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Overlook Lisiji Portuguese Water Dogs | Marilu Novy

Overlook Lisiji Portuguese Water Dogs | Marilu Novy

Interview with Working Group Breeder Marilu Novy | Overlook Lisiji Portuguese Water Dogs

Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Marilu Novy: Currently, I live in Columbus, Georgia, with four Portuguese Water Dogs, an antique Border Collie, and an antique Husband. I have been in purebred dogs for 22-plus years and breeding for 20 years.

What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
Marilu Novy: I have bred under the kennel name of Overlook Portuguese Water Dogs. In recent years, I have changed to Overlook Lisiji Portuguese Water Dogs, as CJ Farve and I have formed a partnership with our breeding program.

Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?
Marilu Novy: We have been fortunate to have had a number of top PWDs that came to us at the guidance of our mentors, Colville and Ann Jackson, including “Jackson,” BVIS GCH Belaluna Ferncliff Jackson RA JWD AOE AOM. This beautiful silver boy reached #3 Breed and All-Breed in his show career. Jackson was awarded an Award of Merit at Westminster. He is the sire of “Honey,” GCHP Overlook Lisiji Meant to Bee DN ACT1 CGC AOM, who reached #1 Bitch in Breed during 2019. Honey is the dam of “Hope,” GCH Overlook Lisiji Everything Will Bee Alright, our new star. She is showing great promise to follow those who came before her.

Which have been my most influential sires and dams?
Marilu Novy: The granddam of our brood is “Bee,” GCHB Aviators Blackjack Drama Queen at Overlook CD RE NAP OJP OFP WWDX CGCU TKI GROM. Bee has excelled in every ring she has entered, conformation and performance. She is our beautiful foundation bitch, and the daughter of “Ladybug,” GCH Aviators Luck Be a Lady.

Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Marilu Novy: All of our Portuguese Water Dogs are raised in our homes. They receive the best care and they are introduced to different environments as they grow. For the first few weeks, they are in the nursery with supervision 24/7. It is so much fun watching these wee things grow from wobbly weevils to strong pups.

What is my “process” for selecting show puppies? At what age do I make my decisions?
Marilu Novy: We temperament test all pups and review their structure at eight weeks. At that point in time, you have a brief glimpse of what they will look like as adults. We have spent so much time with the pups, watching their movement, temperament, and attitude, that picking a show dog is relatively easy. Having a partner in breeding is an asset, since we can evaluate each other’s litters as they grow. Our pups go to their new homes at 8-9 weeks old. They go home somewhat potty trained, leash-broken, and crate-trained.

Are Performance and Companion titles important to me as a breeder? Are parent club titles?
Marilu Novy: In breeding, all dogs should have some titles at one end or the other of their name. In our house, all of our dogs are trained to do what they were bred to do. We fully believe that a PWD is capable of doing just about anything. As you can see from above, they do have titles at both ends. Conformation is so important in showing that the dogs are bred to the Breed Standard, and performance shows that they are capable of doing what they are bred to do. A poorly made dog cannot swim easily and has a hard time at other dog sports. When a person requesting a puppy asks for a pet puppy, they need to understand that they really want that show dog. They are the best dog for them because they are built according to their Breed Standard. As breeders, we strive for an entire litter of show puppies. Are they all placed in show homes? Of course not, but they are placed in great homes. After all, even a campaigned show dog is first a loving house pet!

Is my breed well-suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?
Marilu Novy: Portuguese Water Dogs are as wonderful as they can be, but they are not for everyone. They are definitely not for the first-time pet owner. Naturally, there are exceptions, but they are head-strong as puppies with the goal of wrapping you around their finger. They are for active families, as they need a job to do. Ninety percent of all water dogs are not couch potatoes. They are the rulers of your home. Always work with a breeder in water dogs who is willing to mentor a family through their first months at home. We are with the puppies throughout their lives.

Do I feel that my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Marilu Novy: There are many great breeders of Portuguese Water Dogs. We are working to improve the breed through health, structure, and movement. It is important to recognize the entire dog. The Portuguese Water Dog Club of America and the Portuguese Water Dog Foundation are continuing to strive to improve the health of the dogs.
The unfortunate part of our breed is the surge of Internet breeders. These are not preservation breeders and do not follow the guidelines of the PWDCA on health, breeding underage dogs—all for a profit. They are not helping the breed. Always go with reputable breeders through word-of-mouth, the Breeders List on the PWDCA website, and recommendations from PWD owners. A well-bred dog will be your companion for many years.
Finally, to understand the Portuguese Water Dog you need a sense of humor. They will “try” you and make you laugh at any moment.

For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with a Working Dog?
Marilu Novy: I had a young dog in a water trial where she was supposed to bring me the dummy to hand from the water. In practice, she was fairly reliable with this exercise, but on the day that it counted, she ran past me to the corner of the ring, dug a hole, and dropped the dummy in, covered it up, and sat beautifully on top of it. You have to laugh. “Bee” has made many an obedience and agility judge laugh at what she can create in their rings… and then have beautiful moments of glory. I love this nature of the breed and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Overlook Lisiji Portuguese Water Dogs | Marilu Novy