The Great Pyrenees – Kroaker and Justice
We are the lucky owners of two beautiful Great Pyrenees dogs! The male, Kroaker, was born in 2008 and came to us from California, already trained as a livestock guardian. The female, Justice, was born in January 2012 and came to us from Deborah Spivey in Andalusia, AL. The plan is for her to learn her job from Kroaker. Great Pyrenees are gentle, patient, affectionate, and strong-willed dogs, and they bark appropriately at strangers. We hope they will protect our sheep, goats, and chickens from the many coyotes on the adjoining Wildlife refuge.
The AKC writes: “It is thought that the Great Pyrenees originated in Central Asia or Siberia and followed the Aryan migration into Europe. The breed takes its name from the mountain range in southwestern Europe, where they are used to guard flocks on the steep slopes. In addition to its association with the peasant shepherd, the Great Pyrenees was also cherished by the nobility and appointed French court dog in the 17th century. Despite his regal and majestic appearance, the Great Pyrenees is a keen worker, faithfully guarding his flocks no matter the weather or terrain. With his intelligence, scenting ability and excellent sight, he is an invaluable companion to the shepherd. The breed possesses a beautifully thick, weather resistant white coat that may contain markings of badger, gray, or various shades of tan.”
Unfortunately, we had to cut Kroaker’s coat after he came to us, because it was so matted that we couldn’t groom him effectively, and our 95-degree Alabama heat had him laid out in a stall, panting most of the day. He seems much more comfortable and lively now. Maybe by winter he will have grown a thick coat again.