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Great Pyrenees - about them and how much should one cost?

Discussion in 'Dogs - all breeds / types' started by elizavixen, Mar 12, 2005.

  1. elizavixen

    elizavixen New Member

    There are some Great Pyrenees puppies advertised in my paper. I like big dogs and St. Bernards seem to be hard to come by so I thought maybe these would be a good dog to get. What I want is a big dog, that is friendly, and easy going, will play some with Indy, but is not too hyper, and who is content to just lay around on the couch all day. I don't know anything about Great Pyrenees' temperments but does this sound like them?

    Also, health problems? Are they a healthy breed, unhealthy, what? I assume they have hip problems like most big dogs, but other than that?

    Lastly, they are selling for $200 which is good for my budget but honestly seems low to me. I don't think they have papers so that may be the cause but what do you all think?

    Lastly again, what should I look for in a GP puppy?
  2. Sara

    Sara New Member

    Great Pyrs. are a working breed and depending on bloodlines and what kinds of lines they come from they can actually DIE from lack of something to care for and watch over. They are common around here as sheep dogs and can be quite the guardian in that sense. Usually they take them as puppies and put them out with the flock and they grow up with the sheep. SOME have been known to have to be tranquilized in order for the shepherd to get to his flock to doctor or take them for harvesting wool etc...

    Point is...generally the work bred Great Pyrs are not suited for homes and couch stays... They are rather active for a large breed dog and are VERY guard oriented and territorial...you'd need to make sure the dog was securely housed at the LEAST. If you go to inquire about them I'd check on bloodlines or to see if they are a working type... IF the dogs are rural already...I would discourage you from getting one as they are LIKELY from a long line of working Great Pyrs... BUT $200 is pretty cheap so I wonder how well bred they really are.

    My aunt helped with a Great Pyr Rescue and considering my location, I bleive in a matter of the three years that she did it she had at least six dogs come and go... people most of the time don't know what they're getting... With the breed make sure you do more research than just what we tell you on this board... 2Pyrs will be good help on this...but research, research, research and find as many owners as you can...

    They CAN be good house pets but generally do need a job and a job of caretaker in some capacity.
  3. charmedagain

    charmedagain New Member

  4. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    Havent seen too many around in California but the ones I have seen were similar to the ones that I'd had contact with many years ago in UK. Seem to be very mellow, friendly but not overly friendly, (wouldnt be good to have an excited one jump all over you to greet you :wink: )
  5. Shineillusion

    Shineillusion New Member

    My brother has Pyrs. Great dogs. He has a very large fenced yard, and their 'job' as they see it, is to patrol the perimiter, so there's a well worn dog track circling the yard. They also prefer being outside, but when in the house they each pick a door and lay in front of it, 'guarding' the enterance. When they're outside, they also tend to lay in front of the doors when not patrolling their domain.

    If you intend to keep one inside, they require a LOT of grooming. I groom several, and it's an all day chore if the owners haven't kept up on it at home. Be aware of the double dew claws on the rear feet, which are a trademark of the breed and required by the standard. They need frequent trimming, as they don't wear down like the other nails.
  6. 2pyrs

    2pyrs New Member

    Great Pyrs. are a working breed and depending on bloodlines and what kinds of lines they come from they can actually DIE from lack of something to care for and watch over.
    You got to be kidding. I have heard some wild tails but that has to be the most ridicules one I have heard to date.

