Everything about your Great Pyrenees - LUV My dogs

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Everything about your Great Pyrenees

  The Great Pyrenees dog breed's goal in life is to protect sheep, goats, livestock, people, children, grass, flowers, the moon, the lawn furniture, bird feeders, and any real or imaginary predators that may intrude on your personal space. Oh yeah, and to give, give, and give unconditional love. Anyone who has seen this stunning white dog becomes enamored. What's not to like? He has a strong build, a beautiful, thick coat, and he exudes elegance and majesty. One look and you can see the intelligence and steady temperament that many seek in a family dog.

  The Great Pyrenees was once known as the royal dog of France and, with his stunning white coat and imposing presence, is considered to be one of the most beautiful breeds. His heritage is that of a flock-guarding dog in the Pyrenees mountains of France and Spain.   Rather than herding sheep or other livestock, it was his job to protect them from predators such as wolves. The job called for a large, powerful, brave, and wary dog. He worked independently, often on his own for days or weeks at a time, and is unaccustomed to taking a lot of orders.
  These days, the Great Pyrenees is primarily a family companion, although some still find employment as livestock guardians. The Great Pyrenees has many good qualities, but he is not the easiest dog to live with. If you want a calm, protective Great Pyrenees at his best, be prepared to do a lot of homework to find him and to put in plenty of effort training and socializing once you bring him home.
  The Great Pyrenees is a flock-guarding breed who is placid in the home and gentle with children. He has a watchful, protective nature and is more serious than many dogs. He is only moderately active. A couple of short or moderate leashed walks daily will satisfy his exercise needs. If you love the outdoors, the Pyr’s mountain heritage makes him a good hiking companion.
  Sounds great, right? Not so fast! The Great Pyrenees requires a securely fenced yard that will prevent him from roaming and attempting to enlarge his territory. He is not a candidate for off-leash walks. While he thrives in cold weather, he is sensitive to heat. And he drools. Be ready to wipe his mouth after he drinks so he doesn’t drip.
  This is a giant breed. That cute little white ball of fluff will grow up to weigh 85 to 115 pounds. Because they are guardian dogs, Great Pyrenees are suspicious as a rule. They will graciously admit anyone you invite into your home, but intruders or unexpected visitors will get a very different, much more intimidating reception. If none of that fazes you, a Great Pyrenees may be your dog of choice.

  • The Great Pyrenees is okay in apartments because he's mellow. But homes with large yards are better.
  • If you want a dog you can walk off leash, this may not be the dog for you because of his independent thinking and wandering tendencies.
  • Expect some shedding on a constant basis and at least one major shedding period per year. On the up side, the Great Pyr only requires about 30 minutes of brushing a week.
  • A Pyr can be difficult to train because of his ability to think on his own. He's not a good match for new or timid dog owners, because he needs consistency and a strong owner who will socialize him and train with positive reinforcement.
  • He's a wonderful watchdog for the family, but he needs socialization to keep from becoming shy or aggressive to both dogs and people.
  • He thrives with his family and should live inside the house. He can become bored and destructive when separated from his family or left to live out in the backyard.
  • A Great Pyrenees is generally loving and gentle with younger creatures, so he's a wonderful dog for families with children.
  • He's a hard-core barker and is not recommended for homes where his barking can disturb others.
  • Great Pyrenees do best in cooler climates, but don't clip his hair during hot weather. His coat insulates him and keeps him cool, so when you shave the hair you compromise his natural protection from the sun.
  • He needs exercise, but not as much as you'd think — 20 to 30 minutes a day is fine.
  • He has a double dewclaw that should not be removed but should be kept trimmed.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store.
Other Quick Facts

