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I am MEMBER IN GOOD STANDING OF:
THE CANADIAN KENNEL CLUB (Canada)
THE FEDERATION CANINE DU CANADA (Canada)
LE REUNION DES AMATEURS DE CHIENS PYRENEES (France)
THE PYRENEAN SHEPHERD CLUB OF AMERICA (United States)
LE CLUB DU GRIFFON VENDEEN (France)
THE PETERBOROUGH AND DISTRICT OBEDIENCE CLUB (Ontario)
THE OSHAWA OBEDIENCE CLUB (Ontario)
THE ONTARIO COUNTY KENNEL CLUB (Ontario)
THIS ENABLES ME TO CONTINUE MY EDUCATION AND SHARE MY EXTENSIVE KNOWLEDGE OF THESE TWO BREEDS WITH OUR CUSTOMERS. IT ALSO SERVES TO ASSURE YOU THAT WE HOLD OUR STANDARDS TO THE HIGHEST DEGREE SURPASSING THESE CLUBS' MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS AND CODES OF ETHICS.
I HAVE ATTENDED AND SUCCESSFULLY COMPETED AT CONFORMATION SHOWS, HUNTING TRIALS, HERDING TRIALS and OBEDIENCE TRIALS IN NORTH AMERICA, FRANCE & BRITAIN TO DEVELOP A DEEPER APPRECIATION OF OUR BREEDS' ABILITIES AND POTENTIAL. WITH THESE INTERESTS AND YEARS OF EXPERIENCE I BEEN A HOST, JUDGE AND AUTHOR.
I grew up in a family that always had a dog as well as my collection of animals and reptiles. My first dog was a Dachshund that I received as a birthday present when I turned 10 years old. I have never been without a dog since. I was already attending horse and dog shows as a spectator and competitor. At this young age, with my neighbour and best friend, we trained our dogs to do obedience 'just like at the dog shows 'and then went on to solicit all the neighborhood dogs and train them ourselves to do obedience and jump training (before agility was even a sport!). We put on our own exhibitions at the local parks.
After I married I expanded into the training of dogs for hunting and herding competitions. This training keeps me outdoors most of the time and having already had an appreciation of Mother Nature and her creatures these activities only enhanced my appreciation and provide and intriguing and endless education. Dogs have been a lifelong passion along with an assortment of other animals such as cats, chickens, sheep, horses, rodents and a few reptiles. All our animals are raised with the utmost respect and proper housing and care. I have never used dogs crates as a form of housing for our dogs as I do not believe that this type of housing is adequate. I would feel guilty about keeping a gold fish in a tiny gold fish bowl--never mind a dog in a tiny box!! Our dogs harmoniously live with us as part of one happy, respectful pack. I have raised my human family to appreciate all living creatures and be keenly aware of the environment and our impact on it. We REDUCE, REUSE & RECYCLE as much as possible and I encourage those around us to do the same.
For 30+ years, I have been involved in working with hounds of merit for work in the show ring, obedience ring and hunting fields. Dealing with, and familiarizing myself with a variety of hunting hounds over the years, I have gained a comparative understanding of each breeds' attributes. Since most hounds are family pets nowadays, I make myself available to you to help you enjoy your pet and better understand his inherent personality traits. We keep only a very few dogs at our home so they get the most individual attention and training as possible.
My involvement in the working ability of all our dogs has given me an honest insight into the conformation requirements and understanding of the PBGV standard and the Pyrenean Shepherd. I believe it is not enough to be capable of judging only our dogs' structure, but also to know and understand what a good working dog feels like at the end of a leash. "Correct intelligence in a healthy, useful and appropriately structured body."
I attend several all-breed dog shows each year as well as the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Fanciers of Canada Specialty show and the Pyr Shep Club of America Specialty show to showcase our very best and attain their Championship Titles. When selecting breeding stock, along with good health and conformation, I breed for an intelligent, stable, workable dog. To ignore the unique working character of the PBGV, or the Pyrenean Shepherd, is to ignore the original reason for the existence of the breed and eventually change his whole character. If a criterion for breeding is beauty alone, then these breeds will soon be bereft of their most important and endearing qualities which attracted us to the breed in the first place.
I am a member of a wide variety of dog and sporting groups in North America and overseas. I've held the positions of President, Newsletter Editor of "PBGV Pursuits", Secretary and Director of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Fanciers of Canada. I have also chaired several Specialty Shows and Field Trials. In working with hounds my appreciation of nature has resulted in having received a Certificate of Merit for Conservation Excellence of which I am very proud. I am on the Education Committee for the Pyrenean Shepherd Club of America. I have been a contributing author to numerous magazine articles with regards to our breeds, training and management to specific breed magazines and Dogs in Canada magazine.
