Pyr Report


I’ve had a number of requests lately for an update and pics of all the Pyrs, and was actually working on a post about them before all the other hubbub broke out. Coco has stationed herself in the barn for the summer.
Coco is my oldest Pyr. She’s five this year. This is still a young Pyr, but the Giant Puppy is no pup anymore. She is huge. And hot. And enjoys the big, cool barn. And, well…
…I’m pretty sure she has a secondary motivation.
She’s always lookin’.
Giant Puppy: “I can fit under there….in my mind!”

The chickens lay eggs in the tack room. They scoot under the door. And Coco expends a great deal of mental energy scooting herself under there, too, in her imagination. She loves a fresh egg.

Since she enjoys the barn, and since I do have some of the goats in the front barn yard, I’ve been letting her stay in the barn, for now. Usually, I have Coco and Chloe together. Right now, I have Chloe in the goat yard and sheep field. I’m having a problem with her escaping there, and have made repeat attempts to correct the problem but haven’t nailed it yet. (Someone commented that I needed to work on my fencing. I have done nothing but work on the fencing on this farm since I moved here and have spent a substantial amount of money and time working on the fencing. On a farm, fencing work is a never-ending job, and is never perfect. I try. Right now, I think I need to bring in some help, but will have to wait until my hired man is available.)

Meanwhile, while Casper and Gwennie are generally my house dogs, Chloe occasionally joins them when she finds her latest way out. Gwennie is the alpha Pyr at the house, by the way, while Coco is the alpha Pyr in the field. Chloe easily fits in anywhere. As does Casper, who just likes to have friends, and while he’s a follower, not a leader, he can also be an instigator–at least in silliness.

I’ve been walking/running five miles a day on the ridge road out behind my farm.
It’s remote, and I take the dogs with me. There are no people, no farms, not even any cabins. It’s a great place to walk/run, but remote enough that I like having dogs with me. They are great at staying with me, and I stop before I reach the other end, where there are farms, and turn around. It’s 2 1/2 miles there and 2 1/2 miles back.

Casper, stopping for some silliness along the way.
“C’mon, Gwennie!”
Casper, leading the Pyrs at long last:
Yep, he’s got ’em both.
And his job is done!

While Pyrs are sometimes these days kept as family dogs, they are, in fact, bred as working dogs and are happiest if they have a job. They are fearless, confident, strong-willed dogs with the instincts to think and act independently in the field without human direction. With people and the livestock they protect, they are patient, affectionate, and gentle. But in the field, they are quite territorial and bred to make decisions on their own. Pyrs do most of their work by warding off wild animals–they instinctively position themselves at the perimeters of their fields, gazing out into the land beyond their fences, barking. And barking. And barking. (Which is why people who choose them as family dogs often end up deciding they made the wrong choice. They will act this way in a home just as they will in the field.)

Typical joke about a Great Pyrenees:

“If it barks like a Pyr, walks like a Pyr, and most of all doesn’t listen to you, it’s a Pyr!”

So true.

Update on Coco: Over a year later, she is doing great, far better than her prognosis after her injury. She still walks with a slight limp, but she can run and functions normally. If she runs around a lot, or plays a lot, her limp will become more pronounced. But overall, considering we could have lost her, she’s doing fantastic.


  1. Remudamom says:

    Beautiful dogs. I know you aren’t supposed to shave them but I still wonder how they take the heat.

  2. NancyL says:

    Thanks for the update – they are all beautiful dogs. I know how terrified you were when Coco was missing, then found so terribly injured. She looks wonderful! As for fencing, even this apartment dwelling town woman knows that is an ongoing job – I also follow Pioneer Woman. And I spent many wonderful hours watching the entire seeries of McCloud’s Daughters on Netflix streaming – they were always repairing fences!!

    Nancy in Iowa

  3. Faith says:

    Looks like they are having fun! I used to run/walk all the time, I bike now on a rail trail. I live at the top a big hill I mistook as a mountain at first, so when I walk or run anywhere I have to finish going up hill…I am not that motivated YET.

