Good parents worry about their children. Parents who are dog owners or soon-to-be dog owners will naturally wonder what breed will be a good fit for their kids. Known for its loyal gentle nature and large size, the Great Pyrenees may be at the top of your list. With a child will these dogs be gentle giants or terrors? Are Great Pyrenees good with kids?
Great Pyrenees make confident, gentle dogs and are known for their loyalty and affection towards their family. With kids they will be loving and tolerant, protecting them as a vigilant guardian. Bred as sheep guardians, Great Pyrenees will protect against outsiders towards anything that might harm their family. Around the children and family, their playful and affectionate side will come out.
Even with this glowing review, there’s still a lot to know about the best way to bring your Pyrenees and kids together. Empowering yourself with knowledge is the best way to get off on the right foot. Educating yourself on the Pyrenees’ personality quirks will help you prepare both your pet and kids how to behave around each other.
This guide will include tips on how to introduce dogs to babies as well as the benefits for kids on dog ownership. All of these things will hopefully help your family in their canine journey and have loads of fun along the way. Read on to find out a lot more about how the Great Pyrenees can be both good for and around your kids.
Great Pyrenees Personality Around Children
When owning a dog that will often be around kids, it’s important to know what kind of personality they will express. Do they have good kid-friendly traits? Will they be patient with the boisterous manners that kids often express? Or are there going to be problems and certain things that your kid shouldn’t do around the breed? Enter the Great Pyrenees.
The Pyrenees are known for their patience. This serves well with kids, as they can often run around and make a lot of noise. Kid’s play is wonderful but can be too stressful for certain dogs to handle. The Pyrenees will be patient with these things. The normal sounds and energy of childhood won’t bother them nor will they get excited by it. The sheep-guarding Pyrenees will probably just lay on the floor restful with one eye cocked open to watch out for any danger to their young charges.
As the video below shows, they are very calm and tolerant of small children, though we will discuss later some tips for both your dog and kid to follow to ensure the best for them.
This goes into the other major trait that the Pyrenees express, which is protection. The Pyrenees will naturally protect all members of the family. This will extend to children, adults, or even other family pets like the household cat. Expect your Pyrenees to guard over your kids. This makes it extra vital that you socialize them well so that they can differentiate playful roughhousing from genuine danger.
Overly hyper dogs can sometimes be great for kids to play with but can get too excited and might knock kids down. This shouldn’t be a problem with a Great Pyrenees, who have laid back energy. While they do have some energy and should be up for childish games, it will be fairly restrained, and shouldn’t overwhelm the kids. Of course, some of this has to do with the age of the dog. A young dog will tend to be more hyper than an older canine.
One drawback you might experience is a tendency to herd the kids. Bred traditionally to take care of sheep, the Pyrenees would never hurt their charges but may try to herd them in an eagerness to protect. With some training and socialization, most of these problems can easily be taken care of.
Raised as guardians, the Great Pyrenees is prone to barking. As a livestock dog, their main task was keeping watch over dangerous predators who might harm their flock. This can be curbed with some training, but not eliminated entirely, so it is important to consider if this is a deal-breaker for you.
Training Great Pyrenees To Be With Kids
While Great Pyrenees tend to get along well with kids on their own, there is some training you can do that will help the relationship blossom. When you have kids, having a well-trained dog becomes even more important. Kids are tough, but still, an adult Pyrenees’ greater size can cause some hurts from jumping and knocking them down if this isn’t trained out.
The two key parts to having an excellent family dog are socialization and obedience training. Your Pyrenees will be very protective of your family and kids and the guarding will come instinctively to them. Temper this, however, as a guard dog who can not differentiate or read people effectively could be a danger. If they are familiar with your family but don’t have much exposure to others, this could become an issue to your innocent neighbors or guests. Giving your dog a bounty of positive experiences from neighborhood kids to the mailman becomes crucial.
Encourage your child and Pyrenees to interact with each other every chance you get. This will acclimatize your dog to your kid’s range of habits and mannerisms, determine what ‘normal’ is for your family, and give your child confidence. Include them in the dog’s training, as well as knowing commands. Teach them some awesome tricks to make it even more fun.
