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