Debra Thornton

dog breeder & judge


In 1983, I acquired my first Newfoundland while living in California.  Over the next 34 years, I bred more than 100 AKC Champions including a number of National Specialty winners and #1 nationally ranked dogs under the Cypress Bay Kennel prefix.

I added a second breed to my program in 2000 breeding and showing Portuguese Water Dogs.  I produced a number of Champions during this 10 year period.

In 2000, I was also approved to judge Newfoundlands.  I slowly worked to add additional breeds and I am currently approved to judge approximately 130 breeds including all of the dogs in the Working, Hound, Sporting and most of the Terrier group.  I have judged all breed and specialty shows in Ireland, UK, Italy, Sweden, Australia, China, Columbia, Spain and South Korea.

In 2012, I saw and fell in love with the Pumik.  At that time, they were working on becoming recognized as a new breed in the US.  As always, I jumped into this new breed and did considerable research.  My first two dogs were imported from Hungary and my third I bought from Chris Levy.  I worked on the board of the Hungarian Pumi Club of America to help establish the Pumi in the herding group.  I have produced several Champions from my first litters and I am continuing to breed this wonderful dog.  The future is exciting as this breed is healthy and many people are discovering the many venues these dogs have success; ie, conformation, herding, lurecoursing, scent work and agility.  They can do it all!

My “give back” is founding the Animal Care Association of Mexico.  This charitable organization helps rescue street animals as well as providing spay/neuter programs within Acapulco.  Monthly as many as 100 dogs and cats are spayed/neutered through this program.

I live in Georgia with my husband Marv.  I have held board positions with the Hatboro Dog Club, the Charlottesville-Albemarle as President as well as a board position.  I am currently on the board of the American Dog Judge Association.