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Great Pyrenees Temperament
page 4

A Pyrenean is not like that! Well, let us say it in another way.He feels responsible for you and your family and your properties He is a serious dog He is your friend and not your slave.He is an intelligent dog that likes to figure out things by himself and he does not like to obey orders he can see no reasons for. He is freedom loving.That sounds much nicer, it is why we love him and are proud of him and is probably what we tell the puppy buyers; but is it not very much the same?.Naturally there are big differences among individual Pyreneans, but there are also many common traits. In order to find out what is fair to expect from a Pyrenean I find it reasonable to try to see what he was originally like.As hardly any of us is old enough to remember the early time with the breed, we have to turn to books and whatever written statement that can be found. It also can be rewarding to take a look at other related breeds that have not until more recently been used as pets.There are some limitations in the truth of the pictures the books give. Dog books are written by dog lovers and according to them all dogs are brave, faithful and child loving.

In literature, the livestock guardian breeds are normally described as courageous guard dogs, more aloof than outgoing, suspicious and independent. In an article in "International Great Pyrenees Review" June 1980 about working dogs, Henny Adams, USA says "As a guard dog he must show attentiveness to a person, alertness to his surroundings; a certain amount of stubbornness or opinionated attitude; show high tolerances for patience. Aggressiveness must be kept DOWN, but called upon when needed. The dog should show SELF DISCIPLINE".

Guard dog - Aggressiveness

All early statements on Pyrenean describe a very good guard dog. When I started with Pyreneans, problems with aggressiveness were by no means unknown. Actually in Denmark whole litters except one or two ended up being destroyed due to aggressiveness during their first three or four years of life.That aggressiveness also happened in other parts of the world we can see from different statements. In the International Magazine of Great Pyrenees No 7 there is an article called "Prairie warriors" about Pyreneans guarding sheep in South Dakota. Here it is said "Nevertheless, some people still think of the Great Pyrenees as dangerous and vicious".And in an interview given in the French clubs magazine in no.44 1er trimestre 1995 the owner of the Le Pic du Viscos, Mr. Benoit Cockenpot who lives in the Pyrenean Mountains says "Patou has even got a bad reputation amongst many of the inhabitants in this region they accuse him for biting and being dangerous". In both cases it is said that Pyreneans are in no way mean.

© U. Hock-Henschke