Great Pyrenees puppies are becoming popular pets. These beautiful and intelligent dogs function well as both companion dogs and working dogs. Great Pyrenees puppies are loving and loyal. However, the breed also has a guard dog nature. Special care and training is necessary during the puppy years to prevent future obedience and aggression issues.
History of the Great Pyrenees Dog
The Great Pyrenees dog, also known as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog in Europe, has a rich history that spans continents and cultures. This ancient breed can trace its origins to mountain dogs in Asia Minor that guarded flocks of sheep in 3,000 B.C. The Pyrenees dog has also been the noble companion of kings. In 1675, the Pyrenees was adopted as the Royal Dog of France by the Dauphin during King Louis XIV's reign. After gaining this distinction, the dog appeared in many aristocratic and royal households.
Today, Pyrenees dogs are bred for both companionship and work. Working dogs are still used as livestock guardian dogs. The loyal and affectionate nature of the Pyrenees also makes them good family dogs, but the do require active supervision as pups.
Selecting A Great Pyrenees Puppy
Once you decide to adopt a Pyrenees puppy, search for a reputable breeder or rescue group. The Great Pyrenees Club of America has a list of recommended breeders and rescue groups. When you select your puppy, look for signs of a healthy animal. Here are common signs of a healthy Pyrenees puppy:
- Bright, clear and alert eyes
- Pink inner ears with no odor or discharge
- Clean, thick fur
- Pink gums with no odor
- Tail and anal area are clean and dry
- Active and curious
The puppy should also have common traits of the breed standard in body structure and features. If you are dealing with a breeder, ask to see the parents of the dog. The parents should be healthy and good examples of the breed standard. For more information on the breed standard, visit the Great Pyrenees Club of America site.
When you choose your puppy, remember that the small bundle will grow up into a very large dog. The adult Pyrenees dog is a large, muscular canine with thick, coarse white fur. The dog stands between 27 and 32 inches at the shoulder and can weigh up to 100 pounds. Some dogs have badger-type markings on the face and random markings on their coats. Puppies have more pronounced markings on their faces. The coloring of the markings may lighten or darken as the dog grows into adulthood.
You should learn as much as possible about the Great Pyrenees breed before you adopt a puppy. Researching the breed will help you make an informed decision about whether this type of dog fits your lifestyle.
Ideal Environment for a Pyrenees Puppy
Your Great Pyrenees puppy will grow up into a large dog that loves the outdoors and needs room to get regular exercise. In fact, some Pyrenees breeders recommend outdoor kennels. The dog also fits in a ranch or farm environment. Pyrenees dogs that live indoors need a large fenced-in yard for daily exercise and play. Apartment life is not recommended.
A Pyrenees puppy can benefit from crate training. Crates provide a quiet place for the puppy to nap and also assist housetraining efforts. If the puppy sleeps in a crate, he is more likely to wait to go outside to potty because he will not want to soil his bed. Once the puppy accepts the crate as his den, he will feel comfortable in the crate. It will become his safe place when he is home alone.
Never let a Pyrenees puppy roam the house freely when he is home alone because the risk of destructive behavior is too great. Put him in his crate inside the house or in an outdoor kennel with plenty of water.
Pyrenees puppies have certain traits that should be considered before adoption. Typical puppy concerns include:
- Barking: Pyrenees puppies and adult dogs tend to bark at everything. Obedience training can help minimize the problem.
- Chewing: Puppy-proof your house. Pyrenees puppies love to chew on things. Provide hard rubber toys and strong dog chews like Kong and Nylabone.
- Destructive behavior when bored: Pyrenees puppies and adult dogs need a lot of attention. A lonely and bored puppy is likely to act out with destructive behavior such as chewing up a shoe.
- Strong-willed: The puppies are smart and stubborn when they want something. Obedience training will help prevent aggressive behavior.
- Guard dog instinct: Keep puppies and adult dogs on a leash when you go for walks. The breed has too much of a guard dog nature to be off-leash in public.
Socialize your puppy as early as possible to get him use to strangers and other dogs. Puppy classes are a good way to introduce early socialization. However, wait until the puppy is six months old before beginning a formal obedience training program.
Pyrenees puppies have a thick double coat that can easily be cared for at home. Groom your puppy once a week to maintain the coat. The weekly grooming should include:
- Eyes: Look for brown tear stains that are very visible on white fur. Use a cotton ball and a mild solution of dog shampoo and water to remove any tear stains.
- Ears: Check the ears for foul odors or discharge. Use a pet ear cleaner to clean out ears, if necessary. Contact the veterinarian if you suspect an ear infection or mites.
- Nails: Keep nails short. Trim when necessary.
- Brushing the coat: Brush with a slicker brush to remove shed hairs. Remove mats. Finish brushing with a bristle brush.
The puppy can be bathed once a month or as needed.
Great Pyrenees puppies are not right for everyone due to their adult size and temperament, but they do well in the right type of home with active leadership.