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Re: [PyrNet-L] French National

I'll be happy to jump in!  We just got back from our first (and
hopefully not the last)
French National.  What a great time!

The French club has a show for a few types of breeds, among them the
pyrenean mountain dog,
pyrenean shephard, and pyrenean mastiff.  It was the first time I've
seen pyrenean mastiffs in person,
and they were big!  The females are about the same size as our male
pyrs, and the male mastiffs were
close to 200 lbs.  All were heavily marked and seemed to have very nice
temperments.  There were not
alot of mastiffs there, from what we were able to figure out, not many
in France as a whole.  These dogs that were at the show came from

Lots and lots of pyr sheps!  All sizes and shapes.   Saw alot of them
outside of the show as well.  Seems
to be a popular breed.  As a matter of fact, the pyr shep took the best
in show over the pyr.

The pyrs were wonderful!  Really nice dogs, even nicer people.  Even
though we did not speak French, we
were made to feel right at home by many of the people there. The way the
show was organized was quite
different from the way it is done in the US.  About 8 rings going at
once, with all sorts of  stuff going on--very
confusing!  Many thanks to Joe Gentzel for helping us figure out what
was going on!  At one point, we were
chuckling because one woman was not pleased how her husband was gaiting
their dog--she took the leash
from him and just took the dog for another spin around the ring!  The
judges there also give a written evaluation of each dog, so that takes
some time while they dictate their thoughts to the person writing them
down.    The way the dogs are shown is much different from here as
well.  The dogs are not bathed, or groomed for the show.  So it was not
uncommom to pet one and find a good mat by the ears.  The handlers
are not what we would call professional handlers, so it was interesting
to see how the dogs were presented.

The one thing that I noticed was the heads.  What beautiful heads!  The
eyes were very dark and for the most part, had the beautiful gaze that
people talk about.  And the size of the dogs.  Much bigger
than the dogs that were at the national.  I would say that many of their
bitches were bigger than many of the
males in chicago.