  • The Great Pyrenees combines beauty with power. He is a large white dog with a long, thick double coat, a kind expression, dark brown eyes, and a plumed tail that may curve into a “shepherd’s crook” at the end.
  • Great Pyrenees are good at pulling carts and can earn titles in drafting.
  • In France, the Great Pyrenees is nicknamed Patou, a word meaning shepherd.
Breed standards
  • AKC group: Working Group
  • UKC group: Guardian Dog Group
  • Average lifespan: 10 - 12 years
  • Average size: 85 - 100 pounds
  • Coat appearance: Dense, double coat that is weatherproof
  • Coloration: White with grey, yellow, orange or tan markings
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Other identifiers: Lengthier than it is tall; wedge-shaped head; V-shaped ears; dark-brown, almond-shaped eyes; broad chest and feathered tail
  • Possible alterations: May have other colored markings.
  The Great Pyrenees originated as a flock-guarding dog in the Pyrenees Mountains of France. Working in partnership with the shepherd and the smaller Pyrenean Shepherd, he watched over flocks and protected them from predators such as wolves and bears.
  Dogs such as the Great Pyrenees descend from ancient mastiff-type dogs. Their white coats allow them to blend in with the sheep they protect, the better to catch a predator by surprise. They wore heavy iron collars with spikes for protection.
  Famed for their bravery, the dogs were drafted as guardians for chateaus. One of the earliest mentions of them was in 1407 by a historian named Bourdet, who wrote that they guarded the chateau at Lourdes, located in the Pyrenean region of southwest France. Later, King Louix XIV became a great admirer of the dogs and made them part of his household guard.
  The first Great Pyrenees came to the United States in company with the young country’s great friend the Marquis de Lafayette, who was also a noted dog fancier. It wasn’t until more than a century later, though, that the dogs were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1933.   Today the Great Pyrenees ranks 71st among the breeds registered by the AKC.

  A calm, gentle, docile demeanor is the norm for a Great Pyr. Shyness, aggressiveness, and nervousness are not acceptable whatsoever, but do your part by providing tons of socialization when he's a puppy. With training, he's well mannered.
  He is gentle and can be somewhat serious. Courageous and devoted to his people, he's the best friend anyone could ask for; he's also a warm blanket and a comforting soul in the night. He loves being a therapy dog.
  He is intelligent, used to working on his own and figuring out things by himself, which means he's an independent thinker and can be stubborn. He manages to be a good guard dog while also being friendly, calm, and gentle.
Like every dog, the Great Pyr needs early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Great Pyr puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.
  Enrolling him in a puppy kindergarten class is a great start. Inviting visitors over regularly, and taking him to busy parks, stores that allow dogs, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will also help him polish his social skills.

  The Great Pyrenees, which has an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years, may suffer from minor health problems like entropion, osteosarcoma, Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD), skin problems, cataract, chondrodysplasia, and panosteitis; it is also prone to serious problems like canine hip dysplasia (CHD) and patellar luxation. Sometimes the breed can be susceptible to spinal muscular atrophy, gastric torsion, and otitis externa. To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may recommend regular hip, knee, and eye exams for the dog.

  The Great Pyrenees can survive outdoors in cold and temperate weather, but it also enjoys living indoors with its family. It is not suited for hot weather, and requires regular daily exercise to remain fit, but its needs are moderate. A walk is good enough.
The dog is fond of hiking, mainly in snow and cold weather. At times, it can drool and it is also a messy drinker. The coat requires occasional weekly brushing, but daily during the time of shedding.

Living Conditions
  These dogs are not recommended for apartment life and would do best with a mid-to-large sized yard. They need space, but adapt well to family life. They are not really active indoors, but need regular exercise outdoors. A fence is a must as they may wander away in search of the borders to what they believe is their territory. Puppies are very active and might have the tendency to wander off or escape. Prefer cool climates.

  Pyrenees need plenty of exercise to stay in shape. If they are not actively working as flock guardians, they need to be taken on a daily, long brisk walk.

  The Great Pyrenees has a beautiful double coat of white or white with markings of gray, badger, reddish brown or any shade of tan. The coat sheds dirt and resists forming mats or tangles, but there is a lot of it. Expect to spend approximately 30 minutes weekly brushing it to remove dead hair and keep it clean and healthy. Pyrs do shed, so regular brushing will help reduce the number of white hairs floating around your house.
  The rest is basic care. Clean the ears and trim the nails as needed, and bathe the Pyr when he’s dirty. Brush the teeth for overall good health and fresh breath.