    I have to say if you are looking at price first try a different breed.
    You get what you pay for and that could be very bad. My last guy did not make it very long and we bought him cheap and should have checked his blood line. Cody was 7 when I had to put him down, bad kidneys.
    We bought him out of the paper and paid cheap $400.00. Then there is Kira she is 11 years and has a progressive bone disease and bad hips. ( Did not check on the breeder very well but she cost us $600.) It is all most time for me to take her in now but it’s not easy letting her go. But Arthur around 5 is a picture of good health the way a Pyr should be, strong bones good hips.
    Ok you want a Pyr are you ready?
    Hair – every where in your food on your cloths in your bed on your head (in my case I like the last one.) Get stock in hair brushes you well need to brush just about everyday and pay or do it yourself – removal of winter coat.
    Drool well you can have fun with that one. When the drool reaches the floor rub there ears and then run, be sure to do this only out side other wise your walls well have a new look. Where they lay is where they stay. My guys have the attitude they when you want to go in a room or to a chair you should find a different way of getting there. Fence what is that is what a Pyr thinks when it looks at it and goes over the top of it. ( must be 6’ or more high.) They love to go for what we call a walk about and come home later if they get out. Do you like flowers and green grass well so do Pyrs and if you want to set up a moon landscape in your yard get a Pyr he /she well be more then happy to make the 6’-7’ wide and 2’-3’ deep craters for you. That said The Genital Giant as they are known buy are great with kids. Art our male 170lbs plays with kids that are 2,3 years old. He is good with our Jack but gets carried away sometimes and we have to slow him down so the Jack does not get hurt. Training well they are very smart and like to make you happy, you have not lived till you seen the smile on a Pyr.
    More let me know…………..

  7. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    Thankyou 2pyrs.....you've no idea how much I needed your awesome sense of humour today.... :lol:
  8. Jamiya

    Jamiya New Member

    I really hope you meant to write "gentle giant." :lol:
  9. Shineillusion

    Shineillusion New Member

    Jamiya, ROFLMAO.

    Would you classify that as a Freudian slip or deadly typonese?
  10. elizavixen

    elizavixen New Member


    Thanks for the info. From 2pyrs description, they sound a lot like a St. Bernard (hair, drool, landscaping).

    I am worried about the health problem thing. I want a healthy big dog but I can't afford to pay a thousand or more dollars for a dog. When did dogs start costing so much!!!!???!! The only big dog I can afford is a Golden Retriever, which I think are great but talk about health problems!

    I may call the people and see what they say about them tomorrow.
  11. 2pyrs

    2pyrs New Member

    I am worried about the health problem thing. I want a healthy big dog but I can't afford to pay a thousand or more dollars for a dog. When did dogs start costing so much!!!!???!! The only big dog I can afford is a Golden Retriever, which I think are great but talk about health problems!

    I’ll say sorry now because I well probably say this bad but--- May I suggest the pound there are many large breeds that need homes and take the money you can’t afford to speed and put it into the bank for health care for the new guy you get. Let me ask you this what’s in name? A Pug a Dane it’s love on four legs and knows no bounds When it looks at the size you come in it means little to them.
    We all worry about the health of our guys and we all do the best we can. It is the chance we take each time we get a dog/cat/bird. You can only check with the breeder and vet they go to and the blood line and still it could happen, bad hips, heart. Some more then other breeds maybe. There are Pyr breeders out there just for the money and sell cheap $500 - $700. And other breeders that take pride in there pups and want to sell high because they are proud of there guys and want to make sure they go to good homes. Keep in mind over head for a good breeder is high, vet, food, x-rays, shots for mom and dad and baby’s. I don’t know if I am saying this right and making the point I want but keep in mind love comes in all sizes and shapes and colors. The best gift you could give is a second chance at life for a guy that know one wants.

  12. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    I was looking through some of the links that charmedagain posted for you, on the AKC one.... http://clubs.akc.org/gpca/gpcaresq.html this section is for information on Great Pyrenes Rescues, maybe you could look into that one.
  13. Jamiya

    Jamiya New Member

    Yes, I was going to suggest a rescue as well! If there aren't any close to you, sometimes they can arrange a transport to get the dog at least a little closer to you. You could look at Newfoundlands and other giant breeds, too, if you aren't specifically looking for a certain kind of dog.
  14. Shineillusion

    Shineillusion New Member

    The cost of dogs has gotten so high for a couple of reasons. For one, it's big business. Right now there's a 'kennel' for sale that is the second largest puppy mill in the U.S. As part of their inventory they list over 600 breeding females, 250 males. And that doesn't include puppies waiting to be shipped out. Those puppies either go to brokers or directly to pet stores and people who purchase, sight unseen, over the internet.

