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Great Pyrenees Temperament
page 6


Even if it difficult to make a Pyrenean 100% obedient I do not think it is difficult to teach him the different commands. One just has to use other methods than seen often used in obedience training. It is the reliability in response to the commands that is difficult to obtain, and it is when it is most needed that it fails. The major reason why it could be difficult to make him into a reliably obedient dog might not be so much that he wants to orders to mazke sense - even if it sounds nice - as he seems to lack the desire to co-operate. For many other breeds the mere fact that they are co-operating with their owners is the reward in itself.


There is one thing I think would be a benefit for the breed, if it were changed, at least for those living in urban areas. This is the habit of barking at everything and nothing that some of the Pyreneans show. I am not thinking of the natural warning a LGD should do, nor of the territorial marking barking as long as it is kept under a reasonable limit. However, the continual barking quite a few Pyreneans love to do is what can make tnem nearly impossible to keep as pets in urban or semi-rural areas. I do not think the barking would have been a problem in their original surroundings, as it is very easy for the owner to hear whether there is somthing seriously going on. Actually I guess there could be no more reassuring sound to people living in remote places in former days than the sound of a guard dog telling that it is awake and on guard and nothing is happening. A silent dog could have run away, or be asleep or even dead. This I think is the reason that many dogs and - not only Pyreneans - tend to bark more than society accepts today, It is not because the dogs are stupid or badly adapted, it is because this was once in the breeds developement a sought for trait. This should be rather easy to change, as tendency to bark is a well known inherited trait,

Changing the teperament

At times, there have been some thoughts about changing the temperament of the breed. In Mr. Giffin's article, Mrs. C.R. Prince is quoted as saying, "Are we not all guilty of breeding out this heritage (that of the rugged guardian of the pastoral scene) in an attempt to produce an untypically emasculated family pet ?

© U. Hock-Henschke