One consistent issue the breed does have is a desire to roam. Not all of them do, but some do. They're not being "bad" when they roam, because you see....a Great Pyrenees thinks that 'their' territory ought to be 15 square miles. :-) So to them, if a good fence isn't in place, they see no reason to not take off a ways and make sure your whole street is safe from predators. For this reason, good fencing is paramountly important with Pyrs. Now if they have goats, sheep or other livestock to look out for at home, a Pyrenees dog is less likely to desire wandering off seeking to expand their territorial horizon.
Barking (It's a GOOD thing!):
Great Pyrenees bark a lot at night in order to put out the memo and establish a boundary line to unwanted intruders. After a while of a Great Pyrenees barking on your land, all the predators in your area will have dubbed your property as a "No go zone".
18 years ago my earliest influence in this breed was a lady who raised Great Pyrenees on a huge ranch in Idaho. My first Great Pyrenees puppy came from her, and she said, "You know, the most comforting sound to me is hearing our Great Pyrenees barking at night. The barking means they're on the job and nothin'll go wrong.". I've never forgotten that statement. After all of our years with Great Pyrenees since, we feel the same way. So.... don't be a prude & get annoyed at nocturnal barking. Instead, be grateful for it. Nocturnal barking means your Great Pyrenees is doing their job right, so no predators are gonna kill your other animals nor any burglar ransack your house. Especially these days, everybody ought to think a lot about having security in place. How amazing is it that God gave us these devoted canines!
The smaller the acreage you have, the more crucial fencing is. A lot of 'the newbs' to homesteading think that they have to have a guardian dog who is cool with staying on their property without any fencing, and if the dog doesn't they think it "wasn't trained right" or wasn't the "right dog". No offense, but such expectations are obnoxious and dumb. Dogs need some kind of fencing. Over time & with habitual training/habit forming, older dogs might stay at home with the livestock without fencing, but seriously- you can't hold any dog to staying put without some kind of fencing or electric line. Great Pyrenees have a tendency to want to roam, simply because their scope of what their territory is is a lot bigger than yours.....remember like I mentioned above, a Pyr's idea of 'their' territory is like 15 miles instead of your 3 acres (or whatever small amount of land you have). The fence must be a minimum 4 ft. high in order for there to be any chance of containing a Pyrenees. Depending on the individual dog, you may or may not also need barbed wire on top of the fence & some kind of dig guard on the bottom. Or even better- run an electric line on the top & bottom of the fence. Usually though, a Great Pyrenees will only resort to jumping over or digging out if they are bored.
If you live in town instead of a rural setting, it is important to be realistic about owning a Great Pyrenees. Great Pyrenees are what they are, and you can't expect them to not be what they have been bred for hundreds of years to be just because you want a "pet" Great Pyrenees. They are huge dogs who bark a lot if they're outside. Their genetics dictate that they need to protect everything. :-) So you'll need to keep them indoors at night or when you're not at home, otherwise fussy neighbors will fuss big time. The other big issue to consider is that Great Pyrenees will roam if left outside in a yard without a tall dig-proof fence. Other than those couple of issues, they can make wonderful family companion/guardian dogs for those who live in the 'burbs as long as they are managed with the right understanding.
I got my first Great Pyrenees in 2004. Once I was married & had my own family, my husband and I have had Great Pyrenees for many years and are raising our children with them. They watch over our family, our property and our goats.
When we sought out our foundational dogs, we didn't want just run of the mill Great Pyrenees. We wanted the best quality dogs we could afford. So, we purchased our foundation Pyrs from working farm stock PLUS correct show winning stock from older proven bloodlines. From our foundation dogs, we are building our own bloodline where we carefully select the best puppies from each new generation who have the qualities we are breeding for. EVERY GENERATION SHOULD BE AN IMPROVEMENT UPON THAT LAST GENERATION!
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