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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Wmca, Nevada
    Posts
    2

    Default New to the breed. . .

    Hello Everyone,

    Just wanted to say hello as a new member here, but will probably be hanging out in the training discussion side of things here. We recently added a couple kids to our family. Thor -n- Bella (brotha & sista) We picked them up at 12weeks old and have had them about 3 weeks now. I have had dogs my entire life and we have had Dobies and Labs for many, many years. My wife and I have done our own training and they all have turned out to be smart, great family members. With the recent loss of our beloved Dobie, we decided to try a different breed while we still had an old Lab. to kinda train the kids if you will...

    So far, things have been going very well. Bella is a sweetheart and Thor is the rebel of the two. I have been reading quite a bit about the breed and have friends saying they are different from any other dog. Someone even going as far to say that they are not pets and only serve purpose as a Guardian Dog for sheep. I told him that we would be their flock.

    Well my thinking is that you only get out of them, what you put into them. AND our son turned out to be a great young man still in college. I'm thinking that with a little understanding of what they need and how to provide that for them, They will turn out just fine. Heck... they already have our hearts, now we just have to do our part to have theirs.

  2. #2
    Puppy (New Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Spring, Tx
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Hello to all - new to the forum and was new to the breed when I adopted my Great Pyr - White German Shepherd mix 2 years ago from a shelter. His name is Kokuma, although I usually call him Kook, and he's 75 lbs.

    I have balance issues and walk very slowly due to old injuries, so when we started to look for a dog to add to the family, I needed one that was calmer and not high energy. My prior dogs have all been labs or lab mixes, so they seemed to have puppy brain until 5 or so. I could no longer provide the proper environment for a high energy dog.
    I wasn't familiar with the breed when my daughter suggested one, but was smitten by the look and given some great advice by people working at Pyr Rescues indicating the "right" Pyr could be a good match for me, but it might take some doing to find that match as they are a big, strong dog who can be very independent.

    I ended up with the right Pyr for me - he's smart, gentle & calm, adjusts his walking pace to match whatever stride I can manage on a given day, and is a wonderful member of our family. He's really good, but that has less to do with training and more to do with him just being good.

  3. #3
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Shaggys Mom's Avatar

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Ingleside, Texas, United States of America
    Posts
    509

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    Well, hello and welcome to both of you new members. I am Sandra and I live just out of Corpus Christ Tx (and Yes, Stpeh, I know where Spring is). I grew up with English Setters and pointers as we were quail hunters in faming community up in East Texas. EVERYONE around had setters, pointers and hounds. I got my first for my 11th birthday in 1956. In 1978 a lost Irirsh Setter, no tags, in poor condition, showed up in our yard. He was so well trained, so gentle, so loving, knew so many commands I knew he had been well loved and trained and no idea how he came to be on the street (we were living in Austin TX) We think maybe stolen and ran away. No lost ads, no posters, nothing. I had him 8 years and when he died, I was so crushed--hubby had called him Sandra's Shadow since he was never more than a few feet from me--and our oldest son's girl friend bought me an Irish Setter puppy. Had Boots 12 1/2 years before bone cancer took him.

    But before losing him, son had gotten a golden retriever to train as a duck dog. By then we wre living down here on the coast. Scooter was a top notch duck dog, retrieving at 6 months. We even got a full brother, later litter and named him Buck. Scooter dropped dead of hert attack at age 5 and we got litter mate goldens, Hunter and KayCee at 8 weeks. When they were 3, we were "conned" into getting a 4th golden that was at our tiny local all breed rescue--she had been 1 hour from being gassed at the county pound. So, we had Buck, Hunter, KayCee and Honey. Lost Hunter a year later at age 4 to ProHeart 6 injefction, and lost Buck 4 years later at age 12 to heart failure, and then lost KayCee just a year later at age almost 9 to cancer. leaving us with only Honey. We had her 12 years and since she was fully grown and heart worm positive when we adopted her, we knew she was at least 13 when diagnosed with lymphoma. When we lost her Aug. 13, 2014, I told my vet she was our last dog. I had been losing dogs since 1956 (lost my first at 9 months to distemper) and I just didn't want to ever go thru it again. Enough was enough. He looked at me and sadi "Sandra, your heart will tell you what to do." He had taken over our single animal hospital in our small town as a young man of only 32 and had been my vet for 20 years and knew me well.

