Showsight Presents The Pumi

Pumi Q& A

“THE PUMI IS CUTE AND WHIMSICAL IN LOOKS AND THOSE EARS, HOW CAN YOU NOT SMILE.

However, behind that cute expression is a very serious working dog with extremely high intelligence. Because of this they need and re- quire a job or Pumi and owner will be unhappy.”

Debra Thornton continued

ever watched the drive, the happiness as the dog runs the course barking with joy, who couldn’t smile and know this is special! These dogs are my heart. I love my previous breed and will always consider myself a Newf person, but my dogs sleep with me, run to me and make me feel special in every way. When I pack to go to an assignment, they jump into the suitcase and I feel horrible pushing them out. I have never had more devoted dogs. The breed is amazing. Smart, devoted, loving and demanding all describe a Pumi. If you don’t have the time, it is not a breed for you. They demand your attention, a job and your unconditional love. THERESAWEBER My history in dogs really

much needed as hard as it is to prepare and address, it will help guide persons through the planning. Another part of my life I am a flight nanny (escorting beloved pets and all animals to their destination so they are never alone). Along with that I am an international pet transportation facilita- tor. My life is really all about the dogs and I love it. The most important thing a prospective owner should know about the breed? The Pumi is cute and whimsical in looks and those ears, how can you not smile. However, behind that cute expression is a very serious working dog with extremely high intel- ligence. Because of this they need and require a job or Pumi and owner will be unhappy. That job can be being an integral part of the family, herding, conformation, agility, obedience, jogging, dock diving, lure coursing, fly ball etc...so many activities (jobs). The need the mental and physical stimulation. The more they get the happier they are. There are always willing to learn and eagerly aim to please. Pumi’s do not shed, but do need to be combed out periodically and trimmed as necessary to keep the coat in shape. The biggest misconception about the breed? Their cute whim- sical expression is misleading as to their serious work ethic. They are fabulous family dogs but need mental and physical stimula- tion. They are not just cute teddy bears who are content to sit on the couch! Do they chill, cuddle and have an off button? Oh yes and are great snugglers but they need a job so they can be happy and content. They need to be a very involved part of the family—in fact they demand it. Without that they will not be happy. At what age do I choose a show prospect? Picking a show pup, well that is quite a challenge right? Yes it certainly is but not always. We as breeders are always learning from our past experiences. We acquire a keen eye. Some of the special ones can simply stand out! Does it take much dedication and knowledge? Absolutely! But also so very much interacting, providing much stimulation and lots of watching. At about four weeks, as mobility really starts allowing them to start wrestling, playing and exploring. You watch for the explor- ers, the followers and the content or shy ones. That can change over the next few weeks but I watch and interact. They start going outside. I add new items for stimulation. I start taking them on safe “field trips”. I watch and watch and watch. Who demands attention? Who says meeee, meee, meee! I watch them play....hmmm who is that one that keeps set- ting him/herself up naturally? Who is that nice mover? Do I keep seeing the same one? I watch more. I put them on the table. Do I feel what I see? It’s incredible how they start differentiating themselves. At eight weeks I do my final evaluation of movement and structure. That along with knowledge and many years of experi- ence help form the dreams for each pup to be happy and thrive in

begins as a little girl. I trained my first dog, a Vizsla, when I was just ten years old. Shortly there after I rescued my first dog, his name was “Peanuts”. My love of dogs, all critters big and small, already in my soul, only grew as time and school went on. After college I trained as a Veterinary Techni- cian as secondary training and had hands on experience under wonderful veterinarians at a large and small animal hospital

in a suburb of St Paul, Minnesota. My first large breed dog was a Great Pyrenees. After he passed I was ready for another dog and fell in love with the Newfound- land. With great mentors I was fortunate to train, and show many great dogs as well as start my breeding program. I learned so much and gained a keen eye for structure and movement. With Newfoundlands as my specialty I began handling. I have met many great people and dogs thru handling and forward to most recent I found my love of the Pumi! I started in the breed while they were still in Miscellaneous. I began my breeding pro- gram with a wonderful foundation. I adore the breed and I love being owned by my crew of them. I am a proud breeder. I live in California in a suburb just north of LA. My life is ded- icated to the dogs. I manage my client’s Kuvasz and their breeding program as well as my own love of the Pumi breed. I proudly breed Pumik for soundness, structure and temperament. I will be founding an animal charity run for dogs and their person(s). It will really be just a fun day for the dogs of all shapes and sizes to spend time with their owners for a great cause. I am also starting a program to assist people to plan for their beloved pet’s care when they are no longer able to. This I think is

S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , O CTOBER 2019 • 277

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