WHICH BREED IS RIGHT FOR YOU? Honestly, I see many people rushing to buying Spanish Mastsiffs who - in my opinion - are better suited to a Pyrenean Mastiff. Why? Read this blog article I wrote comparing the two breeds and find out for yourself - and do some serious self-assessment before you choose between the two - or for that matter, if you are looking at more hyper aggressive, far ranging and/or complex LGD breeds - think long and hard. Are you up to owning one? Or does reality dictate that you'd be better off with an easier trained, less complex type of a breed? The PM is winning more and more fans because of that very reason.
I'm also getting flooded with queries for PMs. Due to the huge level of interest, I've decided to go ahead and try one more time with Bobo and Atena who I will try to get bred this winter for a spring litter. PUPPIES ARE $1200 EACH - $600 DEPOSIT DUE WHEN PUPS BORN - BALANCE DUE AT 8 WEEKS. What's included? Health/work replacement guarantees; health records showing dates of all vaccinations (4) and each deworming since eyes open (every 10-12 days); vet checked; microchipping available upon request by buyer; handled and socialized from birth; pack raised by my adult LGDs in cattle and sheep; never only penned up with stock for weeks, my pups free range the ranch building muscle tone, confidence, and learning "The Way of The Pack!" For that reason they are exceptionally self assured and by the time they leave here at 12 weeks, ready to acclimate into their new home. I strongly advise using sibling pairs and if buyer does not have an LGD in place already, sorry, but I will not sell a solo pup to them. LGDs were never meant to be run alone. WORKING HOMES GIVEN PREFERENCE. APPLICATION REQUIRED - NO EXCEPTIONS. No air shipping!
I am proud to be one of the first and earliest breeders of real working Pyrenean Mastiffs in the USA. My PMs are working on commercial sheep and cattle outfits - not just hobby farms. My preference remains as always to sell my pups to real working farms and ranches, not just those practicing "boutique agriculture". My PMs may not be in dog shows but they have what it takes in terms of exceptional guarding ability, strength, courage and fitness. That has always and will continue to be my focus here and why my PMs are raised with sheep and cattle, not exotic animals. There IS a difference.
Educate yourself about the Pyrenean Mastiff!
HIGHLY INTELLIGENT, EXCELLENT JUDGE OF CHARACTER
EXTREMELY TRAINABLE - MORE SO THAN MOST LGD BREEDS
COURAGE OF A LION, TENDER AS A KITTEN, TENACIOUS AS A BEAR
HIGHLY PROTECTIVE NURTURING AND VERY TERRITORIAL GUARDIAN
CLOSE BONDING AND GUARDING STYLE SIMILAR TO SPANISH MASTIFF
AFFABLE, JOVIAL PERSONALITY AND DEVOTED TO CHILDREN
TAKES NO QUARTERS IN A CONFRONTATION, FEARLESS AND CONFIDENT
HIGHLY COVETED IN EUROPE WHERE THEY ARE USED AS LGDS AND SHOWN
WHITE BASED LONG HAIRED COAT WITH A SPECTRUM OF COLORED MARKINGS
TYPICAL DEWCLAWS ON REAR LEGS; SOME WILL DROOL MORE THAN OTHERS
COAT REQUIRES BRUSHING OUT IN THE SPRING AS THEY DO SHED ALOT
SUCCEEDING IN ROLES OUTSIDE OF LGD: THERAPY, CERT, ESTATE GUARDIAN
RELATIVELY FEW HEALTH ISSUES AND CAN LIVE LONG LIVES
YES...IN SPITE OF WHAT SOME "NEWBIE BREEDERS" ARE CLAIMING THEY BARK - A LOT SOMETIMES! AS MUCH AS A GREAT PYRENEES? AT TIMES, YES....!!!
VORACIOUS APPETITE - WILL OFTEN EAT MORE THAN OTHER LGD BREEDS
AN ATHLETIC MALE WILL SCALE A 5' FENCE TO GET TO A FEMALE IN HEAT - GOOD FENCING FOR THESE DOGS IS ABSOLUTELY A MUST HAVE
PREFER TO HANG OUT WITH THEIR OWN KIND/BREED IN A LARGE PACK
Are you a hobby farmstead or small family farm that is engaged in a sustainable farming or homesteading venture; a targeted grazing operation, running Babydoll sheep in a vineyard, managing a commercial sheep outfit or perhaps someone looking for a rare, unique, large, formidable guardian dog for your rambling estate, your family and/or home? Are you searching for that special dog that has a loving, trustworthy and totally engaging personality, yet who's resounding deep bark and formidable “don’t mess with me” presence will keep trouble at bay? Consider the noble, devoted, beautiful, jovial and highly intelligent Pyrenean Mastiff. Often confused with the St. Bernard or its ‘cousin’ the Great Pyrenees, this Spanish Molosser breed is highly regarded, shown and promoted in its native country of Spain and in many other European countries where it serves as a sheep and goat guardian, castle guard, family pet and companion, show dog, and more.
