|Pyr Shep Care & Grooming
What Should I Have For My New Puppy?
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|LA BRISE PYRENEAN SHEPHERDS
PATRICIA PRINCEHOUSE & COLIN MCLARTY
9573 MENTOR ROAD, CHARDON, OH 44024
ITEMS NEEDED FOR YOUR NEW PYRENEAN SHEPHERD PUPPY
Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide, by Cesar Millan
Three Rivers Press
Mother Knows Best: The Natural Way to Train Your Dog, by Carol Benjamin,
How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With, by Rutherford & Neil
PO Box 7020,
Loveland, CO 80537
Agility Start to Finish, (with illustrative focus on Pyr Sheps!) by Diane Bauman
Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook, by Carlson and Giffin
Howell Book House
GROOMING AND TRAINING SUPPLIES:
The following items are available at wholesale prices from free catalogs such as:
CHERRYBROOK 800-524-0820 www.cherrybrook.com/
J-B 800-423-3333 www.jbpet.com
For more upscale items, see http://inthecompanyofdogs.com/
For agility equipment and all sorts of training-oriented super fun toys, see www.cleanrun.com
Your pup needs a crate for travel, housebreaking, and as a puppysitter when you can’t give him your
full attention. The pup will grow so fast that I recommend you get an adult-sized crate from the
beginning. I recommend the plastic airline crates (vari-kennel traditional or deluxe #200 - #500)
as they are easier to put up and take down, are easier to wash and sterilize, are leakproof, and are
somewhat safer. If you prefer a metal crate, get one at least 20”x24”x24”. An exercise pen is also
very useful & is highly recommended.
CRATE MAT -Newspapers should be used (flat ones on the bottom & shredded ones on top) until
pup is reliable in his crate, then old towels or blankets can be used (and will be chewed). Many
owners like to provide their adult Pyr Shep with a polyfoam orthopedic mat with a washable cover
or a fleece or quilted crate mat that is entirely washable. When puppy is older, you might want to
get a dog bed or if decor is an issue, an upscale sofa or chaise, or couch, or modern piece.
EXERCISE PEN –
The pup may take several months before s/he is big enough to be crated for more than a couple
hours at a time without having to go outside.
Xpens limit your dog to a small, safe area where s/he can play but is big enough for her to eliminate
if necessary without subsequently stepping in it. They start around $30 and go up to $100 or more.
For an upscale decorator version, see: http://inthecompanyofdogs.com Leaving puppy in an X-Pen
at night & when you’re gone for more than 2 or 3 hours at a time works very very well for Pyr
Sheps. Newspapers should be laid flat (preferably on tile surface) with shredded newspaper added
on top (and you can transition to a litter box if you like). A few toys can be added and a towel or
washable bed. I usually don’t give water as they may start playing in it & make a mess.
Never gate your puppy into a room as s/he could damage the room and likely injure him/herself
(eating wallpaper or furniture, putting nose in electrical outlets, etc). Always use a crate or xpen.
LITTER BOX –
Increasingly popular are variations on the sort of litter boxes traditionally used for cats. Purina
makes a dog litter called Second Nature www.doglitter.com for more tips see:
Nothing containing soy in any form. All the premium adult foods are fine for Pyr Shep puppies.
High quality low-residue foods like Evo small bites may help with housebreaking, but if the pup
starts to get pudgy, you'll either have to switch brands or give less food. Pyr Sheps should always
feel quite lean over the ribs. Your pup has been eating Canidae ALS.
Stainless steel bowls are unbreakable and easily sterilized.
Before you get your pup, it’s a good idea to fog your house for fleas with a top-strength fogger
from the vet (eg Vet-Kem with Precor) as fleas can lie dormant as pupa for a year. If you have
other dogs or cats, dip them at the same time. This will provide a flea-free environment for your
pup’s first few months. Repeat this process at the first sign of fleas. Once or twice a year is the
most you’ll likely need. Flea and tick collars are also a good idea, especially now that ticks can carry
Lyme disease. If you need to bathe your Pyr Shep for some reason (normally every 6 months is
plenty often) it’s a good idea to use flea shampoo just as a precaution. When bathing, the most
important thing is to be sure to rinse out every trace of shampoo. The all-natural products are
attractive and can help a little, but they really don’t work very well.
Use Pyrethrins. Ultrasonic flea devices do not work.
The once-a-month flea preventatives (Spot-On, Advantix, Frontline, Revolution, etc) work well &
can help you avoid having to fog the house.
For more on flea prevention see the University of Florida flea site: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ig132
Heartworm control is both easier & more important than ever before as the problem is spreading
across N Am. One-a-month chewables such as Heartgard Plus are available from the Vet. Revolution
combines both flea & tick and heartworm preventative in one monthly treatment.
ODOR REMOVERS -
There are many products around which neutralize odors -Nilodor, Simple Solution, etc. You can also
use white vinegar. Many of the products also remove stains.
BITTER APPLE -
Bitter Apple can be sprayed on furniture to discourage chewing, and on the dog to keep him from
chewing, or licking a wound. There’s now a formula to use on plants, too.
The 2 piece work better than the hinged variety.
