Activities For A Great Pyrenees

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Introduction

Once considered the royal dog of France, the Great Pyrenees is a truly regal canine. The breed is known for their gigantic size, exquisite white coat, an independent personality and commanding presence. Initially developed to guard and protect livestock against other predators, the Pyrenees now primarily serves as a family companion and household pet, although their protective instincts are still evident. Aside from their protectiveness, the breed is also known for their loyalty and devotion to their families. With all these amazing qualities, it is easy to see why a lot of pet lovers are enamored by the Great Pyrenees. 

Skijoring

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Cold Day
Expensive
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Ski
Ski poles
Harness
Cable
Waist belt
Activity description

Skijoring is one of the latest and trendiest owner-dog activities being done today. While it has actually been around for quite some time and was first demonstrated at the 1928 Winter Olympics held in Switzerland, it’s only made waves as a recreational activity in the last few years. This canine sport is actually similar to traditional skiing, but with the added element of pulling by a dog. This is a fun activity that is perfect for the Great Pyrenees since they are built for the cold weather and are large and strong enough to pull an adult person. Moreover, skijoring is an excellent form of exercise for your pooch during the winter season. 

Step
1
Buy the needed gear
As with most sports, having the right gear is vital if you plan on engaging in skijoring. If you do skiing regularly, then you most likely have your own gear already and all you have to do is buy the stuff your dog needs. Otherwise, you can get all the necessary gear in an outdoor specialty shop. Oftentimes, you can even find skijoring kits which contain all of the equipment you need.
Step
2
Practice with your dog
Before you go out on the slopes, you first have to get your dog used to the activity. Basic commands such as “go”, “stay” and “stop” are important and your dog needs to be able to follow these when needed. Do a trial run in your backyard or somewhere safe and get your dog to pull you.
Step
3
Find a space and ski
When you are satisfied with your dog’s ability, you can now take things outside and go for the real thing. You can do skijoring in any open area that allows the presence of dogs. You may also visit dog-friendly ski camps and resorts in order to have some skijoring fun.
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Weight Pulling

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Harness
Wagon or cart
Cable or bungee cord
Activity description

Given their working background and raw strength, the Great Pyrenees is a great candidate for some weight pulling activities. Because of their size, the Pyrenees needs to be kept physically stimulated in order to stay healthy and for this breed, sometimes a walk or jog is not enough. Weight pulling is one of the best workout methods for the Great Pyrenees as it can help develop their overall stamina and strength. All that you need for this activity is a harness for your dog, a sled or wagon and a cable that attaches the wagon to your dog’s harness. The best part is it can be done in your own home or backyard!

Step
1
Get your gear ready
To get started with weight pulling, you need to have a harness for your dog, a cart or wagon and the cable to attach these two together. Keep in mind that the harness should be comfortable on your dog and that the cable is sturdy enough for pulling the wagon or cart. Many owners will have their dog wear the harness around the house several times so that they get used to it.
Step
2
Train your dog to pull
When you have the materials already, you can start putting things together. Put the harness on your dog and attach the cable to the wagon. Then, on your command, tell your dog to “go”. It might take a while for your dog to get used to the feeling of pulling a cart but just do this regularly until your dog gets comfortable.
Step
3
Add some weight
When your dog becomes comfortable with pulling the cart, you can make things a bit more challenging by adding some weight. For starters, you can add your groceries or bottles of milk on the cart while your dog pulls. To burn more fuel, you can add rocks or bricks on the cart. This will get your dog to exert more effort, thereby becoming more physically stimulated.
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Obedience Training

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Treats
Activity description

Any responsible dog owner knows that basic obedience training is essential in order to sustain a healthy and happy relationship with your pooch. This is even more crucial if you own a big guarding dog such as the Great Pyrenees. While they may seem adorable and easy to handle as puppies, it will be much more difficult to control them as they grow older. This is where obedience training comes into play. The Pyrenees was bred to be independent, which is why you need to train them to become obedient. Fortunately, there are lots of available clubs and trainers who have a great deal of experience when it comes to obedience training.

Step
1
Start with the basics
Before you go to the professionals for help, you should get the basics down first. Luckily, the Great Pyrenees is intelligent and a quick learner. Thus, teaching the basics should be a breeze. Start off with the most commonly used commands such as “sit” or “stay”. Give treats as a reward after your dog learns a command.
Step
2
Enroll your dog in an obedience class
Now that you have a foundation, you can now choose to enroll your dog in obedience classes. Local clubs and independent trainers are everywhere and it should not be difficult to find one near your area. Do an online search or ask other dog owners for recommendations. Talk to the potential candidates and ask them questions in order to help you choose. Once you begin the training with your dog, remember an important part of the success involves practice at home each week between classes.
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More Fun Ideas...

Movie Night

Despite their big size, the Great Pyrenees can be such a baby as they love to hang out with their owners more than anything. Plus, this breed prefers to stay indoors. Sometimes, spending the night in to watch movies and cuddling is good enough for your pooch.

Snowball Fight

Make the most out of the winter season by engaging in a snowball fight with your Great Pyrenees. All you have to do is go to a safe and secure area, such as a fenced backyard, build some snowballs and throw them at your dog. 

Conclusion

Hardworking, loving and gentle, the Great Pyrenees is a wonderful dog breed to have. Whether you are looking for a driven career dog or just a loyal watchdog and family companion, this breed is a great choice. Through proper training and given the right activities, the Great Pyrenees will thrive in any household.