DOB: Approx. May 2015
Other dogs: Other high-ranked (confident) dogs may be suitable
Well-behaved children around dogs: Yes
Charlie has settled in nicely at his foster home. He does well and is comfortable with men, women and children. He does well with the family cat and another friendly, relaxed male.
He is fed separately as he has shown bowl territorial behaviour with the dog and the cat but never with a human. We don’t blame him for not wanting to share his food since he came in underweight and food had been scarce for him as was water . He sits politely and waits for his food and to eat until he is told he may do so.
Walking Charlie on a leash is a pleasure. He is a true gentleman and rarely pulls. He could teach Sam, the resident dog, a thing or two.
We have not encountered another dog on our walks yet so I can't report of his reaction to that yet. Know that he has had exposure to other dogs and he was fine with those dogs.
He loves being outdoors and, in true Pyr fashion, will bark away predators, dig and roll in dirt and explore. Charlie had no exposure to livestock prior to come to us. We have chickens and at first Charlie was reactive but now walks right through the flock (on leash) without chase or much mind to them. He needed to figure them out and see how we, and Sam, treat them.
Possession issues over toys are not a concern. In fact, Charlie and Sam will share toys and play tug of war with a stuffie! (very cute). Charlie does very well in the car. He stays in his designated spot and seems pretty relaxed.
He is choosing to spend most of his time here outside with Sam. He comes in for visits when he likes but enjoys sleeping outside in a sheltered area or in the dirt. I think he would be one of those dogs that would also do well sleeping inside with his family if directed to do so. I have been told he just curled up and went to bed when they did with little night barking.
We think he went blind from having his mouth tied shut but he has some sight back, now. The pressure was just tested on his eyes and that was good. He was on drops but doesn't need them right now but may in the future.
Charlie is a "hugger" and has lots of love to give. He greets his Foster Dad with a shoulder hugs. We haven't had any issues with him jumping up on people at all, even when excited.
Charlie would be a wonderful addition to family who understands the breed. The only issue here was food bowl or water bowl possession with other animals. We solved that issue by feeding separate and don't leave bowls on the ground in the common areas. It’s a simple solution for a dog whose past has been unkind to him.
He is a true joy, despite his difficult past. We enjoy seeing him run and being Pyr goofy with his dog buddy.
This is sweet Charlie. A good samaritan stepped up, took him in and contacted us.
He has had a rough life in his short one and a half years but he is moving on. His original family split up. They left him with a friend. The friend kept Charlie in his basement for two months and threw scraps for him to eat. His mouth was tied shut in between to stop his barking.
Unfortunately, he was shaven right down so he has to wear a coat/sweater until it grows back. He is underweight but a good raw diet will get the weight on him quickly.
He lived with cats and a female dog in the good samaritan’s home and things were fine. He, as can be expected, did not get along with the intact male in the home.
It's imperative to do your research on any breed you would like to bring in. Here is a brief summary of the Pyr:
BARKING: They bark more than most dogs and neighbours do complain. That is a common reason for people surrendering their Pyrs (they didn’t do their research). Their bark is what deters predators and it is instinct to them. That and marking their territory. To take away their bark is to take away who they are. The barking can be managed but it takes time, patience and consistency with positive-reinforcement training. If you don’t like barking, they are not the dog for you.
CONTAINMENT: Pyrs love to hang out outside and their instinct is to wander. Therefore, they require at least a 5-foot secure fence in a large yard in which they can play, run and watch over. Some have been know to scale any height of fencing. No tie outs for these guys. It can lead to aggression since they cannot fully watch over their territory. If they are out all day (when you are home), as they usually prefer, they need shelter from the elements. And, no electric collars or invisible fencing.
DIGGING: They dig holes in your garden to stay cool in summer so you’ll want to set aside some garden for them.
DIET: It is important, just as it is for us, to eat a healthy diet for a dog to feel and look his best. Raw is the species-appropriate diet. Here is a some information.Do your research on it. Otherwise, make sure to feed a high-end kibble.
EXERCISE: They require regular walks, of course, so they get out and see the world and stay interested and socialized. They must be leashed because they will wander. Again, they have been specifically bred to wander with sheep as they watch over them. It’s suggested to use a front lead harness which will cut down on any damage to the spine should the dog pull although, with a little training, they will be good on a leash.
GROOMING: Working and companion dogs must be groomed. They require a good weekly grooming to keep them mat free and their skin healthy (hence, pain free from the pulling of mats as they move), and cutting their nails including their dew claws, front and back, every couple of weeks to a month. NEVER have their dew claws removed. This is a barbaric practice. Simply keep the dews trimmed.
They molt twice a year and all year round so your vacuum stays full. NEVER shave a Pyr. Their coats keep them cool in summer–they lose their undercoat, leaving just guard hairs–the guard hairs protect your dog from sunburn and insulate him against heat, as well as allowing air to circulate to keep the skin cool–and warm in winter–their undercoat grows close to the skin to keep your dog warm and dry. This system only works if you groom your dog regularly. If you don’t like grooming, take your dog to a master groomer. If you don’t want to, this isn’t the dog for you.
TRAINING: They require a lot of socialization as pups onward with people and other dogs. They also require positive-reinforcement training (a trainer who shows you how to work with a clicker). Pyrs, nor any dogs, take kindly to any kind of punishment. Always use positive-reinforcement training. It will lead to aggression. Dr. Sophia Yin is a great website resource.
It’s important to work with the dogs as if in a dance and you are leading. Rewards for good behaviour and redirect for unwanted behaviour. It’s up to you to make them a good canine citizen. When engaging a trainer, ensure they use positive-reinforcement training to show you how to manage your dog. Never send a dog away for training. You are the one working with the dog, not a trainer. If you are not ready to train a dog, this is not the dog for you.
To train a Pyr is not like training some other dogs. They are not eager-to-please and just as soon walk away from you than do as you say. They were bred by man to be used as guardian livestock dogs because they do not require human intervention to tell them how to do their job. Lots of patience, consistency and time is required to work with them. If you want an obedient dog, this is not the dog for you.
WHY ARE THEY SURRENDERED: There are those in need of a home because someone didn’t realize they would get so big, bark so much, leave so much hair in the house, wander, and require work. Some have been abused/neglected. There are also those whom people want to surrender for aggression but we do not take those dogs in. These dogs usually come from farmers, backyard breeders and pet shops (puppy mills) where genetics are unknown by the ‘breeders’ and by the time they start to mature, aggression will set in. Please start here:
Great Pyrenees Club of Southern Ontario
We never want to see these dogs fail so it's important that children learn how to behave with dogs and that parents never leave their children alone with a dog. Here is a link on that subject:
Best Dogs for Children
You need to be ready for a lifelong companion who will be a part of your family and you are able to manage any unforeseen vet emergencies.
There is a minimum adoption donation of $350.
If you would like more information on Charlie, please call Shona at 705-890-3587. Leave a message and she will return your call.
If you want to meet Charlie, please fill out an adoption application.