Do Great Pyrenees bark a lot? Barking can be a big concern when you’re considering a breed of dog. Many things affect the barking level from whether you have a yard, neighbors, and the training you gave the dog. There are also barking tendencies innate to the breed itself.
Great Pyrenees are big barkers. Seeking to protect their family, they will warn of any kind of danger, whether that be a squirrel or “Joe the Neighbor”. This can be frustrating but rest assured you will know whats going on around your house all the time, which does have its advantages.
Having a big white fluffy dog like the Great Pyrenees can be a great joy. From their protective instincts to their loving nature, there’s almost nothing to not love about this breed. Except for one thing. Great Pyrenees love to bark. A lot.
They’ll bark while laying down, while standing, they’ll even do an expert rollover followed by rapid-fire success of the Pyrenees classic deep barking.
Great Pyrenees are virtuosos at the skill of barking. With other breeds, it might not seem like barking is a skill. But when you experience a Great Pyrenees barking you see that there are so many nuances to the activity.
Fortunately, if you own one of these magnificent animals you are not helpless. There are things you can do, simple steps that can be taken to reduce the barking.
It will never go away completely. this breed is built too perfectly for vocalizations for that. But you can bring it down to a manageable level.
But first, we need to understand why dogs bark and Why Great Pyrenees bark in particular. They have some special reasons that it’s important to know about.
Why Do Dogs Bark?
A dog’s barking is like a person using a cell phone. They do it for communication. With their sharper ears, dogs can hear another dog barking from far away. While it might just sound like noise to us, to them they hear special messages only known to dogkind.
In addition, because they can’t form words, barking becomes the primary way that they speak to people. If we only listened carefully we could learn a lot from what they’re trying to tell us.
Some things that dogs are trying to tell us with they bark:
- They’re trying to tell an animal, dog, or human to go away: Dogs like the Great Pyrenees can bark in order to protect their loved ones. When something enters or gets close to their territory they will bark to try to ward them off.
- Dogs will bark when they’re scared or alarmed by something: If something startles them a dog might bark, r if they’re frightened. Just think of yourself, when you’re startled or scared you probably make a lot of noise. Maybe even scream, this lets people who may nearby know that somethings wrong. Dogs are the exact same way.
- They are just saying hello: “Yo man, how’s it hanging?” When a dog barks at you especially when their tail is wagging fast this is essentially what they’re saying. Its a form of cheerful greeting. Since Pyrenees are very happy-go-lucky dogs they often do this form of barking.
- Sometimes dogs are just bored: When dogs get bored they will like to bark occasionally. We can call it the boredom bark. It’s kinda like how a bored human might start humming and whistling. Dogs cant hum or whistle so they let out a ruff ruff!
Why do Great Pyrenees bark?
Great Pyrenees were originally bred to be herding and livestock guardians for sheep. They’re quite skilled at it, while they do some herding it’s more the guardian part they take care of. In fact, they’re still used as working dogs for this purpose today.
It’s quite common amongst many shepherds to have a pack of a more agile herding breed like border collies to herd the sheep, while also having another pack of Great Pyrenees to protect them.
When it comes to working together as a pack to protect sheep from creatures like wolves and bears, barking plays an integral part.
The Great Pyrenees use barking to communicate danger and strategies with their fellow pack mates. They will also bark often to scare away the predators. Their goal is to scare the danger away without actually having to fight it.
This is the ideal though and it doesn’t always happen. Sometimes in guarding intimidation isn’t always enough and they have to get rough.
Using barking as intimidation, packs of Great Pyrenees can successfully ward off even the mighty grizzly bear. Of course, if that doesn’t work then these great dogs are willing to even lay down their lives fighting a bear to protect their flock, pack mates and human handlers. Check out this great story of Pyrenees doing just that.
Even when they’re just being family dogs in a nice neighborhood with nary a bear in sight, these powerful instincts yet remain. In the name of protecting their home, Great Pyrenees will bark at all comers even little chipmunks. After all, they could just be bears in disguise!
But on a more serious note Great Pyrenees generally bark for similar reasons as other dogs.
- They are protecting something, usually hearth and home
- They’re scared of something.
- A happy greeting
- Just because they’re bored
Ways to Reduce Great Pyrenees Barking
While these dogs may seem to bark at such a level that all hope is lost of ever stopping it. Fear not for there are things you can do. It may not stop barking completely, after all, if you stopped it then how could they tell you how much they love you? However, these things will help in reducing them and make it more manageable.
These methods can be broken down into several groups:
- Hands-on training
- Using a water spray bottle, usually in conjunction with training
- Bark collars
- Eliminating temptations
In addition here are some things that you should never do to get your Great Pyrenees to stop barking:
- Hit or yell at them
- Use shock collars
- Be inconsistent
- Use debarking surgery
Training Your Great Pyrenees to Stop Barking
Hands-on training is by far the most effective form to get your Great Pyrenees to quiet down a bit. While other methods might work in the short term, not being paired with this training will give inconsistent results.