Very young children, toddlers, and babies must be supervised when around the dog. Though your Pyrenees aren’t likely to harm them on purpose, with such small beings accidents can happen. Additionally, young children may not have the maturity yet to treat the dog properly. They should never pull on the dog’s ears or tail nor be throwing things at them.
Kids can be messy eaters. Dogs too for that matter. It might be a good idea to ban your dog from the kitchen and other eating areas. Dogs are veritable vacuums when it comes to hoovering up crumbs on the floor. It’s possible that the kids might leave crumbs from something poisonous to the dogs. An ounce of caution can prevent a pound of heartache.
Teaching Kids How to be Around the Great
It’s a good skill to teach your kids how they should behave around all dogs. Even if you don’t have a dog and don’t expect to get one, knowing how to interact with dogs is a lifelong rewarding skill.
Teach your kids to respect the dog. They need to understand that your Pyrenees and other pets are living beings and fully capable of feeling both physical pain and emotional anguish. For these reasons, children should treat dogs with love and respect. Knowing that their not just a toy and shouldn’t be bullied or harassed.
Kids should never do things to the dog such as ride them, pull on their tails, hit at, or throw things at them. Though the Pyrenees are large and patient, they still do have limits. They can be hurt and like any living creature will lash out if they are mistreated too much.
Until your child knows how to properly behave around dogs, don’t let them play with them unsupervised. This is both for the dog’s safety as well as that of the children.
Sometimes children may not really understand what they are doing can hurt or be cruel to dogs. Talk to your kids about how this kind of behavior can lead to aggression or biting. No breed of dog is aggressive by nature but through fear and pain, they can become aggressive.
Benefits of Kids Owning a Great Pyrenees
If you teach your kids to treat a dog well, there can be many excellent advantages to growing up with one. It can teach responsibility and compassion. Discipline may not be something commonly associated with the family canine companion. But having your child following a regular schedule of feeding and watering can help teach these skills.
By interacting with dogs, kids can learn how to empathize with their human friends as well. Not to mention describing the antics of their dog and their life experience can make an excellent conversation starter for making new friends at school.
A child feeling like they can confide in their dog can help them to cope with emotional stress. It’s even been shown to help children with terrible life trauma to be able to work through it with the help of their furry friends.
Being responsible for the care and raising of a living creature instills disciple and responsibility, skills that are highly prized in society. A child with a dog will be empowered to tackle life head-on with superior self-esteem and confidence in the future.
Are Great Pyrenees Good With Babies?
The Great Pyrenees’ natural inclination will be gentleness towards babies. Still, a big dog like the Pyrenees must be supervised around babies and infants. Their fragility should be made clear to them, jumping or any roughhousing around the baby shouldn’t be allowed.
There are important measures to take before introducing a new baby to your Great Pyrenees.
Here are some behaviors to teach your dog before they are allowed around the baby.
- No jumping
- Not being allowed in the baby’s room
- Not being allowed to be alone with the baby
Expect your Pyrenees to show some special behavioral changes around their infant family member. They might do the following:
- Walking slowly and cautiously around the baby
- Trying to comfort a crying baby by licking or nuzzling them
- Laying next to the entrance of where the baby is (a classic guarding position that the Pyrenees know instinctively)
Start preparing your dog and house for these changes at least 60 to 90 days before you bring home the new baby. Ideally, you want to start preparing as soon as you know your expectations.
Through all this, it’s important that your dog knows that they’re still important to you. All the hustle and bustle of preparing for an infant could leave your Pyrenees feeling neglected. So even though its a busy time, try to leave some space to spend time with your fluffy Pyrenees companion.
Great Pyrenees make for excellent childhood companions. Large, kind, lovable guardians, they will be both a playmate and nanny to your kids. From listening to their tearful woes comforting them with an affectionate lick, to protecting from the unknown stranger. These dogs are head of the pack when it comes to children.
Still, training and socialization will determine a great deal of how good and easy your journey with them is. A highly socialized Pyrenees and one who is shy and fearful will be night and day from each other. It is important that you make sure your Pyrenees falls in the former category and not the latter.
Involving your child in helping. This will build up their bond with each other while also teaching kids responsibility and fortitude. Of course, the fun of dog ownership can never be forgotten. Hopefully, you, your children and your Great Pyrenees will get along just fine and pad off into many sunsets of canine fun.