The majority of households that contain children also contain dogs. Of course, having a dog that is kid friendly is an absolute must. When it comes to the Great Pyrenees it is possible to mix the breed in a household with children as long as certain boundaries and understandings are set in place. The Great Pyrenees is an intelligent dog with a good sense of self; they are natural protectors of hearth and home and all who dwell within. However, they are hardly the type to take direction from just anybody. They are strict followers of pack order and often see children as the least dominant. Though they will never allow anyone else to lay a finger on those of their flock, the Pyr may at times ignore or push boundaries with young family members.
The Great Pyrenees raised with children from the beginning is likely to be more understanding and tolerant of high noise and energy levels. Their basic instinct will be to herd their brood from spot to spot and guard them. The Pyr is very good at recognizing who belongs in their family unit and who does not. While they are not normally suspicious of children, it is not uncommon to hear of a Pyr being protective of youngsters in their own family from youngsters who are not. Responsible families that have both children and a Great Pyrenees in the house make sure obedience lessons are taken early on. At the same time, children are taught to respect the boundaries of the breed.
When bringing a Great Pyrenees into a household that has no previous experience with children, it is imperative to make the transition as smooth as possible. Strict guidelines about contact should be put in place and children of any age should never be left alone with the dog. As the Pyr takes time to gets used to its new surroundings, it will begin to recognize who its family members are. Each member of the family should take its turn bonding with the Pyr and establishing a relationship. It is also a good idea for the entire family to participate in a training program that helps establish pack order through obedience training. This can create a consistency between family members, something that gives the Pyr a sense of security in the home.
The majority of Pyr's have no problem with children although their size can sometimes conflict with the stature of smaller youngsters. It is not uncommon for the Pyr to accidentally hurt a child by bumping into them while simply backing up. Children should also be careful playing tug of war with the Pyr as the breed's strength can unintentionally send a small child flying.