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How does the Great Pyrenees sound?

In my early twenties I worked on a sheep farm in southern Illinois. The farm had about 1,000 sheep and two Great Pyrenees dogs to protect them. Great Pyrenees dogs are a breed of dog known as the Livestock Guard Dog (LGD); they do not herd the sheep like border collies but are there instead to protect the sheep from predators. They are huge, white (mostly), furry dogs that blend in well with the herds.

The pyres, as the breed is affectionately known, slept all day in the barn when people were around and there was no danger from the sheep. Still, throughout the night they patrolled the town, periodically barking to alert coyotes or wandering farm dogs that they were on duty and a force to be reckoned with. Pyrs have a deep, booming bark that represents power and the ability to back it up. We never lost a single sheep thanks to these dogs.


The last reason a Great Pyrenees might bark is for attention.

If you find that your dog is mostly barking at you when you are sitting on the couch or when you are not in contact with him, he may be asking for attention.

Start with the head

For this weekly session, start your inspection with the dog’s head. If the eyes tear too much (and on white dogs this red/brown spot is unattractive) they may need attention. Check the ears. If there is black discharge and a bad smell, ear cancer/ear mites may be starting. Any such finding, when treated early, can forestall serious problems. Healthy ears can be cleaned with cotton and alcohol. Long hair (eyebrows) over the eyes should be trimmed. This prevents them from growing into the eye.

Toenails must always be short enough to clear the ground, a good foot can be ruined by too long nails as the pressure of the nails on the ground causes the toes to stretch out. Nails can be trimmed with nail clippers or a high-speed grinder. If you make nail trimming a weekly ritual, you won’t have any problems. If the nails grow out, they must be brought back to where they should be. Always check the dewclaws (single front, double rear) and keep them trimmed. These tend to curl as they grow and can grow into the dog’s leg and become painful.


Great Pyrenees Bark. There are some pears that are naturally quiet, but they are the rare exception to the rule. Don’t get a puppy and expect to be able to raise it not to bark; their instincts are incredibly strong. If you’re hoping to share your life with a quieter Pyrenees, talk to rescue groups where the dogs live in foster homes. This will give you a better idea of ​​what to expect in the dog (but remember, you never know how a dog will behave in another home).

If you learn to appreciate the breed-specific characteristics of the Pyrenees, you will never be able to imagine your life without it <3