Santa Pups for Christmas? Read this first, straight from the doggy’s mouth

I’m a Santa Pup – I’m not in Disney’s Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups and I’m not a puppy anymore, I’m an adult. But I am a Pyrenean Mountain Dog (Great Pyrenees) and I can tell you everything you need to know about those puppies.

I was 3 months old, the Tibetan Terrier was 4 months old

I was 3 months old, the Tibetan Terrier was 4 months old

They look really cute and lots of people want one. I can tell you that the cuteness is a cunning disguise! All puppies are hard work, but a Pyr puppy is really hard work. I can give you lots of reasons why they may not be right for you, but I’ll start with a few.

Size

It’s obvious we’re large, but nothing can really prepare you for how fast we grow – until you live with one of the large breeds of dog.

Those little puddles that bipeds have to clean up after puppies? Forget puddle and think lake! The other little accidents that puppies have? You have just discovered one of the reasons we are called a mountain dog!

Vets advise that puppies should be carried in public places until about thirteen weeks of age, when their vaccinations are effective. This is getting quite a challenge with a Pyr pup!

I could reach the handles on doors and open the ones that opened away from me at three months old. By the time I was four months old I had figured out how to open the ones that opened towards me. I could open all the kitchen cupboards and I could reach anything left on the work top.

By the time I was five months I could rest my nose on the work top or the dining table, while keeping all four paws on the floor.

At six months old, I was just an inch shorter than I am now.

I have a Tibetan Terrier on my head!

I have a Tibetan Terrier on my head!

Hair

My beautiful coat needs regular brushing and I leave lots of hair around the house – it gets everywhere! I wrote about it in From Hair to Eternity.

Expense

While we are growing we need really good quality food and lots of it. Some weeks I grew two inches in height and gained five pounds in weight.

Bills at the vet are higher – medication is often given by weight.

Insurance premiums are higher.

Everything we need has to be bigger and stronger – from collars to guards in the car.

We need a securely fenced garden, otherwise we’ll be off exploring the neighbourhood.

Training and socialisation

A Pyrenean Mountain Dog puppy is fearless and determined. My ancestors were bred to guard livestock in the mountains. They fought off bears and wolves. They were often left on their own to look after the flocks. Take your eyes off a Pyr pup for a second and it will either be causing chaos or it will be investigating something potentially dangerous.

People who know and love the breed usually describe the puppies as challenging to train. Training needs to begin early. You need to be consistent and very patient. Socialisation is extremely important, as the breed is naturally protective.

A quiet moment - we're exhausted!

A quiet moment – we’re exhausted!

More information

Here is some more information about Pyrenean Mountain Dogs (Great Pyrenees) from the Great Pyrenees Club of Southern Ontario.

Disney’s Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws

Are These Big Dogs Right For You?

If you think this breed may be right for you, my advice would be to try to meet some dogs with their owners. No, not puppies – I’ve already warned you about the puppies. You’re doomed if you meet puppies, no one can resist their cuteness! Seriously, it is better not to go to see any puppies until you are absolutely sure this is the breed for you. We very quickly become as large as adults, so it is better to meet adult dogs and become familiar with the size of dog you will be living with.

I have given you quite a lot to consider, but taking on a puppy is a huge commitment. A Pyrenean Mountain Dog puppy can be quite a challenge, it is best to be really sure it’s the right dog for you.

See you next Wednesday!

124 Comments

  1. What a FANTASTIC post! You provided a bevy of information for anyone considering getting a doggy like you! 🙂

    • Thank you Dakota! There is a lot of interest in my breed because of the film and it worries me that there are some advertisements for puppies describing us as ‘easy to train’. I don’t think anyone who cares about puppies, or the people taking them, would describe any of the large breeds as ‘easy’.

  2. Mummy says she can relate to everything that she has just read. Maremmas might not get as big as you, Clowie but We are not without our challenges. Boy says mummy sometimes We are challenging. This was a good article. Love Nellie and Jasper.

    • Thank you, I’m sure your family do relate to a lot of what I said. Maremmas may not be quite as large as I am, but they are very substantial dogs – we have a shared heritage and very similar attitudes.

  3. Great post – there should be a post like this for every breed so that people know what they’re getting into!

  4. You are so wise Clowie. As a small pony of a dog, you give good reasons why your carers have to know what they’re getting into. Great post and super info.

  5. Great Post and I agree, it would be a good idea to have every breed talked about as honestly. Fortunately The Producer is a research nut and despite loving the huge breeds and always having wanted a Pyrenean or a Bernese she knew it wasn’t fair to them.
    Me…. I’m in love with the Tibetan Terrier in the photo with you, I love their cheekiness! But Tibetans tend to look to that one person and love the rest but adore the one. So this time round The Producer wanted a dog who would love her and The Director equally. Enter Raffles.
    We’ll let you know if it works!
    Let’s face it, you’re right. All pups are cute, but you’ve got to study the dogs and just because you love the dogs doesn’t mean they’re right for your lifestyle or time of life 🙂
    We deserve the right home.

