The Blissful Dog of the Day |The Great Pyrenees

by Kathy Dannel Vitcak 2 min read

The Blissful Dog of the Day | The Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees historyThe Great Pyrenees is a noble livestock guard dog of ancient lineage. They don’t chase, herd, stare down or “do” anything with the livestock. They guard them. The Great Pyrenees originated in the Pyrenees mountains where they lived and worked at the side of the early Basque shepherds. They kept the wolves, bears, wild dogs and any other predators at bay and provided companionship to the shepherds and their families.

Called Great Pyrenees in the United States, the Pyrenean Mountain Dog in the UK and much of Europe and the Le Chien de Montagne des Pyrenees or Le Chien des Pyrenees in France. No matter what the name is, this ancient breed is the perfect combination of form and function. The Great Pyrenees Club of America states the breed may be tens of thousands years old in this interesting historical account.

Zoe Great Pyrenees ExtraordinaireWe are blessed to share our lives with a Great Pyrenees, Zoe. I would never be so bold as to say we “own” her. Sometimes, as much as I know Zoe loves us, I feel as if her first bond is to the area she has claimed as her own. The Great Pyrenees is protective and very territorial. We have not seen a skunk, porcupine or raccoon on our property since Zoe came to live with us. She even chased a bear away one day! Zoe allows no shenanigans on her watch. They are patient, loyal, confident dogs. Infinitely patient with their charges – human and animal – Pyrs are wonderful babysitters and great with children.

There is a price to pay for the thousands of years of breeding a dog to think and act on its own without needing human supervision. They are VERY independent dogs and are notoriously hard to “train.” A recent “intelligence” test of dogs ranked the Great Pyrenees painfully low on the intelligence scale, due to the rankings being based on the ability to learn cues and commands. Pyrs don’t play that.

The Great Pyrenees is a big dog that oozes quiet confidence. Their size alone is an effective deterrent to many who would intrude upon their property. The Great Pyrenees patrols the perimeter of the property that is theirs to guard and barks throughout the night. I tell people Zoe is singing away the bears! To me, it would be unnatural to expect a Pyr to be quiet all night or stay in a small yard. They need room and plenty of it!

Tidbit: The 2004 film Finding Neverland used a Great Pyrenees to represent J. M. Barrie’s Landseer Newfoundland dog.

Shop for Great Pyrenees Nose Butter Here

PinterestVisit The Blissful Dog on Pinterest for our Great Pyrenees Board – lots of fun pictures!

 

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