    The guillible public, who should know better but obviously doesn't, often fork out $600-$5,000 for a pup who is not well bred, comes with a lot of health problems, and isn't even purebred, i.e. Labradoodles, Goldendoodles, and the plethora of XXXpoos. Even the dogs that may be purebreds aren't coming from high quality, healthy stock. No one breeding to improve the quality of the breed would concider selling puppies to one of these businesses, so they must resort to purchasing poorly bred animals for their foundation stock.

    On the other hand, people who DO breed to standard, for the betterment of the breed, are shelling out a lot of money in health testing that has recently become available. Once, health testing meant a clear stool sample and negative brucellosis test. Then OFA came along, so add radiographs for skeletal defects. Now we have CERF testing, BAER testing, several cardiac tests, as well as screening for a long list of disorders that pertain to individual breeds. The list of available tests seems to grow daily as technology advances. And all those tests cost money.

    Even when you do everything right, things can still go wrong. And the things that go wrong rack up high vet bills. People who are dedicated to producing high quality, sound, healthy puppies seldom make any money from it. They're simply trying to cover the costs involved in producing those puppies.

    A lot of people complain about the 'high' fees rescue organizations charge to adopt one of their dogs. But they have expenses too. While one dog may come into rescue healthy, shots up to date, and needing little if any health care, the next one they get may require thousands of dollars to get them healthy. Charging someone $2,000 or more to adopt a rescue just isn't going to fly, but the money has to come from somewhere. Rescues charge the fees they charge in order to remain solvent. The dog you adopt may not have needed $350 worth of care. But your $350 may help the next one who does. Think of it as a donation to a worthy cause.
  15. Sara

    Sara New Member

    2Pyrs... I'm not familiar with the type of Pyrs you've come into contact with but among working people around HERE and other places I have heard that Pyrs can actually die without enough work to do etc... something to care for and protect... Working Pyrs mind you not pets or show dogs... THIS has happened and I hate to point out to you that in Wyoming, as a shepherd state (we are 3rd largest wool producer) with PLENTY of open spaces as well as predators to eat sheep we use Pyrs extensively around here for WORK nothing more and it has happened that Pyrs from this type of background can DIE without it's needs being met in terms of working at caring for something... It's happened and I find it interresting as a Pyr owner and person that you've not heard of it before... MANY Pyr breeders have mentioned this happening to the dogs from WORKING lines... I'm sure, no doubt, it's rather rare as working Pyrs are hard to come by for the general public etc... Anyway...just so you know I'm not talking out of my butt on that small fact...

    Point is depending on where the dog is coming from a $200 Pyr might NOT be what you're looking for. Besides general health reasons.
  16. 2pyrs

    2pyrs New Member


    It's happened and I find it interresting as a Pyr owner and person that you've not heard of it before

    I am most happy for you that you have such a vast intelligence about Pyrs. We should all have the intelligence you have about all breeds or just save time and send all our post to you before we express any kind of opines. I never claim to be the Great Pyr god. Unlike you I still have and open mind and wish to learn, but I have never heard of such a thing. I have heard but never have seen a dog die of loneliness from loss of there owner. But once more I did not run this past your number of years of experience to find out if it is true or not. You could be "correct " but just like UFO”s I guess you had to be there.

    I am checking on this more and I hope you don't mind but I went over your head to people who have many more years then you do. I still don't belive it can be true at this time.

    Are we talking about - there stopping eating or drinking as cause of death or no contact with any form of life?

  17. Shineillusion

    Shineillusion New Member

    Well gee, I've heard of dogs going into a severe depression, not eating, and just fading into ill health and death from not being able to adapt to a move from working to a non-working situation. Not just Pyrs, but many working breeds.

    When I was living in the city, we had neighbors who had moved from a farm in Arkansas to the city. Their Pyr came with them, but had to be returned to the farm, and it's new owners, because the dog couldn't adapt to not having work to do. She was obviously depressed, stopped eating, and in general lost interest in everything around her. Would she have died? I don't know. I do know she was miserable when she didn't have her sheep to care for. She'd lived with sheep since she was a pup, and I'm sure she felt lost and confused. For her, life may not have seemed worth living without her wooly family. She was much happier back on the farm.

