For anyone considering adopting a Great Pyrenees, there are some key questions one can ask themselves to ensure this breed may be a match for you and your lifestyle. Always still do your extra homework. The following list is a general idea of statements that should match how you feel about your potential new dog. These are Pyr-specific questions, as naturally there are more traditional questions merely regarding if a dog in and of itself is right for you! While everyone's experience with the breed may vary, these points reflect the general experience with a Great Pyrenees that are kept as companion dogs. We have no experience with Pyrs as livestock guardians.
1. I enjoy a big lap dog.
Pyrs want your affection and attention. While independent, they still want to be by your side and receive a lot of hugs and kisses. They want to be where you are. You are their flock!
2. Shedding is worth it.
If your life needs to be tidy and clean, think again. Pyrs do shed, and they need weekly brushing. In addition, many Pyrs tend to drool and need rags to wipe their faces!
3. I am okay with a dog whose expectancy is 10-12.
This point is most relevant as to when we can expect to have to incur extra expenses to maintain their longevity and treat them in their geriatric years.
4. I don't mind guard dog barking.
A dog who barks excessively is not normal. A Pyr, however, will bark at perceived threats, and they may bark more at dusk and night. This is the times of the day they were bred to be more alert regarding predators.
5. I can deal with some digging.
Your Pyr may not dig, but they really might. Pyrs dig cool holes to lay in to keep them cooled off in warmer temperatures. While they may pick 1 spot, you may have to go to extra lengths to keep them out of your flowers!
6. I can share my personal space.
Many sites suggest Pyrs need a lot of room. Our experience has been, that the room may merely be the need of the human. They can be large, and because they want to be by your side, you can expect a lot of stepping over them and finding them pushing their way into your arms if they need more love!
7. I can handle a big dog.
A dog well-trained, regardless of size, isn't an issue. But depending on the training needs, remember they are strong! Even a deep, loud playful bark can intimidate some people.
8. I can afford dog food.
A 100 pound dog should be eating 5 cups of food total per day. While not as excessive as some may think, costs for good food can add up.
9. I am 100% committed to my dog forever.
Many apartment buildings take dogs, however some have weight restrictions. You need to be committed to always doing the work of finding a home that will accept your gentle giant.
10. I am okay with an independent dog.
If you desire a dog who will always come, sit, roll over, etc. a Pyr may not be your dog. While there are effective methods for training, they are independent by nature and are considered one of the harder to train breeds.
11. I want a medium to low-energy dog.
Pyrs run and play with the best of them, but the are not "running" dogs. If you want to run, throw frisbees, this is probably not your dog. If you want nice walks and hikes, then they are likely a match.
12. I need a dog good with children and/or other types of animals.
Pyrenees are known for being amazing with children and other animals like cats. They are gentle, as their breeding insists they are to be trusted with the entire family farm. They are big, so if you have infants take into consideration the size of a wagging tail, and their inclination to bark at hours your baby may need to be sleeping.