Interview with Doreen MacPherson, Breeder of Galaxy Kuvasz
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Doreen MacPherson: I live in Michigan. I have been involved with Kuvasz for 31 years and have been breeding for 25 years.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
Doreen MacPherson: My kennel name is Galaxy Kuvasz.
Which show dogs from the past have been your noteworthy winners?
Doreen MacPherson: I have Group placements on many of my dogs over the years. My most noteworthy dog was “ChaCha,” CH Galaxy’s Dancer In The Moonlight.
Which have been my most influential sires and dams?
Doreen MacPherson: My most influential past dog was CH Galaxy’s Starlight Dancer, “Cleo.” She produced several Champions and multiple Group winners like “ChaCha” and “Tanner.” I am very excited about the future with multiple Group-placer and sire, CH Galaxy’s Hunter Of The Sky, “O’rion.”
Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Doreen MacPherson: I am a small hobby breeder. My puppies are raised in the house. I have fenced yards for exercise.
What is my “process” for selecting Show Puppies? Performance Puppies?
Doreen MacPherson: I evaluate puppies at 8 weeks of age. Normally, I try to find someone involved in dogs or another breeder to discuss the litter. I assess structure, type, and temperament.
Do I compete in Performance Events? In Parent Club Tests & Trials?
Doreen MacPherson: I participate in Rally or Obedience events. Multiple organizations run these types of events.
Is “performance” part of my decision-making when it comes to breeding?
Doreen MacPherson: I breed a capable and versatile Kuvasz. With training, I would expect that my puppies would be able to compete in Performance events or as livestock guardians.
How would I define “conditioning” as it relates to my breed?
Doreen MacPherson: A Kuvasz needs the appropriate amount of exercise for metal stimulation and physical conditioning.
Are there any health-related concerns in my breed? Any special nutritional needs?
Doreen MacPherson: A Kuvasz should be a healthy livestock guardian. Kuvasz were traditionally fed with the diet of livestock and leftovers from the shepherd. This diet is meats plus grains. The breed is slow to mature, and protein amounts in food need to match the development phase or maintenance.
Do I think my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Doreen MacPherson: No. In addition, the ages of most breeders in the US are over 50. When I started in the breed, we had about 24 breeders. I believe that we are now less than half that number.
Is my breed well suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?
Doreen MacPherson: A female Kuvasz should be 80 pounds and males should be over 100 pounds. The breed needs stimulation, training, and exercise. I believe that you need a good-sized, fenced area. Kuvasz do very well as property or livestock guardians. The Kuvasz will bark to notify you of a change in the environment. Livestock could be a smaller breed of dog, chickens, goats, etc. Kuvasz will protect their “family” from birds of prey to coyotes to bear.
What is the biggest misconception about my breed? What is my breed’s best-kept secret?
Doreen MacPherson: For me, Kuvasz are an intelligent, thinking breed, which requires your time and attention. Kuvasz do shed, but regular grooming appointments and brushing can mitigate hair in your house. Please talk to Kuvasz owners or breeders to decide if you can meet the dog’s needs.
If I could share a comment or two with judges of my breed, what would I like to say to them?
Doreen MacPherson: Judges, please have confident, consistent ring procedure. As a guardian breed, examine the head and teeth, but please don’t stare down the dog or spend lots of time counting teeth. Approach the dog from the front every time. If you do the dentition exam second, then please take the time to move yourself to the front of the dog.
Do I have any words of wisdom to pass along to newer breeders?
Doreen MacPherson: Any new breeder needs to have a strong relationship with an existing Kuvasz breeder. Finding breeding stock requires a knowledgeable mentor. The breed is rare, with low numbers worldwide. Advertising is required to allow people to learn about the breed and seek out your puppies or older dogs.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with a Working Dog?
Doreen MacPherson: As a rare breed, judges have to really think about the overall quality of the example in the Group ring. I was exhibiting my girl in a large Group ring with 30 other breeds. I was second from the end in 90-degree heat outside. The judge picked her Group winner and turned entirely around to find us for a Group 2.
Are you looking for a Kuvasz puppy?
The best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with a purebred dog is to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Not sure where to begin finding a breeder?
Contact the National Parent Club’s Breeder Referral person, which you can find on the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts page.
Want to help rescue and re-home a Kuvasz dog?
Did you know nearly every recognized AKC purebred has a dedicated rescue group? Find your new best friend on the AKC Rescue Network Listing.
Kuvasz Dog Breed Magazine
Read and learn more about the loyal Kuvasz dog breed with articles and information in our Kuvasz Breed Magazine.
Kuvasz Breed Magazine - Showsight