    I've also seen the same phenomena in working horses who couldn't adapt to retirement. Long ago, my grandfather switched from draft horses to tractors to work the farm. He couldn't bare to part with his favorite team, but they couldn't stand not working. He finally broke down and started using them for small jobs, like plowing the garden plot or pulling a hay wagon, just to keep them happy and give them a reason to live.

    Even some humans, who should know better, can become depressed and suffer ill health, lose their will to live, and die when they can no longer work. The mind is a powerful component in ones health and well being. Even a dog's mind.
  18. bama

    bama New Member

    I own 3 Pyrs. The first one 1, Tucker, I took in as a foster 4 years ago. His owners just showed up at a pet adoption and were willing to hand him over to anyone that would take him in. They purchased him as a puppy from a very reputable breeder 5 years earlier. They handed him over with his papers including his champion/working line filled pedigree and his medical records. He has not had any medical problems past or present. He is the most well behaved animal that I have ever met! He is a true gentleman. He came into my househould and learned the rules very quickly. He had been an outside pet until he came to live with me and he has never had an accident in my house. I take him to elementary schools so the children can learn about the breed and proper treatment of all animals. I take him to nursing homes to visit with the residents. He is the most laid back dog. He never is impatient. He never gets angry or barks at children no matter what they do to him. He really enjoys meeting new people. He greets all that enter my home with a hand shake. When I first brought him home he wanted to sleep all day and patrol the house at night barking at every noise. I solved that by closing my bedroom door. He then started to sleep when we did. He likes to be near the family at all times. He holds my couch in place and is quite the lap full when allowed. He still likes to run and play at times and that is when he is at his most majestic. He is the vision of grace when he thows his ball and runs after it. He is gentle with the other dogs.

    I fell so in love with the breed that I purchased 2 puppies this past fall. I originally wanted to adopt an adult from a rescue, but I encountered a lot of problems trying to do this. There are no rescues close to where I live and I would look on the web at their sites and by time I would pick a prospect it would be adopted when they contacted me back, but they would always have another one to send info on. If they still had the dog I was interested in they would not adopt out of state or would not be willing to meet me with the dog. I got fed up playing the games. I am a well qualified home according to their applications, but they would not extend the effort to place the animals. This made me sick, because I work with my local Humane Society and I do my own animal rescue and if I find a good home for an animal I will bend over backwards to place it in that home even if I have to cover the bills and travel long distances. That animals welfare is more important than my time and gas. Anyhow, I started looking in the ads of the major papers in my neighboring states as well as my own. Well, after a lot of ads and a lot of half breeds or poor health pups I found a Vet that had a litter. I had them send me all the info on the parents and pictures of the pups. Everything looked great so I asked them to hold me a female pup for 2 weeks so I could come and get it. They were more than glad to do this without any deposit or payment. The liter was AKC and the breeder garenteed the health. The asking price for a pup $450.00. I drove 3 hours and met them at their home. I was allowed to inspect the parents and their living arrangements. The pup that they had held for me had been seperated from the rest of the remaining pups that morning for a bath. She got so upset they had to put another pup in with her to calm her down. I was impressed with their concern for my pup. I was so impressed that I asked them if they would be willing to reduce the price if I took 2. They were shocked that I would take 2, but they decided that the female would be happier if she had a littermate and that that was more important than the money. Taking those 2 pups was one of the best ideas that I have ever had. Murphy and Mandy have been a wonderful addition to my family. Their health is great, all tests have been negative. Had a few potty training problems, but I think we are now past that stage. (It's always harder with 2) They are not hyper and sleep a lot. They seem to be learning from Tucker.

    Moral of all this: Pyrs can be exactly what you want them to be. The price tag is not always the bottom line. Do your research. Learn everything about the behavior patterns so you understand why they are acting the way that they are, so you can either incourage or discourage it according to your household. If you treat a Pyr with love and respect, it will do the same for you. They are high maint., but you are used to that with Indy. If you don't mind it with him then you won't mind it with a Pyr. And as far as the dieing thing goes, a Pyr will find itself a job around the house even if you don't give it one, even if it is holding the couch in place.

