Sergeant York

We, that is myself, my wife and 4 children, adopted a Great Pyrenees Black Lab mix when he was just a pup. We named him Sergeant York. He was always strong willed and a bit difficult to train. He got a hold on a pork roast one night when he was about a year old and wouldn't let me near him. He had a great meal and I didn't begrudge him his snack but I did realize then that he could be a monster. We then set out to do the best we could to train and socialize him. A bit late perhaps but mostly successful. I didnt do the proper reasearch when we adopted Serge, but after I realized his breeding we tried to minimize the potential aggression. He is a protective giant of a dog with loyally that never stops.

He almost ran himself to death one Fourth of July. We live in Missouri where the temperature in July often is 100 degrees with high humidity. We always have guests and that year we had about 30 children playing baseball in a 3 acre field. He had always patrolled our 6 acre lot and sat and watched our kids play but on that day which all the extra kids to watch he had a difficult time keeping them all under his watch. He ran and patrolled until he passed out from exhaustion under the shade of a big oak tree. When I found him he could barley stand. I got him inside and he has fully recovered. We dont let him out anymore on the fourth and he seems content to find a quiet corner inside and spend the day resting.

He also displayed his breeding one day with our trash collector. We have always let him roam off his leash but with a shock collar. He rarely, never anymore, needs a shock but responds to just the beeping of the collar and comes to heel right away when he hears the beep. He responds a little slower and with an almost disappointed frustrating look when he is called to heel and really doesnt want to. He always does but always on his schedule. Our trash collector changed his schedule one day and we were unaware of the change. Serge was out patrolling when he came. My son make a mad dash to get the last of the trash out before it was too late. Serge followed closely behind, watching intently to make sure there was no threat. No barking or any sign of trouble and my son delivered the last of the trash just in time. Then it happened. The trash man saw Serge and was startled, and made an unexpected and quick movement away from Serge and toward my son. Serge took it as a threat and took what I'm sure he thought was an appropriate response to the "threat" on his charge. Without warning and in a split second he leaped, or reallly just stood on his back legs and nipped the trash man on his shoulder. He barely cut the skin after ripping a small hole in his shirt. That was enough for the trash man and thankfully he responded with extraordinary calm and simply stood still and slowly backed away from my son. Serge took his place right next to my son and never made another move toward the man. My son came back inside with Serge right behind him. We learned the lesson the hard way to never allow Serge outside without supervision when visitors are arriving. The trash collector was very gracious and never asked for anything other than proof of proper shots. Serge is still faithfully patrolling, guarding and watching over his charge. We love Serge and he loves us. He is usually calm, collected, and gentle but always aware of whats going on and always ready to protect.

Comments for Sergeant York

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Sep 11, 2017
by: Anonymous

As has been said on these pages, Pyrenees are a 'deliberate' dog. Best description ever.
Guardianship is their inborn life purpose; this cannot be controlled or in any way directed or re-directed, ever. Thousands of years of purposeful breeding has created a unique and powerful dog, one whose INBORN NATURE cannot be altered.
Humans are programmed to believe that we are superior to all life that is not us. Therefore, we expect our dogs to submit to our rules and expectations. Pyrs can do this, to a point. They will accommodate us, because they are so loyal to their flock. However, if they sense threat or danger to any member of their out! The reaction is lightening swift, accurate, appropriate and controlled. By the time you realise something is happening, he's already taken care of it.
Luckily, your trashman stepped back and that was all your dog required. Your dog did stand, deliberately so, foursquare in front of your son and also carefully escorted your son back to safety. Amazing. Very deliberate.
That shock collar? Ha! Means nothing. Your dog will tackle a grizzly bear to protect you, and do it without any fear. A little shock means zero when they think their guardianship is required. Your dog is merely accommodating you, and respecting you, when he responds to that annoying beep.
What a privilege it is to live with one of these great hairy beasts, eh? I think you get it, from reading your post. Personally, I do not know a single human that can claim a Pyrs' attributes. So, I think we are entirely blessed to have one sharing life with us. : )

Sep 11, 2017
Love this breed
by: Sherry Blonde

I just wanted to say how much reading posts like this make me feel so much better about our rescue's demeanor and actions. It helps explain so much. I attributed Maui's actions mostly to her being in a bad environment for the first 4-5 months of her life. However, after continuing to learn about the breed, a lot of the behavior is in line with the Pyrenees standards. We have worked very hard with her using positive reinforcement and continue to do so. We also continue to socialize her as much as possible. She does have some anxiety and is more aggressive than we would like when we bring someone into the house but for the most part she is an amazing, loyal companion. Part of the problem with trying to work with her and allowing people we want in the house is that we don't have company that often and my kids are away at college also most people aren't able to "play by the rules" so it becomes detrimental unfortunately. Sounds like you also have an amazing boy!

Sep 12, 2017
guardianship post
by: Sherry Blonde

To "Anonymous" your post describes them to a T. I have learned so much and feel very lucky that we are blessed to have them. Your words brought tears to my eyes. Such beautiful, loyal beings. It's too bad more humans are not like this. <3 Thank you for your beautiful words.

Sep 13, 2017
thanks, Sherry!
by: Anonymous

We can only work to make a difference in our own little corner of this world. Our Pyrenees often reminds me of a very talented and opinionated Trahkener mare I had once. She taught me so much about living with empathy for her, respect for her amazing mind, her tolerance for some things and total disdain for other things. I could show her what to do repetitions if you please. That's so boring. She trained me to work with her, and she loved to work. It was a joy to be with her! She taught me that the animals can be our teachers, too. A humbling concept.
You have rescued a big white dog and you gave her a beautiful name. You continue to try to understand her, to work with her. Your heart's in the right place....allow her to be your teacher. The more you listen to her cues and follow thru, the more she will express herself. You will learn and grow together, in harmony.
Thank the mare Sherry....she gave me insight, the words come from the heart. XOXO to Maui!

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