Meet Guinevere! Isn’t she a cutie? She is so sweet and fluffy and she is one of those dogs that stay beautiful and fluffy even as she becomes fully mature. She is a pure, full bred Great Pyrenees and will get pretty big. I like big dogs.
We knew that eventually we would get a Great Pyrenees to have for protecting our chickens and any livestock we will have along with being a family dog. We just didn’t expect to get her this soon, but we are so happy we have her now! Before I get into her story, let me go back and update about our dog we have had, Precious.
Precious is our sweet family dog that we have had for almost 13 years now. She’s getting pretty old, but is still the sweetest family dog ever. Wonderful family dog she is for sure, just not a great farm dog. She probably could have been a fantastic farm dog if she had been trained earlier in her life. We just didn’t feel it was fair to Precious to try to train her at her age now. We got our chickens a couple months ago and although she paid no attention to them while they were outside with her for weeks in their brooder and then loose for almost 2 weeks, she inevitably ended up killing 5 of our chickens. Needless to say, she couldn’t be trusted being around them anymore, so she is now inside during the day and outside at night when the chickens are locked up in their coop. She prefers being inside during the day anyways, so it worked out fine for everyone. We were really hoping that she would do just fine with the chickens outside and help protect them as we knew that we needed a dog to help protect them and any other animals we will eventually have. We also knew that she is very old now and that we would ultimately have to get another dog to resume her role.
There are some wonderful breeds out there that we debated on and I did a lot of research on what breeds would be best to have for guarding and protecting our animals as well as being a great family dog too. After much researching, we finalized our decision on getting a Great Pyrenees. These dogs originally came from central Asia or Siberia between 1800-1000 bc between France and Spain, of southwestern Europe. They were used as guardians of the flock and were a valuable companion to the shepherds. They are wonderful livestock guardian dogs and in addition, they can also be calm, gentle giants and great around children and small animals. That is what we were looking for, a protector for our animals and a great family dog. We have friends and family who have a Great Pyrenees and so we were able to see for ourselves them in their role as a work dog and as a family dog.
We had been looking at different farms that either had puppies that were just born or were about to be born, so we didn’t expect to actually have one come home with us for a couple more months or so. After exhausting our efforts in finding the puppy meant for our family, one evening, we found out about our Guinevere, and actually by accident. Once we visited the farm where she was from, we knew she was the one for our family. She was also old enough to actually come home with us so we didn’t have to wait as long as we anticipated for our puppy.
We got our girl from a wonderful family that lives on a huge farm not too far from us. Guinevere was born right on the farm in the midst of goats, sheep, chickens, guineas, rabbits, horses, and a whole host of animals. We met her mom and dad (they were so sweet and beautiful!) and we got a chance to watch her mom go to work in the field and that was a really neat thing to see. Knowing that Guinevere has been exposed to these animals (especially chickens!) since birth and that her parents and blood line have been bred for being livestock guardian and family dogs was a peaceful re-assurance. It was important to us to actually see where our dog was coming from and we feel we picked the perfect farm.
Although learning to guard or protect will come naturally, we are and will be spending a lot of time training her in other ways. Even though she has come from a great background, she is still a puppy, so it’s important that we help instill good habits in her while she is young. We want her to become socialized well and so we are definitely exposing her to a lot of people and other animals.
She has such a sweet and overall calm demeanor, especially for a puppy. Our family already loves her and we are so grateful that she is here with us now. She and the chickens are getting well acquainted. Overall, she is a warm welcome in our home and we are happy to have her as our newest addition to our family.
Next up on our homestead… goats! Coming sooner than later!