    • Thanks, I thought you’d appreciate seeing my little Tibetan Terrier friend. We never sat still for long when we were puppies!
      Puppies are gorgeous but hard work! (Which you certainly don’t need reminding, with Raffles running around!) The really large breeds do bring challenges as puppies simply because they do get to be so big, while they still have the brain of a puppy. And different breeds do have different attitudes and preferences. It saddens me to see puppies advertised with little or no information. It’s sad for the puppies and the people, when they’re not right for each other.

  6. Fantastic post well done for sharing xxx

  7. That was great Clowie, people see a cute puppy and most of them don’t look into what the care of it will be. They keep them in small apartments, they don’t get the exercise they need, the grooming etc. If I had a huge place, with a large garden..I would have one of you 🙂 xx00xx

    Mollie and Alfie

    • Thank you Mollie! Some of the puppies are being advertised with what I consider to be misleading information. I’d like anyone considering a puppy to have better information.

  8. It’s wonderful that you posted this. So important for people to know what they are getting into when getting a specific breed. A puppy the size of most big dogs is not for the light hearted.

    • Thank you! Specific breeds do have different needs. You’re right, any of the really large breeds can be physically challenging to raise. When I was four months old, I was bigger and heavier than an adult Labrador – but I still had the mind of a baby.

  9. Super post Clowie…So impawtant for folks to find da right puppy fur dem and dere famblies. Mom sez that hoomins need to spend more time thinking before they bring home a puppy. They need to remember that a dog is a lifetime commitment…the life of the dog…and that dog will rely on them for all their needs. Take time to learn those needs and we’d have less homeless pups suffering in shelters or worse.

    • Thank you! Yes, different breeds have different needs and any puppy is a big commitment. There are people selling puppies and not telling the whole story about the needs of the breed, which is sad for the puppies and for the people who buy them.

  10. Excellent advice and blog Clowie! Everybody falls for a cutie-pie puppy of almost ANY breed but it SHOULD be done with a mindset of “commitment” – not impulse. You’re such a wise dog – and I personally think BIG is beautiful but BIG is also quite BIG!!! Lovely photos………..

    Holiday Hugs, Sammy

    • Thank you Sammy! Yes, I think big dogs are beautiful, but we are quite a challenge until we’re trained. Kittens are very cute, but even their little teeth can be quite painful!

  11. Great post Clowie, and so true!
    I’m not as big as you, but still pretty big and apparently mallies and husky’s are starting to be seen more and more in shelters as once we go beyond cute stage then people don’t know what to do with us:-(

    • Thanks Misaki! I think that sometimes the problem is that any of the larger breeds get difficult to handle, if we haven’t had enough training and socialisation. We need to have a good idea of what’s expected of us by the time we reach adolescence.

  12. Some very sweet pictures of your sweet puppy self! We thought about a dog here on the Tiny Ten but you are so right, lots of work. We run around too much. This was some great info Clowie.

  13. Thanks for this post, I wish all people who plan to share their life with a large doggy like you would read it, before they would do something which would make both sides not happy.

    • Thanks Easy! It makes me sad to see my breed advertised as Christmas presents, when I know we’re not the right breed for everyone. It’s so sad for people and puppies when it doesn’t work out.

  14. What a great post with lots of information. You are one giant furball and you are beautiful!

  15. GREAT post Clowie! Mommy has been privilages to know several LARGE dogs (Great Pyrenees, Newfoundland, Great Dane, Bull Mastiff and St. Bernards) and boy oh boy yous is right! Yous forgot to mention what your tails can do!
    That is why Mommy and Daddy has smaller dogs. My hairy slobbery sister Bob is a Aussie Shepard crossed with a sheltie and Cinnnamon is a Red Heeler, much much smaller than yous guys – but no less rambunctios or mischevious!
    Kisses
    Nellie

    • Thank you Nellie! You are so right about our tails – one gentle swish can easily clear a low table! I forgot all about it because nothing fragile is left at that height anymore at home. They watch my tail carefully when we go to someone else’s house though.

