National Great Pyrenees Rescue needs your help. We need to educate the public about the breed, rescue dogs from owners and shelters, house dogs while they are being transitioned and care for older dogs. Rescue programs are needed for all breeds of dogs but it is especially critical for this breed. Here are the top ten reasons why Pyr rescue is so important:
- Ignorance About the Breed. Pyrs' expressive faces, regal demeanor and fluffy white tails get them a lot of attention, especially from people who think that they're just big white Goldens. As working dogs and one of the more independent-minded dog breeds, Pyrs can be a challenge to manage and train.
- Pet Shop Purchases. Great Pyrenees are the only livestock guardian dogs found in pet shops. People who purchase them on impulse in pet stores do not usually consider whether this breed is a good choice for their family.
- Puppy Mills. Far too many dogs are produced under horrendous conditions in puppy mills. This is the source of all Great Pyrenees pups sold in pet stores. Buying a dog from a pet store encourages continuation of mass production techniques where dogs are the unfortunate victims of abuse from birth to death. Young pups are snatched from their mothers, kept for weeks or months in small cages, sold and kept until they get too big or bark too much and then turned loose or dumped in shelters.
- Backyard Breeders. This is another source of thousands of dogs with unsound physical characteristics or questionable temperament. Most backyard breeders do not have their breeding stock tested for dysplasia, will not work with dogs who develop "temperament issues" and will not take back dogs who have physical problems.
- Big Dog/Big Expense. Many prospective owners never think past "How much is that puppy in the window?" Large-breed dogs cost substantially more than smaller dogs to feed, medicate and vet. Patella and ACL (knee) injuries are common in large-breed dogs. Many people bring their dogs to shelters or call rescue rather than foot the bills for surgery and rehabilitation.
- Inadequate Fencing. As a protective breed, it is necessary to provide Pyrenees with secure fencing. Invisible fencing is usually not adequate for containing Pyrs. Even with good fencing, some dogs can dig under or jump over physical barriers. Children can inadvertently let dogs out of the yard or house and eventually people get tired of "rounding them up".
- Change in Life Situation. This is where an owner is moving or retiring to a place where the dog can't come. Sometimes it doesn't occur to these folks that their beloved pet needs a new home until two weeks before they "have to move".
- Behavioral Issues. These issues might include barking, nipping, biting, food aggression or lunging. Pyrs that are tied or put on trolleys can develop aggressive behavior. The dog becomes a rescue case when owners ignore these problems until "they can't handle it anymore" instead of addressing the issues early on.
- Over Protectiveness. This is also a behavioral issue, but it is related to the Pyr's livestock guardian nature. Pyrs were bred to be livestock guardians and, in many cases, are "doing what comes naturally". Understanding this quality can make dealing with it easier.
- "Too Old." Dogs over seven are frequently surrendered because their owners feel that the dog's useful life is over or the dog has become too much trouble to take care of. Older Pyrs spend the longest time in foster care before being adopted.
National Great Pyrenees Rescue is there to help rescue dogs and their owners overcome these difficulties and live long, happy lives together. When that is not possible, we are committed to finding deserving dogs new homes.