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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

    Prospective Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Default Planning on adopting a Great Pyrenees soon

    Hello, I am new to this site and was looking for some advice. I’m looking into buying a Great Pyrenees some time within the next few months and was wondering if it is a good idea? I have a cat at home and my home doesn’t have a big yard, but I am willing to take him/her on nice long walks every day and get at least an hour and a half of play every day. I’m also willing to take the time to train and socialize him properly. I have never owned a Great Pyrenees before, but I have experience with a German Shepard and a lab/pit. I know the breeds differ greatly, but I have been researching The Great Pyrenees breed for a few months and I feel like I can manage. I came to get advice from people who have had experience with this breed before and can give me any heads up or helpful advice. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Shaggys Mom's Avatar

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Sep 2014
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    Ingleside, Texas, United States of America
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    Hello and welcome. Yes, Pyrs are an entirely different breed. I am 73 and have been around dogs my entire life and owned my first at age 11. We were quail hunters and my dad always had English Setters and pointers. For my 11th birthday I got my very own English Setter puppy. This was 1956. English Setters were all I had and then in '78 an Irish Sett5er showed up at our house, no collar, etc and I had him 8 years. On his death, an Irish Setter puppy. When he was 9, my son got a golden retriever to train as a duck dog--'94. Five goldens were ours over the next 20 years. We adopted our first Pyr in 2014 after the death of our last golden, Honey, Sadly, this awesome dog (boind his entire life) died just 3 1/2 weeks after we got him. An unknown tumor on his spleen ruptured and n othing could be done. He was super smart and we loved him so much. A week later we adopted another 7 yer old Pyr and just lost him this past Tuesday (the 5th) to liver disease. We are still crying and missing him so much. A wonderful dog. Oh, we also adopted an 11 year old golden retriever in Feb. '15 and lost her Oct. '16 just before she turned 13.

    I will say that Sir Moose, the love we just lost, was a bit different from mos. Pyrs . He came on first call unless he had a possum treat or in the woodpile. He barked by usually very little at night. he learned VERY fast, and he was a creature oif habit. Once I switched his water and food dishes as he was sloshing water on the end of the cabinet. He would not eat until I put them back they had always been. I have diabetes and taken an injection each night at bed time. After he was diagnosed with liver disease and refused to the hepatic food, I researched and cooked for him, even made his treat. Well, II would get two out of the bag (in fridge) each night when I took my injection. He knew when that fridge door was opened about 11:00, he was going to get his treats. They are very smart dogs , loyal and devoted. Both of ours loved people and tho we only had Shaggy such a short time and didnt' get to take him out to places, we took Sir Moose to Lowes, Tractor Supply, etc and he always gravitated to families with kids. Our yard isn't all that large, but hubby walked Sir Moose every day, weather permitting. Hope this helps.
    Jerry and Moose

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Mar 2009
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    Dallas, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doglover4579 View Post
    I have never owned a Great Pyrenees before, but I have experience with a German Shepard and a lab/pit. I know the breeds differ greatly, but I have been researching The Great Pyrenees breed for a few months and I feel like I can manage.
    Ah, quite honestly, your experience with the GSD & the lab/pit may prove not entirely all that helpful when dealing with a pyr... Don't get me wrong, I am in no way discouraging you from the breed. It's just that most people who think they've done a lot of research come to find out that they really didn't understand/appreciate/truly comprehend what they read in their research - they are THAT different.

    If you've had a GSD, you probably has had some experience with shedding. Pyrs shed... a lot. They need regular grooming or they'll matt horribly. That's something you've not have to dealt with. They bark, some (many) of them bark a lot. They bark loud. So you will need to be honest about whether your neighbors would be tolerant of the barking.

