As magnificent as the range whose name it bears, the Great Pyrenees (or Pyrenean Mountain Dog, as the breed is known in England) is a powerful, natural guard dog whose immense strength and quiet confidence elevate the breed beyond the realm of ordinary working dogs. The Great Pyrenees's attractive white coat and beautifully domed head impart an elegance to the breed that speaks to its unmistakable antiquity and purity. As the history chapter of this Comprehensive Owner's Guide discusses, the Great Pyrenees was originally bred as a livestock guardian in the Basque mountainous region between France and Spain, where it was called upon to protect flocks from wolves, bears, and other large predators. The modern-day development of the breed in Europe and its spread to England and the United States are covered in considerable detail. Owners considering adding a Pyr to their home and lives will profit from the chapter on breed characteristics which catalogs the breed's virtues as well as drawbacks. Considering the great size of the breed, its protective instincts, and its need of space, the awe-inspiring Great Pyrenees doesn't fit easily into every possible living situation. Of course, owners who do believe they can meet the challenges of Pyr ownership will be rewarded with a fearless, loyal, good-natured companion for life.
New owners will welcome the well-prepared chapter on finding a reputable breeder and selecting a healthy, sound puppy. Chapters on puppy-proofing the home and yard, purchasing the right supplies for the puppy as well as house-training, feeding, and grooming are illustrated with photographs of handsome adults and puppies. In all, there are over 135 full-color photographs in this useful and reliable volume. The author's advice on obedience training will help the reader better mold and train into the most well-mannered dog in the neighborhood. The extensive and lavishly illustrated chapter on healthcare provides up-to-date detailed information on selecting a qualified veterinarian, vaccinations, preventing and dealing with parasites, infectious diseases, and more. Sidebars throughout the text offer helpful hints, covering topics as diverse as historical dogs, breeders, or kennels, toxic plants, first aid, crate training, carsickness, fussy eaters, and parasite control. Fully indexed.