Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Animals: Working dog: Great Pyrenees


Predator Control
defending sheep, goats, and other farm animals against coyotes, 
wild dogs, bears, and other predators

Roving Guard Duty
conducting random perimeter (fenceline) checks and dismounted patrols
in outer pasture areas; immediately reporting any unusual or suspicious
activities to Valhalla cadre or other staff; blocking human intruders or
trespassers access to inner areas of the property while sounding the
alarm (i.e., by barking very loudly) whenever appropriate

The mere idea of eventually acquiring an excessively oversized (100+ plus pounds) of slobbering, slovenly, aloof canine breed of this kind that doesn't even have a basic sense of humor, tends to drool, constantly sheds large quantities of fur all over the place, and then undoubtedly eats huge quantities of food on top of it all completely turned me off. Gordon still insisted that I take a closer look because "Valhalla needs a Great Pyrenees to protect the sheep and other animals on the property. It's not about what we want. It's about what Valhalla needs." 

Well, generally speaking, I really like dogs. Love dogs, in fact! But not that kind, not a drooling dog that's going to cost a fortune to feed, that undoubtedly leaves gigantic steaming piles of excreetment that would have to be picked up with shovels and sent to a hazardous waste dump somewhere far, far away.

But Gordon is probably right. It doesn't matter what anybody wants, it's all about what Valhalla needs to operate efficiently. After watching these two videos, the Great Pyrenees clearly has a important talent to offer and doesn't look overly disgusting after all:

Some specifics on the breed:

"The Great Pyrenees is a capable and imposing guardian, devoted to its family, and somewhat wary of strangers - human or canine. They are often used to guard livestock. When not provoked, it is calm, well- mannered, and somewhat serious. Courageous, very loyal and obedient. Gentle and affectionate with those he loves. Devoted to family even if self-sacrifice is required. It is very gentle with its family and children. It does best with children when it is raised with them from puppyhood, and if they are not being used as working flock guards be sure to socialize them well with people, place and noises. 

 "It has an independent nature, and may try to dominate a less secure or meek owner, and/or an owner who treats the dog as if he is human, becoming stubborn or territorial. Owners need to be firm, but calm, confident and consistent with the dog. Setting rules the dog must follow and sticking to them. A serious worker, but very independent. 

"Be patient when training the Great Pyrenees, as it may be slightly difficult. If left alone inside the home without the proper amount of exercise and or leadership they can become destructive. The Great Pyrenees is good with non-canine animals, and usually loves cats. These dogs do not reach maturity until they are about 2 years old. Some are not good off the leash and may wander away. Needs an owner who understands and practices natural dogmanship. The Great Pyrenees tend to bark a lot and some tend to drool and slobber..." Read more about the Great Pyrenees on the dogbreedinfo.com website here.

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