Pegkens Dogs adopted our first Great Pyrenees in 1995. His name was Buck. We lived in Danville California which is about 40 minutes from San Francisco at the time. Peggy had a close friend in veterinary school who had gone on to become a sheep and goat rancher. They used Pyrs to guard their livestock from predators. Buck's parents lived with those herds 24/7.
Now, when Buck came to live with Ken and Peggy his job was to guard his family of people and Welsh Corgis. That was fine with him except he wanted to do most of his guarding at night. When Pyrenees guard, they patrol the perimeter of their territory and "sing". Since they weigh anywhere from 85-90 pounds for the females and 110-130 for the males, that "singing" can be quite intimidating.
Since the Roberts lived in a suburb, "singing" at night was unacceptable. Buck couldn't quite understand why he was being locked in the bedroom at night when he desparately wanted to go outside and patrol. In order to convince him to change his nocturnal habits Peggy had to give him a mild tranquilizer every night for two weeks. Luckily, it worked and he became a guard by day and a house dog by night.
When we moved to our ranch in Nevada County, CA in 1996, Buck was thrilled to revert back to his instincts and be guardian by night and couch potato by day. Sadly, our dear friend Buck passed away from bone cancer on March 31, 2004.
When we knew Buck was going to leave us we adopted his niece, Maddie, and eventually our male, Range. There is not much that is more thrilling to witness than two Pyrs guarding your family and property, with their fluffy, majestic tails curled tightly over their backs, talking in their deep voices to ward off predators.
As you may have guessed, the Great Pyrenees breed comes with their unique set of characteristics. That means they are not a breed for the faint hearted. They absolutely require secure fencing and understanding neighbors. They are gentle and respectful of people and children. They are intolerant of strange dogs and other animals invading their territory. They are nocturnal and can be quite noisey at night when there is something that needs to be scared away.
Their coats are dense and beautiful. In grassey environments their beautiful coats are a sticker magnet. They do best with a body clip in the summer. Most Pyrs owners who live in the country do not bother with grooming since it is a waste of time. No sooner are they clean and brushed but they will go out and find a lovely, odiferous pile of dirt to roll in. Their fur is naturally dirt and water resistant anyway so they stay relatively clean and dry naturally.
In order for the Pyrs to know who they are to guard it is best for them to grow up with their charges. We raise our Pyrs to be family and ranch guardians, not livestock guardians. If you are looking for a Pyrs to guard your livestock we can refer you to breeders for whom that is a priority.