Testing begins at the Junior Water Certificate (JWD) level. This level is primarily important to establish a working relationship between dog and handler. Retrieving skills, as well as basic obedience skills, are tested at this level.
Apprentice Water Dog (AWD) is the first title that a PWD team can achieve. It furthers the working relationship between dog and handler. In addition to adding time and distance to the retrieves, boat ride, and swim, dogs are expected to retrieve an item from underwater and must have more advanced basic obedience skills (such as “stay” and “come”) and be able to “hand” all of the retrieved items to the handler.
In the Working Water Dog (WWD) exercises, the dog and handler primarily work off of a boat. The dog is expected to retrieve items from the boat, including a “blind” retrieve (this is where the article is placed in the water without the dog seeing it placed). While all of the exercises at this level include retrieving, it can be one of the most challenging levels because the dog must be taught to jump off of the boat and must work at a greater distance from it’s handler.