height of fence needed

by Helen Yzaguirre
(Rock Hill, SC)

I have small side yard about 12 wide by 80 ft long with 4 ft black aluminum fence. People and dogs walk by during day. The front of house has 3 ft fence. If trained and socialized from a pup will my Pyrenees bark at neighbors and try and jump the fence? I would be walking my Pyrenees up to 5 miles a day. I am retired at with my dog most of the day.

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Jan 31, 2017
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by: Great Pyrenees Club

They can jump 4 feet. A minimum of 5 feet is recommended. Even then, some will scale the fence to get out. It depends on the dog.

No, you cannot train a Pyr to not jump out or not bark.

Here is a brief summary of what to expect from a Pyr:

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

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 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 double coats keep them cool in summer and warm in winter. 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.

Their instinct it 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, as they usually prefer, they need shelter from the elements. And, no electric collars.

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.

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. 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.

They require regular walks, of course, so they get out and see the world. 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 work from puppyhood, they should be good on a leash.

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.

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