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. Wowwee Clowie, before this awesome post I didn’t really know much about the Great Pyr puppy or adult! But now, although I would love to play with this puppy…I’m pretty sure my house isn’t big enough for a brother or sister! :-/ I can’t believe that you could open doors by 4 months old, I still can’t open them!!! My oh my, you were super adorable as a little (hehe) one!!

    • They put a hook next to some doors, so that they could put a cord around the handle and the hook to stop me. I was quite a handful at 4 months old! I had calmed down a lot by the time I was 8 months, but it took lots of training. They say I needed to be adorable!

  2. It’s an excellent post, Clowie, and I love those pics! You are so cute as a puppy!

    Christie from lifewithbeagle.com

  3. Clowie, you are the most honest Pyrenees Mtn Doggie I have ever met…only knew one other…and that was through Mom..So this dog, very lovely…belonged to a former client. Mom has trained SIbes, knows dogs pretty well. The PMD, when Mom offered her hand for sniff, lunged and almost attacked Mom. ANd for rest of time Mom was in that home, that dog stalked her…NOT THE DOG’S FAULT…totally the biped’s who had never understood the breed. As always, it is the biped’s accountability to make the canine safe, loved, protected…and socialised, oawsome post, spot on…and same goes for Siberians, so says Mom… just sayin… Savannah

    • Hi Savannah! I think all puppies should be trained and socialised, but it’s more important with the larger breeds. Even with training it can be physically challenging, as we get heavy and strong before we are mature. Pyrs were bred to protect, we need to socialise a lot when we are young. I am friendly to everyone and enjoy meeting new people – out or at home. From what I hear, Sibes have minds of their own and need patient training – like me!

  4. Excellent article on your breed Clowie and good information for other large breeds and puppies in general. People see cute, but don’t realize what a commitment a pup is. Lots of babes end up in shelters around the age Miss Pops is now 8 – 10 months old. The cuteness wears off! Thank you!

    • Thank you! Yes, all puppies are hard work. As well as the cuteness wearing off, we all go through that adolescent phase at around that age – which can be difficult, especially if we haven’t had much training.

  5. What a great post, Clowie! It’s lovely to know more about your breed. Besides, we hope everyone thinks carefully before they adopt any dog no matter what breed or size it is as this is the season that many people will fall into the trap of getting some cute puppies home for Christmas presents. Commitment, care and love is what every puppy or dog needs.

  6. Pingback: Tail Thumper of the Week #11 « Stella the Great Newfenees

  7. Terrific post with tons of very important information. We hope that anyone considering a puppy for Christmas will educate themselves on what it entails before getting one and be sure they are ready to do all that is best for the puppy that will not always be a puppy. Thank you for posting this. Hugs and nose kisses

  8. So you know I eventually want a Pyr. What I want to ask is, how would it be to get a rescue Pyr, already grown and a year or two old? There are rescue groups in my state and one state over. I see them come up for adoption semi-frequently. I love the idea of rescuing a house broken dog instead of a puppy. And it breaks my heart to see abandoned Pyrs. Maybe I’ll wait till a couple of teenagers move away so I can afford to feed it.

    • Feeding us as adults isn’t so bad – we need a lot while we’re growing, but our appetite once grown is quite modest for our size. When we’re mature, we are not on the go all the time like some dogs. We like to find a spot where we can keep an eye on everything that’s going on and we will rest there.
      I would talk to a rescue group that specialises in the breed, many of the breed clubs have one. The people that run these really understand the breed well and will be able to decide with you whether a particular dog is suitable for you. Some of the dogs will have had more socialisation than others. I know you have other animals, so that will be a consideration – you will need a dog that can accept smaller animals.
      If you would like help finding a club or rescue let me know, I can probably put you in touch with someone who can help.

      • Thank you so much. It will be awhile, but I’ll be talking with you when we get to that point. I follow a Pyr rescue on Facebook, and I know there’s one here in Oklahoma.

  9. Great information Clowie! You covered so many things that most people don’t think of before choosing a dog. Your pictures are so cute!! 😀

  10. We enjoyed reading about your breed Clowie! Your pictures are adorable!

  11. I always knew you were extra special Clowie. You make a lot of good points. Some people don’t think before getting any dog. If they’re lucky, it can be 15 year commitment, that’s a long time. We’ve been very lucky to have two dogs in 25 years. Our last day was 7 when we rescue him…I can’t have a dog where we live now that’s why I just love visiting you.

