Oh, this Great Pyrenees of mine! He is really one of the best dogs I have ever met. He has just turned two, and should finally be coming up on his full adult size. People ask me how much he weights and I lie and say 160lbs. I really have no idea how much he weights. I haven’t had him on a scale since he was neutered. It really doesn’t matter how much he weights, he is huge. Just trust me on this one. A giant dog in all ways.
When we brought him home his primary job was going to be guard the livestock and the property from predators that want to eat goats and chickens. He started off very strong in that job, but from the day he arrived we never let him bond with the herd. We snuggled him all day long. I took him on car rides and let him in the house. He got over peopled to really be a top notch live stock guardian dog. Which ended up being better in the long run, because we are all over that dog any time we are outside.
He lives a double life at this point. He gets about one solid bath and brushing on Sunday mornings when the weather even thinks about being decent. Then I dry him with the air compressor, set to not be too hard for him. He then gets tied out to dry while I get the kiddos ready. Then he jumps in the back of the van and off we go on an adventure. That dog will hike anywhere – water, cliffs, mud – whatever. He is an all terrain vehicle. Sometimes on steep stair cases I grab on to him and he helps pull me up the stairs. The man walks around on his leash like a perfectly trained dog, never pulls or drags. One out of 10 dogs seem to really bother him and he might let out an aggressive bark or two, but he is easily distracted. I let him try to go nose to nose with another dog last year and he lost his mind. Growling and acting a fool, so I just avoid the situation now. He will walk right by other dog on the trail and just pretend they are invisible. By the time we load up and get home he is snoring.
He spends the rest of his week getting loved on, but mostly protecting his goats (who’s pasture he stays in). He cannot be let to run free as he will go bark at the neighbors house till he makes them insane. I’m not sure how far he would roam once he got bored with them, but I don’t want to find out. He doesn’t want to run away, he just forgets his way back. He loves our 13 year old lab, Alberta, who is very much on her last leg at this point in her life. I don’t let them play unsupervised because Alberta falls over if Gus gives her a playful nudge.
He has really settled into his life of guardian/pet in a wonderful way. His only struggles in when he was a puppy he would occasionally get too playful and swat a chicken, only to look confused as to why the chicken was dead. He didn’t kill them on purpose, but he was just a little too rough.
Augustus Walter Schaefer is such a great dog. I hope he lives to be 100.