Post # 1
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
We’ve been considering getting a livestock guardian dog sincewe had a string of fox attacks earlier this year. A breeder that came highly recommended to us has 1 pup left from the current litter, and we are seriously considerin getting the pup. She’s from a good working dog line, which is important to us, and she’s been raised around birds since birth. She’s 2 months old now, but we wouldn’t be able to go pick her up until December when Mr. LK is already scheduled to be in her ‘hood (she’s in Kansas and we’re in Maryland). Has anyone ever owned a Great Pyrenees? Any tips or warnings? Things we should be on the lookout for (good or bad)? We’ve done a good bit of research so far, but it never hurts to ask. We already have a great dog trainer to work with. Any experience using an invisible fence with a livestock guardian dog? We have 5 acres, and there’s no way we are fencing that all in with regular fence! Also, how do you adjust to having an outdoor working dog? That will be the hardest part for me, even though I know that they are bred specifically to stay outside and protect their flocks. I’m just used to dogs being house pets, so this would be a new experience for me.
Post # 2
DH’s family has had several on their farm. They’ve all been great. Some chase cars or semis down the driveway but that’s it. They have hundreds of acres but have fences for the most part. I would not let that dog in the house, they are big and get grosss being outside, definitely outside pets!
Post # 3
I don’t know all the details of great pyrenees, but I grew up in the country and knew a few farmers that had them. They were very friendly with their own family’s kids, but visiting kids were always warned to stay away because they would bite and did on a few occasions. They were also generally not good with any other dogs. The other thing was they could never come inside the house or the farmers said they lost their usefulness as outdoor working dogs. I guess they figured out how good life could be inside? In extremely cold weather they would be shut in the barn with a heat lamp and that’s it.
Hopefully someone else has more experience and can help you out.
Post # 4
I have never owned one but we have adopted many out at the Shelter I work at. The majority of our great pyrenees play the role of family dog and not working dog although they do maintain those tendencies. From owners I have stayed in contact with, they have found they are gentle, good with other animals (but that really of course depends on the individual dogs) but they like the protect their yard and family. Many really enjoy sleeping in the snow. They are loyal. With that being said it would be different if yours is a working dog. But that doesn’t mean you don’t socialize them or make them a part of your family. It’s just that they have a job to do. Growing up my Grandma had a dog who lived outside all year round and I swear he was the happiest thing ever. Also, one last thought – people from farms most often surrender the breed to us because they kill livestock or sheep. I’m not sure why they dogs do this but we do see it happen.
Post # 5
My ex had one. He was an immense animal that was incredibly headstrong. He was not easy to train and his mother (My ex’s mother is a twice breast cancer survivor who is suffering from neuropathy) was unable to take care of him. Sebastian (The dog) got very aggressive (Never bit anyone but was very threatening) and was aggressive towards other people.
<br />So, I’d suggest getting a great pyraneese if you put a lot of effort into training him first, since that great of a dog is a lot to handle if it has poor manners and is not trained properly. They are very smart, so they can be tough to train. I wouldn’t get one unless you could physically handle a potentially 120+ dog misbehaving.
Post # 6
They are wonderful dogs but invisible fence is not going to work – you need a real physical fence to keep them in, and you have to commit to training in a big way. They are certainly not “outside only” dogs so don’t listen to that nonsense. You also have to commit to brushing on a regular basis because their double coats can get matted.
My Pyr was a wonderful dog who was great with small children and just wanted to hang out and cuddle all the time. I miss her.
Post # 7
My hubby grew up with a couple of them, and Father-In-Law had one until it died a couple years ago. I don’t have too much to add, but wanted to agree w/ a previous poster that they can be just as friendly as any other dog to the family and people they see a lot, but can get aggressive towards people they don’t know or people who try to touch them right away without “getting to know” them. They did successfully use an invisable fence on their property, without any trouble. I will also add that their GP slept outside most of the time even through the harsh ND winters. Only when it got down to below zero did they put him in the garage for the night (so most of Jan/Feb). He never seemed to want to be indoors – he loved the freedom of being able to run around the property whenever he wanted.
Post # 8
lovekiss: Hi there. I grew up with two Newfoundlands, only one at a time though. I’m going to give you my perspective because the breeds are similar in size and furriness. We had invisible fences that worked well 99% of the time. I think they only broke through once or twice and then we’d go pick him up in the car and transport him back over the line without a zap.
We always kept our pets inside at night. During the day, it was not an issue but at night, they were a part of our family and expected to be with us inside. The slobber and dirt they tracked in was a continuous BIG issue and it wrecked some carpeting, couches, etc. You just got to a point where you accepted it and cleaned more and then brought in commercial steamers a couple of times a year.
When Bob the Newf died, my mom told my dad that if he ever wanted another dog, he’d have to find another wife.
Do you live on a farm? Do you need the dog to stay outside to guard livestock? If not, I’d be hardpressed to feel good about keeping the dog outside myself. It’s just not what I was ever used to but, then again, we were not a farming family.
Post # 9
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
LilRhodyGem: Kayla0416: Hyperventilate: HannahGrace: Wylie231388: MrsN14:
Thanks for all of your input. The dog would definitely be 100% outside as livestock protection. She can’t protect the flock if she’s inside of the house. Our flock free ranges, and we have fox, coyote, racccoon, and possum that all think of chicken as a very tasty meal. We just hatched some rather pricey chicks yesterday, and want to add ducks and turkeys next year, so we need something to keep them safe. We are in talks with our neighbors to allow our LGD to protect their flock as well. That would give the dog 12 acres to roam around, and give her full access to the woods line to chase off any potential predators.
The reviews on invisible fences with LGDs seem mixed. I think we’re going to talk with the breeder, since they know their line best, to see what they think. We also have an invisible fence consult tomorrow evening to talk about our options. The invisible fence installer we are using comes out for a month to train the humans and resident dogs on the fence, so we would have practice training our current dog well before the pup came home. I’m not too concerned with training a large dog. Our trainer is fantastic. We worked with her for our current dog (an inheritance who had no manners), and the skills she taught us have helped immensely.