Looking at the Great Pyrenees, it would be easy to assume that feeding such a good sized dog would require several extra large bags of dog food per month. In reality, when it comes to food the Great Pyrenees requires the least of any large breed dog. A number of owners insist that a Pyr eats no more than an average sized Golden Retriever. This is commonly credited to not only a calm temperament but a metabolism that runs efficiently on fewer calories. However, it should be noted that the Pyr is one whose diet should include vitamins and minerals that offer coat support.
Although there is a debate over which is better, feeding a mixture of canned and dry dog food can work just fine for the Great Pyrenees. As many owners have come to find, a Pyr may need less calories but those calories should still be of high quality. Empty calories can leave a dog feeling hungry, leading them to exhibit destructive behaviors such as chewing or barking. [...]
The Great Pyrenees is a majestic dog that makes its mark not only with people but in various books, movies and TV specials. Their white coat is stunning and attractive while their calm demeanor makes them easy to work with on movie and TV sets. Though bred to mostly work as guard dogs, the Great Pyrenees has also worked as a therapy dog with both children and the elderly. Their large demeanor belies their gentle nature and many are surprised at how easy it is to work with the Pyr. Unlike small dogs, there is no element of anxiety to deal with and they tend to easily bond with trainers.
In Laura Weiss's book, Such a Pretty Little Girl, a character by the name of Nigel owns a Great Pyrenees by the name of Gilly. The Great Pyrenees is a strong animal that offers a good sense of protection to the children in the book. In real life, the Pyr will readily stand up and protect his or her property and all who dwell on it. [...]
The Great Pyrenees likes to have toys just like any other type of dog. However, as a large breed, they will need toys that are suited to their size. All too often when large dogs such as the Pyr get a hold of regular sized toys, they are destroyed rather quickly; or even worse they are swallowed whole, prompting an emergency visit to the vet. Luckily, there are a number of toys made especially for big dogs. Consisting of sturdy, non toxic rubber and latex blends these playthings are built to take extreme abuse. They are made to mentally stimulate as well as safely release anxiety through chewing and chasing.
One of the most popular toys for any type of large breed dog is the Kong. A Kong is made of sturdy rubber that is meant to be chewed. Though it makes a perfect chew toy, it is more popular for mentally stimulating dogs as a treat dispenser. [...]
The majority of Great Pyrenees rescues are non profit organizations that take in lost or displaced Pyrs. In situations where an owner is not able to keep their Pyr, they can bring their dog to a rescue with the peace of mind that he or she will not be destroyed. Pyrs that are lost or end up in animal shelters are also taken in by such rescues. These organizations ensure that the next person who takes in one of their dogs meets the criteria of a responsible Great Pyrenees owner. This can mean not only filling out an application but having one's home inspected as well. This ensures the dog will have a good environment and will not be put through the trauma of another displacement.
No matter what their background or where they come from, a rescue ensures that each dog is physically, mentally and emotionally fit for adoption. While one Pyr may have a good history and all its shots, this may not necessarily be the case for another. [...]
As with all dog breeds there can be some misconceptions of what a prospective owner can expect when taking on a Great Pyrenees. A majority of the time it is the dog's size and demeanor that are at the root of these false impressions. As many have come to find, each and every Pyr has its own likes and dislikes; however, there are some basic traits and behaviors that stand true for the Great Pyrenees. For the most part they are a serious dog that is happiest living and working in an outdoor environment. At the same time, they love nothing more than taking the opportunity to land all one hundred pounds of themselves in your lap.
The first thing that springs to mind for many when looking at the Great Pyrenees is the thought of astronomical feeding costs. It would only be logical to assume that feeding a dog that weighs well over one hundred pounds would also cost well over hundreds per month as well. [...]
The allure of owning a Great Pyrenees can be strong for some and many believe with enough obedience lessons, handling this large breed of dog will be an easy task. While obedience lessons are a good start it is important to remember that the Great Pyrenees is first and foremost a working breed. They will not always necessarily make the best of family pets. In general, working breeds tend to have a certain personality that can be non conducive to the expectation most dogs tend to fit. Working dogs are bred for certain helpful characteristics with companionship coming in last on the list. In this case, the Great Pyrenees' main purpose was to guard animals such as cattle and sheep on farms.
Throughout their development, working breeds were typically made to look out for themselves. This meant finding shelter and food was largely the dog's responsibility. Without this dependency on their owner, most working breeds have a fully developed sense of self reliance that sometimes comes off as stubborn or willful. [...]
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 Great Pyrenees is such a beautiful breed of dog that deciding on a name can be very easy or very difficult. As many choose to name their dog after a physical or personality trait, there is almost no end to name choices for the Pyr. Their size, their beautiful white coat and their dignified grace are all inspiring possibilities. Depending on how one wants to go, names can be ultra creative or ultra traditional. No matter what the choice, it is important to remember that the name will have a special place in a person's history and not only represents the dog but its owner as well.
The most striking trait of the Great Pyrenees is its gorgeous white coat. Some examples of names inspired by this feature can be: [...]
Used as a protector of livestock on farms for hundreds of years, the Great Pyrenees is a guardian breed at heart. They can be seen at their very best when they are doing exactly what they were bred to do. Without an opportunity to move about and check their perimeters, the Great Pyrenees can lose their spirit. Many have noted the breed's aptitude for keeping the peace and have put the Pyr's solid skills to use in a number of settings. From therapy dogs to drug sniffing canine units, the Great Pyrenees has proven itself reliable in just about every area they work.
It is no secret that a dog's nose is more than adept at picking up scents than a human's. On top of having a superior nose, the Great Pyrenees has the perfect mindset for police work. Not only does the breed enjoy having a special purpose, it also has the opportunity to put its natural instincts to very good use. As smugglers get more and more sophisticated at hiding their goods, the Pyr never fails to sniff out hidden illegal narcotics with impeccable skill. The Pyr is also used to sniff out bombs and is often seen at airports and border crossings. [...]
The Great Pyrenees is one of the oldest dog breeds of the canine world. Starting at roughly ninety pounds and moving well past the one hundred pound mark, its relation to the Mastiff explains the breed's large stature. Despite their long history and their massive physique, the breed is actually quite sensitive. They dislike harsh reprimands; and though not physically weak in any way, their sensitive constitution has been known to react fatally to even the smallest doses of anesthesia. Plus, any changes in diet must be made in very small, very slow steps in order to not to upset their ultra susceptible digestive system. As they tend to bond deeply with their original owner, it can take some time for the sensitive Pyr to accept change and bond with a new family. [...]
There are a great many dog owners and lovers that are attracted to the giant breeds of dogs. These dogs typically weigh in excess of 75 to 100 pounds when fully mature and some may even be closer to 200, especially the very largest of the males. In almost all large breeds males will be somewhat heavier and taller than the females and in most there is a slight difference in the head of the two sexes. In very general terms females tend to have finer features and slightly smaller heads and bodies, although they are often almost the same height. In turn males tend to be heavier through the body and also wider and larger through the head, neck and jaw area. [...]