  12. Clowie, you are beautiful. I’m Marsa and I’m Posavac dog hound. I have my own blog, too and I’d love to become friends. If you like visit my blog and participate in my competition and who knows? You could be the winner…
    taskylonea.wordpress.com

  13. Excellent post, Clowie! It’s so important to know the breed and what to expect. I suspect that’s why so many dogs are abandoned each year, which is soooooo sad.

  14. Hi Clowie. Thank you for visiting my blog. I’m sad though because you couldn’t read it because of bad translation. I thought that if someone with the help with google translation would chose to translate greek into english, should solve the problem. Did you try this?
    And something else. If you want to take part in my competition you have to write a comment in the same article with title ” Ένας Σούπερ Χριστουγεννιάτικος Διαγωνισμός”, which means “A super Christmas competition”.
    Please let me know for the translation. I wish you could read my blog. I think you would like it.

    I’m shaking my tail with joy,
    Marsa.

  15. Great information about the breed and large dogs. We grew up with Great Danes and I do remember the pee lakes!

    • They often end up taller than I am, so I expect their growth is even more surprising! My bipeds had a mop and bucket on permanent standby until I was house trained!

  16. Fasinating! We liked reading this good information. Purrs…

  17. That is an excellent post. Aren’t the pyr dogs used mainly for protecting other animals, like goats or sheep. Are there are lot of people that have them as pets?? I have heard that they are nice dogs but have never been around one except to see them out in fields with other animals. But that was some great info.

    • Thank you. The Pyr was bred to protect flocks and a lot do still work. I live happily as a pet dog and I know of others that do. If we have been well socialised and trained, we make calm and relaxed companions. It is important to socialise us well because of our protective nature.

  18. Clowie, thank you for this post. I hope that anyone doing research on your breed finds it.

  19. Wow! Those are some pretty impressive statistics! Not only is everything on a grand scale, you are really smart. We can see why you keep your peeps on their toes.

  20. What a great and informative post Clowie! It always makes me nervous when a movie comes out like this. While the movie is great and fun, these dogs aren’t for everyone!

  21. terrific post, sent the link to a couple of people who are looking to be first time large breed owners, nice. have a wonderful holiday beautiful one!

  22. Hey Clowie, Jet here.

    Wonderful post about large breed pups, including your wonderful heritage. We got a kick about the lake issue! Mom always adopts adult K9s, so, has not experienced much of your story. Thanks for the education. 🙂

  23. Being that my hubby and I have been into dog rescue for the past 28 years, I really appreciate this post. I happened upon it the other day, and being a dog lover had to follow to see the photos. But am grateful for what you wrote here, because it’s how sadness enters a dogs life a lot of times, when they are adopted into a family unfamiliar with what they’re getting in to and end up in a shelter, heartbroken. The breed we’ve been rescuing, rottweilers, also comes with a lot of read-this-before important points, as I’m sure you well know. Thank goodness your fury kids landed with you, a loving responsible dog parent. So nice to meet you. And, thank you for also coming to my site and following. Paulette

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment. It makes me very sad to see dogs end up in rescue just because they haven’t been taught what is expected of them. Rottweilers get a bad press, but the ones I’ve met that have been trained and socialised have been relaxed and friendly dogs. I would like people getting a puppy to be aware just how important training and socialisation is.

      • So true, one of the most important points and can make break a fury child’s destiny and the quality of the family’s life. I’m always so appreciative of any light that is shined on helping keep families together and raising well behaved fury kids. Really grateful to connect with you, Clowie the wise! 🙂

  24. love your blog, love dogs and how do I send you my photos …Thanks for following my blog and when we open we plan to even promote people or businesses that help all animals…I am a big doggy person,Z

  25. Great post, Clowie! So important for people to realize that a cute fluff ball will turn into a large dog, who will require a lot of work and dedication. I cringe when people look at Rocco and say “he’s so cute and well behaved, I want a husky”, what they don’t see is the time, hard work and money invested…

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