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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Default New to Great Pyr (mix) Ownership... considering one more!

    Hi! I rescued my great pyr mix when he was a puppy from a friend of a friend type thing that accidentally had puppies. She threatened to take them to a shelter and after quick breed research I told her I would take one (or all if any were left to try and find homes lol.) His dad was a huge pure great pyr. The female was much smaller, she said half pyr half shepherd.

    At the time I also had a female bulldog. She passed away a few months ago unexpectedly. She was the dominant one (but also a bit of a bully so I always had to keep her in check.)

    Odin has the most calm, gentle temperament. He's fairly submissive. No situation seems to really phase him. Since my bully passed he has seemed very lonely. I've been letting him play with my friends dogs' as much as possible. He perks up so much when we visit dogs or get dog visitors.

    My dog sitter left him alone 2x way too long this week while I was away for work. My neighbor caught it and let him out. Apparently the first day he was crying and they heard him so they checked on him. The second day, he chewed enough of the doorwall to let himself out by applying pressure. Again, the neighbor noticed. He loves the neighbor, her bf, her dog and her grandson. So he spent lots of time with them until I got home. Obviously, I'm never using this sitter again (but I've used her for a long time sadly!) But, the incident seemed like an example of him being anxious and lonely. I'm sure if she did this once or twice in one week, she did the same other times she watched them. And the neighbor never heard them cry nor did they try and escape. He has never destroyed anything so it's very odd behavior. it makes me mad to think they've been left too long in her past stays.

    I've been thinking of adding a new pup but this incident made me think he really is feeling lonely. I work from home mostly but sometimes travel for work a few days a week. We live on a lake and it's a very social, friendly community with lots of dogs. It's just Odin and I.

    So, a few questions...

    1) do great pyrs tend to need/prefer another dog as well as their human or could this just be an adjustment?

    2) I've not had great experiences with female dogs (both bad experiences have been with bully breeds) whereas my male dogs have always had better temperaments comparatively. Although Odin is hands down the best.

    Would adding a male pyr or pyr mix puppy be a risky move? Should I stick with a mixed *** combo?
    There is a male pyr/border collie puppy available and I'm just curious if I could consider Male or female mixes.

    3) I have an invisible fence - including within the lake too. I've contacted a local great pyr rescue and she pretty rudely told me I can't be considered because of that AND that I was very lucky that Odin has such a great temperament. Her tone and the way she worded things made me wonder if perhaps I shouldn't be looking to add a pyr or pyr mix...

    Odin has no trouble with the fence. I spent time training him and he only crosses it if I give him the ok. My bully breeds, especially my bulldog, tested the fence way more often and it was much more challenging to contain them vs Odin. A bark from one of his doggie buddies in the next yard tempts him but he always waits for me to take the collar off and cross with him if we visit. I have a high quality fence, not one of the cheap pet store DIY brands.

    4) if perhaps I did "luck out" and have an atypical pyr... should I be looking at other large breeds like a newfield or st. Bernard type mix? Or, should I work with a pyr breeder to help find the right pup for Odin and I?

    Thank you in advance for reading this small novel and any/all opinions welcome

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    If your boy gets along with other dogs in general then I think he would probably much appreciate a canine sibling. I would admonish though that same gender aggression is common in pyrs. I know people would tell you they have same gender pairs and they do just great, but when personalities clash, it is a very bad situation. The problem is if you get a pup, same gender aggression usually doesn't surface until the pup is an adolescent or young adult. Thus you can't judge by how the pup reacts with your boy for what could potentially develop months down the road.

    Also, for full disclosure, you should also be aware that it isn't unusual for pyr/herding breed mixes to be reactive and high strung. I had one of those. One of the other members on these forums also had one of those. Both of them were high strung. This is also confirmed by the head of our local pyr rescue. But of course many other individuals of this type of cross inherit more of calm pyr trait and are just fine.

    With respect to the invisible fence, some pyrs are known to cross those to get out, but not to come back in. Your boy is not a purebred pyr, that can make a HUGE difference in willingness to obey (my pyr mix was 1/2 pyr but his personality was mostly from his non-par side, which was retriever and/or aussie and he was easy to train and obedient). But there again, some pyrs are very respectful of invisible fences. Though it is true that you will face difficulties trying to adopt a dog from a pyr rescue group with that type of fencing.

    I am not saying you shouldn't consider the male pyr/border collie pup, just that you should be aware of the potential risks. You might want to consider a smaller herding dog for Odin. Historically pyrs work with herding breeds and so many of them do well with smaller herding breed dogs. But of course if your boy prefers large dogs, newfies or saint mixes could be very good choices.

  3. #3
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jewel View Post
    I am not saying you shouldn't consider the male pyr/border collie pup, just that you should be aware of the potential risks. You might want to consider a smaller herding dog for Odin. Historically pyrs work with herding breeds and so many of them do well with smaller herding breed dogs. But of course if your boy prefers large dogs, newfies or saint mixes could be very good choices.
    Thank you so much for your detailed answer! I was a little nervous about potential issues down the road with a Male/Male mix.

    I created an alert for pyr rescue puppies and on sunday a local/small rescue posted 3 pups... the mom is apparently a pry/st. Bernard mix and the owner said they didnt know the dad. Sadly, she surrendered the pups at only 5 weeks old. They are 8 weeks now.

    So, Sunday afternoon I arranged to meet them and let Odin meet them to see how it would go. We stayed outside but the home and people were so full of dog smells and there were wild cats lingering so Odin was way more interested in everything else going on. Per usual Odie, he quickly found a place to lay down and observe everything. The first pup was a girl, the biggest one in the litter with freckles. She went right up and greeted him and he was very chill (almost disinterested to my surprise!) Once he got up, she just followed him around like a shadow. She was super sweet and social, not timid but not forceful either. Soooo I ended up taking Odin and a little puppy home Sunday.

    Odin has really been doing well. Hes super tolerant and keeps trying to play but it's clear hes trying to figure out how to play with something so little. He let's her crawl on him quite a lot and gently moves her away or gets up when hes had enough. She looks for every opportunity to lay against him, mostly on his legs for some reason. My old dog was not at all into cuddling so I think it's a little weird for him but he seems to be adjusting. She follows him around everywhere and he seems to like it. The rescue guy thinks maybe without my old dog or me home, Odin doesn't feel like he has anything to guard/protect.

    She is a very calm puppy so far... but shes so little I think she just hasn't hit that full puppy prime where they become really good little terrors. Lol

    Sadly, she started coughing on the way home. And she coughed all evening and night. The vet thinks its kennel cough and started her on antibiotics. I'm hoping Odin doesn't start coughing soon.

    The vet isnt sure about her being such a large breed though, shes 9.5 lbs at 8 weeks. He thinks she will be on the small side if her mom really is a pry/st. But, I'm good with that as long as she has a gentle temperament and the two of them bond. I was only hoping to avoid a high energy/reactive type breed.

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

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    She is adorable. And you are right--her mixes are not as important as her temperament, and how she acts. I certainly hope the antibiotics clear up the cough. I belong to a Pyr group who has a fostr tht took in a pregnant Pyr--and she developed kennel cough right before the 10 puppies were born. Some of the pups got a bit of a runny nose, but none truly developed anything bad and antibiotics took care of it.
    Jerry and Moose

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