Great Pyrenees Breed Magazine - Showsight

both parents are OFA or Penn Hip certi- fied clear of hip dysplasia. When choos- ing a puppy, look for a happy, healthy, outgoing puppy. You do not want a shy, emaciated or sickly-appearing pup. The coat should carry a glossy shine. There should be no discharge from the eyes or nose and the puppy should be mov- ing along on sturdy legs. The puppy should be at least eight weeks old. You should also inquire about a breeder/ buyer contract, which explains what is expected of you, the buyer, and of the breeder. Your puppy should come from registered parents, should have a pedi- gree from the breeder, a health record showing when and what inoculations and medications have been given and also care and feeding instructions. Buy from someone who is knowledgeable about the breed and who is willing to share this information with you. This will be the beginning of a relationship that should last as long as your Great Pyrenees is a part of your family. You can expect that a good breeder will ask you about your plans and facilities for your Pyr. In fact, buyers should be cau- tious of breeders who do not ask ques- tions. It could indicate that the breeder is not very concerned about the future of their pups. Some questions you might expect: • Do you have a well fenced area? Pyrs are roamers and must be kept in your home, in a securely fenced area or on leash. Underground or invisible fencing is not appropriate for Pyrs. Very often it will not keep them in and it will not keep other animals or people out. Remember, Pyrs are guardian dogs. • Do you have neighbors who many complain about a barking dog? Remember, Pyrs are barkers, espe- cially at night. • Do you have the time to give your dog regular discipline, basic obedi- ence training, proper socialization and grooming? All dogs, but most especially large guardian dogs, need regular day-to-day discipline, basic obedience training, companionship and attention to ensure that they become a pleasure and not a problem. • Do you own other dogs? If so, what breeds and sexes? Pyrs are territo- rial dogs. Male Pyrs will seldom tolerate another large male dog in their territory and females some- times will not tolerate another large female in her territory. If you should have this experience, do you have the ability to keep the dogs sepa- rated for the rest of their lives? • Can you afford to own a giant breed dog? While adult Pyrs are not big eaters, growing pups require more,

good quality food. And while basic routine vaccinations may not cost more for a large dog than they do for a small dog, a large dog does require a higher dosage of medica- tions and anesthesia than a smaller dog. This can add considerably to your vet bill. It also costs more to board a large dog should you have the need. • Do all family members want this pup? It is a mistake to buy a dog for the kids when it requires the management of responsible adults to care for a dog. It is also unfair to the pup if a family member resents his presence in the home. Do your research and be patient and cautious. The first available puppy or the lowest price may not be the best choice. Well-bred Pyrs are not constant- ly available and purchasing the right puppy may mean waiting for a while. They are not inexpensive and the price may vary somewhat depending on what area of the country you live in. People who sell pups for much less than the average for your area probably have not put as much time or care into the breed- ing or rearing of their pups. Please be sure you are willing to make a com- mitment for the next 10 to 12 years to meet the physical and emotional needs of a Great Pyrenees. These dogs are liv- ing; breathing sensitive creatures that should not be discarded simply because they have become an inconvenience or your living arrangement or personal life have changed. Any number of Great Pyrenees end up in rescue each year because people did not research the breed thoroughly or did not take this commitment seriously. Okay, you’ve done your homework; you’ve found that puppy and brought it home. Be prepared. This will be the beginning of a lifelong love affair with a truly unique and magnificent breed. It might also be the beginning of a new life with dogs; a new kennel; a new dev- otee of this breed. We all started with one Pyr. I did in 1984 with my Maggie. Now, many years later, I have fifteen and have owned and loved many more in between. They are a lot like potato chips. You can’t have just one! For more information about the Great Pyrenees or Great Pyrenees breeders, Please go to the Great Pyr- enees Club of America website at: www.gpcaonline.org. *Some information excerpted from publications of the Great Pyrenees Club of America, Inc. S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , S EPTEMBER 2018 • 389

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