Interview with Non-Sporting Group Breeder Lori Pendergast
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Lori Pendergast: I live in western Kansas and have been breeding Shiba Inu for 20-plus years.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
Lori Pendergast: My kennel name is Pendragon Shiba Inu. I keep 8–10 dogs most of the time, but some are retired veterans that are spayed/neutered.
Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?
Lori Pendergast: GCH CH Copperdot’s Habataku Kumiai was my first noteworthy winner and my foundation male. He passed away at 15 years in 2020. He was bred by Diana Smiley, a well-known Shiba Inu breeder. “Kumi” was owner-handled and ranked in the Top 5 for several years. My bred-by dog, GCHG Pendragon Born On The Bayou (Bubba), won the National in 2018, went Select at Westminster 2019, and has a RBIS. Currently, I am campaigning a dog with his breeders and co-owners. GCHG Jogoso’s Wild West At Pendragon (Cody) finished 2021 No. 1 in Breed and All-Breed, and won the 2021 National.
Which have been my most influential sires and dams?
Lori Pendergast: GCH CH Copperdot’s Habataku Kumiai was my foundation male and CH Miasia’s Haiku At Pendragon was my foundation dam. They both earned Register of Merit (ROM) awards from the National Shiba Club of America.
Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Lori Pendergast: I have a small kennel property with large yards and inside/outside facilities for all of the dogs. The puppies are whelped and raised in my home.
What is my “process” for selecting show puppies? At what age did I make my decisions?
Lori Pendergast: Temperament and looks. Sometimes, I place show quality pups in a companion home because I don’t want to keep a lot of dogs, need another male, etc. I have a pretty good idea between 5 and 8 weeks of age. After years of breeding, if the pup reminds me of a past wonderful dog, I will probably keep it to adulthood and see how it turns out.
How do I prepare my pups for the show ring? Does my breed require any special preparation?
Lori Pendergast: Socialization is the biggest thing, so they can take the show experience in stride and have a good time. Other than that, basic table stacking and gaiting nicely on a loose lead are the main things.
Can I share my thoughts on how my breed is currently presented in the show ring?
Lori Pendergast: I would like to see more dogs shown on a loose lead at a brisk trot. They are not supposed to be run at a fast speed and they should be able to free-stack on the floor.
Are there any health-related concerns within my breed? Any special nutritional needs?
Lori Pendergast: The parent club asks for eye, patella, and hip exams to be CHIC certified. It seems like a lot of Shibas have allergies these days. They are usually “easy keepers” in terms of food and do fine on a good quality dog food. I give mine fish oil caps in their dinner—I think it helps with nice skin and coats.
In my opinion, is my breed in good condition overall. Any trends that warrant concern?
Lori Pendergast: I think the breed is in good condition overall when bred by responsible breeders. I do hear some sad stories from people who had a “puppy mill dog” with various health issues that did not live a long life. Temperaments are better than they were when I first started in the breed.
Is my breed well-suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?
Lori Pendergast: They are well-suited to be a family dog. If there are children in the home, they need to be educated to respect the dog and keep it safe (like doors and gates closed, on a leash outside, etc.). I like placing my dogs with someone who has already had a Shiba Inu or is looking for a second one.
Do I feel that my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Lori Pendergast: Yes, I do.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with a Non-Sporting Dog?
Lori Pendergast: Winning the National with a dog I took in for a friend. She needed an extra hand and the judge loved the bitch, even though she didn’t want to show for me and kept looking at and barking for her “mom.”