We all love our Great Pyrenees and think they are the best thing ever. But let’s face it, they do make certain things a little challenging. So here are a few tips and ideas we’ve learned along the way.
Breaking Up Matts
No matter how much we brush them, all dogs will get the occasional mat. Or maybe you are fostering a dog who arrives at your home covered in mats. How to make combing the mats out easier? Use corn starch. Take a pinch of corn starch and rub it into the mat. The mat will comb out so much easier!
A Quiet Place
Every dog needs a place a dog they can call their own – a private room, a den or corner or crate where the dog can escape to. This is especially valuable when there are small children or lots of visitors to the home.
Easy Bed Solution
Beds can be expensive and difficult to keep clean. An easy solution is to buy a memory foam crib mattress, cover top and bottom with a waterproof mattress cover, and buy a cute sheet. Cleaning is easy, just put the sheet and mattress cover in the wash! And the mattress is big enough for the X-large dogs to fit!
The Noodle Cone
No one likes the cone of shame. The dogs aren’t a fan and most of us have dealt with bruises on our legs from the dogs running into us because they can’t judge where to stop. And the alternative collars (inflatable, comfy cone, etc) are pretty pricey. The solution – A pool noodle cut in sections and then thread the dogs collar through the pool noodle pieces. Much more comfortable for the dog, your legs (and walls) will be safe, and it’s very inexpensive. Caution: This will not work for all injuries. Make sure to monitor the dog to make sure they are not able to reach the injury.
Kong Is Your Friend
For dogs with separation anxiety, save special toys for when you have to leave. A Kong filled with peanut butter or their favorite treat works great to keep them busy. Another idea is to take a ripened banana, mash it up into the Kong, and put it in the freezer. Many dogs love the cool frozen treat!
Experiment with Rescue Remedy or Serene (available at many pet stores or online), which can help calm dogs down. L-theanine (an amino acid found in green tea) is calming and melatonin can make dogs as well as people sleepy. Some Pyr owners give their dogs CDB (hemp) oil during storms and fireworks and say it also relieves inflammation. Pheromone collars sprays or dispensers like Adaptil can also be helpful for alleviating anxiety. Consult your veterinarian before using any of these products.
Pyrs love cream cheese. Disguise their medications with a healthy dollop of the creamy stuff!
The Carpet Rake
One of the biggest challenges we all face is not breaking our vacuums. And finding a vacuum that works well at pulling all that hair out of carpet! The solution: the Carpet Rake. Rake your carpet before vacuuming and you will save a lot of wear and tear on your vacuum plus you will pull a LOT more hair from the carpet. There are lots of models and styles available online. Pictured is a metal carpet rake available on Amazon.
Practice the Trade
When your dog has an inappropriate item, get a high value treat to trade and show it to your dog while simultaneously saying “trade” in a calm and friendly voice. Once your dog realizes that you have something better, he will most likely drop the item he has and take the new one. Quiet praise for making the trade will help reinforce your dog’s desired behavior.
Vary Your Leash
Shorter 4’ leashes work well for dogs trailing leashes indoors for introductions so they don’t trip on them or snag them on furniture; longer 6’ are good for walks and slip leads are helpful for grooming or when you need to lasso up your Pyr. One size or type doesn’t fit all when it comes to leashes.
Is your dog pulling on a leash? Try a martingale collar and/or a harness. There are many types of collars and harnesses, but the general rule is to use the mildest collar that gives the control you need. Avoid chain or prong collars as they may damage the trachea. Experiment with Halti or Gentle Leader head harnesses and Easy Walk or Sporn harnesses to determine what does the best job for you and your dog. Situations may vary and change as the dog ages. Every collar/harness has a correct fit. Learn what that correct ‘fit’ is and if you have a growing pup, get new collars and/or harnesses to maintain that fit.
We hope you find a few of these ideas helpful, and we would love to continue to add to the list. If you have a tip or trick you’ve found to be helpful with your Great Pyrenees, you can send the suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org.