Pyr as a running Companion?
My wife and I have been considering getting a a dog for a long while now and the Great Pyrenees appeals to us for some many reasons. I myself fell in love with my neighbors Pyr while growing up.
Aside from all we have read and researched there is one aspect which I have found little information and which I am curious, "Do Great Pyrenees make good running companions?"
Some things I've read make me believe they do and others things have me thinking they may not.
Pyr as Runners? I've read Pyrs' have good endurance and move gracefully for a large dog. I assume they can navigate rough mountainous terrain without much difficulty having adapted to the Pyrenees mountains and would therefore be excellent trail runners. Could a Pyr, being a large dog, run at a hard pace for an extended time say anywhere from 1-2 hours, 3-5 times a week [at full maturity]. I used to run with my lab and understand the need for an available water source or carrying extra water for the both of us. However, my main concern would be putting to much strain on a dog that size? Anyone have experience running distance with their Pyr?
Unleashed?? I see that an unleashed Pyr is a gone Pyr but does that pertain to running as well (My lab was clued to my hip as long as I was moving, he'd wander if we took a break but never to far)? I run at a fairly fast pace so a Pyr would not have much time to wonder if they didn't want to risk loosing contact with me.
Would a Pyr wonder off to patrol an area and separate himself from me or would his protective instinct kick in and stay with me to see that I am safe? Could I leash train him as a puppy to run with me to the point where a leash wouldn't be necessary?
What if we encountered other people or a more likely an issue, other people's dogs? Would a Pyr ignore them and continue to run with me? Or would a Pyr be likely to challenge?
To clarify, in general day to day running I would have my Pyr leashed (as I would recommend for anyone with any breed of dog), however some of the remote trails require scampering [using my hands] while others are narrow or have dangerous footing where I would want to minimize any risk entangling myself in the leash. In these situations it would be important for me to run with my hands free. Just curious if any Pyr owners have been in similar situations or have taken their Pyr running without a leash and whether or not this can work in specific situations?
Wild life on the trail? I currently live in Colorado and do a lot of trail running in remote area's, some of which may have bear, bobcat, coyote, and mountain lion. I run alone and certainly wouldn't want to encounter any of the wild life in the middle of nowhere (luckily no encounters yet) but they are a real danger esp. to lone runners. I'd like to have the added security of a Pyr along side but not the additional worry he will run off the trail after a "potential" threat.
Bears for example are not likely to attack people, so I wouldn't want my Pyr to go bounding after one. The general situation where a bear might attack a human is where I would be running on a trail, turn the corner and startle the bear. I'd want the Pyr with me, and issue a warning, scare the bear off or fight it off together if need be [highly unlikely but I think it would be hard to leave your dog fighting a bear].
Also I would want the Pyr to stay close for its heightened perception [keen sight, smell, etc] maybe warn me if a mountain lion were above in the rocks with a growl etc rather then wandering off and putting itself in harms way.
"Breeder?" Would my hopes to find a running companion in a Pyr be something I mention to a Breeder? Would certain puppies be more inclined? Male vs female? Or even certain parentage?
I am more speculating what I would hope to find [or at least train] in a running companion with a Pyr. There is little material out there on specifics on this matter and anybody with a Pyr who has some personal experiences relating to encounters in the wild, running, or just general thoughts based on other experiences with Pyrs, I'd really appreciate it.
Pyr's have a low metabolism and an instinctive drive to conserve their energy until it is needed, ie: to fight off a predator. They typically will not have any desire to run flat out for a long period of time. They will jog along with you for brief periods, but their metabolism will cause them to tire easily. In the Pyr's mind, running flat out is a waste of energy and it will resist efforts that are prolonged.
They are suited to hiking and prolonged walking however and many people enjoy these activities with their Pyr
I would definately recommend that you keep it leashed in the city and areas where people and other dogs may be around.
In remote areas, it really depends on the dog, its level of dominance and individual personality. I have a female that is not dominant unless directly challenged and more bonded to people and she will walk alongside me unleashed with little problems unless she sees something that really troubles her. Another very dominant female will aggressively challenge anything that she feel is out of the ordinary.
If you are looking for a more soft dog, discuss that with your breeder and if they are experienced, they will be able to find the one in the litter that best suits your needs. A more dominant dog will be far more independant.
Walking in the wild, if you choose the right dog that is well bonded to you, it will treat you as its flock and will keep its eye on you. they generally dont have a lot of interest in benign animals, but will instinctively chase off potential predators. The priority for the dog is to get a predator away from you, so it will chase and only engage the predator if it refuses to leave. If the predator runs off, the threat is over and the dog resumes its attention to you.