Webbed feet

by Gregory Reimer
(Edmonton, AB. Canada)

Luv your site. Very informative and confirms much I have researched on this majestic breed. And if you send them on a spa day for a comb out, the full monte, their live expectancy increases by a good three to five years. The reason they tend to live shorter lives is because of the work environment. They mat and develop sores easy which can bring them down through infection. They are great even in the house, we have three with round beds and blankets in front of the fire place on the cold winter nights.

My question is; which breed in their blood line give them the webbed feet? Can not find the answer for the life of me.

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Sep 10, 2015
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swimmers
by: Anonymous

"Swimmers" they are not! " Mountain climbers" they are!! Are your own Pyrs pure bred, from a reputable breeder who can trace their dog's lineage way back to its original home? If yours are not pure, then the webbed feet you think you see could only come from a water breed influence...Newfoundland, Labrador, Retriever etc.

The pure Pyrenees is not a swimmer, and very few will even engage in real swimming behaviour, preferring to splash about in water only up to their bellies. It's the coolness they crave, not the activity of swimming.

Ours always seems to be mystified that his feet seem to disappear beneath the seemingly solid surface...so he sticks his face in the water to find out were the feet went to! Hilarious!! But he will not swim.

What your dog's do have is a very mobile, very wide foot with extra long toes. The feet will change their shape according to the surface they are walking on. On a very smooth slippery surface the nails seem to retract and the entire paw arch upwards in the center, so that the feet are almost like a suction cup with only his large pads in contact with the ice.

On a mountain side surface called "scree" the feet spread out very wide and the nails are extended, to aid the dog to be in balance while walking on that very rough, rocky and slippery surface.

Everything about their feet is exquisitely suited to their work as guardians of the flock on mountainous terrain. They are consummate hikers and climbers. They are capable of astonishing feats of great strength, agility, and swiftness, but with a house guardian Pyr this is only rarely seen. And if it is, the sight is a jaw-dropping "I can't believe what my dog just did!" variety.

So perhaps you can stop looking for what isn't there in your Pyr's lineage...take them out for a hike on a frozen lake and watch them romp on ice in perfect balance while the Labradors skitter about trying to use their nails for grip. Or, take them on a hike in deep snow...you'll need to strap on your snow-shoes, but your Pyr's will show you they have their own.

As has been said a time or two on these pages, the Pyrenees in its pure state, and even the Pyr mixes, are physically amazing creatures. Don't get me started on their loyalty, empathy, compassion, confidence, self-awareness, courage....

Sep 11, 2015
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by: Great Pyrenees Club

Actually, we would love to get you started on their loyalty, empathy, compassion, confidence, self-awareness, courage....

Pyrs are amazing creatures and we believe you have stories to share with us.

Sep 15, 2015
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Webbed Feet
by: Donna

Webbed feet has already been very well-addressed.

As for shorter life spans due to mats and sores, this should not happen.

These dogs still need to be brought in for care. They need to be checked over for sores and get any other required vet care and be groomed. Mats are very painful for a dog.

They work hard and deserve respect. There is no excuse for neglecting a working dog.

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