Duke - Working Dog

*ADOPTED*

Duke has gone to a home where he is able to continue doing what he loves to do best. He looks after sheep, goats and all sorts of rescue animals at a private rescue.

His new family also wanted a friend for their female Pyr. Their male recently had passed and she was missing him. Duke has filled that void.

He is learning to trust people and loves his guardians. We are so happy for this big boy!

Here are a few words from his new family:

The herd has brought him to life. He looks so majestic and proud... what a treasure.

He must have been shot at because a transport tire blew and sounded like a shot and he escaped from the field in terror...thankfully, he knew to come find Brian at the house. No sign of wanting to leave us even when he bolted in fear. Just came to us for help.

These last few days have just been so happy for him.

Duke's history:

Duke is to go as a working dog. We haven’t determined his age yet but he is youngish.

He loves to watch over his sheep. That is his mission in life. The only issue is that he is very protective of the lambs as they are being born. The way around this is to keep him away from the ewes at lambing time. Once the lambs are born and all is well with them, Duke can be with them, again.

He is shy with no aggression.

It’s important to work with your guardian dog and make sure there is regular human interaction. Give him a treat now and again, tell him what a good job he is doing and pet him. Groom him on a regular basis to keep his skin healthy and his coat free of painful mats.

About the Pyr in brief:

They are beautiful dogs with great temperaments given the right breeding, socialization, care including diet and training.

Bot working and companion dogs 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. This includes working dogs. 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 of any type 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 and fresh water.

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. Never use shock collars. This is cruel since barking is instinctive and a tool of their trade.

They dig holes in your garden to stay cool in summer.

Diet is very important in having a healthy dog. The best food is raw.

They require much socialization and handling as pups onward with many different people and other dogs.

They require positive-reinforcement training (a trainer who shows you how to work with a clicker and follow people such as Dr. Sophia Yin, Dr. Ian Dunbar, Karen Pryor and Bev Hurst). 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. Do not use choker collars or pinch collars . A harness that hooks in front is easiest on the dog should he pull. How to choose what to use.

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.

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:

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

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