|Think Before You Buy
(Extracts from the Hanbook of PMDC of GB - Copies available from the Secretary)
WHY A PYRENEAN?
The Pyrenean Mountain Dog is not just a large breed of dog - it is a giant breed. This means that the cuddly little ball of white fluff you may well meet when you go to see a litter could, in a matter of months, be as high at the shoulder as your dining table and weigh in excess of ten stone (65 kg) so before going any further there are a few questions you should ask yourself.
After the initial outlay for the purchase of your puppy you now have the cost of rearing it to adulthood. Even though most fully grown Pyreneans are not big eaters this is not the case with puppies, particularly from three to twelve months when it is essential that their intake of food is increased almost daily, so irrespective of the diet you choose it will cost quite a lot of money for food bills. On top of this expense there is also the normal preventative medications (worming pills and vaccinations) and the possibility of veterinary fees. With a giant breed these will cost more than for an average size dog. It is, of course, possible to insure against veterinary bills in case of accident or illness, but this will also involve financial outlay so the first question to ask yourself is "whether or not you can afford all those additional costs in excess of the original purchase price"?
The next thing to consider is how the puppy is going to fit into your present lifestyle and are you willing to re-arrange this if necessary to meet the demands of a puppy? If the puppy will be left alone for long periods at a time then a Pyrenean is not the breed for you as the breed thrives on the companionship of its owner when a household pet and of its kennel mates when a kennel dog. A Pyrenean left alone in a house will soon become bored and almost inevitably relieve its boredom by chewing with disastrous results for any of your treasured possessions! If left confined, in a small place, its howling could result in complaints from adjacent householders, who could, if they were so inclined, take action under the Noise Abatement Acts.
The ancestors of the domestic dog were pack animals and because of this a dog needs a leader to follow so the next question is "do you have the right sort of character to train a dog to obey you"? If you have any doubts about this then stick to smaller breeds where a lack of control can have less dire consequences.
Another trait of the Pyrenean is a tendency to bark as this is an essential element in a breed which has been used as a guard for hundreds of years. The Pyrenean has a very deep but loud bark and it is worth considering the affect this may have on your relationship with neighbours! Don't take too much notice of advice from so-called "experts" who may tell you that the Pyrenean only barks when someone calls at the house or there are strangers around. This may be true of some specimens of the breed but some will bark if as much as a "blade of grass" moves. If a puppy is quiet for the first few months of its life (this can happen when there are other dogs in the household) it doesn't necessarily follow that this will last, as they usually make up for it as adolescence is reached.
Finally you must bear in mind that however fastidious you may be in regularly grooming your Pyrenean, long white hairs will become part of your everyday existence. You will find them on the furniture, on your clothes, in the car and when you go away on holiday there they will be, in your suitcase!