Not in the Front Garden!

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I’m answering a Frequently Barked Question (FBQ) today.

FBQ: A Pyrenean Mountain Dog, or Great Pyrenees, is coming to stay with me and I have been advised that he should never be allowed in the front garden on his own. Why is this?

Clowie: That sounds like something my bipeds would say about me! I’ve never been allowed in the front garden on my own. I’ll explain the reasons my bipeds have for that – I expect some of the reasons are the same.

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The fence in our front garden is only 3 feet high. I can easily put my front paws on the top of that and climb over to the other side – it isn’t a very elegant way of getting over, but it’s quick! The fence in the back garden is very strong and it’s 6 feet high, so I can’t get out.

Going out to explore isn’t really a case of being naughty, nor can it be completely cured by training. My breed has a need to investigate in order to protect those we care about. Many of us have Houdini as one of our nicknames.

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Pyrenean Mountain Dogs have a reputation for barking at the slightest thing. Sometimes bipeds even say we bark at nothing. I never bark at nothing, but my bipeds have been surprised at how far away the threat is sometimes!

As a general rule, there’s usually more to bark at from the front garden than from the back garden. It’s particularly important for young Pyrenean Mountain Dogs to have someone with them so they learn it isn’t necessary to bark at every passing car.

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People, such as couriers, need to walk through our front garden to get to our front door. These people don’t always close the gate, which gives a Great Pyrenees the ideal opportunity to go exploring.  We’re also quite good at getting through a gate while someone is using it without the person even noticing – you’d be surprised at how nimble we can be!

My bipeds also worry that some people may be frightened of me, even though I’m friendly. Some people have good reasons for being nervous of dogs and I am quite large.

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People passing by

A Great Pyrenees attracts attention wherever he goes, even in his own garden! Many people do not realise that it isn’t wise to put their hands across a fence to make a fuss of a dog they do not know. I am quite happy to have the attention and make new friends, but my bipeds like to keep an eye on things when I meet new people. They also like to know what treats and food I’m being given.

A 3-foot fence is the ideal height to put my front paws on to stand up and see more clearly. This puts my head on a level with fairly tall people. My bipeds say this can look intimidating to people who are not used to very large dogs!

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Dog safety

If I were on my own, it would be very easy for someone to open the front gate and ask me out to play. I would probably accept the invitation.

Cover your ears now, puppies, I don’t want you to have nightmares! Dognapping! It happens for a variety of reasons and it’s a very scary thought indeed – for me and the bipeds. I’m much safer in the back garden behind a locked gate.

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Other breeds

Although I’ve written this from my point of view as a Pyrenean Mountain Dog, these things are worth considering for all dogs.

Many dogs can easily get over a 3-foot fence. Some, like me, use their size, while others are really good at jumping or climbing. Huskies, for example, jump very well and some of them are almost as good at climbing as cats are!

A hedge as a boundary may not be the barrier that it appears to be. Strong dogs may be able to force their way through it and smaller dogs may find gaps at the base that they can wriggle through. I’ve heard that Chihuahuas can get through tiny gaps!

I know a very friendly Rottweiler that, as an adolescent, discovered by accident that the panel fence in his garden wouldn’t take his weight. His bipeds renewed the panel, but he wanted to play with the dog next door and just walked through it again! They had to put in a much stronger fence. I have to say that a Rottie wearing a panel from the fence and still managing to walk is quite a sight!

Safety concerns apply to all dogs equally. There are other factors to consider, such as where you live and how busy your neighbourhood is.

While I’d love to be in the front garden on my own, I understand why my bipeds are against it. I really enjoy it when they allow me in the front garden with them, but I’m generally so busy having fun that I don’t think about it the rest of the time.

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See you next Wednesday!


  1. Apparently following you doesn’t work since I have missed all your posts. I am so very sorry Clowie, because you write one of my most favorite blogs. Just tick it off, to the bipeds Clowie, as you know, they mess up most everything. You are a rocking dog, and your biped is pretty cool too, especially considering she’s human.

    • I’m sorry you’ve missed some of my posts, I enjoy your visits – but you have to follow me again at my new address. That’s WP for you!

  2. This is some excellent dog security advice, Clowie. Of course a dog with such great security skills would know all of these tips. I grew up with Siberian huskies. There were times they escaped the back garden (6-8 foot fencing with bricks underground and board reinforcement) and no matter how the family searched, we never discovered how they got out! Some dogs do indeed enjoy the challenge of an escape, have some sort of great reason to do so (like the friendly Rottie) or just can’t curb their wanderlust instincts. Thanks for the excellent security advice. I hope it keeps many dogs, of all shapes and sizes, safely with their bipeds.
    Cascadian Nomads Bethany recently posted…Eye Heart Cat and Cockatoo Valentine’s Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

    • Thank you very much. I’d love to see how the Huskies got over that fence! That takes some doing! I’m fairly sure that Huskies are part cat. I’ve watched some videos on Youtube of them jumping and climbing to try to pick up some tips.

  3. Thanks for these tips. I have thought about puttin gin a front fence and letting the dogs in there but am now rethinking that. Bilbo, our Border Collie is very good and would never think of escaping but Lady is more adventurous. She has ducked under the fence and jumped over the fence at my parents’ place. Houdini describes her well…and food thief!!
    On the other hand, Bilbo goes psycho whenever the posty comes. He would never let the posty through the front gate.
    Take care xx Rowena

  4. Great answer! Your bipeds are very wise, C. These are great reasons to stay in the backyard. We do not have a front OR back garden, so I am always with Mom and on my leash outside. If I were off my leash, all bets would be off!

