Marlee (now Ellie)
Marlee has officially been adopted and we are pretty happy she has found her well-matched family. Here is what her family says about her:
Ellie is wonderful. She is getting brushed regularly. Has play time with us and is walked several times a day. We even went for a hike last weekend. My cats are not coming around to her yet... but I'm confident that they will in time. Barking is still minimal... she is sooo well socialized. We are very happy with her.
Marlee is 16-months old. She is about 80 pounds and has a tail that curls tight.
She was acquired from a farmer as a pup. Her person did a lot of work with her. She sits and downs for liver treats very fast! She is very good on leash, too. She was raised with children. She also had a house full of cats and another older dog. So, she is well-socialized and was handled a lot at the crucial time in her life.
Her family's, when she was 8 months old, situation changed. She was then adopted to another person. Unfortunately, she was tied out on a pinch collar. Her person did not know how cruel this was. We do not allow dogs to go on tie-outs of any kind.
Her adopter developed allergies and that is when she came to us six months later.
She was then adopted by a family who fell in love with her. Things were okay for a bit, but as time went on, the other female dog did not see eye-to-eye with Marlee. As can happen, the fighting increased. You can’t make dogs like each other. Her family is very distraught at havingto give her up but did the right thing by surrendering her back to us.
We want Marlee go to her forever home. She is a lovely girl who just wants someone to make her part of their family, take her places in the car (weather permitting), groom her, feed her the best of food, have available fresh water, a place to sleep (your bed would be great), take her for hikes and walks, and let her play with other dogs.
From her previous adopter:
She did do a couple of poops in the house during the first few days but once she got the house routine she was solid.
She's much more used to the cats now. They could jump off of a table in front of her and she'd do nothing whereas in the beginning she'd give chase.
She does bark a lot even when in the home. She's responding to other dogs barking in the neighbourhood. Once they get used to the same noises, the barking will subside but know that they do bark.
She was coming when called most of the time. I think she may have been just following the other two. I always had liver treats ready for them when they came in.
She likes to play pull the toy.
She loves going in the car with the other two when I'd do errands.
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.
For more indepth information:
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: