What you should know
Often. Usually around 6 months of age, a Great Pyrenees will find their voice and begin it's job of guarding and protecting. Unlike most guard dogs, they are not “attack” dogs. Great Pyrenees will very rarely attack and typically only as a last resort. They prefer to scare off predators by intimidation through barking and their extra large size. Because Pyrenees have very sensitive hearing, they are able to detect the faintest sounds from miles away. A Great Pyrenees will let you know it has heard something and bark until they feel the threat is gone. A Pyrenees guarding instinct does not lessen when the sun goes down. In fact, it increases. The Great Pyrenees is nocturnal by nature in order to safeguard his flock during vulnerable hours. Patience and a proper nighttime routine are critical to overcoming this in house dogs.
2. Obedience is not a priority.
As a livestock guardian, a Great Pyrenees had to learn to work independently from humans. (Kind of like a cat personality ) An adult, working Pyrenees does not need to be told how to do his job and this translates to house Pyrenees as well. Pyrenees like to do things at their own pace and on their own time.
3. Guarding doesn’t occur until about 1 1/2 to 2 years of age.
Guarding refers to your dog’s instinct that was bred into the breed thousands of years ago. With training and a close eye on the Pyrenees, you will have a LGD in a few years.
4. Grooming is important.
Once a Great Pyrenees gets their adult coat , weekly brushing are essential. A Pyrenees's coat is remarkable in that it keeps them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. However, brushing is essential to pull out the dead undercoat that can prevent proper air circulation. Never shave them: Shaving a Great Pyrenees eliminates his ability to regulate his body temperature and also greatly increases risk of sunburn to their fair skin. It’s also important to remember to trim the double dew claws on a regular basis.
5. Getting a Great Pyrenees does not ensure a great livestock guardian.
While instinct is huge, a Pyrenees must have help learning appropriate behavior in guarding their new flock. Typically, this help comes from an older livestock guardian, but humans are required as well. Regardless of your Pyrenees's role, Large Guard Dog or house dog, socialization and training will mold your Pyrenees into an amazing dog.