DOTING dog breeder Stacy Guilfoyle has been presenting St Bernards on the show circuit for nearly a quarter of a century.
She has bred and titled more than 20 Australian champions and says the gentle giants are worth drooling over.
Cooper - all 85 kilograms of him - won top St Bernard in the country last year, while Ms Guilfoyle's Walloon kennel, Draycan, took out top St Bernard breeder in Australia.
Showing off her big Beethovens as far south as Sydney is a four-legged love affair for Ms Guilfoyle and show partner Wayne Carter, who breeds and shows pedigree cattle dogs.
Both are busily conditioning their breeds for the Ipswich Show Dog competition on May 14, after returning with runner up best in show in the St Bernard Specialty at the Sydney Royal Easter Show last week.
"I've always had the Bernards and Wayne has always had cattle dogs," Ms Guilfoyle said.
"Different dogs are for different people. I could never have cattle dogs. They are far too active for me and they're a bit noisy like Wayne, they never shut up. The Bernards are more laid back."
Mr Carter, who has been competing for 30 years, is proud owner of Stoker (pictured), a red cattle dog born of 15-year-old frozen semen.
The four-month-old pup is currently the number one rising star cattle dog in Queensland in 2014.
"Between the two of us we had the top cattle dogs and top Saints in the country last year," he said.
Ms Guilfoyle described bath time as a mammoth task.
"It will take us three hours to groom Cooper for a show," she said.
The only way to keep their fur free from slobber is to dress them in human clothes and strap a bib to their necks.
"Trying to keep Cooper clean and in condition is a big job," said the sales rep and nutritionist for Royal Canin.
"It's not just the day of the show; it's nutritionally what you feed the dog, which is going to come through on the coat."
Chief steward Lorna Hinsch said she anticipated more than 350 entries and more than 150 breeds at this year's Ipswich Show.
Judging will take place on Wednesday, May 14 from 9am in the main arena at Ipswich Showgrounds.
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