Pyrenean mountain dog - Patou
Over the centuries of existence, neither the appearance nor the temperament of the breed has changed much. This impressive breed was bred for work – livestock protection and guarding. It has been a part of the pastures of the Pyrenees since its existence. It is one of the giant breeds, but it should not give the impression of clumsiness, on the contrary, due to its original purpose, it should look elegant, athletic and with a certain degree of dexterity. In the past, it was used exclusively to protect herds from predators, so it carries with it a certain predisposition to be a great protector. He acts in a frightening way towards his enemies, but he is very kind and lovely towards his "human pack". Compared to other livestock guardian breeds, it has an extremely well-developed emotional attachment to people, especially to his owners. He does not seek conflict, but tries to avoid it and discourage the enemy with his confident attitude and deep barking. He attacks only when it’s absolutely necessary. He is very distrustful of strangers, which is also a very typical character sign. The typical so-called "Pyrenean expression" makes it truly exceptional, without which it is just an ordinary large, white dog. When you look at him, the depth of his eyes engulfs you, he shows a kind of humanity. We heard the best description of that expression at an online seminar, where the judge mentioned how at a show a child said to his mother "why does the dog look at me like a human being?". This breed is definitely not for everyone who wants to have a "white bear" in the yard. The Pyrenean Mountain Dog has a very specific temperament. He tends to make decisions independently and proactively based on how it evaluates the situation itself. This is based on its natural instinct as an independent herd protector. So, if you are looking for a dog that listens to the word, Patou will definitely not be a suitable choice for you. It will be happiest with people who accept its natural temperament and understand, respect it and will be a bit "free-spirited". Even so, it is necessary to set boundaries for him, it is very intelligent and understands well what we want from it, but it only fulfills orders if is convinced that the orders make sense. Classical methods of training and education do not apply to it very well. It requires a tremendous amount of patience, peace, and a degree of natural authority. Another typical feature is that it tends to consider as its territory everything in his sight, and therefore it is important to define this area with a solid and high fence. Today, quite a few people use this breed to protect herds, but there are still some who get it because of its functionality and not because they like it. We do not think that only a dog from several generations of work lines can be a good livestock guardian. If the dog has the correct, typical character, it can be a great protector of herds, even if it comes from non-working lines. Of course, in this case, it is necessary to get used to the farm animals as soon as possible, at a very early age. It gets along well with other dogs and smaller pets (if it is typically balanced in temperament). He perceives his strength and size very well, and that is why he is wonderfully gentle even to small children. That is why it earned the nickname "gentle giant". We also experienced individuals with a very non-standard temperament. It is very difficult to live with such a dog, which goes beyond the standard temperament, but still has its own head. Proper socialization is very important for the healthy development of temperament, and it begins at a very early age, with the breeder. Some breeders also perform temperament tests. Therefore, do not hesitate to ask them about the nature when choosing a puppy. After all, they know them best, and if it is an honest breeder, and knows that you want the dog for breeding, he/she should warn you of undesirable manifestations in behavior, such as timidity or, conversely, aggression. This is also a kind of selection. In fact, we quite hate that word. Everyone puts a lot of emphasis on it, but in the final, almost no one does it. If you decide to get a Pyrenean mountain dog, you can count with an empathetic, intelligent and loyal protector for the rest of its life.