Interview with Terrie Strom, Breeder of R Pyr Great Pyrenees
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Terrie Strom: I live in Pismo Beach, California. I have been in dogs for 25 years, 21 years as a breeder.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
Terrie Strom: My kennel name is R Pyr and I have nine dogs that live with me.
Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?
Noteworthy winners include:
- “Tess,” GCHS R Pyr Sugarland Express!
- “Elvis,” GCHS R Pyr Jail House Rock!
- “Maverick,” GCHS R Pyr Lonestar Gambler!
- “Brody,” GCHS R Pyr Euzkalzale Apache Sage!
- “BooBoo,” CH R Pyr To Kill A Mockingbird!
- “Goodie,” CH Euzkalzale Oh My Goodness!
- “Bo,” CH R Pyr Euzkalzale Boanages
Which have been my most influential sires and dams?
Terrie Strom: No question that my most influential dam is “Sugar,” GCH R Pyr Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum! “RT” GCH Chanterelle’s Easy Rider has been a big influence on where I am today with a particular look. “Elvis,” GCHS R Pyr Jail House Rock!, carried on beautiful movement.
My first brood bitch, “Goodie,” CH Euzkalzale Oh My Goodness!, set the tone for my movement and structure. Currently, “EJ,” GCHS R Pyr A Tribute To Elvis!, is producing really pretty heads and expression along with wonderful movement.
Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Terrie Strom: I am on 2.5 acres in the Central Coast of California. My puppies are whelped in my bedroom so that I can keep a close eye on them and on mom. When the pups are old enough, they go outside and are slowly introduced to the outside world.
I don’t kennel-raise my dogs. I am out with the dogs daily on the property. The pups have a couple of yards to explore, so they are on different footing, seeing different things, hearing different animal noises, and experiencing different weather.
I have to keep adults with the pups to protect them from the local predators, including the hawks and owls. At night they are put in a 10×10 covered run for safety. They soon interact with the other dogs here, and the pups learn from everyone. They also are introduced to my three goats.
What is my “process” for selecting show puppies? At what age do I make my decisions?
I try and not look at them too hard until they are 8 weeks old. I formally evaluate each of them according to the standard with help from other breeders. Then you have the puppy that best fits the standard but doesn’t have that show “it” factor. So, as a breeder, I have to decide which is the best puppy for my breeding program and for what I am trying to improve on, and balance that out with the “show” puppy while never sacrificing the standard for “show.”
This process can take a couple of weeks. So, I usually have made a decision between 8 and 10 weeks.
How do I prepare my pups for the show ring? Does my breed require any special preparation?
I prepare the pups from 4 weeks of age by stacking them on the grooming table and doing some brushing, nail trims, etc. I introduce more training as they get older, like checking the bite and ring patterns on a leash. Then I move on to hard-stacking on the ground and baiting.
Can I share my thoughts on how my breed is currently presented in the show ring?
I think my breed is well-presented overall. In the breed standard, it says the tail can be up or downwhen gaiting around the ring. Unfortunately, some judges want the tail up, and handlers physically put the tail up. This is not an animated breed and should not be expected to be that in the ring.
Are there any health-related concerns within my breed? Any special nutritional needs?
Cancer seems to be the biggest health issue, but overall, the Great Pyrenees is a very healthy breed.
In my opinion, is my breed in good condition overall? Any trends that warrant concern?
I think the Great Pyrenees is in pretty good condition. My concern is that the breed is getting too slight. I’m personally working on more bone, but keeping true to the standard. I also have concerns that the breed is being bred for pets more than as livestock guardians.
If we keep doing this, what is going to happen to their guarding instincts? I think the breed has too many “soft,” shy dogs. I do not have the answer, but I do know it is very difficult to be a breeder here in the US. We say that we are dog friendly but, in the end, the dogs will always lose to human complaints.
Is my breed well-suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?
Yes. The Great Pyrenees makes a wonderful family dog. I prefer my dogs to be placed with families that have ranches. There, the dog can do its job of guarding and have a wonderful family. You cannot take this wonderful breed and keep it in the backyard, separated from the family. His family is his flock.
Do I feel that my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
The breeders are getting older, and younger ones are not stepping up. So, I would say, “No, there are not enough preservation breeders.” Our laws in our cities and counties are making it harder and harder to be a breeder.
Are you looking for a Great Pyrenees 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 Great Pyrenees 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.
Great Pyrenees Dog Breed Magazine
Showsight Magazine is the only publication to offer dedicated Digital Breed Magazines for ALL recognized AKC Breeds.
Read and learn more about the smart Great Pyrenees dog breed with articles and information in our Great Pyrenees Dog Breed Magazine.
Great Pyrenees Breed Magazine - Showsight