  16. So much to think about when getting a new dog. What a great message!

  17. Stella the Great Newfenees via my scribe here.
    This is a post I hope every two-legger wanting a dog companion reads. My half-sister Dakota spent over TWO YEARS of her life in rescue because her two-leggers fell in love with her looks, then discovered they couldn’t handle her “puppy behaviour” and didn’t want her anymore. That “puppy behaviour” is what we’re all about, folks! God just sweetened the deal with our irresistible baby polar bear cuteness as a reward to those who love and care for us. I think.
    If you are a dedicated Great Pyrenees owner, though, the puppy years (Yes, years… I’m three and I still have puppy moments, although I’ve been very good since I was about two. I just can’t help it. Everyone is meant to roll in the snow!) are rewarded amply by the magnificent companions we grow into!

    • Two years is a very long time for a dog to spend in rescue, that’s very sad. I think that, even with training, we can be quite a challenge when we’re big and heavy but still puppies. A dog that hasn’t had any training must be very difficult to manage by the time it’s six months old. They say my cuteness was a very nice bonus when I’d been particularly naughty! They also say I’m worth all the hard work as a puppy, but they would like people to be aware of how much work a large puppy is.

  18. If only all parents would read things like this before giving puppies to their kids this world would be a better place for dogs. I love big dogs, we use to have a St. Bernard very gentle and cute dogs, huge as horses but I wouldn’t personally get a huge dog, living in an apartment would make it a hell, you big guys need room to be free.
    You also make good blankets.

    • I’m fairly quiet indoors, now I’m grown up. I have to go outside if I want to be energetic. But it would have been difficult without easy access to an enclosed garden when I was a puppy. I do make a very good foot-warmer in the winter!

  19. Great post and information about your breed! It’s so important people do their research before purchasing a furry friend! I saw a blurp this weekend about English Sheep Dogs and how it is feared they are going extinct for many of the reasons you describe here.

    • The numbers of the Old English are in decline, a few other old breeds are. It isn’t good for a breed if the numbers decline too much, it’s also not good for the dogs if the breed is too popular.

      • So true and glad you mentioned about a breed being too popular. Disney has been responsible for this happening with so many breeds of dogs that aren’t necessarily for every one – chihuahas, dalmations and cocker spaniels for example.

  20. Whoa Nelly – you are wicked smart! I have to hide this post from Blueberry so she doesn’t get it into her head to start opening up cabinets and doors!

    Great post and a great warning for anyone thinking of adopting one of these types of dogs. Breed research VERY important – looks are deceiving! Cute doesn’t necessarily mean well-behaved unless they have great owners like you do Clowie!

    • It would probably only take me a few minutes to show Blueberry what to do!
      They used to say that I needed to be extra cute to make up for my behaviour! They get lots of compliments about my behaviour now I’m grown up. They say I was hard work as a puppy, but I’m worth it.

  21. Such a great post!! My Mum agrees that it is SO important to get the right Dog for your family and SO agrees that puppies are a LOT of work!!

    My family selected my breed after a lot of consideration and lots of interaction with my buddy Cosmo who lives next door and is also a Bearded Collie.

    Our coats take lots of work and we need a lot of exercise, which is fine for my family as Mum likes to run with us everyday. We are herding dogs and if we’re not going to herd we need something to do, I love to do my Therapy work and I’m now trying agility.

    I’m going to share your post as I think it’s great advice, especially the bit about not visiting a puppy, everyone’s a sucker for a puppy! 🙂

    Big wags,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

    • Thank you for sharing this. It does worry me to see ‘Santa Pups’ being advertised as Christmas presents, when I know we’re not right for everyone.
      It’s lovely that they keep you active and occupied. Now I’m an adult, I’m quite flexible about how much exercise I get and I can be quite happy just keeping an eye on my home and family. But when I was a puppy, I was into everything.
      You have to have a heart of stone to resist a puppy!

  22. I hope people will heed your advice! Too often movies with “cute” animals cause parents to rush out and buy them for children, without knowing how much work is involved in proper care. Or how wrong the animal may be for children or city life. Bipeds need to think before they act in these cases!

  23. Fantastic post Clowie 🙂 I was quite shocked to read how fast you grow!! And how much weight you gain in such a short time! The vast majority of potential new owners would have no idea about these points and many of the others you made – a real eye opener 🙂

    • Thank you! They used to joke that they could see me grow! They used to weigh me every week – while they could still pick me up! They marked my height on the wall in the kitchen every week. They kept the work top in the kitchen clear until I learnt that I shouldn’t touch stuff on there.

      • I shouldn’t imagine they weighed you for very long then! lol You were a lovely little puppy though 🙂 Teaching you not to touch the contents of the work top must have taken some doing! Endless patience and a lot of replacement of missing contents I should think! lol 😉

        • They were very tidy for a while, so I never found anything interesting. I have since discovered that this didn’t come naturally to them! But they still don’t leave anything too tempting on there, if they’re not around.

  24. You are very smart, Clowie! Cuteness can be a dangerous thing sometimes…it makes people forget there is a lot more to a pup than just their sweet, furry face.

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