Suitable Dog?

by Sandy Ruether
(Yukon Territory)

Hi, I just read this 12 questions about the breed. You are obviously a lover of this type of dog. I have owned mostly large breed dogs myself and love all dogs! I have wanted a gp because they are beautiful, protective, and because we live in the bush, have all types of animals coming through. We own a motel/rv park in the Yukon. We have 10 acres but i just read that gp need to be fenced. I guess I assumed I could train him where his perimeter is and that would be fine but now i am wondering? Also, we want a pet and protector for our other small dog, cat, and property. Since we have people coming and going will this work with gp? I would appreciate any advice.
Thanks,
Sandy



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May 27, 2020
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Fencing
by: Donna

Walking the perimetre is great. However, Pyrs will wander. Perhaps in search of a predator or just going on a tour. Give a Pyr 10 acres and they'll take 100. It's important to keep them safe with secure fencing. No tie outs or electric fencing. They were bred specifically to wander with their livestock where there is no fencing.

It's also important to spay/neuter a Pyr. They will wander enough further in search of a mate.

Here is a summary of the Pyr. You'll need to copy and paste the URLs into your browser.

Please read the following summary on Pyrs even if you have had Pyrs before:

Yes, they are beautiful dogs with great temperaments given the right breeding, socialization, care including diet and training. Dogs are a lifelong commitment. If your dog requires critical vet care, make sure you are able to go forward with that.

BARKING: 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 to some degree but it takes time, patience and consistency with positive-reinforcement training. If you don’t like barking, they are not the dog for you.

CONTAINMENT: Pyrs love to hang out outside and their instinct is 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. 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 when you are home, they need shelter from the elements. And, no bark collars or shock fencing.

DIGGING: They dig holes in your garden to stay cool in summer so you’ll want to set aside some garden for them. If you don't want to do this, this is not the dog for you.

DIET: Raw is the species-appropriate diet. Raw food primer. Raw Feeding 101 is an excellent resource, as well. And, Life with Dogs and Cats.

DOGS: If you want more than one dog in the home or working, we always recommend two dogs of the opposite sex. Two males or two females do not always see eye-to-eye and fights will ensue in some cases, but not all. Proper introduction on neutral territory is a must with gradual introduction.

EXERCISE: They require regular walks and hikes, of course, so they get out and see the world to keep them interested in life. They must be leashed because they will wander. Again, they have been specifically bred to wander with sheep as they watch over them without human intervention. We do not recommend dog parks since not everyone pays attention to dog body language and fights can ensue. If your dog is a puller, start training using a gentle leader. Never use a pronged or choke collar.
GROOMING: Working and companion dogs must be groomed. They require a daily grooming with a slicker brush, and 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. Here is how to trim their nails. NEVER have their dew claws removed. This is a barbaric practice. Simply keep the dews trimmed.

They molt twice a year and shed all year round so your vacuum stays full. NEVER shave a Pyr. Their coats keep them cool in summer–they lose their undercoat, leaving just guard hairs–the guard hairs protect your dog from sunburn and insulate them against heat, as well as allowing air to circulate to keep the skin cool–and warm in winter–their undercoat grows close to the skin to keep your dog warm and dry. This system only works if you groom your dog regularly. A good long-tined slicker brush and comb are good tools to keep their coats in good shape weekly. 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.

TRAINING: They require a lot of socialization as pups onward with many different people and other dogs. They also require positive-reinforcement training. Pyrs, nor any dogs, take kindly to any kind of punishment. It will lead to aggression. Always use positive-reinforcement training. Susan Garrett is a great website resource. There is also the Free Dog Training Workshop (Susan Garrett). There is presently a free two month online program that will help every dog owner–The dog should initially be kept on leash as you work around the animals and penned near the animals when you are not there until you are sure the dog will work well with the animals. At that point, long-distance surveillance is required until you are sure all will be well.
The dog must not be left alone in the pasture with the animals for extended periods (two days) without relief or human contact.
Plans should be made to have livestock guardian Pyrs work in pairs, as partner and backup as soon as the first one understands the job. A male-female pair is generally the most successful. .,

WHY ARE THEY SURRENDERED: There are those in need of a home because someone didn’t realize they would get so big, bark so much (complaints from neighbours), leave so much hair in the house, wander, and require work. There are also those whom people want to surrender for aggression but we do not knowingly take those dogs in. These dogs usually come from farmers, backyard breeders and pet shops (puppy mills) where genetics are unknown by the ‘breeders’. Combine this with lack of socialization and handling by many many different people in the crucial first thirteen weeks of their lives, and by the time they start to mature, aggression can set in.

Note that the 'good' Pyrs are ones with whom people have worked with a lot and do ongoing training with them and they come from reputable breeders. Rescues don't come 'perfect'. If you aren't ready to work with a dog 24/7 with consistency and patience, you should not have a dog. Know that they will be stressed in their new home and only start to settle after a few weeks. This is important to know.

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:

Are Pyrs a good match for your family?


Regarding dogs and children. We never want to set dogs up for failure 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:

Children and Dogs

I hope this helps.

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