Judge: Soft-and-fluffy yet rough-around-the-edges Pyrenees seeks loyal and patient friend
Judge is a dog who turns heads. Whether it’s from those who click on his profile online or who do a doubletake as the large white floof trots by with one of his volunteer pals, there’s no doubt he’s a looker. It’s not for lack of interest that Judge has been at our humane center for longer than most dogs. However, he’s particular – the reserved and cautious dog wins hearts but is slow to give his trust.
“What Judge needs is time,” said Behavior and Training Coordinator Jackie Laubacher. “Time to adjust. Time alone. Time to get to know his new person slowly.”
Before he was transferred into our care in 2019, Judge had been a stray in Sussex County, Virginia. Although he came to us with little known of his background, Jackie and others who have worked with the 4-year-old Great Pyrenees at our humane center have gotten to know and love him and all his quirks, many of which are expected for his breed.
Jackie elaborated, “They are protective, devoted and can be stubborn.” However, she said, Judge has a “silly, playful side that will surface when he is most comfortable.”
One of the people with whom he’s most comfortable is devoted volunteer Laura Cleveland. She participates in our Green Team, providing dog training and enrichment, and in the Running Buddies program, exercising our most high-energy dogs. Laura calls Judge her best friend, and by all measures, the feeling is mutual. But when they were first getting to know one another, it was slow going.
“Jackie introduced us, and it was about four meet and greets until I could take him out alone,” Laura said. “Even after a month or so I still would let him come to me on his terms.”
She consistently visited with Judge, taking him on walks and jogs on scheduled Running Buddies days and spent time with him during her Green Team shifts as well.
“Now that we are the best of friends, he runs around and with me, he pounces and play bows, sits and shakes. He nudges me with his head to pet him, and he LOVES to be brushed,” said Laura.
Along with patience, other keys to working with Judge are hotdogs and cheese—his favorite training rewards. He also really enjoys time outdoors. The more time he gets to be outside jogging and walking, the happier he seems. During the hot Virginia summers, Laura also spends quiet time with him in the shade since his thick coat makes him prone to overheating.
The right adopter for Judge will have an adult-only home without other dogs. Plan to come for several meetings with Judge before an overnight trial. Our trainers will work with potential adopters in order to continue the great progress he has made with us.
Tabitha Treloar joined the Richmond SPCA in 2005 as an admissions counselor and has been our director of communications since 2010. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and PRSA Richmond.
Tabitha and her husband live in Richmond with five Richmond SPCA alumni – two cats and three dogs.