History of the Pyrenean Mastiff building on a previous post from June. (For a recap: https://www.pyreneanmastiffassociation.org/post/here-is-some-did-you-know-history-of-the-pm)
We have talked about history of the breed in other countries but here is some that leads up to History of the Pyrenean Mastiff in the US.
Our previous post is what is considered the first Era of the Pyrenean Mastiff, now we will touch on what is known as the 2nd Era.
This Era is some of the more recent history that begins where we left off with the recovery of the Pyrenean Mastiff. A very important dog to mention is Khan who was 78 cm at the withers, he was born in 1967 in the state of Huesca. Khan along with Simba, Thor, and Perro were males and Iru and Uska for females that were outstanding for this time. Some other important dogs were Trotsky, Berna, Dula, Katy, Graz, and Bilda that began helping shape our breed. In the 1980s the breed began to gain recognition outside its home region and began to spread through other regions of Spain. The breed began to expand across Europe. It began to spread to Sweden where their club was formed in 1985, then made its way to to various other countries.
The Pyrenean Mastiff made it's first known landing in the US in 1996. The first US kennel was De la Tierra Alta in CA where PMCA - Pyrenean Mastiff Club of America was formed. De la Tierra Alta breeder, Karin Haywood/Graefe dedicated much of her early years researching the Pyrenean Mastiff. There is a youtube video available of an interview she did with Rafael Malo Alcrudo in the 90s. (https://youtu.be/hDLSiDrQVZQ)
Wendy and Paul Ponzio imported their first PM shortly after Karin, approximately 6 months later. They had 1 litter initially then more recently had a 2nd litter.
The breed however did not really start to gain traction in the US until 2018 when Pyrenean Mastiffs USA Club - PMUSA was formed. Prior to this some had only 1 litter then stopped. There were 4 active breeders in the US before PMUSA was formed and as of today only 2 of them continue to breed. The four active breeders were De la Tierra Alta, Cinco Deseos - Brenda Negri, Hidden Meadow Alpaca, Pyrenean Mastiffs de Monte Sano. Today of those 4 still breeding are Hidden Meadow and Pyrenean Mastiffs de Monte Sano, Hidden Meadow Alpaca began their journey with the Pyrenean Mastiff in 2003.
PMUSA helped network potential owners and breeders to breeders overseas which resulted in over 40 imported dogs between 2018 and 2022. PMUSA had a huge push to educate the public about the Pyrenean Mastiff which helped with people being able to learn more about the breed. However, both PMUSA and PMCA are no longer as of the end of 2021 with the passing of PMCA President and De La Tierra Alta Kennel owner Karin Haywood/Graefe and the dissolution of Pyrenean Mastiffs USA Club.
Pyrenean Mastiffs Association of America is in works and hoping to go live for membership in August of 2022. The Founding members have been working diligently to build a stronger more stable club to ensure the future of the Pyrenean Mastiff in the United States and to provide support to breed enthusiasts, breeders and owners.
Here we have pictured Thor and Dula photo taken in 1978 photo credit Rafael Malo Alcrudo These dogs look a little different than the dogs we have today, with selective breeding we now have the modern Pyrenean Mastiff we have today. You can still see some of the traits of today's dogs in many of the early dogs.