Great Pyrenees, Breed of the Week

Great Pyrenees, Breed of the Week

HAVE YOU ENTERED OUR TREAT GIVEAWAY?!? DO IT NOW!!! Then come back and read about the Great Pyrenees, pretty please.

I don’t know if y’all noticed, but Klondike, the pretty white dog in yesterday’s post, is a Great Pyrenees, also known as a Pyrenean Mountain Dog. I’ve long said that I’d like our next dog to be a Great Pyr, along with a house in the country, more land, lots of chickens and a couple of goats … and I realized that the Great Pyrenees has never been featured here as a breed of the week. WHAT?! Yes.

Guarding his bone
Klondike the Great Pyrenees, Guardian of the Crown Knuckle

The Great Pyrenees is known as the Defender of the Flock, which is why I’d love one, in addition to tons of flock. Everyone I’ve talked to, everything I read, says that the Great Pyr needs a job and is not a house pet if they’re meant to guard the flock. I don’t know if you heard my friend in yesterday’s video, but Klondike lives outside, not out of necessity, but by choice. He knows that it’s his job to guard his family and he wants to be outside doing his job.

A Great Pyr with his mama, in Oklahoma
Klondike and his mama – Klondike is a big dog

The first Great Pyrs I met were on a chicken ranch in the middle of nowhere. The chicken lady (there were hundreds of birds roaming her large yard) shaved the dogs in summer, leaving the ruff around their necks as protection for the dogs. Evidently they slept much of the day and roamed by night, fighting off coyotes and what not. The thick ruff around the necks protected the jugular. I fell in love right then and there, even knowing that these dogs were not pets.

Great Pyrenees and Terrier
Look how big the Great Pyr is! Gorgeous. Gizmo just had to come say hello! Both dogs did well together.

That’s not to say that the Great Pyrenees doesn’t make a great pet. Dogs like Clowie are indoor dogs, active and watchful, but not living outside all day. Let’s find out more about the pros and cons of having a Great Pyrenees. First, a brief AKC description:

[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]Despite his regal and majestic appearance, the Great Pyrenees is a keen worker, faithfully guarding his flocks no matter the weather or terrain. With his intelligence, scenting ability and excellent sight, he is an invaluable companion to the shepherd. The breed possesses a beautifully thick, weather resistant white coat that may contain markings of badger, gray, or various shades of tan.[/quote]

Pros:

  • Extremely loyal
  • Great watchdog – wary of strangers and will protect its home and family
  • Working dog – known as the Guardian of the Flock, the Great Pyr is a shepherd’s best friend
  • Intelligent and trainable – but prone to stubbornness and independence
  • Great with other pets, especially cats
All Four Paws
This handsome fella, a Great Pyrenees, is laid back. He’s enjoying the show while guarding the booth perimeter at the pet expo in Orlando in February. Check out his chill collar. This dog’s mama pampers him. He was constantly aware of everyone that walked into the booth.

Cons:

  • Big dogs that require a lot of exercise – they’re working dogs
  • Lifespan – only ten to twelve years expected from this breed
  • A Great Pyr as a pet will be a lot of work for the owner – the dog has a mind of its own and needs to be socialized early and long-term
  • Some of the dogs tend toward drooling
  • Their gorgeous coat is long and sheds, requiring regular maintenance
  • Not a dog for hot climates, tending to be found farther north – the Great Pyr may be shaved, but be careful it doesn’t sunburn

 

The Great Pyrenees coat, when maintained, is soft and silky, gorgeous.  Great Pyrs I’ve met have been quiet dogs, serious of disposition, watchful, laid back. They seem to always be observing their surroundings, determining what actually needs their attention, dismissing non-threats.

Great Pyr with a Jones Crown Knuckle
Klondike wistfully contemplates the pros and cons of finishing the Crown Knuckle now

That said, as sweet, laid back, kid friendly and loving as they are, the Great Pyr are a lot of work, from training and exercise, to coat maintenance. This is certainly not the dog for every family. Read Clowie’s blog for a bit and pay attention to how much training is required, as well as to the way Clowie thinks. That dog is amazing, but primarily because its human is careful and disciplined.

If you haven’t yet entered our treat giveaway, pop back over to yesterday’s post and leave a comment. The deadline is tomorrow night! I’ll announce the winner next Monday morning. Subscribe if you’re afraid you’ll miss something!

Until I write again …

Flea

18 thoughts on “Great Pyrenees, Breed of the Week

  1. My mom’s sister that lives in Lawton Oklahoma fosters and trains those big white dogs, her’s go to nursing homes, hospitals etc…they are pretty ..and big…did i say big….
    stella rose

  2. I had two of these dogs. Raised them from pups! They were wonderful dogs won’t hurt anything. They would scare off bears. Then one day, it was as it something snapped in their heads, They started killing everything they have been guarding. Our turkeys, chickens and even the cats. We caught them in that act of eating the turkeys and killing one of the cats.

    • Meg, that’s heartbreaking. I’m so sorry for you and your family. To lose your animals in that way, but to find your beloved dogs doing the killing … that had to be so brutal. I’ve never heard of this with a Pyr, but I’ll be keeping my ear to the ground from now on for stories like it.
      Flea recently posted..Animals That Don’t Belong in the HouseMy Profile

  3. Thank you to everyone who has said nice things about me!
    Flea, you’ve done a great job of describing my breed.
    I do live happily as a pet dog and I know other Pyrs that do. We watch over our family and our home, instead of a flock. But you’re absolutely right, we need lots and lots of socialisation to enable us to make sensible decisions.
    We watch everything that goes on. My bipeds laugh because I can sleep through all sorts of normal household noise, but the slightest sound that is unusual and I will be awake and on my paws ready to investigate.
    Clowie recently posted..My favourite indoor gamesMy Profile

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