EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT A GREAT PYRENEES BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK!
HOW BIG, REALLY, IS A GREAT PYRENEES?
Your dining room table is 27" from the floor, kitchen counters 36". The average female Pyr can walk under your dining room table only if she ducks her head; the average male need to either scrunch himself smaller or lift your table a few inches higher. In either case, the front of the counter is not the place to store meat thawing for dinner. The top of the refrigerator is out of the reach of most Pyrs
HOW MUCH DO THEY WEIGH?
On the scale at the feed store, 80 to 120 pounds. While trying to give one a pill or cut its nails: as much as a Moray eel. On the first day of obedience class: as much as a young elephant. Tire day you teach the "down" exercise in obedience class: as much as a Sumo wrestler. When walking through a litter of pups, kittens, chicks or lambs: about as much as two feathers.
HOW MUCH DO THEY EAT?
As much as they want - never mind what the back of the dog-food bag says. The average Great Pyrenees can survive quite nicely and maintain weight and normal activity on as much dog food as will fit into a two-pound coffee can. Most, however, have convinced their owners that plain dog food is completely unpalatable and will starve unless supplemented with ground round, chicken breast, sirloin tips or cheese omelets. If he discovers you have a weakness for cookies you may find your leg battered black and blue by Pyr-paw-pats, repeated until you share the cookies - Oreos are much preferred to Milk Bones,
DO THEY SHED MUCH?
At the annual ritual known as "coat blowing" you can comb enough fur out of your dog to have spun into enough yarn to make yourself a cap, a scarf and a pair of mittens. Why you would want to is beyond me, since everything else you own is already lavishly decorated with Pyr Hair. Since shedding, in some degree, takes place 365 days a year, you will have ample decoration on your nig, couch, bed, etc. Since Pyr hair has a particular affinity for dark clothing, the Pyr-owning business person wears a lot of light grey and tan. Firefighters, police officers and military personnel owned by Pyrs learn to leave their uniforms in sealed lockers at work and change there.
WHAT ABOUT BARKING?
What about it? If begun early, you can train yourself to come every time your Pyr barks and give it some attention. Give him enough attention for barking, and your neighbors will also begin to give you some attention. Mutual reinforcement always works. What do Pyrs bark at? Only things they can see and hear - that includes low flying satellites and butterflies. Most Pyrenees eavesdrop on a family argument four houses away, yet become selectively deaf upon hearing words like "stop that", "come here" and "be quiet". Pyr owners exchange information on stopping barking the way our grandmothers exchanges recipes for pickles -no two were ever alike.
I'VE HEARD THEY LIKE TO DIG
How do you think the Pyrenees mountains were really constructed? One Pyr, out of consideration for her owner's failing eyesight, enlarged the cup of his putting green to bunker-sized. Landscape companies report their greatest repeat business comes from Pyr owners. Some Pyr owners, however, simply resign themselves to living with a yard that looks like a gunnery range.
HOW DO PYRS AND CHILDREN GET ALONG?
If you train your children early enough not to tease the dog - not to pull his tail, wake him by jumping on top of him, pinch his ears or steal his food - your Pyr will be safe from the kids. Children are not as easy to train as a Pyr because it is not legal to put a choke-chain and leash on a child.