    Within a week of Honey's death I had singed up to adopted at the nearest golden retriever rescue, some 200 miles north in Austin, and also at the nearest Pyr rescue, also in Austin. Funny thing, I filled out the papers on line and said we wanted to adopta senior dog. I had to send the golden rescue (I had donated to them for several years) $10 "processing fee, but nothing to the Pyr rescue. The Pyr Rescue asked for 3 references, the godlen asked for none, just my vet. I didn't hear back from the golden rescue, but in ONE WEEK, I was notifed by the Pyr rescue that thee was a lady here in town who could do a home visit, and we had gotten very good reports from all references and our vet. Turns out the lady lives on the lane behind us and she was out that week and we wre then busy picking out a Pyr from the Rescues site on line.

    We decided on a 7 year old blind Pyr. He had been blind his entire life, abused his first 6 years, with a foster for 15 months, had chronic ear infections, was stunted, needed to gain about 25 pounds. We knew he was the dog for us. She brought him down to us and he was a mes. His fur was thin, he was thin, he stank to high Heaven (ears). And we find out she is Vegan and feeds all her animals and fosters Vegan. Shaggy had been with her for 15 months and only gained 5 pounds.. Got him to our vet, he did an "ear pack", we got him off that Vegan food and onto grain free, made him dried chicken treats and boiled sweet potatoe treats. In just 3 days he was following the sound of our voices to come to us for ear rubs, no more pain in his ears. We only had this awesome by 3 weeks and 3 days before hemangiosarcoma took his life. But in tht short time, he had gained almost 3 pounds, his coat was much improved, no more stench from ears, was wanting ear rubs. I get sick if in AC to long, so we just run ceiling and floor fans and leave back door and windows open. There is a fountain by the French patio door and he learned in short time that was the way in and out. He learned the lay of the yard and the house and could find his way around, made friends with the dogs behind us. Even his coat had improved. Then that horrible morning when we wouldn't get up, rushed him to the vet, a tumor on his spleen had ruptured and he was bleeding out and nothing could be done but to let him to. But he died knowing he wa loved, with us talking to him loving on him.

    We were suppose to notify the rescue if we were to ever need to give him up, or put him to sleep. I called, no answer and I just didn't' wait, I left a message and told my vet to end his suffering. Later I got a call from the rescue telling me I had done the right thing not letting him suffer, he had had to much of that in his life already and I could have a refund or pick another dog. Without hesitation, another dog a senior. Next day I got a call, a 7 year old had just been put back up for adoption. The couple had adopted him 6 years earlier, but were moving up to Minn. to run a Bed and Breakfast and didn't think that was the pale for a large, shedding, barking dog. So they had to return him, BUT were allowed to foster until they moved or he was adopted. They had "turned" him back in a little early in hopes of meeting whoever adopted him. I had several converstaions with her on the phone and we met them half way to get Moose. They were in tears, and asked if I would e-mail and let them know how did did on the 100 miles home and when he got here. They also gave me some pictures of him . Well, that will be 4 years ago come Sept. 30 and I still send them "Sir Moose News Letters) every 6 weeks or some telling them all that has gone on, things he has been up to, etc. Also pictures and they love getting them.

    Oh, not long after we got him, they called and asked if we could take their 11 year old Golden Retreiver, Sophie. She had bad arthritis in her hips and knees and they didn't think she could hande the Minn. winters. We said sure, so we met them at the same spot and took Sophie. They had had her since she was 5 weeks old when her mother was killed and had her exactly 11 yers to the month. Gave me copies of lots of puppy pictures, etc. Had her 20 months and then the same as with our Pyr, Shaggy--fine one day, not getting up the next morning. Her ruptured tumor turned out to be on her liver. It was so hard for me to write Jill and **** and tell them. She wrote back and said she had dreaded getting such an e-mail, cut knew it would come soon due to Sophie's age. I had sent them all kidns of pcitures of her and of her and Sir Moose together. Oh, he was just Moose when we adeopted him, but since I am Queen of this domain, I knighted him, LOL.

