Lassie, Cleo, Rin Tin Tin and Toto don’t show up in rescue. We don’t get the elegantly coiffed, classically beautiful, completely trained, perfectly behaved dog. We get the leftovers. Dogs that other people have incompetently bred, inadequately socialized, ineffectively “trained,” and badly treated. Most Rescue dogs have had it. They’ve been pushed from one lousy situation to another. They’ve never had proper veterinary care, kind and consistent training, or sufficient company. They’ve lived outside, in a crate, or in the basement. They’re scared, depressed and anxious. Some are angry. Some are sick. Some have even given up. But we are Rescue and we don’t give up. We never give up on a dog! We know that a dog is a living being, with a spirit and a heart and feelings. Our dogs are not commodities, things, or garbage. They are part of a sacred creation and they deserve as much love and care and respect as the next Westminster champion. So please, please don’t come to rescue in the hopes of getting a “bargain,” or indeed of “getting” anything at all. Come to Rescue to give, to love, to save a life — and to mend your own spirit- a rescued animal will reward you in ways you never thought possible. We can promise you this — a rescue dog will make you a better person.
Did you consider buying a mature dog? Many breeders have older dogs which they will place in pet homes. And many local clubs have “rescue” dogs in need of good homes. These older dogs usually are housebroken and have had preliminary training. Most adult Pyrs adjust readily to a new home, but a trial period should be considered. Such a purchase may be just what you want, allowing you to skip the puppy-adolescent growth stage.
Male or female? This is a personal choice. The male is larger, and carries more coat, but they both show the same affection for, and protection of, their family. The bitch, unless spayed will come into season every six months, the first season is usually around a year of age. The decision as to which sex is yours. If the animal is to be a companion, and not for breeding, have it spayed or neutered at 6-8 months of age. Some reputable breeders are offering pups who have already been neutered at 8 weeks. This indicates a caring breeder who is concerned about this pup and all who might otherwise descend from it. All dogs not intended for showing and breeding should be neutered. This does not make a Pyr fat or lazy and does not interfere with its natural protectiveness. It does insure freedom from several kinds of cancer. In a national survey, neutered Pyrs were found to have a slightly longer life span that unaltered dogs. Neutered Pyrs are easier to manage as pets, will make a happier and healthier pet, and will probably live longer.
Adapted from a publication of the Great Pyrenees Club of America, rev. 1992.