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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

    Prospective Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Default How vocal are great pyrenees?

    I'm new to this forum and this is my first post.

    I am interested in having a Great Pyrenees as my next dog, I have always had Rottweilers but have Decided I would like a change, so I have experience of big powerful dogs.

    Everything I have read and seen ( I went to crufts this year) about the breed is perfect for me except for one thing , barking.

    I have read that they are a very vocal breed who bark at every little thing and you can't train them not too. But at crufts I was told that they only bark if the hear something or see something and that there is always a reason for them barking and training can keep barking in check.

    I want to ask which is true that they bark at everything and you can't train them or that they don't bark for no reason and training can keep barking in check?

    I ask as i suffer from a condition called tinnitus and loud noises including constant dog barking.

    My Rotties were always quiet dogs they only bark if someone came to the door or if they saw something \heard something or if they got excited but a simple quiet command meant they were quiet when told as there quiet as a breed.

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Welcome to the forum!

    Speaking in general terms, Pyrs are not quiet dogs. Some Pyrs are more vocal than others, but you can expect them to alert to a perceived “threat” several times a day.

    My Sebastian is a Saint /Pyr mix. Saints have the reputation for being fairly quiet dogs. Sebastian did not get that memo. In his mind, he always Ha a reason for barking. He wants a cookie. He wants to go outside. He wants Chester, my Lab mix, to play with him. Someone is walking in the neighborhood. Someone is throwing a party in the neighborhood and not keeping the appropriate 6 feet from their guests. A dog barked. He heard an owl. He heard that one guy who can’t drive 30 feet without revving his engine. He heard a fire truck. You get the picture.

    With all of that being said, it is true that you can’t train them not to bark. However, the barking can be managed with patience, savvy, and strategically placed treats. When Sebastian starts barking, I thank him for letting me know that something is going on. If he continues barking, I get up to look out the window and see what he is barking at. If there is a threat, such as an evil jogger, I thank him for letting me know. If there is nothing, I sing him a special “no monsters” song I made up for him years ago. If none of that works, I find the nearest strategically placed cookie jar and redirect him by having him sit politely and quietly for a treat. By the time he has finished the treat, he has usually forgotten what it was that had him barking in the first place.

    I’m not sure how things are in the UK, but here in the US, there are lots of Pyrs in rescue in need of foster homes. It might be worth looking into fostering a Pyr before you decide to commit to one on a permanent basis. I will say that my Sebastian was not at all the dog I thought I wanted when I brought him home as a puppy, but after nearly 8 years together, I can’t imagine life without him.
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
    www.facebook.com/SirSaintSebastian

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Our Princess Jewel is fairly quite. She does "scare off" the trash truck twice a week when it comes to pick up trash. And sometimes at ight she barks at something in the front yard. We never see what it is, but we do know possums and armadillos come around at night and an occasional coyote or fox, so very likely she is barking at one of those things. She does not join in when dogs in the r starts to bark.
    Jerry and Moose

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sara85 View Post
    I have read that they are a very vocal breed who bark at every little thing and you can't train them not too. But at crufts I was told that they only bark if the hear something or see something and that there is always a reason for them barking and training can keep barking in check.

    I want to ask which is true that they bark at everything and you can't train them or that they don't bark for no reason and training can keep barking in check?
    This is indeed a very vocal barky breed. They have been bred for thousands of years to bark as the first line of defense when doing their job. Barking is the top reason pyrs are given up to shelters. They are some that are not very barky but you have to assume that it will bark if you are looking into getting one.

    What you have read and what you were told at Crufts are both true. They are usually barking at something. The thing is, they are often barking at things that they can hear and smell that are beyond our abilities to detect, thus people frequently accuse of them barking at nothing.

    But that doesn't mean they can't be taught to be more judicious about barking. Most people that have issues with barking typically run into that problem when the dog is outside. If your dog is not left outside for long periods of time, you would have less risk of issues. Inside the home, it is easier to teach them to respond to the "quiet" command. What has worked for many of us is to acknowledge the bark and thank them. They bark because they are trying to alert you to something. If you don't acknowledge, they keep barking and sound the alert. If you acknowledge them and remain calm, the dog learns what is not a threat and will stop alerting, or will stop when you ask. The same method is used for barking outside. it's just harder because you have to go outside every time.

    We've had pyrs for 20 years and our current one is our 5th one. Ren barks but we usually can figure out what he's barking at. All of ours have been taught to stop barking when asked. But if not asked to stop, they would keep barking. The barking is worse once the sun sets - that's normal.

    If you get a puppy, be aware that it isn't uncommon for pups to be relatively quiet for months and only find their voices at around 6 months on. It is also not uncommon that when a pup first finds its voice, it can bark like a nut job for a period of time, like weeks. That would be period that would be difficult for you with your condition. But it's a phase. I would also note that some puppies are very vocal, they use their voice for pretty much everything. That is not terribly common, but it happens.

    I would suggest that you reach out to different breeders and talk to them about their lines. You should visit them as well so you can gauge for yourself how barky the dogs are. I visited my breeder before I committed to getting a puppy. I noted in her kennels that if one dog saw something and started barking, everyone else joined in. But they also quieted down quickly once whatever it was had moved on. None of them just sat there and barked and barked.

  5. #5
    Puppy (New Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sara85 View Post
    I have read that they are a very vocal breed who bark at every little thing and you can't train them not too. But at crufts I was told that they only bark if the hear something or see something and that there is always a reason for them barking and training can keep barking in check.

    I want to ask which is true that they bark at everything and you can't train them or that they don't bark for no reason and training can keep barking in check?

    I ask as i suffer from a condition called tinnitus and loud noises including constant dog barking.

    My Rotties were always quiet dogs they only bark if someone came to the door or if they saw something \heard something or if they got excited but a simple quiet command meant they were quiet when told as there quiet as a breed.
    My Pyr, Yoki always has a reason to bark. The squirrel 3 houses up the street had the audacity to cross the street while Yoki is on watch, the neighbor decided to leave his house, birds on the feeder became a bit unruly... and lots of times, for his own (unknown to me) reasons. You will not train this out of them.

    We live out in the country, and Yoki is a house boy. I knew all of the "negatives" about Pyrs before he came to us and love all of it. I "thank" him for alerting me to the danger of the squirrel 3 houses up, and he responds by not barking at that particular squirrel again, until he does something else.

    I've had dogs my entire life, and Yoki is my first Pyr, definitely won't be my last. Their intelligence, personality, protectiveness, etc. is amazing to me, and I've had some wonderful dogs. Pyr's are different. We call Yoki a man in a dog suit. Not for everyone though.

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  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) FourAtThree's Avatar

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    Phoebe is my first Pyr. Before I got her at 8.5 weeks via Petfinder.com I read everything I could find on the breed and "barking" was a common thread. I dismissed the warning because I thought "Yeah, ok, all dogs bark." Wow, I completely underestimated this aspect of the breed and I can tell you that there are times when Phoebe's barking is absolutely maddening! Like pull your hair out maddening. Inside, outside, upside down and sideways ... doesn't matter. She barks at life forms outside our universe! Although I know she's barking at something, often times I end up not caring anymore because I just want her to stop...

    I spent a lot of time training Phoebe, but have never been successful in getting her to stop barking. This has led to countless hours of me pondering why dogs never seem to get laryngitis...

    Please take the barking warning seriously because of your sensitivity to loud noises. As Jewel noted every Pyr is different, but you really can't know how your Pyr will be until after you've gotten him/her. I would not trade Phoebe for anything in this world or any other, but her barking continues to be a challenge at times and she turned 10 earlier this month.

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