I am answering a Frequently Barked Question (FBQ) this week.
FBQ: Are Pyrenean Mountain Dogs, or Great Pyrenees, destructive?
Clowie: My short answer to that is that a contented and trained adult Pyrenean Mountain Dog is not destructive. I have not damaged anything in the house or garden since I was about nine months old.
However, we are capable of doing a lot of damage in a short space of time, so I can see why some people would say that we are destructive. Early training is very important so that we learn not to chew on the furniture!
Some of my creative efforts, when I was a puppy, have been misunderstood and my bipeds have said I’ve made a “terrible mess”. I believe that’s what they said when I gave the bathroom a makeover in the space of about ten minutes!
I never once chewed a shoe as a puppy. Oh, my biped has just peeped over my shoulder and said that’s because they kept them in the cupboard until I knew better and reminded me what I did to the table and benches in the kitchen – again my intentions were misunderstood!
There was an incident with a baby gate they’d put across a doorway. It was hardly my fault that some of the door frame came away when I pushed the gate out of my way – the door frame must have been quite weak!
I tried to chew my way through a door – and I was doing quite well when they stopped me, but that was before I knew any better. I also chewed a chunk of plaster from the wall, but you don’t know you can’t eat something until you try it. I only did that once because it tastes awful!
I did rearrange some plants that unfortunately died, but every gardener has to learn through experience – I didn’t know the roots were meant to be in the ground! They were mostly quite small plants as they are the easiest to move, but I did move a few shrubs and a small tree as well.
I was accused of wrecking a water feature, but that was a misunderstanding – they kept putting plants in my outdoor drinking bowl!
I will make no excuse for sending the freshly-laid turf flying – that was lots of fun!
I think all of that is fairly normal puppy behaviour – I wasn’t unusual for a Pyrenean Mountain Dog puppy.
I’ve said that a trained and contented adult Great Pyrenees is not destructive, which is true. But if a bored adult does decide to nibble on the furniture they are obviously going to do a lot of damage very quickly. Early training to establish desired behaviour patterns is very important, as is sufficient exercise and time with our bipeds.
It is also important to prepare a Great Pyrenees to spend some time alone – we are just as prone as any dog to suffer from separation anxiety. It is better to avoid this than to remedy it. A distressed adult Pyrenean Mountain Dog has a lot of weight to throw about and most internal doors will not resist for long!
If our delight in digging hasn’t been controlled or directed in some way, you could end up with a copy of the Pyrenean Mountains in your back garden – my ancestors did create that range of mountains!
What do you think? Would you describe a Pyrenean Mountain Dog as destructive?
See you next Wednesday!