In Finland Pyrenean Mastiff is not much used for its original purpose as a cattle protector, though it’s an uprising field. The PM’s are rather used as an area guard and as a companion. Some are more eager to take the guarding seriously than others. If You wish for an agility or obedience dog, this is not the best choice. Of course, there are some individual features in every dog, but that is not what Pyrenean Mastiffs were born to do, due to their lack of interest in continuous tasks. You also need to remember, that the PM is a giant dog, so it’s not the best choice for competitions on that part either.
On the other hand suitable things to do with Your dog beside giving it something to guard are dog shows, hikes, and trace, for instance. You can also train You Pm to be a Buddy-Dog for elderly or children. Some PM’s are a lot easier to motivate with treats, but some have such a great deal of dignity that they do not lower themselves to these kind of hobbies. Individuality is a great deal of this race.
Though the PM doesn’t necessarily get excited about doing tasks, it most certainly is not a stupid dog. It wraps its head around Your thoughts in a very short time and gets You to do things its way. Pm learns through experiences. Determined way of teaching a Pm is a must. What is not allowed, should always be that way.
Ideal PM is social, brave and confident. It is designed to think for itself, due to its origin in cattle protector in large areas by itself.
Pyrenean Mastiff is very sensitive for a fair treatment. You should never command it just by the spirit of commanding, but always have a logical goal to it.
You should let Your Pm think on its own to find a right way to do things. When it figures out what is wanted from it, You reward it so the behavior can be reinforced. The PM is a soft by nature. This means it remembers all the unpleasant experiences for a long time. This is also why it is important to teach Your dog things the likeable ways, not to force it on anything. Trust is a thing You need to build with Your dog. It is easily lost with wrong training methods, such as sanctions and violence. You should never use violence a living creature anyway. You would never want Your dog to be so threatened by Your behavior that it feels the need to protect itself.
The ability to guard its family and flock should come naturally to a Pyrenean Mastiff. It is not needed to reinforce. Dog on guard is monitoring its surroundings, and alerting suspicious things by barking. This is easy to set some discord between neighbours because Pm is not a silent dog by any means. Pm relies on its voice for very far and has many different sounds to it, depending on the level of alert. Only as an ultimate last resort, a guarding dog can bite if there is absolutely no other way of getting away from the threat. This being said, You should never, ever go to areas guarded by dogs without permission.
Pyrenean Mastiff should never be fearful or aggressive. While it is surrounded by it’s host family, it should always come across confident and friendly, even more so when out of its own area. PM can be reserved towards strangers, which is normal to LGD’s. You should always let the dog get to know You, not the other way around. Do not touch a strange dog without permission, not even every owner likes their dog to be touched.
If You want to use Your Pm as a flock protecting system, it should be around animals the minute You get home from the breeder.
The best living area for a Pyrenean Mastiff is a large countryside property with little or no neighbours. As said earlier, it is not a silent dog. Though there are some neighbours that are happy to have Pm’s next door, due to predators such as wolves around which the neighbour Pm’s fluently keep away.
When You consider a Pm for Your dog, You should always keep in mind the origin of the dog and the independent nature. If the dog is in a too small surroundings, its reactions and behavior can become too much. It can become reactive to the littlest things and get stressful. When Pm is put in an environment that suits its needs, it has the best possibilities to grow up as an excellent representative of the breed.
Separation anxiety is very rare in PM’s. Some individuals can be found howling if left without their flock all of a sudden.
Pyrenean Mastiffs are found to be friendly among the animals in their own flock, despite the gender. Especially within their own breed. This feature also goes back to PM’s origin, when they guarded large areas as a group.
Attitude towards strange dogs varies. The breed definitions describe PM’s to act ignorant. As a puppy Pm is quickly learned who are included in their family. As an example, strange cats are not allowed in Pm’s area, but house cats are friends. Pm can have a somewhat hunting instinct as it can go after a deer or other prey. The goal in this also is to keep them away from the guarding area.
Some individuals don’t care if it rains or shines. The ones who like to get wet, mostly wet themselves in swamps and ditches and roll around sand afterwards. When its done its business, it comes to ask inside for a nap. First idea You’ll get is to wash the dog. You most certainly can wash it, but a better way is to let it dry out- all the sand and mud is shed nicely on the floor and the dog is shining bright again! It is a smaller task to get Your floor cleaned anyway. The PM has a double coat. In the spring during the hair changing season, You definitely know You have a dog. The hair is everywhere and some people make to most of it by spinning string from it and then knitting it to for example socks.
Humorous, patience, imagination and determination. Especially during the puppy time. These are the features that will get You far with these inventive dogs. Bitches grow up mentally earlier than sires, but they both stay impish puppies for at least a year from being born. As a puppy, Pm is a very cute ball of fur with very sharp little teeth. It seems to learn things with phenomenal speed (never mind it forgets them just as fast). Puppies are lovely! .. Then they reach puberty. Everything falls down, ears have been dropped to a flowerbed (the flowers have of course been dug up first), energy levels are through the roof and You feel like it never learned a thing. This phase can go on somewhere around 6-18 months. Sometimes You feel like Your house has been invaded by an elephant with no motor skills but a very golden heart. But when You get through this, You get the most loving and intelligent dog.