The first step is to choose a command phrase. For this we’ll choose “quiet”, you can pick whatever you want but its probably easier for you to remember if you use a word that you’re familiar with.
Whenever our dog barks, we patiently wait until they have a pause. It might take a while but it will come. During this time it’s best to get a treat ready.
Make it something your dog particularly loves. Something like chicken, that’s generally a universal favorite amongst dogs. It could be fish or biscuits though, whatever your Great Pyrenees like best.
When we finally have an opening and your Great Pyrenees stops barking, quickly tell them “quiet”, shower them with praise for being such a good dog, and give them their treat.
In this way, we trick the dog. Even though they weren’t stopping barking because we told them too, when they do stop, we act as if they were obeying a command we gave.
This kind of training becomes especially crucial with a breed of dog like the Great Pyrenees. Since they are very clever but also equally stubborn, so we have to come at them “from the side” so-to-speak instead of head-on.
Repeat many times before you try telling them “quiet” when they’re actually in the middle of barking. If it doesn’t work then take a step back and do the trick method more.
This way of training is going to take patience but remember even the mightiest tree first started as a small seed.
Using a Waterspray Bottle
This method can be done on its own or in conjunction with the earlier hands-on method. Simply get a water-spray bottle and when your dog barks squirt them with a bit of h20.
With some dogs, this alone will shut them up. But Great Pyrenees are hardy animals used to getting wet so it might not be enough to get them to stop barking.
Doing this with the hands-on method: Simply squirt them when they’re barking at the same time you use your command phrase of “quiet”. Then when they stop barking praise them and give them their treat.
In this way they associate barking with getting wet and ceasing their barking with love and a treat.
It’s important to understand that when I say bark collars I am not referring to shock collars. Shock collars are terrible devices that can badly injure a dog. They also can up a dog’s aggression level a lot. Best to be avoided for general family use.
But there are other kinds of collars that do non painful but annoying things to your dog.
- Citronella collars: These squirt a bit of citronella whenever your dog barks. Since dogs generally don’t like the smell they usually will stop barking. The drawback, however, is that a very clever dog like a Great Pyrenees might simply with until it runs out of citronella and then bark once again.
- Water spray collars: These simply do what the water bottle does but instead it’s automatic. This way you don’t have to be carrying a miniature super soaker around like a dork.
- Noise emitting collars: These give off an irritating noise that your dog will despise. Be careful though you don’t want to hurt your Great Pyrenees ears simply trying to get them to not bark.
Observe your dog’s behavior. Make note of when they bark and try to figure out why. Use the guide on why dogs bark earlier in the article as a footpath to guide your research.
Once you can see whats tempting your Great Pyrenees into barking, then you can take steps to remove that temptation.
For example, if your Great Pyrenees likes to look out the window and bark at things, then you could pull down the blinds. After all, what they don’t see they can’t bark at. Well, I guess they still might bark if they can hear it though.
So it’s not always a perfect strategy.
If your dog likes barking at people near your house, maybe it’s because they’re trying to greet them. Introducing them to the person might help to calm your Great Pyrenees down as they see that the person isn’t a threat.
Don’t Hit, Yell, Use a Shock Collar or Debarking Surgery
All of these things are inhumane and generally not effective anyway.
Hitting and yelling just upsets a dog. Using any kind of violence on your dog isn’t only against the law but also could lead the dog to act violently towards you and others.
If you yell then your Great Pyrenees will probably just interpret it as a bark and think you’re joining in.
Shock collars hurt a lot. Nobody wants to be electrocuted simply for speaking. So don’t do it to a dog.
Debarking surgery is considered inhumane. I agree with them. It’s a terrible thing to take a dog’s voice away just because you didn’t train it properly. Plus they can still bark just now its this horrible raspy sound.
The only real thing you can do is try the other methods i listed and use the “quiet” command in a firm calm voice.
Last But Not Least…
If your Great Pyrenees seem to be barking more than their natural amount, it could be a health problem. Some dogs go quiet and become unnaturally calm when they’re sick.
Others will actually start barking and just amking a big fuss. In this case, they’re obviously trying to say “hey mommy and daddy, I hurt help me”.
So if your dog is barking more than normal stop and wonder. There could be something wrong. Schedule an appointment with your trusted vet and go just to get things checked out. You never know it could be something serious and listening to what your dog is trying to say could save their life.
Great Pyrenees are generally voracious barkers. But you needn’t be helpless, however. There are things you can do and steps you can take to reduce it. Train your dog with the “quiet” command along with some tasty morsels of food. Maybe use a few squirts of water to help get your point across.
Your Great Pyrenees still might bark a lot but using these methods hopefully, you can reduce it considerably. Or at least gain some control of when and why they do it. Remember a dogs bark can save your life. It’s not always a bunch of nonsensical noise. They could be alerting you to an intruder or something that might bring you and your loved ones harm.