Activities For Pyrenean Shepherds

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Introduction

Despite what this breed's name might imply, Pyrenean Shepherds aren't hybrids that result from mixing German Shepherds with Great Pyrenees dogs. Rather, Pyrenean Shepherds are a breed of herding dog whose origins can be traced all the way back to the region between France and Spain. Pyrenean Shepherds have a very distinct appearance as a result of their thick, wiry coats. Pyrenean Shepherds have been officially recognized by both the United Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club for decades as outstanding herding and companion animals. Pyrenean Shepherds also happen to be very good swimmers who are able to glide through the water like a hot knife through butter.

Paddleboarding

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Sunny Day
Expensive
Normal
45 - 60 min
Items needed
Paddleboard and paddle
Life Jackets
Activity description

Here's an activity to try out with your Pyrenean Shepherd after the two of you have gone swimming a few times. Paddleboarding, as the name implies, combines paddling and surfboarding. Dogs can be taken along for paddleboarding trips so long as they're able to stay calm and composed while the two of you are out in the water. This can be a somewhat expensive activity, as the average of a good quality paddle board is about $900 or so. It would also be wise to invest in a life jacket for both yourself and your Pyrenean Shepherd. This activity is best attempted during days where the weather is sunny and the skies are clear, to reduce the likelihood of having to deal with difficult river, lake or ocean currents.

Step
1
Ride the wave
Paddleboarding is meant to be an overall calm and easy going activity. Before you attempt to paddle on the water with your companion by your side, you might want to spend some time paddling by yourself so you can develop your rhythm and learn how to stay balanced on the board. If you're worried about literally finding yourself up a creek without a paddle, wear your life jacket throughout this step.
Step
2
"Air Paddling"
To further expedite the process of helping your Pyr Shep acclimate to your paddle board, the both of you can spend some time "air paddling" while you're still on land. The both of you will look pretty funny paddling in place, but this exercise will definitely help your dog get used to having to share the board with you and vice versa. You'll also learn how to move your paddle in a way that won't obstruct your dog's vision or create scenarios where they'll need to shuffle around to provide space.
Step
3
Paddle out
Once at your paddling destination, suit up your dog in their life jacket and start the excursion. First time out, stick close to shore for safety's sake. After several sessions and the knowledge that your Pyrenean Shepherd knows how to stay aboard the board, you can venture into deeper water. Always stay away from rough areas or spots you are not familiar with.
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Swimming

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Any Day
Free
Easy
30 - 40 min
Items needed
Life Jackets
Activity description
At the beginning of this article, we briefly mentioned that Pyrenean Shepherds were great swimmers. Should you take your Pyr Shep out to go swimming, you'll get to personally see how adept these dogs are in the water first hand! The lithe and limber build that all Pyrenean Shepherds possess allows them to maneuver through the water with greater ease than other dog breeds while the webbing between their toes helps them paddle through water with less resistance. This activity is very cost friendly, as you can find a number of dog-friendly places to swim which can be accessed free of charge. You and your Pyr Shep can also go swimming during any kind of weather that you'd like, although a warm and sunny day is the typical scenario.
Step
1
Doggy paddling
As naturally talented at swimming as Pyrenean Shepherds are, you shouldn't introduce them to deep water until they've had plenty of time to practice in the more shallow areas of the pool or other water source. It's also best to try and get your Pyr Shep swimming at as early an age as possible; they'll instinctively start doggy paddling their way around the place as puppies, but that will eventually graduate into full-blown swimming with time.
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2
Pool trials
Pyrenean Shepherds are often employed as work dogs due to their high intelligence and adaptability. To help your dog improve both of those aspects of their character, create challenges for them to solve while swimming; toss some of their toys into the water and then ask them to swim over and retrieve them one by one. You can also try to create obstacles in the pool using buoyant items to see how your pet will react to them.
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Snowshoeing

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Cold Day
Moderate
Hard
40 - 50 min
Items needed
Snowshoes
Doggy Booties
Dog Harness
Waste Bags
Activity description
In our opinion, snowshoeing is the sort of activity that perfectly suits the talents and natural attributes of Pyrenean Shepherds. Snowshoeing is all about perseverance and endurance - two traits Pyrenean Shepherds have in spades. The goal of this activity is to trudge through a fairly heavy amount of snow until you've reached a predetermined finish line. Pyrenean Shepherds were bred to work in mountainous areas where snowfall can get heavy, so don't be surprised if your dog adapts to this activity quicker than you do. You can get everything you need to go snowshoeing with your pet for less than $100, so it won't take too long to save up for the proper gear. As you might have guessed, the optimal weather conditions for this activity are cold, snowy days.
Step
1
Getting through it
Snowshoeing is all about trudging forward and pressing on, even when the road ahead becomes increasingly difficult. You and your Pyr Shep will have to, both figuratively and literally, dig in deep and press forward regardless of how hard this activity seems. That being said, you should aim to keep your first few trips fairly short until you've begun to adapt to the rigors of snowshoeing.
Step
2
Up and over
For an added challenge, you and your dog can go snowshoeing up an inclined surface; the steeper the slope, the more challenging this activity will become. Granted, you don't want to try and scale up a slope so steep that you'll have to get on all fours and climb up, at least not right off the bat. Stick with inclined slopes that have a gradual curve initially before moving to the tougher stuff.
Step
3
Safety
Your cold weather loving canine will enjoy a snowshoeing outing but keep an eye out for a few things just in case: signs of shivering due to cold, snow balling up between the paws (if they lose a bootie), thirst, and fatigue. It's a fun activity and neither one of you may want to call it a day despite the need, so just be aware.
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More Fun Ideas...

Braiding Fur

Well, you might as well put all of the fur that Pyrenean Shepherd has to use! Once you've built up enough rapport with your dog, try this; get a pinch of your dog's fur in one hand, another pinch in the other, and then braid the two clumps together as if you were braiding a ponytail. It's also not uncommon for folks to braid their pet's tails, so you may want to start there first.

Dive and Retrieve

If you ever decide to take your Pyrenean Shepherd along with your for a sailing or boating trip, you can try this activity out the next time the both of you are in an area with shallow water; break out your pup's favorite toy, get their attention, toss the toy into the shallow body of water, and then wait for them to dive in and retrieve it.

Conclusion

We concentrated on presenting a number of physically engaging activities because Pyrenean Shepherds are known for being incredibly active dogs. That's really the only concern a person who's considering adopting one of these dogs might have, ultimately, as Pyrenean Shepherds are overall very sweet, compassionate, and friendly dogs who can be trained to assist and live with children and the elderly. If you have any medical conditions that restrict you from being too physically active, then the Pyrenean Shepherd may not be the best dog to accommodate your needs. But if you're a person who's willing and able to get very active multiple times a week, then the Pyrenean Shepherd may compliment your lifestyle perfectly.