Is this breed right for you?
  A kind and gentle temperament, the loving Great Pyrenees is completely devoted to its family, especially children. Although calm indoors, this dog needs a yard to roam in and is not suited for apartment life. Regardless of which home setting, it is recommended that the breed receive regular exercise and has a fence to avoid running off. The Great Pyrenees has a bit of an independent nature, which demands for an assertive owner and serious training. If thought to be in charge, it may become stubborn and problematic. With a thick coat, this breed has a lot of grooming requirements and prefers colder climates, as it is prone to sunburn. A natural guard dog, the Great Pyrenees will need to be socialized young to avoid being timid around strangers, although it is a true-blue lover of cats and other non-canine animals.

Children and other pets
  A Pyr loves children and is absolutely devoted to them. He'll protect them with his life, and he is in fact tender toward everything that is small and weak. Young children can't manage such a large dog on a leash, however, so he should be walked by an adult or an older child.
  As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  The Great Pyr generally does well with other animals in the house, especially if he's been raised with them from puppyhood. A well-socialized Pyr tends to get along with other dogs.

In popular culture
  • Belle, from Cécile Aubry's Belle et Sébastien novel is a Great Pyrenees.
  • The 2004 film Finding Neverland used a Great Pyrenees to represent J. M. Barrie's Landseer Newfoundland dog.
  • In the television series, King of Queens, a Great Pyrenees is a recurring customer of Holly the dog walker.
  • In the 1965 film Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines, a Great Pyrenees is the household dog at the Lord Rawnsley estate.
  • In the Marx Brothers' Horse Feathers, a Great Pyrenees appears in the dog catcher's wagon.
  • In the Korean variety show Happy Sunday - 1 Night 2 Days, Sang Geun, a Great Pyrenees, is the mascot of the show and recently appointed as "Nation's Pet".
  • A popular Korean singer, Hero Jaejoong from TVXQ owns a Great Pyrenees named Vick.
  • In the 2009 Disney movie Santa Buddies, a Great Pyrenees puppy named Puppy Paws is the leading character.
  • Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees owned a Great Pyrenees named Barnaby who was in their television movie Cucumber Castle and the video for their song "Lonely Days".
  • In the Jim Carrey movie Dumb and Dumber, a Great Pyrenees appears in the dog-mobile.
  • Webcomic artist Jeph Jacques owns a Great Pyrenees named Shelby, who has appeared in his webcomic Questionable Content on occasion. He appears almost exactly the same as Mr. Tadakichi of anime fame .
  • In Hanazakari no Kimitachi e, the male lead had a Great Pyrenees named "Yu Ci Lan" for a pet.
  • Many Japanese manga and anime series have dogs that are either this breed or based on its appearance:
  • Alexander from Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Tadakichi-san (Mr. Tadakichi in the English version), owned by Chiyo Mihama in Azumanga Daioh
  • Akamaru from Naruto is Kiba Inuzuka's pet Great Pyrenees.
  • Cherry, owned by Minami Iwasaki in Lucky Star.
  • Baron from Noein is Haruka Kaminoga's pet Great Pyrenees.
  • Peace, a dog belonging to one of Ashirogi Muto's assistants appears in Bakuman.
  • The Japanese series Ginga Densetsu Weed features a Great Pyrenees named Hiro, who is nicknamed the "The Castrator", due to his signature attack of neutering his opponents.
  • In the book Between Mom and Jo by Julie Anne Peters, the family takes in a stray Great Pyrenees.
  • In the book Futures and Frosting by Tara Sivec, Carter's parents buy him, Claire and Gavin a Great Pyrenees puppy. Claire exaggeratingly describes it as a "900-pound animal", "almost the same size as Gavin" and "looks like a polar bear".
  • The logo of the Sea Dog Brewing Company represents the founders' late Great Pyrenees.
  • During the live simulcast of the Stephanie Miller Show radio show on Free Speech TV, Stephanie's two Great Pyrenees, Max and Fred, are often seen on camera and are a subject of discussion.
Did You Know?
  Because of his striking looks, the Great Pyrenees is a popular canine actor in French films.

A dream day-in-the-life
  Enjoying being put to work, the Great Pyrenees would be happy shepherding and spending the day with its family. If not an option, let it out in the morning to roam a large backyard, and greet it with a lot of affection and love. A bit of play and a nice, long walk, this pup will be filled with bliss when it goes off to dreamland surrounded by kid giggles and lots of love.

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