  4. #4
    Old Dawg (Senior Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Dec 2018
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    RHINEBECK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doglover4579 View Post
    Hello, I am new to this site and was looking for some advice. I’m looking into buying a Great Pyrenees some time within the next few months and was wondering if it is a good idea? I have a cat at home and my home doesn’t have a big yard, but I am willing to take him/her on nice long walks every day and get at least an hour and a half of play every day. I’m also willing to take the time to train and socialize him properly. I have never owned a Great Pyrenees before, but I have experience with a German Shepard and a lab/pit. I know the breeds differ greatly, but I have been researching The Great Pyrenees breed for a few months and I feel like I can manage. I came to get advice from people who have had experience with this breed before and can give me any heads up or helpful advice. Thank you!
    I am 4-5 days into my first GP/Maremma mix pup. He's a little over 4 months. He's different than any other dog I've had and I actually haven't had a puppy in years. So far he is a mix of stubborn, clingy, needy, indifferent as well as super sweet and loving. I don't expect him to come when I call him but he usually will. He's never experienced life off the farm or out of his pen so everything is new and he needs a lot of socialization. This site has been a God send for me but it's a challenge. I will say he's for the most part very calm and loving. There is a lot of knowledge here so do your homework, search the forum and take the week off work when you bring him home(pup or adult). I'm really glad I did. Good luck!
    Last edited by MarkJ; 12-14-2018 at 08:39 AM.

  5. #5
    Road Dawg Falkor's mama's Avatar

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Feb 2016
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    South Texas
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    Hello there! I fostered and eventually adopted a Great Pyr that was set to be euthanized at the shelter because he was heartworm positive. I have owned dogs my entire life, but they are a different breed. I love him dearly though. These are a few things I experienced. 1. Barking especially at night. When he barked, I would go out and look at what he was barking at and would say, "good boy". It let him know that I saw the weird thing he was looking at, and that it was ok. He started to learn what to bark at, and isn't much of a barker anymore. He sleeps inside and does very well. Doesn't wake up barking or anything. 2. He sheds a lot! I take him to petsmart once a month for a bath and they brush him really good, and it helps. There will always be hair though... 3. He gets along with everyone including my cat. He is very gentle with my 3 legged chihuahua and often lays down to play with the chihuahua and lets the chihuahua climb all over him. It is adorable. One of my cats had cancer and she loved to lay on his bed. He would curl up around her to keep her comfortable and warm when she started getting sicker. 4. NEVER let him off leash. He will run like the wind. We were out in the Texas Hill Country and my husband suggested we let him off the leash so he could explore. I said NO, but my husband insisted and had to chase him about a mile until he stopped at a strangers house because they were outside and he wanted to get pet. Thank God they were outside! He runs around our fenced back yard and we take him for walks. He doesn't require a lot of exercise or backyard... My backyard isn't huge, but it is fine for him. They can be a challenge, but if you are willing to learn about their behavior and WHY they do the things they do, you will be fine. There is plenty of advice on this website and online. I hope this helps and if you can, consider adopting a Great Pyr. There are rescues dedicated specifically to Great Pyrs.

    Side note: I have a wooden privacy fence and my dog broke through it like the hulk. I had to reinforce it with farm fencing. Even if you think your fence is secure, it might not be to such a large dog. Get your dog microchipped and have a collar with your information on it.

  6. #6
    Road Dawg kcphilaflyer's Avatar

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    May 2017
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    Wichita, KS
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    I guess first question would be what's the history of the Pyr you're looking to adopt? Pure-bred, mix, puppy, adult, working line, etc?

    We went from knowing absolutely nothing about the breed 1 1/2 years ago, to now having two males, both mixes and about 2 years old now, both came from the shelter. We have a cat, small house and small back yard and they're fine. Lots of walks, car rides, playing, etc. They get plenty worn out.

    They are amazing dogs that may take a little work and patience. Our original one Zeke is 2 hours away from being a certified therapy dog. The newest one Murphy is special in his own way, doesn't quite have the calmness needed for a therapy dog, but he's a sweetheart.

  7. #7
    Old Dawg (Senior Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Jun 2018
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    Fort Worth
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    We have a big-ish yard...but we certainly don't need it for our low-key pyr. Now that he's pretty much full-sized, he will cheerfully go on a walk as far as you care to walk him. And he will romp in the backyard with my 10-year-old as long as he wants to romp. But he's also always up for a good nap and will just as cheerfully hang and watch an HGTV marathon all day. We have 2 cats, one made a deal with Max that they will ignore each other right from day 1. The other really wants to be enemies with Max and seems frustrated that Max doesn't care about the cat AT ALL, won't chase or even really look at him.