I have written numerous articles about our two breeds and hunting and herding for The Gazette, Dogs in Canada & Hounds magazines as well as television and radio segments. I hope these interviews assist those making decisions about the type of dog they would like to own. As I age along with some of my dogs I have developed a greater appreciation for the healing and maintenance effects of wellness therapies such as massage and hydrotherapy. I have completed a course on Canine Massage which has been of great benefit to our dogs.
My kennel has received the Pedigree Show Breeder of the Year award to honor the success of our dogs in the Show Ring. Our Petits Bassets Griffons Vendéens and Bergers des Pyrénées have had the honors of Top Show Dog awards and Best in Specialty Awards and continue to win in the conformation rings and field trials in Canada and the U.S. In 2005 I was invited to speak on behalf Canadian breeders at the 2nd Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen World Congress.
I do not attend many shows with the Petits, as we both prefer the field work. But, when I do go to the shows my working hounds compete and win proving the combination of beauty and brains are possible. One of my proudest moments was with my Can. BISS Ch. & Am. Ch. Fredwell Calabash. "Henry" (pictured. He is the only Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen in North America to obtain the dual win of "Best in Specialty Show" and "Best in Field Class" at a Specialty Show. Henry was also the top producing stud dog in Canada. In 1999, Ch. Chaparral's Jigsaw also did us proud by winning "Best in Specialty Show" at the Canadian National Specialty show, and our own Ch.Ovrnundr's Lil Deuce Coupe winning "Winners Bitch". We are now breeding for our 9th generation of PBGV show winners and working hounds; each generation getting better than the last!
My Pyrenean Sheepdogs or Berger des Pyrenees also are a source of great pride. My interest in this little shepherd was piqued on a trip to France for the Petits Bassets Griffons Vendéens. At an all-breed show I saw these cute little "Benji" dogs and remarked to my traveling companion what an interesting looking little breed. Not paying any more attention and focusing on the hound breeds at the show we enjoyed our holiday in France and eventually returned home. But, little did I know the impact these little sheep dogs would have on me. Six months later I still could not stop thinking of the breed and so did some research at the library where very little information was available. I ordered a book from France about the breed and became more entranced. A year later I bought my first Pyr Shep from La Brise kennels in the U.S. Three years later I was back in France to pick up two more of these wonderful little dogs from the well respected kennel Oustaou de Padel.
Since 1996 our Pyrenean Shepherds have been #1 in the conformation ring in Canada with consistent Group placements and Specialty wins. Each litter, each Specialty and each new Pyr Shep owner and breeder we meet gives us more insight into the breed and we hope to share as much of this knowledge as we can with other enthusiasts of this remarkable little sheep dog. I visit France on a regular basis to meet owners & kennels and see the dogs working in the environment for which they were designed.
Can. Ch. Phurz Rigolo at Chaparral CDwas #1 conformation Berger des Pyrénées in Canada for 1996. At the 1996 Pyrenean Shepherd Club of America Specialty Show, she was awarded Best of Opposite Sex. In 1997, Jacques placed Best of Opposite Sex and Best of Winners at the Pyr Shep Nationals in Pennsylvania under French Pyr Shep breeder/judge M. Guy Mansencal (Past President of the Pyrenean Dog Club of France), as well as attaining the title of #1 Berger des Pyrénées in Canada for 1997 and into 1998. In 1998 and 1999 one of our French imports Ch.Ourson de l'Oustaou de Padel, "Teddy", took the same honors of Best of Opposite Sex, Winners Dog and Best Puppy at the Pyrenean Shepherd Nationals under M. Dupas (Secretary of the Pyrenean Dog Club of France) and Mr. Fred Lanting, U.S.A. Teddy has not looked back winning Specialty Shows a total of 4 times now.
The new millennium brought top honors to our Can/PSCA Ch. Chaparral Gascon de La Brise winning Best in Specialty Show making him the top-winning Pyrenean Shepherd of all time in North America! 2001 continued our successes with our Ch.Ourson de L'Oustaou de Padel CD winning Best in Specialty Show under M. Pecoult, President of the French Pyrenean Dog Club. In 2003 under esteemed judge & breeder M. Mansencal, Past-President of the French Pyrenean Dog Club our male, Ch. Ourson de L'Oustaou de Padel CD, won Best in Specialty Show once again and his daughter Ch. Chaparral's Pooka won Best of Winners & Best of Opposite Sex.
In 2004 I attended the French National
Specialty Show with our own Ch.
Ourson de L'Oustaou de Padel CD.
show consisted of 160 Pyr Sheps and Ourson placed Excellent
and 5th in the Open Male Class! A fabulous experience and
achievement! I travel to France about every two years to meet new
breeders and keep in touch with the old ones as well as bring home new
Our fun with both these breeds
the conformation rings, the fields & forests, and in the herding