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. Thanks Clowie for showing us that there is more to a fluff ball then meets the eye.

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  3. Happy New Year, Clowie. Thanks for reading my blogs too. I wanted to say how much I liked this post because it will hopefully get people to consider what they are getting into when picking up a Pyr or any other dog as a Christmas gift. Having any kind of animal as a pet is a lifetime commitment, and people need to understand that animals are living beings with feelings – not just goods to be shunted around or thrown out when they are not though fit for purpose.

    Hubby and I have now rescued three Pyreneans – all pure bred pedigree, but rejected by their owners for various reasons. Our first Pyr was taken to the vet at 18 months and told that he should be put to sleep because he was barking too much and had diarrhoea. We offered him a home in 2000 and he lived for another 8.5 years, a much loved pet in our family. He was like another human on four legs. Our second Pyr was adopted soon after that, and like our first one, she was emaciated when she came to us. However, she also had psychological problems from all the abuse she had suffered, having been chained in the yard in all weathers or locked in a tiny concrete room otherwise without food. She is still with us. Our third Pyr was rejected because his puppy legs seemed to be growing ever longer. His folks didn’t want him any more because his legs were too long! We took him in at 8 months, still a puppy and at that chewing stage. We love him lots!

    I thought I would share a link with you to a site that takes a hard look at the Pyrenean, just like you have, telling people to think carefully before getting one: http://www.sepmdc.co.uk/Home.htm
    It’s so true!

    Take care.

    • Thank you for the link. There is some really good information on their site and it will be useful to me.
      It’s heartbreaking when animals don’t get good homes. Your Pyrs had sad beginnings, I’m glad they found you.
      That chewing stage can be quite something! My bipeds moved everything they could out of my way and I always had chews available, but I ‘enhanced’ a few doors and the skirting board and I even tried the wall once!
      I enjoy reading about your dogs and admiring the wonderful scenery in your part of the world.
      Best wishes for 2013.

  4. Did you ever move socks and undies when you were a pup? Our latest chewed through the handle of our car door, and when we finally managed to find another to replace it, we found it was the last one in the whole country!

    • After I got into the bathroom when I was three months old and destroyed the linen basket and shredded most of the contents in the space of ten minutes, they were very careful about what I got hold of! When they discovered I could open doors, they tried a child-proof gate across the kitchen doorway but I easily pushed that out of my way – I don’t think it’s my fault that part of the door frame was damaged, it must have been quite weak!
      I did manage to have a lovely game with the washing once – I pulled most of it off the line and spread it about on the grass.
      But I never tried a car door handle!

      • Clowie, I think I take the cake but don’t let my mamma know I came to tell… I chewed everything I could get my jaws on when I was younger and when the people picked things up off the floor I started to eat the house. I made a pretty big dent into the wooden side of the house which earned me the nickname, little termite. I didn’t like it cuz I’m not little! Now, I’m older (1 year and very mature) I have limited my chewing and am such a good boy, at least the two leggeds tell me that. Max (the Rottie who lives with his sister Bella & their folk) Woof Woof Year, Clowie. 🙂 p.s. Daddy finally patched the outside of the house with some wood look alike stuff and gave me a dirty look when he said, “don’t eat that!”

        • Yes, I think eating the house is quite impressive!
          The wall I tried tasted horrible because it was plaster, so I gave up quickly. Wood is much nicer. They tried spraying the table legs with something that is supposed to stop dogs wanting to chew, but it made them more interesting!
          My bipeds seemed quite pleased when I got over that chewing stage!

  5. Aww. You were photogenic, even as a puppy. 🙂

  6. I love Hair to Eternity!!! Priceless. Such good advice, but I agree, see a puppy and your doomed….It’s irrestible like fresh made fudge!!! One must practice discipline….cuz she’s soooo adorable!!! At full size she is just a remarkable beauty. Love her expressive face.

    • That hair really does get everywhere! Yes, it’s very hard to resist a puppy, they are so cute. I think it’s important to train and socialise any of the large breeds as puppies because they do need to be well behaved as adults, something that is cute in a small dog can be dangerous with a large one. Thank you, I think that Clowie smile is special!

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