Showsight Presents the Great Pyrenees

GREAT PYRENEES THE

1. Where do you live? What do you do “outside” of dogs? 2. In popularity, Great Pyrenees currently rank #66 out of 192. Does the average person in the street recognize him? Is this good or bad when it comes to placing puppies? 3. Few of these dogs really “work” anymore. How has he adapted to civilian life? What qualities as an unmatched livestock guardian also come in handy around the house? 4. A big strong Working dog requires a special household to be a perfect fit. What about the breed makes him an ideal companion? Any drawbacks? 5. What special challenges do Great Pyrenees breeders face in our current economic and social climate? 6. At what age do you start to see definite signs of show-wor- thiness (or lack thereof)? 7. Carting a big, heavy dog (or dogs) to shows is not for the faint of heart. What is it that makes it all worthwhile? 8. What is the most important thing about the breed for a novice to keep in mind when judging? 9. What is your ultimate goal for the breed? 10. What is your favorite dog show memory? 11. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate. TERRIE STROM My name is Terrie Strom of R Pyr Great Pyrenees. I live on 2.5 acres just north of Santa Bar- bara. I started showing in 1997 and breeding in 2001. This is the only breed I’ve owned. I have over 70 AKC Champions. I love this breed like no other. My passion is showing my dogs and I enjoy helping new comers show their dogs. It makes me happy when families get their puppies from me and I can help bring them the same joy I have gotten from this wonderful breed. I live in Arroyo Grande, California. Outside of dogs, I man- age my property. Does the average person in the street recognize the breed? No, the average person does not know the breed. I am glad this is not a popular breed and it is not about placing puppies. It is about educating people before they get a Great Pyrenees puppy. When they don’t recognize the breed it is an opportunity to edu- cate them and then stimulate interest in the breed. How has the breed adapted to civilian life? I get a lot of calls from families that have small ranches so they are looking for a guardian. Some families that have smaller dogs and children are

looking for a guardian because of the coyotes that are coming into the city areas. These dogs are the family pet and still do a job. More and more I get inquiries for therapy dogs. This is a perfect fit. They are calm and love to be petted. What about the breed makes them an ideal companion? Because of their calm nature they make a good family pet. They are good with kids and other pets. They do well inside or outside but they still need exercise. A couple of good walks a day is good for both the dog and walker. Their size can be a drawback. They eat less than you would expect and have very good health over- all. The biggest drawback is their barking especially if you have neighbors that are not dog friendly. They need to be brushed each week which is good bonding time. What special challenges do Great Pyrenees breeders face in our current economic and social climate? I think in some ways our society is less tolerable of dogs. In one hand they want the companion but on the other they don’t have the time to care for them. If you do not spend time with your dog, you will have behavior issues. Breeders are becoming a thing of the past. There are so many rules and regulations for owning, keeping, and breeding dogs that now no one wants to be bothered. Then you have all the dogs in shelters and responsible breeders are get- ting a bad rap. The challenge of Great Pyrenees is their size. I am a small breeder with limited litters each year. Their size limits my numbers. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthi- ness? At eight weeks you can see a lot. Then I see more when they go to their first show at six months. What is it that makes showing dogs all worthwhile? Show- ing is my passion. Showing brings a bond to me and my dogs. The best way I can describe it is when you are showing your dog and everything clicks. It all comes together and you are a team. Like in golf when you hit the “sweet” spot and your ball just flies down the fairway. Who cares what your score is. You know you hit it just right and it felt good. You know when you and your dog are in sync. It feels good. You hope that you win but no mat- ter what you walk away knowing you and your dog did great. That’s why I show. The wins are secondary. What is the most important thing about the breed for a nov- ice to keep in mind when judging? That they can do the job in which they were bred to do. Not the most showy dog. My ultimate goal for the breed? Keeping true to their function. We still use that today. This would include health and temperament. My favorite dog show memory? Finishing my first bred-by dog out of the bred-by class going Best of Breed over top Spe- cials 18 years ago and four of us gals and nine Pyrs traveling from California to Massachusetts for our National. Oh how we laughed! “You can’t have just one” The work is great but the rewards are greater.

“THE BEST WAY I CAN DESCRIBE IT IS WHEN YOU ARE SHOWING YOUR DOG AND EVERYTHING CLICKS.”

354 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , N OVEMBER 2019

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