    What everyone else said about pyr uniqueness is true. Max is his own dude, he takes all commands under advisement. But that's not to say he's disobedient or bad, he always wants to do the best thing in any situation and considers our feelings on the matter while he decides what that is. He is freakishly smart and clearly takes his job as guardian of our family very seriously. Everyone who meets him says he is a cool, chill dog. When they find out he is a 9 month old puppy, they are blown away with his quiet, confident manner.

  8. #8
    Puppy (New Member)

    Prospective Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Thank you all for the amazing advice and help. It really is helping me on making my final decision.

  9. #9
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Dallas, TX
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    There are a lot of choice words that people use to describe Sebastian. Low-key and chill are not amongst them (unless, of course, someone is saying that he needs to chill).

    Granted, he is a mix, and likely gets some of his boisterous personality from his Saint side, there are Pyrs out there with Sebastian’s energy levels.

    When it comes to kitty cats, Sebastian loves them. Well, more accurately, he loves to try to terrorize them. He thinks they are especially fun when they are puffed up and hissing at him with backs arched.

    Here is a good example of what happens when a kitty cat (or squirrel, or rabbit) comes to visit...
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lhf0WX0xuns

    The area shown in that video is one of two small fenced-in areas I have at my house. That area, the front courtyard, currently doesn’t have a gate that latches securely, so when he wants to go out there, I have to go out first, and put a large piece of Plywood (roughly 4’x4’) up to block the gate so that he and my other dog, Chester, don’t escape and hitchhike to a neighborhood with bigger, nicer, homes. Any time it is cold or rainy, Sebastian will only go outside if I take him out front, most likely because he knows that I would rather just let him out back. This is what he does to start the conversation...
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fV_BLhA6SZQ

    If I don’t comply with his demands in a manner that is quick enough for him, he will resort to barking at me until I cave.

    Our back yard is pretty small - I’d guess somewhere around 600 square feet. Still, Sebastian and Chester have just enough room to run and play.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=di7mwcaoE9Y

    Of course, that video was taken about two weeks after I put in new sod, and the grass doesn’t look anywhere near that nice anymore.

    Sometimes, Sebastian enjoys a good romp in the living room, as well, although Chester worries that they might accidentally break something. (Chester cares when I am upset about something, whereas Sebastian does not.) (Chester is also aware that when Sebastian gets this wound up, it usually results in someone getting “special hugs”, which no one likes.)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5M7q590aIJo

    This is Sebastian at 6 1/2. This is the “calm”, “adult” version of Sebastian. I don’t have many puppy videos of him because I didn’t have enough arms to be able to handle him and record his antics at the same time. Amongst his favorite games back then were, “Ha Ha, Lady, You Can’t Catch Me”, “Linebacker”, and the infamous “Kill Mommy”, all of which were way more fun for him than they were for me. He also enjoyed pulling socks off of my feet, and pulling ponytail holders out of my hair.

    Did I mention that we went to training classes, or that prior to bringing him home I had competed in Obedience Trials with other dogs?

    He was, and at times still is, quite a handful. Still, he is the love of my life, and I wouldn’t change a thing (except maybe the special hugs part). He is insanely smart, fiercely independent, and an excellent guardian to Chester and me. He also tells some pretty good jokes. In all truth, I would be completely lost without him.

    I think one of the best things you can ask yourself during this process is whether or not you’re willing to make compromises to accommodate your dog. If the answer is a resounding yes, then a Pyr might be a good choice for you. As everyone has said, they are that different, and while doing breed research is great, no amount of reading can truly prepare you for the reality of living with one.
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
    www.facebook.com/SirSaintSebastian

  10. #10
    Old Dawg (Senior Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Dec 2018
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    RHINEBECK
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    Love the videos of Sebastian. Especially the one of him talking...he certainly has something to say! He looks like such a fun guy.

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