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Great Pyrenees & Predator Dogs — The Grow Network Community
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Great Pyrenees & Predator Dogs

OhiohillsLouiseOhiohillsLouise Posts: 121 ✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Dogs & Cats

About 4 years ago I got a 1 year old Great Pyrenees because I was losing livestock to predators. I was not new to having dogs but specifically a predator dog, that was new to me. I did my research and decided to look for an Anatolian Shepherd or a Great Pyrenees. He was raised with goats, chickens, cats, and other dogs so he seemed a good choice. I also have geese and ducks. The geese were a problem, but he also solved a problem for us. So a long story short .... I had my doubts but the geese survived even though he chased them and occasionally caught them but with patient (and sometimes not) training he has accepted the geese. But he accepted them on his terms ...they are only allowed near the pond, he will not tolerate them near the house and everybody now knows their boundaries. It it funny when the geese wander away, they just need to hear him approach and they do an about face and head back to their allotted space. So what problem did that solve? No more geese poop on my sidewalks!

This dog is so interesting and I could tell so many stories but I have questions for any that have or had a Great Pyrenees. There are characteristics that I have not seen in other dogs so are they unique to my dog or to the breed in general?

My dog does not want to go into a dog house nor does he want to stay in the barn. He wants to stay outside all the time. He did dig himself a cave under a ramp to my house where he sometimes stays but mostly I find him him against the buildings or under bushes. Is this typical?

My dog won’t eat food out of my hand, it must be dropped on the ground. Could that be training from previous owner or typical of the breed?

My dog loves other dogs even when it is obvious they don’t like him. My daughter neighbor has 2 dogs that just tolerate him, sometimes they give him a warning lunge and he bounces around like they are ready to play. So funny to watch. What do you think of that?


  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,399 admin

    I think well chosen, purebred parents should get you reliable traits for the breed. We see this in any Elkhound we have owned.

    If they were crossbred, they were always missing something. The best one was purebred & good breeding (not just looks, but true to breed character traits). She was fully reliable & fit every single trait they should possess. Great guard against predators (rats up to bears), treed things tree-able (squirrels & raccoons), herded large animals well, loved children, hunted her food in summer, was happiest outside in -30° weather, was fast, did not take kindly to other dogs (so important in the country), and had an independent mind. That is important to be a good working dog.

    She dug holes by the house where we spent most of our time. She would sleep either outside the kids' window or in the bale feeder with the livestock. She was always alert.

    She also would not eat out of hand. She would not eat until the person feeding left. She would have let us eat first. I believe it shows that you are dominant. She did not, however, let anything else eat her food. We once saw her quickly place her whole mouth around a muscovy duck drake's head (ducks live dog food). She then let him go with no injuries. It was a warning only. She knew they weren't food and were in her charge and the duck heeded that warning. 😂

    We currently have a dog who we are helping unlearn bad learned habits. He has some border collie and was kept inside in his early years. It has taken him time, but we are seeing some Elkhound traits return. He is so much happier. We just wish he was purebred, but he is doing quite well, all things considered. As we honor his good traits, it encourages him to be even better. 😁

    It will be interesting to learn more about your GP, whether these traits that you have described are typical or learned from the previous owners.

  • teachercarynteachercaryn Cook at Wahlburgers The Frozen Tundra in the Northern MidwestPosts: 248 ✭✭✭

    Sounds like your pooch is staying cool in the dug out (cave) under the ramp to your house. Also, to keep an eye on approaching prey. I read the Sunday funnies, and there’s one about a Great Dane, called Marmaduke. At the end of the comic is a Doggone Funny excerpt that is printed from someone writing in about their dog(s). Resting besides buildings and in the bushes are also cooler areas. Thanks

  • herbantherapyherbantherapy Posts: 442 ✭✭✭✭

    @Louise I have a Great Pyrenees x Mareema. She was bred for farm life and her parents are excellent sheep 🐑 protectors. Our baby was the runt and absolutely hates water so she was the best choice for our home life (not a farm). She is a character and everything is in her terms; though she will slowly and stubbornly respond to my commands if she thinks they are worthy. She also makes me laugh more than any other dog I have known.

    As for your dogs quirks and are they similar?

    My Pyr will lay in her dog house on rainy days but more often she will be found under her favorite rhododendron. She dug out a little best under there and then would get muddy so I bought a dog hammock and put it in her favorite place and she LOVES it.

    She does not like to eat out of hand but will take small treats she has had before from us. Mostly she likes to nose around any treat and lick it and sniff it and maybe walk away and come back to it before she will eat it. When we were selling our last house we had to leave while it was being shown. We though we would treat the digs with plain burgers from Wendy’s (this was the third time we had to leave the house that day, so they were nervous about this new routine). The German Shepard ate his and my husband walked him around the park and played ball and came back to find out why I had not joined them...oh the Pyr was still eating hers. She are 1/2 of the top bun, then some burger, layed down, are some more bun....it took her 20 minutes to eat this thing! This was her only burger and she does not get people food. On average any new dog treat she is introduced to takes about 5 to 10 minutes to actual eat, even tiny 50 cent piece size treats!

    As for loving other dogs, she does like dogs but the heelers and borders act too fast for her and she will snap at them if they run up from behind in a herding manner.

    Enjoy your boy, they are really great dogs!!

  • MelindaMelinda Greater Atlanta AreaPosts: 124 ✭✭✭

    I foster for Big Fluffy Dog Rescue and have my foster fail, an Anatolian/Pry mix. I got Harry at 3 months old and he likes it inside well enough, but he LOVES being outside. We don’t have livestock, but he loves to lay on the topmost deck and watch over the kids. We have coyotes and he will check the perimeter at night and first thing in the morning. He will even herd the cats and make sure they don’t go outside.

    Older dogs in our rescue don’t always like to come inside, though. So, long answer, yes, yours is normal :)

  • bcabrobinbcabrobin Posts: 218 ✭✭✭

    We have an American Eskimo, he will not take ANY thing from you, treats (which he doesn't really like), steak, chicken, bacon. This is nice for the grands he wont take thier food, but they try to give him something and don't understand why he's not like their dogs.

    He waits for you to put it in his bowl will not eat it off the floor.

    He herds the cats and bowls the ducks, runs thru the middle and watch them scatter. Will not herd the goats & sheep.

    Loves to be outside unless it's dark. I think he's afraid of the dark. We have to have a string of Christmas lights in the hallway and around the doorway to the room he does sleep in, we have to leave it on all the time. If it's not on he pulls the hair off his butt or chews his elbows.

  • herbantherapyherbantherapy Posts: 442 ✭✭✭✭

    @bcabrobin my red heeler is afraid of the dark too!

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