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake recently posted…Old and NewMy Profile

    • Thank you, Cupcake. I don’t often get let off the leash either, but it does make it easier for us to ensure that our bipeds get enough exercise while we’re out! I’m glad you’re kept safe.

  5. We only have a fenced backyard, so there is no option for us. You are right, though, your types do enjoy barking at every little thing!
    Emma recently posted…Scratch N SniffMy Profile

  6. I’m only allowed in the back garden as it’s all secure. I would be off down the road chasing the squirrels if I was ALLOWED out the front. The Humom is so mean BOL xxoxxx

    Mollie and Alfie
    mollieandalfie recently posted…VALETINE’Z VOTING!My Profile

  7. Hello Clowie! That is some great wisdom today. Being safe is so important for dogs AND peeps. And cats too. For all God’s creatures I am thinking!

  8. Bet you’re an awesome sight leaning with your front paws on top of the front gate Clowie – many bipeds would be looking up at you ! 🙂

    • Yes, I am taller than a lot of bipeds when I stand up. From the reactions of people, it seems to make me look a lot bigger than on all fours!

  9. I couldn’t imagine letting either of my two in the front garden alone. So I’m with your bipeds on this one!
    Lauranne recently posted…He’s replaced meMy Profile

  10. Good information. Applies to us as well, especially me Bella-the jumper and me Max-the barker at those who pass out front. wag wag and thanks from us all.
    Paulette Mahurin recently posted…Soulful and compassionate, love against all odds.My Profile

  11. that’s a very impawtant post. I so agree with you and for me, no dog-parents should do that. It sometimes ends not good and not all bipeds like dogs, some of them are evil, so we better should have an eye on our dog… btw: but I would like to see the face of the mail-guy when he would meet a pyrenean mountain dog in the furs… he said I’m as big as a calf… bet he would swoon when you said hell-o to him :o)
    easy rider recently posted…easyblog LET’S DANCEMy Profile

    • Thank you, Easy. My bipeds agree with yours, they think it’s important to keep an eye on interactions with unknown people, if anything goes wrong it’s considered the dog’s fault – regardless of what the person did. Ha ha, it would be funny if we could surprise your mail-guy together!

  12. Seems like you and my huskies have a lot in common!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…Squishy face huskyMy Profile

  13. Great advice sweet Clowie not only for your beautiful breed but for other breeds as well like you stated. Chancy has his own fenced in section of yard for most of those reasons you posted. Hugs and nose kisses all around from all of us.

  14. All good sound reasons not to be allowed in the front garden.
    Slimdoggy recently posted…SlimDoggy Bath DayMy Profile

  15. Great points! We only have a fenced backyard, so the front never an option for Mauja and Atka 😉 I joke that they aren’t full pyrs because they never attempt to roam from the yard! They’re a bit lazy…

    • I always check the fence if I’m somewhere different, just in case there’s a gap. And I think it would be rude to refuse the invitation of an open door or gate!

  16. I think we would get along quite well! I have a reputation of “barking at every little thing” too! Barks and licks and love, Dakota
    Caren Gittleman recently posted…Stunning Sheltie:Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  17. That’s very interesting, Clowie! Of course, being an in/out cat I think every garden and every house is mine! MOL
    Austin Towers recently posted…I’ve been framed!My Profile

  18. That was a very informative and helpful FBQ session, Clowie!
    Lindy recently posted…They Tore Down My Favorite Fence!My Profile

  19. Hi Clowie; Those are all excellent reasons not to leave dogs in the front garden. Safety first, followed by “let’s not annoy the meighbours”. 🙂
    Debbie D. recently posted…THE COMPUTER IS A WONDERFUL INVENTION!My Profile

  20. Lovely to read this post dear Clowie… And the new layout is so clean and tidy. Very nice!. I am wishing you great weekend ahead!. All the best to you. Aquileana 😀

  21. Happy Valentine’s Day!
    Traveling Cats recently posted…Cats from Istanbul {Turkey}My Profile

  22. Those are very good reasons and the advice does indeed apply to many breeds.
    2 Brown Dawgs recently posted…Valentine SweetsMy Profile

  23. Those are all very important reasons, and definitely apply to most dogs. I also keep my gardens outside of the dog fence area so they don’t dig up my flowers or vegetables. We don’t have a front yard right now that the dogs can go in, but we are thinking about adding one….and yes, then they would only be allowed out there when we are there with them.
    Jan K recently posted…Luke’s Sunday Selfies SeriesMy Profile

    • My bipeds didn’t appreciate me digging in the garden either! It’s lots of fun though.

      I really enjoy it when i go in the front garden with my bipeds. I’m sure your dogs will think it a special treat as well.

  24. We so love the new site! Clowie, did we ever tell you our grandma had a Great Pyrenees? He very much met the characteristics you describe. Bentley didn’t live very long (only three years old when he passed a few months ago from a rare form of cancer) but he was very loved! Something tells us he would approve of your post. Much love, The Scottie Mom.
    The Scottie Mom recently posted…Scottish Terriers of Instagram: February 15My Profile

    • Thank you, I’m glad you like my new site.
      It was very sad to lose Bentley so young. It sounds as though we would have enjoyed each other’s company if we’d met!

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