What interested me in this beautiful breed may also appeal to you as well: just like it's cousin the Spanish Mastiff, the Pyrenean Mastiff is a close-guarding livestock guardian breed, not prone to jumping fences or wandering off and hunting predators or trouble miles away, like other breeds will do. The PM prefers to stay close to their home and stock and master. They have a calm, thoughtful way about them, and like to assess situations. Never hyper or over-active, they are a less intense LGD breed than some, but have a humorous, rollicking side to them as well (some more than others).
Once on the verge of extinction as a breed, this rare giant was brought back by concerned breeders in Europe to where now, it is highly popular in its country of origin and is enjoying an increased presence here in the USA, where it first was imported to in 1996. Loyal to a fault, captivating when playful, exceptionally bright, low key, tender and patient around children and people oriented, Pyrenean Mastiffs are unique amongLGDs in that they easily can crossover into the ‘pet’ category more so than most other LGD breeds, which tend to be highly independent, sometimes hyper, and in some cases, aloof, with not only strangers but their owners as well. I have placed many PM's in non-working homes with fabulous results: they are being certified as therapy and emergency/crisis response dogs, and making fabulous family companions and pets. A breed that is relatively issue-free in health terms, PM’s are very hearty eaters who eat more than most other dogs their size to feed their high metabolism. They drool - sometimes a lot - and their coats do require occasional grooming and trimming. Dew claws - which I always retain and never remove - need trimming on occasion as well (as do all LGD breeds' with them). They can live to 12 or 14 years old if cared for properly.
The PM gets along very well with other dogs although adult males will definitely hold their own in any confrontation with another adult male dog. In fact their tenacity and courage is downright impressive for such a easy going breed. They are no slouch in a fight with a predator, and even the females will take on all comers if they are crossed and show keen, sharp protectiveness even when young. I have brought over Troy and Sally Farma Stekot from the highly regarded Farma Stekot kennel in the Czech Republic. I later added Alma and Atena Alto Aragon from the famous Alto Aragon kennel in Italy. Alma has gone to live with a good friend, but Atena is still here and has produced two wonderful litters: one by my Pyrenees stud Peso, and the second out of Troy.
All of my PM’s do their diligent time in my sheep, cattle and goats, guarding them and patrolling the fields and my property. At night their resounding barks keep coyotes and stray dog packs at bay. As LGDs they have really impressed me with their serious devotion to my livestock. Athletic for their size, they can run hard and fast if need be. And yes, they have all had some ‘house time’ inside as well, providing unequaled security. They alert to any strange sound, noise or activity, and the sight of Troy rounding the corner of my house with his tail curled over his back and his gutteral ‘roar’ of a bark is enough to stop any intruder in their tracks.
A well fenced area for this breed - as all LGDs - is mandatory so they won’t wander off of your property and accidentally be struck by a vehicle. They do require regular exercise to remain healthy, fit and happy. This, combined with love and good quality dog food and attention will keep any PM content. They can be as comfortable dozing in front of your fireplace as with their sheep or goats. A calm, caring, obedient and non-complex temperament makes them an ideal choice for beginning LGD owners or ‘back to the farm’ first timers just getting into livestock and LGDs. My PMs are guarding on larger commercial operations and small hobby farms and even an upscale California vineyard. When it comes to training ability I have also found them to be more receptive than most other LGD breeds. As stated above, several of my PM pups are completing obedience courses with honors, and some have made certified therapy and crisis response dogs. The breed is still very rare here in the USA and at this time. I look forward to their increased use as working LGDs and farm, estate and family protectors in this country as people find out more about this breed, what I consider along with the Spanish Mastiff to be one of the ‘best kept secrets in the LGD world’. Be advised, they - much like their other ‘cousin’ the Spanish Mastiff - can become highly addictive! They truly are unique as dogs. As pups they are picture perfect cute, fat and sassy balls of fluff and huge paws. As they slowly mature and grow into noble, stunning adults, so will their devotion to you and their home and all they consider ‘theirs’.
PYRENEAN MASTIFF LINKS AND RESOURCES
Sally Farma Stekot's litter in Czech Republic (photo heavy) here.
Troy Farma Stekot's litter in Czech Republic (photo heavy) here.
Both links above show you Sally and Troy's pedigrees, parents, grandparents, litters etc. in photos. Give the pages time to load.
Alto Aragon in Italy, breeder of Alto Aragon Atena site is here.
The breed club C.M.P.E. in Spain, in Spanish and English, is here.
Article I wrote about Pyrenean and Spanish Mastiffs in The Shepherd Magazine, October, 2012, Volume 57, No. 8, page 26; available through back issue order only.
Cinco Deseos Ranch
Livestock Guardian Dogs