Surrendering Your Dog

NGPR’s owner surrender program helps Pyr owners who must surrender their dogs or those who have found Great Pyrenees or Pyr mix strays. Unfortunately, our owner surrender program is currently closed to intake due to the volume of incoming dogs from kill shelters and lack of fosters. If you have found a stray, see below.

Behavioral Assistance
If you are having problems with your Great Pyrenees dog, please consider working with a trainer or behaviorist. Pyrs are smart, loving dogs. Since as guardians they are different from other breeds, sometimes all it takes is using the right approach. Our page describes situations owners have encountered and how to use positive reinforcement to handle them.

If you need assistance, please email us the location of the dog and the reason you are contacting us and a photo of the dog if possible. We will try to help you find a knowledgeable person who can help with your situation but unfortunately, not all advice is free. NGPR wants to help dogs and their owners overcome their difficulties and live long, happy lives together. Surrender is not the only solution.

Resource guarding is not unusual so keep dogs separated around food, treats even water. Some people have found this book “Mine” helpful. If your dog is not spayed or neutered, this can also be a source of aggression.

Please avoid putting your dog in any situation where he/she can “roam”. This breed requires secure 5 or 6 ft. fencing. Many dogs get hit by cars when crossing roads or shot when trespassing and die miserable deaths

If you feel that surrender is your only option, your first point of contact should be the rescue, shelter or breeder you obtained your dog from.  Those who are selling or placing dogs have a responsibility to take their animals back. Please check your adoption or purchase contract as you may have already agreed to do this when signing the contract. As the owner, YOU are primarily responsible for helping your dog find a new home.

If you feel the only solution is surrendering your dog, give yourself as much time as possible and plan on holding the dog while a new home is located. Please be ready to provide information on the dog’s most current medical records.  Documenting that your dog is up-to-date on vaccinations, heartworm status and spayed or neutered, will expedite the process of your dog being accepted by an adopter or into a rescue program.

We advise you to be be cautious about surrendering your dog to a shelter. When shelters are crowded if an owner walks a dog in the front door, they frequently walk him/her out the back to be euthanized. Shelters are only required to hold strays. You can find rescues in your area by searching the database at Be sure to include your location, photos of your dog, age, weight, spay/neuter status and recent vaccine info when contacting any organizations. Please tell them about any behavioral issues your dog may have.

There are Facebook groups dedicated to helping owners rand shelters rehome dogs. You may want to visit Great Pyrenees Rehoming Group to rehome a companion animal and Livestock Guardian Dog Rescue Network for livestock guardians and Great Pyrenees Sheltershare.

This web page gives many ideas on how to go about the rehomming process yourself. Please acquaint yourself with the best practices for rehoming your dog as you know your pet best. There are now two new pet rehoming services you may also want to consider, and

If you have found a stray (or a stray has found you) we recommend the following procedures be followed before contacting us:

  • Have the dog scanned at a vet office for microchip. Note that there are two different sets of frequencies.
  • If tags, call the issuing agency or vet practice for owner contact info.  If owner found, note date contacted and result, e.g. surrender, doesn’t want, etc.
  • Local newspaper checked  (at least twice for weeklies, two consecutive issues following date dog first lost). For dailies, scan every three-four days for two weeks after date dog was first found.
  • Do a Craigslist posting, note the date.
  • Call local animal control to check for reports. List dog on any listings they maintain. Make sure you check to see if city or county and which one.
  • Find out if there a local written ordinance on how long a stray hold is and what the procedures are.
  • Post up at least five flyers up in area where is dog is found. Note the dates and location of posters.

Craig’s List

Some people list unwanted dogs on their local Craig’s List. While we don’t advise this, there is not much we can do about it. You could let your closest Pyr rescue on the contacts page know, but it can be hard to get a response from people who have already made the decision to go about rehoming their dog through a public listing.

Shelters holding dogs they believe to be Great Pyrenees should contact their closest Pyr rescue group or  email us. We will work with you to determine whether the dog is a Great Pyrenees, assess temperament and determine which Pyr rescue group is closest.