Awards

Revised November 13, 2023

Annual Achievement Awards

Each year the USSPWD Club will recognize the achievements of their members’ dogs.   Any performance title or certificate earned in the respective calendar year, from any nationally recognized dog sport that awards titles, will be recognized. To qualify for an Annual Achievement Award, members must be on the official USSPWD Club membership list for the award year and the dog must be owned by and reside with the USSPWD Club member. 

A memento listing the dog call name, year and achievements will be awarded to each dog.  Additionally, achievements will be shared via an ad placed in the Courier Magazine and with our membership via our e-mail distribution system and Facebook page.

Water Trial Awards: These awards do not apply to water trials that are held in conjunction with another club(s) (i.e. PWD Jamboree)

Ribbons and Mementos – awarded to all water trial participants, both Club members and non-members:

Ribbons:  All water trial qualifiers will be awarded a ribbon, including For Exhibition Only (FEO).

Mementos:  Mementos (e.g. Tervis Tumblers) will be awarded for each new certificate or title including: Junior Water Dog Certificate (JWD), Apprentice Water Dog (AWD), Working Water Dog (WWD), Working Water Dog Excellent (WWDX), Courier Water Dog (CWD), Courier Water Dog Excellent (CWDX) and Master Water Dog ##.

Advanced Title Mementos: Advanced Title Mementos (e.g. float lines, balls and fenders) will be awarded to all competitors earning the Working Water Dog Excellent (WWDX), Courier Water Dog Excellent (CWDX) or Master Water Dog (MWD#) title at any USSPWD Club sponsored Water Trial and to Club members earning those titles at other PWDCA sanctioned water trials. Title Mementos for MWD #2-infinity need not be the same as the MWD1 Memento. 

Water Trial Trophy Awards:

Trophies – awarded to Club Members ONLY.

Meg DeFore Founder’s Apprentice Water Trial Trophy

This Trophy was established in honor of Meg DeFore as a founder, prior officer and continued supporter of the USSPWD Club.   In celebration, this trophy will be awarded to the Apprentice Water Dog with the fastest combined times for all five Apprentice exercises on Saturday at USSPWD Club Water Trials.

Max-A-Million Courier Water Trial Trophy

This trophy was established in honor of Tom and Judy Leather, their contribution to Club water activities, and Max-A-Million Leather who was the first USSPWD Club member’s dog to achieve a CWDX title. In celebration, this trophy will be awarded to the Courier dog with the fastest combined times for the Shore Line Retrieve and the Buoy Ball Placement exercises on Saturday at USSPWD Club Water Trials.

Amazing Ace Master Water Trial Trophy

This trophy was established in honor of John and Sarah Brock, their contribution to USSPWD Club water activities and to Ace who was the first dog in the PWDCA to achieve his Master Water Dog 5 Title in 2021.  In celebration, this trophy will be awarded to the Master Water dog with the fastest combined times for all five Master Level Exercises on Saturday at USSPWD Club Water Trials.  The Amazing Ace Water Trial Trophy may only be awarded to a dog completing a qualifying run towards a Master Water Dog 1 title.

Trophy Requirements:

  • Eligible dogs must complete a qualifying run. If no dogs qualify, the trophy will not be awarded.
  • Only dogs working on their title are eligible.  FEO dogs and dogs who have previously earned the title, prior to the day of the event, are not eligible to win the trophy.
  • Only USSPWD Club members are eligible.
  • The Max-A-Million and Amazing Ace Water Trial Trophies may be awarded to a member dog one time only.
  • The trophy’s will be awarded on Saturday runs only, so they can be presented at the Saturday evening banquet.

Duration of Trophies and Requirements to Add new Trophies:

    • Trophies may be added or deleted at the sole discretion of the Board, with a unanimous vote.
    • Trophies will remain active as long as their named honoree remains meaningful to club members.
    • The addition of new trophies will require an endowment that covers the cost of trophy development and production for at least five years.  The endowment, which must be fully funded in year one, may come from individual or group donations.  In special cases, the Board, by unanimous vote, may also endow a new trophy.   Due to the Club’s cash basis of accounting, the endowment will flow to operating cash when received.  However, pre-payment of trophy costs will be noted in subsequent budgets throughout the endowment period.