    A year ago Jan. he was diagnosed with liver disease and we didnt' expect to have him 6 months. He refused to eat the hepatic dog food and had dropped form 112 to 78 pounds. I researched, started cooking and here it is 19 months later and he is still with us. We are not sure of his age really, as he was first found stealing food from a salad bar in open air café on the River Wak in San Antonio and the vet said he was 3. Jill and **** had him a little more than 4 years and next year, we will hve had him 4 years, so he is about 11. AND THAT COVERS THE HISTORY OF ME AND MY DOGS!
    Jerry and Moose

  4. #4
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    4,770
      Jewel`s Photos

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor-n- Bella View Post
    I have had dogs my entire life and we have had Dobies and Labs for many, many years. ... have friends saying they are different from any other dog. Someone even going as far to say that they are not pets and only serve purpose as a Guardian Dog for sheep.
    As far as they aren't like other breeds, that is absolutely true. They really are pretty different from biddable breeds like labs & dobies. But this does not mean they can't be family companions. It mostly means that one can't expect pyrs to learn and respond to commands like dobies & labs. Lots of us pyr owners will say that a pyr considers a command from the human a "request" and will consider it first rather than obey it blindly. That is really pretty close to the truth. But it doesn't mean pyrs won't obey commands. The way to get a pyr to work with you, you have to gain the pyr's respect. Sounds ridiculous, I know. But pyrs have been bred for centuries to make decisions on their own without any help from humans. As such, they need to know that they can trust your judgment before they are willing to do what you ask.

    Gaining a pyr's respect isn't that hard. One just has to set rules and boundaries and be consistent in enforcing those by using positivity reinforcement methods.

    Someone asked us yesterday how we deal with our pyr's desire to work. That was a pretty interesting question because I can't remember the last time someone asked me that question. As a rule, we've never encouraged any of our pyrs to be, or act, protective. I believe the instinct to guard is bred into them and it does not need me to emphasize it. Instead, my job is to teach the pyr what is normal in our world and that there is no need to react to the normal things. Their instinct will kick in when something, or someone, isn't normal. Over the years I've seen my pyrs react correctly to situations that were not normal and so I have confidence in their innate guarding ability.

    The one thing I will note is that sometimes pups from hard core working lines can have sharper temperaments. This can mean that the pyr will mature into aloof adults and not be very welcoming of strangers and not tolerate other dogs. It is not terribly uncommon that a friendly pyr pup can have a personality shift starting at 18 months. The personality shift isn't about lack of socialization, it can happen even with extensive socialization. Not every pyr will be like this, just that this is something that can happen with some.

    So long as you keep an open mind and adjust your expectations with your new fluffy pups, they will have every chance to be great family companions.

    And lastly, uh, we here on the forums love pictures...

  5. #5
    Puppy (New Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Wmca, Nevada
    Posts
    2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jewel View Post
    As far as they aren't like other breeds, that is absolutely true. They really are pretty different from biddable breeds like labs & dobies. But this does not mean they can't be family companions. It mostly means that one can't expect pyrs to learn and respond to commands like dobies & labs. Lots of us pyr owners will say that a pyr considers a command from the human a "request" and will consider it first rather than obey it blindly. That is really pretty close to the truth. But it doesn't mean pyrs won't obey commands. The way to get a pyr to work with you, you have to gain the pyr's respect. Sounds ridiculous, I know. But pyrs have been bred for centuries to make decisions on their own without any help from humans. As such, they need to know that they can trust your judgment before they are willing to do what you ask.

    Gaining a pyr's respect isn't that hard. One just has to set rules and boundaries and be consistent in enforcing those by using positivity reinforcement methods.

    Someone asked us yesterday how we deal with our pyr's desire to work. That was a pretty interesting question because I can't remember the last time someone asked me that question. As a rule, we've never encouraged any of our pyrs to be, or act, protective. I believe the instinct to guard is bred into them and it does not need me to emphasize it. Instead, my job is to teach the pyr what is normal in our world and that there is no need to react to the normal things. Their instinct will kick in when something, or someone, isn't normal. Over the years I've seen my pyrs react correctly to situations that were not normal and so I have confidence in their innate guarding ability.

    The one thing I will note is that sometimes pups from hard core working lines can have sharper temperaments. This can mean that the pyr will mature into aloof adults and not be very welcoming of strangers and not tolerate other dogs. It is not terribly uncommon that a friendly pyr pup can have a personality shift starting at 18 months. The personality shift isn't about lack of socialization, it can happen even with extensive socialization. Not every pyr will be like this, just that this is something that can happen with some.

    So long as you keep an open mind and adjust your expectations with your new fluffy pups, they will have every chance to be great family companions.

    And lastly, uh, we here on the forums love pictures...
    Thanks for the input Jewel. . . We are working on gaining their trust right now and working on leash walking. Thor had a come-un-done last night!! He didn't want to walk and was screaming and resisting(PULLING BACK) I didn't give in and when I got him to me I praised him with some atta-boys and a treat. Bella is still a sweatheart and walks right along with wife. We're about to walk the yard again now... so we'll see how tonight goes.

    I'll get some pic's up soon. they aren't camera shy. :-)

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