Pyrs need room. They should be confined to a spacious, well-fenced area, or they will exercise their powerful instinct to establish and patrol a large territory. As a rule, the in-the-ground electric fencing is not recommended. It may keep your dog in (if you are lucky, though keeping the shock contact points close enough to the skin is difficult with thick fur, and Pyrs have a very high tolerance for pain) but it will not keep other dogs or critters (like skunks) out. Your neighbors’ dogs and cats may be at risk if they enter your Pyr’s territory, as well as any strangers.
We strongly urge adopters never to leave their dogs outside if no one is home, since they may be tempted to escape to try to pursue a “predator” outside of the yard, or someone (or something) could enter the yard and be harmed or harm the dog, or leave a gate open. If the dog escapes, you won’t know until you get home, at which point he may be miles away. If he is hit by a vehicle, it may be too late to find and save him.
Chain-link and stockade fencing are effective, but horse fencing reinforced with wire, electric fencing and other fencing used to enclose livestock is usually acceptable. Six-foot no-climb woven wire fencing (right) can also work in residential settings.
Even the most secure fence is useless if the gate latch is not closed. We strongly recommend using bungee cords to secure gates with simple fork latches to ensure they are completely closed and cannot be manipulated by dogs.
Preferable locks are an automatic/self-latching latch exactly like this one: (because the fork latches can easily be knocked upright by these big dogs).
Another option is a type of heavy-duty gate latch that can also be used with a padlock; there also are “automatic” locks; slide and barrel style latches that could work, preferably placed high enough on the gate to prevent interference.
Whether you use chain link or woven-wire horse or farm/goat fencing, it should have a sturdy tension wire threaded through every other link at the bottom to keep it from being bent out when the dog is trying to squeeze or dig under. #7-gauge wire fencing is typical. This page from a fence company gives step-by-step instructions on installing the tension wire securely. The top should be stabilized as well, with a tension wire or steel bar.
Some people use hog panels tacked securely on the inside of split rail fencing and put concrete with rebar along the bottom. To discourage squeezing out or digging, if you don’t think a tension wire is sufficient, a heavy metal cable or rebar can be run along the bottom and fastened it to the fence post to hold it solid.
We occasionally see Pyrs who don’t respect barriers and can scale 6-ft. fences (particularly if they can get a foothold on crossbar supports or in chainlink). Or they dig under the fence and squeeze out. See our pages for fencing solutions for these escape artists at climbers and diggers.