  4. Old Geezer says:

    You need Gwennie to guard the house because Casper would greet any troublemaker with a wag and a smile and ask for a dog treat.

  5. boulderneigh says:

    I always wondered how you could cook and bake and eat what you do and maintain your lovely figure; now I know! Five miles a day would do it…..

  6. daria says:

    Your dogs are beautiful. Thanks again for you wonderful blog. I look forward to reading it every day.

    I made a fencing comment – of course it’s a never ending task, which most of us can’t imagine. I have a fence around my suburban backyard and dozens of creatures of all sizes could probably get through – luckily my next door neighbor has a dog (I’m allergic…) that keeps animals away (and our yards aren’t fenced off). Anyway, I wasn’t judging, and I apologize if I sounded that way.

  7. Audrey324 says:

    So, you can keep the Pyrs in fields with the goats, sheep, cows, chickens, etc. and they protect them? How cool is that!
    I have a little Jack Russell Terrier mix, Daisy, who has been a very interesting dog too. When I had my chickens she never chased them, nor does she chase our 2 cats. She is very protective of the property and the family though and will tear after anything that doesn’t belong. I’ve never had a more protective dog. One day when I get my little farm I might have to look into Pyrs as possibilities though. :pawprint:

  8. mds9 says:

    Nice post. I belong to a dog obedience club. I’ve seen Pyrs trained. Sit, stay, and come are critical skills for working dogs. It can keep them out of the road.

  9. mamajoseph says:

    5 miles! Good workout. Wish I had trained our lab to go on walks/runs off leash with us when she was younger. At 10 years old, I’m afraid she might go rabbit chasing if I took her now. She’s a good dog, but since the road goes right thru the village, it’s not a chance I want to take.

  10. mamaderis says:

    How do you take care of fleas on your dogs? We are doing OK this summer but last summer was a nightmare. Your dogs are beautiful.

  11. RosieJo says:

    You seem to enjoy your lifestyle to the fullest. At 62 I’m still hoping to discover my true calling. LOVE the photos today!

  12. Cheryl LeMay says:

    What a beautiful area to run in. How long have you been a runner?
    Your dogs are very beautiful and well behaved. Casper the Clown. I liked his trick.

  13. Journey11 says:

    Oh, what I wouldn’t give to get just a little further out a dirt road so my dogs could run loose and come hiking with me. You have a really nice place to exercise with your pack!

  14. Sheila Z says:

    Having 2 Prys I can say from experience that they listen if they think it’s in their best interest (like maybe you have a meaty bone for them to chew). They are ready to ignore human rules if they decide they have something better to do. They take the job of watching for intruders seriously and are always on guard 24/7. No strange sound, smell or motion escapes them. For the most part they are lazy goof balls. They sleep most of the time and can go for hours not making a sound. Let a car they don’t recognize pull in the driveway or a hawk call and they are on their feet barking loud enough to wake the dead. This behavior is all in the breeding and you have to learn to live with their innate behaviors because these dogs can’t do anything else. Some dogs are bred to be people pleasers, Pyrs aren’t one of those breeds. They have a quiet dignity about them and a job to do.

  15. jodiezoeller says:

    I guess my dog, Seamus, is part Pyr (LOL not) because he takes guarding the house and yard very seriously and doesn’t listen well when it doesn’t involve a treat. I’m a terrible dog trainer but love him dearly. And he hasn’t eaten the cat yet!

  16. wildcat says:

    Some co-workers and I were walking some dogs and scrubbing enclosures at a local pet rescue today, and they had the most gorgeous Pyr there. It was a 2-yr-old male. When he put his paws on top of the fence, he and I were looking eyeball to eyeball! This is the first time I’ve seen a Pyr in real life, so I really understand now just how BIG the Big Puppy is! Wow!

    As for Coco and Chloe and Gwennie: They are beautiful dogs and they look like they’re living a very happy life. Thanks for the update!

  17. holstein woman says:

    I’m so glad you can take the time to write posts like this one. Your family is great and I really enjoy all of them.

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