PHILADELPHIA — Dr. Patricia Princehouse may be a familar name and face to some here in Northeast Ohio. She's a professor at Case Western Reserve University.
But Dr. Princehouse's hobby is breeding Pyrenean Shepherds, a rare breed of dog known for its command of the farmlands of France. Dr. Princehouse has been breeding for 40 years and co-owns Sasha, a Pyrenean Shepherd who appeared on the National Dog Show on Thanksgiving Day in Philadelphia.
“For the show, its like you have an athlete that's was going to the prom, whose all gussied up," Dr. Princehouse tells 3News.
Sasha, who is seven-and-a-half years old, won the blue ribbon in the Herding Group category. She then went on to win reserve best in show, finishing runner up to Claire, who was the first repeat winner in National Dog Show history.
Sasha's handler, Ruthellen Viall, knows that competing and winning at this level is no easy task. "I always call the show dogs 'Olympic athletes.' To me, that's what they are," she says.
But for pure bred dog owners and breeders, the shows are just the icing on the cake to all of the hard work, time, and money that's put into showing dogs.
"People don't realize that dog show people fund millions of dollars in research," explains Dr. Princehouse.
That research goes toward helping rare breeds like Sasha and others to survive.
"People think of this as a rich sport, or maybe you get rich breeding puppies or stuff like that," Dr. Princehouse adds. "No, we keep the day job in order to spend the money on the dogs."
You can watch highlights of the Best in Show judging from the 2021 National Dog Show below: