LUV My dogs: Spain

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Showing posts with label Spain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spain. Show all posts

Friday, December 22, 2017

Everything about your Spanish Water Dog

Everything about your Spanish Water Dog
  The Spanish Water Dog is one of the lesser known breeds here in the UK, although their numbers are slowly rising with more pedigree puppies being bred and registered with The Kennel Club every year. The SWD is a medium sized dog that boasts having a distinct and attractive corded coat that covers their entire body. 
  They are intelligent dogs with a tremendous amount of stamina which is one of the reasons they have always been so highly prized for their sporting abilities. However, the Spanish Water Dog is just as happy in the home environment and thrives on being part of family which makes them a great choice as a family pet thanks to their kind and loyal natures.

Overview
  The Spanish Water Dog (perro de agua español) breed dates back several hundred years and has its origins most likely in Turkey from where it was imported into Spain as a general purpose sheepdog and guard. It is also used sometimes as a gundog, and is skilled at retrieval from water. The SWD has strong genetic links to other ancient water breeds such as the Portuguese Water Dog, the French Barbet and the Irish Water Spaniel.
  If you were to imagine a medium-sized dog with thick, curly fur and a penchant for herding, you might be thinking of the Spanish Water Dog. These dogs are an old Spanish breed that has been used for herding for many centuries. The Spanish Water Dog is a highly intelligent breed that does best when given a job to do but, at the end of the day, they love nothing more than to spend time with family.

Quick Facts
  • Approximately 1,000 Spanish Water Dogs live in the United States and Canada, with most of them in the Northeast.
  • The SWD’s coat may be black, brown, beige, white or particolor (with the second color being white).
  • Spanish Water Dogs have webbed feet. On fishing boats, their jobs probably include retrieving nets and guarding the catch.    
Breed standards

AKC group: Herding

UKC group: Gun Dog
Average lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Average size: 30 to 50 pounds
Coat appearance: curly coat which is woolly in texture and may form cords when long
Coloration: solid black, beige, brown, or white; bicolour where the second colour is white; or particolour
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Best Suited For: Families with children, active singles, houses with yards, farms/rural areas
Temperament: Hardworking, intelligent, loyal, friendly
Comparable Breeds: Portuguese Water Dog, Puli

History 
  Little is known of the SWD’s origins. Some dog experts theorize that they descended from African dogs or that they are related to other European water dogs, such as the Portuguese Water Dog, or to Turkish or Hungarian herding and flock-guarding breeds.
  Dogs of this type were hard-working aides on Spanish farms, at mines and in fishing villages, where they filled many roles, including herding, retrieving, rat patrol and protection. The breed’s curly single coat is thought to be an adaptation to the various climates found on the Iberian Peninsula, which range from dry to humid.
  With mechanization and the migration of people to cities from rural areas, the dogs were less needed for their traditional work, but people interested in the breed made efforts to preserve it, starting in 1975 by collecting a variety of the dogs from various areas, selectively breeding them to maintain their appearance and working ability, and turning their talents toward new jobs such as search and rescue and drug and bomb detection.
  Today, the SWD is recognized by European and American registries. The American Kennel Club classifies it as a herding dog and granted it full recognition in January 2015, paving the way for the SWD’s participation in conformation showing and other AKC events. 

Temperament
  The Spanish Water Dog boasts having a tremendous sense of smell, sight and sound. As such they are true working dogs that enjoy nothing more than being out and about in the great outdoors. They are intelligent and sensitive by nature being just at ease in a home environment as they are working in the field. They form strong bonds with their owners and families and are known to be even-tempered dogs which is just one of the reasons they make such great family pets.
  They are also known to have a very enthusiastic personality which sees these dogs being ultra-willing and eager to please. However, puppies have to be well socialised from a young enough age for them to mature into well-rounded, obedient adult dogs. They are a great choice for families where the children are slightly older and who therefore know how to behave around dogs. Spanish Water Dogs tend to be a little aloof and wary of people they don't already know, but rarely would one of these dogs ever show any sort of aggressive behaviour towards a stranger, preferring to keep their distance until they get to know someone.
  They are not the best choice for first time owners because a Spanish Water Dog needs to be handled and trained by someone who is familiar with this type of sporting dog and their specific needs. However, in the right hands, these striking dogs can be trained to be obedient dogs with particular attention being paid to the "recall" command. They are never happier than when they know their place in the pack and who they can look to for direction and guidance. They also need to know what an owner expects of them which in short, means their training has to be consistent and always fair right from the start and then throughout a dog’s life.
  As their name suggests, SWDs love being in water and are naturally strong swimmers  which means care has to be taken when walking them anywhere near more dangerous water courses just in case they decide to jump in.    

Health Problems
  While the SWD seems to be a very healthy breed there are some issues that it has, just like all other breeds. There are cases of hip dysplasia in the breed, so choose your breeder carefully. All breeding dogs should have their hips tested, either by OFA or PennHIP. There have been a few cases of PRA reported in Europe so it is advised that all breeders should test their breeding stock for PRA and other such genetic eye diseases with a yearly CERF exam.
   A responsible breeder will be able to produce the results in writing. Like other Water Dogs and related breeds, they grow hair in their ear canals and can be prone to ear infections. The ears must be kept dry and clean. Because these dogs are (as a general rule) so active and energetic as puppies, they may seriously injure themselves from too much running and jumping when their skeletal structure is still developing.

Living Conditions
  The Spanish Water Dog can adapt to almost all environments or circumstances, as long as it gets enough exercise. These hardy dogs can endure both extreme heat and cold with no problem.



Trainability
  The Spanish Water Dog is an intelligent character, but they do have a bit of a "wandering off" streak in them which is why it's so important to teach these dogs a strong "recall" command from a very young age. With this said, socialising them from a young enough age is extra important and their training also has to start too. It's best to teach a SWD the basics when they are still puppies and to start their training in earnest as soon as they have been fully vaccinated and slightly older.
  Being sensitive dogs by nature, a Spanish Water Dog does not respond well to any sort of harsh correction or heavy handed training methods. The key to successfully training them is to use positive reinforcement and to make a training session as interesting as possible. It’s best to keep things nice and short without too much repetition which helps keep a Spanish Water Dog more focussed on what is being asked of them which as a result achieves the best results.

Exercise Requirements
  Because the Spanish Water Dog is a herding breed it has fairly high requirements for exercise. These dogs require at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day plus some active play time, if possible. Training these dogs for herding or other dog sports is a great way to meet both their physical and mental stimulation needs.

Grooming
  The Spanish Water Dog has a single coat, meaning there’s little or no undercoat. He doesn’t shed heavily, although he does lose hairs, just as people do. The single, curly coat often leads people to believe that the SWD is hypoallergenic, but all dogs produce allergens to some extent in their dander, saliva and urine. If you have allergies, you should spend time with several Spanish Water Dogs to determine whether you react to them.
  Grooming the Spanish Water Dog is easy. Typically, the coat is clipped once or twice a year to approximately 1 inch over the entire body, including the head and ears. Between clips, there’s no need to comb, brush or blow-dry the coat, all of which can damage the texture and shape of the curls.
  When your Spanish Water Dog gets dirty, bathe him with a mild, pet-safe shampoo. Work it through the coat gently, as if you were hand-washing a cashmere sweater. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water, then use your hands to squeeze out excess water. Blot the coat with a towel, being careful not to rub the coat roughly. Let your dog air-dry in a warm spot with no drafts.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails every week or two, and brush his teeth often — with a vet-approved pet toothpaste — for good overall health and fresh breath.    

Children and Other Pets
  Spanish Water Dogs make great family pets in households where the children are older and who therefore know how to behave around dogs. With this said, any interaction between younger children or toddlers and an SWD should always be well supervised by an adult to make sure things stay nice and calm.
  If they have grown up with a family cat in the house, they usually get on well together, however, a Spanish Water Dog would not hesitate in chasing any other cats they don't know. Care has to be taken when they are around any other smaller animals and pet, just in case.

Is the Spanish Water Dog the Right Breed for you?
High Maintenance: Grooming should be performed often to keep the dog's coat in good shape. No trimming or stripping needed.
Minimal Shedding: Recommended for owners who do not want to deal with hair in their cars and homes.
Easy Training: The Spanish Water Dog is known to listen to commands and obey its owner. Expect fewer repetitions when training this breed.
Very Active: It will need daily exercise to maintain its shape. Committed and active owners will enjoy performing fitness activities with this breed.

Did You Know?
  The Spanish Water Dog also goes by other names. In Spain, he’s known as Perro de Agua Español (Spanish water dog), Perro Rizado (curly coated dog), Turco Andaluz (Andalusian Turkish dog) and Barbeta.
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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Everything about your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Everything about your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  One of the largest of the Toy breeds, Cavaliers follow their people everywhere, just waiting for a chance to jump in a lap. They are also willing and able to go for long walks and hikes, and many enjoy flushing birds, just like their bigger spaniel cousins.
  Although he's born to be a companion, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog breed retains the sporty nature of his spaniel ancestors. If he's not sitting on a lap or getting a belly rub, nothing makes him happier than to flush a bird and then attempt to retrieve it. One of the largest of the toy breeds, he's often as athletic as a true sporting breed and enjoys hiking, running on the beach, and dog sports such as agility, flyball and rally. Some have even shown their prowess as hunting dogs. The more restful members of the breed find success as family friends and therapy dogs.

Overview
  The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a beautiful small dog that undoubtedly is a contender for the title of "top tail-wagger." In fact, among the characteristics that Cavalier breeders strive to attain is a tail in constant motion when this breed is moving.
  If the characteristic wagging of the Cavalier's plumy tail doesn't melt your heart, surely his large, dark round eyes will. Warm and lustrous, with a sweet expression, they hold the power to extract constant petting and unlimited supplies of food from people under their spell. Not surprisingly, this breed can easily become fat, which spoils its lovely lines, so be strong and offer a walk or playtime instead of the potato chips and pizza your Cavalier is angling for.
Cavaliers pad through the house on slippered paws, always following in the footsteps of their people. With a Cavalier in residence, you'll never be alone — not even in the bathroom. Because they're so attached to their people, they do best when someone is at home during the day to keep them company. They are a housedog and will never thrive in an environment where they're relegated to the backyard or otherwise ignored.
  When it comes to training, Cavaliers are generally intelligent and willing to try whatever it is you'd like them to do. Food rewards and positive reinforcement help ensure that training goes smoothly. Cavaliers have a soft personality, so yelling at them is counterproductive and likely to send these sweeties into the sulks or into hiding. Instead, reward them every time you see them doing something you like, whether it's chewing on a toy instead of your Prada pumps or not barking in response when the dog next door barks. They'll fall all over themselves to find more things that you like.
  As with many toy breeds, Cavaliers can have issues with housetraining, but if you keep them on a consistent schedule, with plenty of opportunities to potty outdoors, they can become trustworthy in the home.

Highlights
  • Cavaliers have a dependent personality. They love to be with people and shouldn't be left alone for long periods of time.
  • Your Cavalier will shed, especially in the spring and fall. Regular combing and brushing is required.
  • Because he's a spaniel at heart, he may try to chase birds, rabbits and other small prey if he isn't kept on leash or in a fenced yard.
  • Cavaliers may bark when someone comes to your door, but because of their friendly nature, they aren't good guard dogs.
  • Cavaliers are housedogs and should not live outdoors.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
Other Quick Facts
  • Cavaliers have a silky, medium-length coat with feathering on the ears, legs, chest, feet and tail. They shed moderately.
  • The Cavalier coat comes in four colors: Blenheim (chestnut and white), tricolor (black and white with tan points over the eyes, on the cheeks, inside the ears and beneath the tail), ruby (solid red) and black and tan (black with tan points like those on the tricolor).
  • Cavaliers can get along with cats when they are raised with them, but some have a strong prey drive and will chase cats. Pet birds should also watch their tailfeathers around Cavaliers.
Breed standards
  • AKC group: Toy
  • UKC group: Terrier
  • Average lifespan: 10 - 12 years
  • Average size: 8 - 14 pounds
  • Coat appearance: Silky, medium-length
  • Coloration: Tricolored (beige, white and black), ruby, red and white, black and tan
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Other identifiers: Dark eyes and dark-eyed rims; well-proportioned body; scissor-bite teeth; long ears with feathering and medium length coat
  • Possible alterations: Dewclaws may be removed
  • Comparable Breeds: Bichon Frise, Cocker Spaniel
History
  During the early part of the 18th century, John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, kept red and white King Charles type spaniels for hunting. The duke recorded that they were able to keep up with a trotting horse. His estate was named Blenheim in honour of his victory at the Battle of Blenheim. Because of this influence, the red and white variety of the King Charles Spaniel and thus the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel became known as the Blenheim.
Attempts were made to recreate the original King Charles Spaniel as early as the turn of the 20th century, using the now extinct Toy Trawler Spaniels. These attempts were documented by Judith Blunt-Lytton, 16th Baroness Wentworth, in the book "Toy Dogs and Their Ancestors Including the History And Management of Toy Spaniels, Pekingese, Japanese and Pomeranians" published under the name of the "Hon. Mrs Neville Lytton" in 1911.

Divergence from King Charles Spaniel
  In 1926, American Roswell Eldridge offered a dog show class prize of twenty-five pounds each as a prize for the best male and females of "Blenheim Spaniels of the old type, as shown in pictures of Charles II of England's time, long face, no stop, flat skull, not inclined to be domed, with spot in centre of skull."The breeders of the era were appalled, although several entered what they considered to be sub-par King Charles Spaniels in the competition. Eldridge died before seeing his plan come to fruition, but several breeders believed in what he said and in 1928 the first Cavalier club was formed. The first standard was created, based on a dog named "Ann's Son" owned by Mostyn Walker,and The Kennel Club recognised the breed as "King Charles Spaniels, Cavalier type".
  World War II caused a drastic setback to the breed, with the vast majority of breeding stock destroyed because of the hardship. For instance, in the Ttiweh Cavalier Kennel, the population of sixty dropped to three during the 1940s. Following the war, just six dogs would be the starting block from which all Cavaliers descend. These dogs were Ann's Son, his litter brother Wizbang Timothy, Carlo of Ttiweh, Duce of Braemore, Kobba of Kuranda and Aristide of Ttiweh.The numbers increased gradually, and in 1945 The Kennel Club first recognised the breed in its own right as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
  The history of the breed in America is relatively recent. The first recorded Cavalier living in the United States was brought from the United Kingdom in 1956 by W. Lyon Brown, together with Elizabeth Spalding and other enthusiasts, she founded the Cavalier King Charles Club USA which continues to the present day. In 1994, the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club was created by a group of breeders to apply for recognition by the American Kennel Club. The Cavalier would go on to be recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1995, and the ACKCSC became the parent club for Cavaliers.



Personality
  The gregarious Cavalier takes as his role model humorist Will Rogers, who famously said he never met a stranger. The Cavalier is eager to meet everyone who crosses his path, and if that person sits down and offers a lap (or a treat), so much the better.
  Like any dog, Cavaliers come in a range of personalities, from quiet and sedate to rowdy and rambunctious. They might or might not bark when someone comes to the door, so they're a poor choice as a watchdog — except, that is, for watching the burglar cart off the silver. There are exceptions, of course — some Cavaliers will inform you of every event in your neighborhood and bark ferociously when strangers approach — but overall you're better off buying an alarm system than counting on your Cavalier to alert you to trouble.

Health
  The Cavalier, which has an average lifespan of 9 to 14 years, may suffer from minor health problems such as patellar luxation, and entropion, or major problems like syringomelia, mitral valve disease (MVD), and canine hip dysplasia (CHD). Sometimes retinal dysplasia is seen in the breed. Many Cavaliers also have reduced platelet numbers, but this does not seem to cause any problems. Cardiac, eye, hip, and knee tests are suggested for this breed of dog.

Living Conditions
  Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are good for apartment life. They are moderately active indoors and a small yard will be sufficient. The Cavalier does not do well in very warm conditions.

Exercise
  Cavalier King Charles Spaniels need a daily walk. Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs, however, as with all breeds, play will not fulfill their primal instinct to walk. Dogs that do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe open area off-lead, such as a large, fenced-in yard.

Care
  The Cavalier is not suited for outdoor living. Its long coat requires brushing on alternate days. The dog requires a good amount of exercise regularly, in the form of a romp in a secure area or a moderate on-leash walk.

Grooming
  For a coated breed, the Cavalier is relatively easy to groom. The medium-length silky coat is not so heavy that it requires hours of brushing, and it sheds dirt easily. The Cavalier sheds, like all dogs, but regular brushing will remove dead hairs so they don’t float off onto your floor, furniture and clothing.
  The long, silky hair on the Cavalier’s ears, tail, belly and legs, known as feathering, should be brushed two or three times a week to prevent mats or tangles from forming. Be sure to check behind the ears and where the leg meets the body; that’s where they commonly form. Use a slicker brush or stainless steel comb to remove tangles, then bring out shine with a bristle brush. The coat does not require any trimming for the show ring; indeed, such trimming is prohibited by the breed standard.
A bath every two to four weeks will keep the Cavalier smelling sweet. The only other grooming needed is regular ear cleaning, tooth brushing and nail trimming.

Is this breed right for you?
  Perfect for families with older children, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a great companion for families and one-person households. Great for apartment living, the breed will need daily walking to avoid being bored or getting himself into trouble. Preferring company, it's best that he's not left alone for long periods of time. A social breed, it's also best that he's constantly around other people to avoid being shy or reserved.

Children and other pets
  Cavaliers can be great playmates for kids who will enjoy throwing a ball for them, teaching them tricks, participating in dog sports, or simply having them on a lap while they read or watch television. Because of their small size, however, they should be supervised when playing with small children who might injure them accidentally.
  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.
  They get along well with other dogs and can learn to play nice with cats and other pets if introduced to them at an early age. It helps if the cat is willing to stand up for herself because a Cavalier enjoys a good game of chase. They even enjoy it if the cat chases back. Some Cavaliers live peaceably with pet birds while others try to eat them — or at the very least pull their tails. Always supervise your Cavalier's interactions with birds and other small animals; they can have a strong hunting instinct.

Did You Know?
“Sex and the City’s” Charlotte York had a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Elizabeth Taylor. Real-life celebrities Claire Danes, Terri Hatcher, Mischa Barton, Diane Sawyer, and Jerry O’Connell are Cavalier owners.

A dream day in the life of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  A loving breed, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will be happy waking up in the bed of his owner. Stumbling into the kitchen for his daily feeding, the pup will enjoy having a routine in place. After his feeding, you may find him waiting at the door for his daily walk. After a short nap, he'll take a run in the backyard and finish his day snuggling on the lap of his owner while watching favorite television shows together.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Everything about your Great Pyrenees

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.

Overview
  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.

Highlights
  • 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.
  • Comparable Breeds: Newfoundland, Saint Bernard
History 
  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.


Personality
  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.

Health
  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.

Care
  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.

Exercise
  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.

Grooming
  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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