COLLARS AND LEADS -
For a little pup, use an expandable harness (12"-20") or expandable (10"-16") cotton or nylon flat
woven collar. Get a 6 foot leather, cotton or nylon lead. You may also want to get a “Flexi-lead”. The
Flexi-2 is usually sufficient. For advanced training, you may want to get a snug-fitting nylon choker.
Do not use a chain collar or lead as they are weaker than a nylon choke and the links can rub the
pup's hair off or discolor it. When the pup is 9-12 months old, s/he’ll be mostly grown and you can
get a rolled leather collar sized appropriately to put his/her tags on. DO NOT LEAVE ANY
COLLAR ON WHEN THE PUP IS IN THE CRATE! He could accidentally strangle himself. It is
also a good idea to remove all collars when puppies are playing together.
For obedience or show training, you may want to use a round nylon or parachute cord choker --it
should be snug enough that the collar stays open rather than with an end hanging down. Remember,
the choker is open all the time except for the split-second that you are making a correction. Never
allow the dog to pull or drag you. Keep a loose lead. Remember, the point of training is to get the
dog to do what you want without much force. This involves lots of praise, flattery, treats, and other
motivation, not physical power.
TOYS -Pyr Sheps adore all toys but also have highly individual preferences in playthings. Most like
rawhide chews (only buy those actually made in the US or Canada. And don’t get the basted kind as
the color rubs off on their fur). For young pups, get the chopped rawhide munchies, then graduate
to chips and bones. They love cow hooves (and other moo-chews), but the hooves are often smelly.
Some like nylabones (especially the nubby dinosaurs) and rubber toys, but others turn up their
noses. Pups love fleece and plush toys with squeakys inside -especially pia pets. Some like squeaky
toys and regular and mini tennis balls. Encourage him to play “Fetch” – it gives him constructive
physical & mental exercise & builds your bond with the pup. You can build fetch motivation using
special "jackpot" toys with hidden food pouches so that they have to bring the toy back to you to
get the treat out. You can play tug-o-war games but not in a way that encourages him/her to
challenge your authority or builds frustration. Instead, make sure you control the game. Tug for 10-
20 seconds & then let go & stare anywhere except at the dog. S/he will bring the toy back for more
tugging. You say “good dog” and continue the game. It’s you & puppy against the tug toy, not you
pitted against the pup. Most pups like “Booda Bones” rope toys and puzzle toys. “Kong” toys are
nice and you can fill them with a mixture of peanut butter or squeeze cheese or soft soaked kibble
and freeze to give to the pup when you put him in his crate or Xpen before you leave the house.
Similarly there are various treat-dispensing toys. If you choose to give your pup plastic milk jugs
or empty soda bottles (with perhaps some beans or rice inside to make a rattle), old socks, shoes,
jeans, etc, s/he will have a great time, but don’t expect her to know the difference between new and
old. For cutting-edge fun & educational toys, see www.cleanrun.com
BRUSHES, COMBS, NAIL CLIPPERS –
Start with a soft bristle brush for a young puppy & run it all over the pup every day. You will
eventually need a pin brush (some have soft pins or rubber tips on the bristles -which are nice) and
slicker brush, and a long-toothed metal comb. Get a Miller’s Forge brand heavy duty “big dog” nail
clippers or a nail grinder. A double-row coat rake such as the Evolution rake will cut down on
shedding, make brushing easier, and help prevent matting.
In addition to using the soft bristle brush every day, you’ll want to do a thorough grooming session
every week, starting the week you get your pup. Brush every inch of his body with the pin or slicker
brush (including feet, behind the ears, under the throat, pants and tail, etc). Most Pyr Sheps come
to love these weekly grooming sessions as long as they are introduced with positive, motivational
techniques when the pup is already tired (eg after a long walk). As s/he gets older and starts
shedding, the sessions will get a little longer. Be sure to brush out as much dead hair as you can. This
prevents matting and promotes the growth of healthy new coat. Brush first in the direction the coat
grows, then against, then with again. Trim the hair around the anus, and under the pads of the feet
as needed. Trim or grind the nails every week, even if you can only take a shaving off. When the pup
is little, it’s a good practice to pinch his toenails everyday to get him used to letting you mess with
his feet. Make grooming a pleasant experience, but do not allow the pup to bite the brushes or
misbehave. Maintain a positive atmosphere in which you are fully in control. This means NO
LAUGHING at any misbehavior - no matter how funny s/he is being. S/he’ll soon learn that
grooming is fun, but it isn’t playtime. It helps to give him/her a rawhide chew or stuffed Kong toy to
keep him busy. If you brush your Pyr Shep thoroughly every week, s/he will never get mats. But, if
you fall behind and s/he does, an Oliver tool mat splitter, or a mat comb will help. You can clean his
ears using Oti-clense, Mystic Ear, or alcohol, or a 50-50 solution of water and white vinegar, and
cotton balls or baby wipes. For persistent ear infections, try athlete's foot anti-fungal cream. You
may find a Grooming Table with arm to be most useful. You can also use the top of a 500 Vari-
Kennel. Brushing his/her teeth is also a good idea.