Policy #8 – Club Owned Assets

Revised – November 13, 2023

To support USSPWD Club Water training activities and PWDCA sanctioned water trials, the Club purchased and maintains one club owned row boat with trailer and one enclosed utility trailer which is used to store Club owned water trial equipment and supplies. 

The Water Activities Committee (WAC), with Board approval, shall maintain and manage the movement and storage of these assets in order to support Club sponsored water activities and events and to protect these valuable Club assets. Specific responsibilities include:


  •  Storage: The boats and trailers will be housed when not in use at a pre-determined location(s) recommended by the WAC (e.g., Home Site) and approved by the Board of Directors.
  • Transportation:  The transportation of Club assets will be arranged by the WAC and “Home Site” for support of Club Sponsored water activities.
  • The Rowboat  and Trailer: The rowboat with trailer purchased in 2020 and utility trailer purchased in 2021, are both registered and titled in FL with registration renewed every two years.  Both trailers are included in the Club Commercial and General Liability Insurance, which should be renewed annually. 
  • An older rowboat is located at a member’s home in New Smyrna Beach, Fl.  The rowboat is used only on dry land for training and practice and for Water Trial pictures as significant repairs are needed to enable use in the water.  The older boat trailer was disposed of in 2023.
  • Equipment Inventory:  The WAC shall control inventory of all club owned water site equipment and trial supplies such as boat(s), fencing, markers, awards, merchandise, and any other water activity equipment or supplies purchased by the Club.

    Policy #9 – Water Activities Committee (WAC) Charter

    Revised: January 22, 2024

    Water Activities Committee Purpose
    The Water Activities Committee (“WAC”) oversees and coordinates all water activities sponsored by and/or hosted by the USSPWD Club (the “Club”) including, but not limited to, Club sponsored water training activities and Club hosted, PWDCA sanctioned, water trials.
    The PWDCA Water Trial Manual shall be the guiding document for WAC and Water Trial Host Committee for activities related to hosting PWDCA sanctioned water trials.

    Water Activities Committee Membership
    The WAC Chaiperson is selected by the USSPWD Club Board (the “Board”).  The WAC shall consist of Club members, such number determined by the WAC Chairperson, who are also associate or voting members of the PWDCA.  WAC members shall be recommended by the WAC Chairperson annually for approval by the the Board.  Membership must include at least one Board member, who may also be the WAC Chairperson.   WAC membership should not include more than three Board Members.

    The WAC Chairperson shall be selected in the third quarter of the current year for the upcoming calendar year term.  WAC membership will be approved by the Board by at least the fourth quarter Board meeting to allow the WAC time to plan the upcoming year water activities.

    Due to this committee’s purpose, it is expected that its members will actively participate in Club sponsored water activities each year.


    1. Recommend, for Board approval, the number and location of Club hosted, PWDCA sanctioned, water trials.  Negotiate contracts, for Board approval, as required.
    2. Select judge(s) for Club hosted water trials and obtains their  commitments.
    3. Select the Water Trial Chairperson(s) for each Club hosted water trial, who, must be voting members of the Club and members of the PWDCA.   The Water Trial Chairperson(s) shall then select their respective Host Committee Members including the Trial Secretary(ies) and Chief Steward(s).
    4. Following the guidelines of the PWDCA Water Trial Manual (“WT Manual”), submit the appropriate Water Trial Application for each planned trial to the PWDCA Water Trial Committee and arrange for the  required advertising in The Courier Magazine and elsewhere as appropriate.
    5. Recommend, for Board approval,  the number and location of Club sponsored dry land and water training activities, including recommending fees and ensuring site availability, amenities, accommodations, etc.
    6. In conjunction with the Club’s President and Treasurer, establish  a budget for each water activity.  Ensure the owner of the site for each water activity is named as a certificate holder on the Club’s liability insurance policy.
    7. Maintain appropriate documentation related to water activities to provide continuity and administrative ease.
    8. Maintain and control  inventory of club owned water site equipment and trial supplies such as boat(s), trailers, fencing, markers,  awards, and any other water activility equipment or supplies purchased by the Club.
    9. Review and recommend to the Board appropriate action where needed for all other water activity matters.

    The following Document (link) describes the process for implementation of Perfdog, Random Draw and Guaranteed Entry for use by Water Trial Chair Persons.

    The following Documents (links) describe the specific Roles and Responsibilities for the Water Activity Committee, the Water Trial Chair and Primary Host Committee Assignments.