Lucy – Courtesy Posting for Sit With Me
6-8 years old
Dogs: Yes, but must be quiet, calm and non-confrontational.
Kids: No, but okay with teenagers.
Housing: Single family home with securely-fenced-in yard.
Lucy is very sweet, very loving, very loyal companion. She LOVES her family and likes nothing better than to lie around, watch the world go by (including those intruding squirrels) and hang out with her humans. Lucy currently lives with 4 other dogs. She gets along well with all of them but isn’t ‘friends’. She doesn’t cuddle with other dogs, she doesn’t play and she doesn’t fetch. She just basically hangs out and observes her ‘flock’. She can live in a home with other dogs but they have to be very particular. She would be just as happy being an only dog. She has been tested with cats and in some instances she was ok and disinterested and in some she did chase the cat; therefore, she may not be ideal for a home with cats.
Lucy is a livestock guardian dog and she guards her property. A typical trait? Barking. Lucy barks... actually she sounds more like a raspy squeak but... it’s noise. Does she bark at nauseam? No, only if there is reason. If she’s in the backyard and starts barking at a noise or moving object nearby and a quick ‘No Thank you Lucy’ and she stops. Her greeting for you when you arrive home? Yep, a couple of squeaking barks! Her foster home has had many people over to visit. Once they walk through the door they are asked to just ignore her for the first minute, she approaches calmly, barks and as soon as they walk past her, she just sniffs and understands they are welcome. Due to her talking barks, Lucy would be very ideal in a more country setting, as a home away from neighbours and the hustle and bustle of the city would be ideal as she can be insecure and unsure at times. She just needs that calm home environment and life is good!
Lucy currently gets about a 3km daily walk and she is content with that. Lucy walks excellent on leash. If it’s just the two of you .. it’s a wonderful bonding session. She pays no attention to cars or other vehicles but … she does sometimes pull and bark at other dogs that you may pass. Her foster is working with her on this and Lucy is easily redirected to continue on her walk. Do be mindful of squirrels as she may tug you towards any slight sign of them!
Lucy is non destructive and will calmly wait for you to return from work. Lucy does not go on furniture, she loves lounging on the cool tile floors in her foster home, however .. if door is left open .. they have come home to find that she has, at one point, lied on the bed. At night she sleeps on the floor of the bedroom but can easily be given an area to sleep. She will just find a place that is comfortable.
In short, here are some of the things to be expected from a Pyr:
They are beautiful dogs with great temperaments given the right breeding, socialization, care including diet and training.
If you want a pup, always talk to a reputable breeder. That is, a breeder whose dogs are registered with a recognized kennel club, who will interview you thoroughly, allow you to see where the dogs live and the pups with their mother. A breeder will only breed their bitches two maybe three times in their lifetime. They will followup with you to ensure you have neutered and spayed.
They require a good weekly grooming with a slicker brush and comb 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 every couple of weeks to a month.They molt twice a year and all year round so your vacuum stays full. NEVER shave a Pyr. Their double coats keep them cool in summer and warm in winter.
Their instinct it to wander. Therefore, they require at least a 6-foot secure fence in a large yard in which they can play, run and watch over. 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, as they usually prefer, they need shelter from the elements.
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.
They dig holes in your garden to stay cool in summer.
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. It will lead to aggression.
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 and 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.
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 have been used for years 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.
They require regular walks, of course, so they get out and see the world. They must be leashed because they will wander. Again, because they are so good at wandering they have been used to wander with sheep as they watch over them.
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. Or, they ended up going to a backyard breeder or farmer and ended up with a dog who was aggressive because of bad breeding. Or, they forgot they travel a lot or a baby is on the way and they just don't want the dog, anymore.
It is very important to do your research on any breed before deciding if they are a good match for your family. Please start here:
About the Great Pyrenees
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
We would like to find a home that has livestock guardian dog experience as Lucy's personality fits the bill rather well. If you feel you can provide a loving, calm and patient home for Lucy, we would love to hear from you. You can request an application with us at