    A Pyr is for you, if you like to be smiled at. If you don't mind feeling like a clutz at its graceful side. If you don't mind feeling like your dog is wiser than you. If you don't mind looking into the eyes of a gentle gaint that can see into your soul.

    If you would like more info just ask, I will even provide the email of the breeder I bought from if you'd like it.
  19. 2pyrs

    2pyrs New Member

    It's good to hear from a fellow Pyr owner.
    Are they not a breed aside from all? I could not agree with you more on price, the key check and re-check the breeder and blood line. As to the many stories you hear well I went to what I call the top of the heap. Not third rate but number one and here’s there words not mine.
    From NZ
    **what a load of old cobblers! Working pyrs - not pets or show dogs - well a pyr is still a pyr! I guess if ya had a working dog that was deprived of work & given no attention or company it could die of a broken heart but it would be rather rare I feel. But some working pyr owners give their dogs no attention so the dog relies on the stock for company. Deprived of this and not really bonded with humans - yeh - that would be tough.
    This lady has breed Pyrs for more then 30 years and farms sheep more years then she would like to admit.
    Some of the youngsters here believe the tall tails told over the years and still have a lot to learn. As to my knowing each of them well I take most of them and put them in a barrel called b.s. and go on to more real things in the world.
    Pyrs rule

    So does yours.........
    We lost our kira today age 11 who loved life and everyone in it. This smile is for her.
  20. Sara

    Sara New Member

    OH...sheesh I've not heard of any Pyrs that just die...perhaps I may have been more specific??? I didn't mean to sound like you didn't have knowledge...I was being somewhat defensive...as you seemed to have implied that I was talking out of my butt in my first post that they are a working breed and can be difficult to keep and have been known to die because of a lack of "job"...

    I've known pyrs and been around them for several years as well as people working with them and using them for the purpose they were bred for and SOME (it's not a common occurance) can become depressed and die because of a lack of SOMETHING to watch over... NOT dogs that have been raised and owned on a working ranch...but dogs produced from dogs that come from a long line of workers HAVE been known to pass away due to "complications" from NOT having a job to do... Heck even just giving a Pyr a bunny to watchover can be enough... But SOMETIMES Pyrs do NEED something to care for or they WILL become depressed and die...

    NOT common but it's happened enough that the Pyr owners, Breeders and rescue folks that I know of have seen it happen... In rescue a working Pyr can fade fast it THAT happens more commonly than a Pyr failing to thrive as a YOUNG dog raised NOT in a working home but WITHOUT the opportunity to care for something...

    The Pyr I'm most close to CAME from a working home and is VERY resiliant...she's got kids and other dogs to watchover and when I watch her with them...there's no DOUBT in my MIND that her mental state would not be stable if she'd been raised an only dog in a single person home with nothing to do but lie around in the yard...

    One a side note... The FIRST breed I became interrested in, in terms of Behavior and studying was the Great Pyr... The SECOND breed I ever looked at in terms of studying for College in Animal Behavior was the Rott... The THIRD breed was the Mastiff (as both the former breeds decended from Mastiff type dogs)... Came accrossed my Monty dog in the parking lot at my BF's work and began to study up on APBT's and learn about them and their behavior and then learned more about the Boerboel as I became more interrested in them... I lived with a Beagle along with the rotts in College...and have known other hounds as well...

    As far as any other breed...besides Mastiff type breeds, Hounds...working dogs in general (animal behavior study in college)...I know little if any... Ask me about a Dane and honestly...I'm pretty clueless except that I know...they were bred originally to be guardians and hunters... Sorry if I ever come accross as arrogant about dog knowledge but I will be the first to tell ANYONE to go ask someone else as they may know more about some breeds than I and there's ALWAYS someone out there who knows more than I could ever hope to learn about dogs in GENERAL...

    Just giving my opinion based on experience...nothing more.

    Honestly...I think Elizavixen is capable of having a Pyr in her home and making the dog part of her family... I'm glad she's looking at the breed but she asked what we knew about the breed and that's what I know... They do bark...so...that CAN be an issue depending on where you live...other than that...find a rescue Pyr or save up for one of your own...be carefull who you buy from and do your breeder research!! Good luck and I hope when you do decide on another dog you post tons of pics!

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