Soo..We adopted a Great Pyrenees..Lost 9 chickens...


12 Years
Sep 19, 2007
Poolville, TX
We have a Great Pyrenees "chicken watchdog". Diesel is only 7 months old, but he AND his parents have been with chickens since day 1. We selected him because he had been exposed to chickens from a very early age. So many GP get adopted out because people don't take the time and do the research before getting a breed like this. They are not meant to be apartment dogs. They really need a flock to protect to be a happy, satisfied dog.

When we brought him home I did everything by the book. He was so sweet it was hard to leave him in his kennel at night with the chickens, BUT that is where he had to be. Up until a month ago he was very skiddish of everything. I thought, oh, great, he is a big baby and won't protect anything. He has come into his own and even chased a deer away 2 days ago. He barks and alerts all the animals to take cover. It really is quite cool to watch him. The instincts are amazing.

Good luck with your dog.

Me and Diesel when he was a baby, about 5 months ago.
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Eye see you...
11 Years
May 17, 2008
Here, there, and everywhere...
I do give kudos to the breeder for being responsible but at the same wish she had told OP not to just throw him in with them and leave him here on the first day!
You'd think she'd know that they need some adjustment time from one flock to another.
I wish OP would have come here to BYC and asked how to intergrate him into their flock.

OP, how large is your chicken run?


10 Years
Apr 21, 2009
DJ, Alaska
I am sorry for the loss of your chickens, the stress and the upseting of your family and for the confused pup.

I have had pyrs my whole life, my mom got her first in 72. As stated before not all pyrs have to drive to be proper lgd just as not all are show dogs. I would have to agree with what others have said. 1. you put a young dog in with a new flock that he did not see as his 2. your chickens were not used to him and this will make the dog uneasy 3. the pup was in a total new area and still confused as of where and why he was not "home" 4. If there was no blood he might have let somthing else in as the flock was not his he saw no need to protect them.

Pyrs bond with the animals and humans it lives with Very fast it is VERY hard on them to be moved so late to a new home. If I were you I would get a pup at 7-9 weeks and go from there. By 5 months he was already bonded to the other persons flock. On the 4 times we have gotten one of our pups back since my mom started in 72 for one reason or another. We will not let them in with our flock (chickens, horses, alpacas ect) for over 6 months, not only does it take time for them to know that we are now its new family but so is the animals that live here. They start by being on a leash and being "velcro dogs" as we call them they go where I go and only with me and we build up from there.

They are very smart loving big hearted dogs and just as with any breed poodle, pyr or bloodhound not only does the individual pup but the training that goes into it add up to make a great dog.

Again I am sorry for your loss and the stress on all involved.


10 Years
Apr 30, 2009
Central KY
Quote:The AKC breed standard for colors:

White or white with markings of gray, badger, reddish brown, or varying shades of tan. Markings of varying size may appear on the ears, head (including a full face mask), tail, and as a few body spots. The undercoat may be white or shaded. All of the above described colorings and locations are characteristic of the breed and equally correct. Fault--Outer coat markings covering more than one third of the body. See for entire standard:

Well, ya learn something new everyday!


12 Years
Feb 18, 2007
North Georgia
How horrible! As a Pry owner myself, I know they most definately have to be trained with poultry. They are pretty much naturals at hooved animals, but they are not instinctively protective of chickens. Our Pyr was great off the bat with the goats - but it took some time with poultry. We have had him since he was 8 weeks old and he is now 18 months old and is safe around chickens. He used to try to play with them and the birds do not appreciate it in the least - I also have a Maltese that would chase them around and the Pyr would join in on the fun. He knows better now and does not seem to have to much interest in them. However, I would not leave him in the coop with the door closed.


11 Years
Nov 10, 2008
Benton TN
First off I want to thank everyone for the replies.

I don't blame the puppy at all. He is just that, a puppy. I would have loved to get on here and ask around on how to integrate but I don't have internet access at home and have to use my parents computers. I also am not stupid and I SHOULD have done what my gut was telling me and left him on the outside of the pen. Instead I listened to my husband who assured me that he would be fine with them. The breeder didn't think it would be a problem since he has been with birds since birth and "knew" not to harm them.

We have never had a problem with predators before we brought him home. Its just too weird to think that raccoons or any other critter decided to show up on the same night we brought home a very large fluffy puppy. I have even left them with the coop and pen doors open for a week without losses(I know I SHOULDN'T have but I did). So yes it had to be him. We also have more evidence.

There wasn't ANY blood at all. None of the chickens had so much as a feather missing. Just ALOT of wet slobbery feathers. And he was laying on top of one still mouthing it. It survived. He didn't have the intention(I believe) of actually killing them. I think he was playing with them a little to rough and when the one he was playing with stopped moving he moved to the next one and so on so forth.

We do plan on getting another pup. The breeder told us that we could come back when we were ready. She is going to keep us updated on any new litters so we can pick one of the younger ones. She is AWESOME.


12 Years
Sep 14, 2007
NE Alabama
mjsdhs said: i would maybe crate him/her in the coop with the chickens for a while... I know he cant protect them while he is in a crate but then at least s/he wont be able to hurt the chickens while s/he learns that this is my job now to protect this flock

AkTomboy said:Pyrs bond with the animals and humans it lives with Very fast it is VERY hard on them to be moved so late to a new home. If I were you I would get a pup at 7-9 weeks and go from there. By 5 months he was already bonded to the other persons flock.

I agree with mjsdhs & AkTomboy. These are the answers to your question. This was not a bad dog.​


6 Years
Apr 17, 2013

I am a pyr breeder and glad you found a breeder who would work with you- that is awesome. My adult pyrs lay with the baby chickens and ducks, much to the momma hens dissaproval. They rush to the chicken yard at the first sight of a hawk, owl buzzard or crow, but don't bat an eyelash at the mocking birds and blue jays..this said, I, too took a puppy back whom the buyer ( even though I told her not to), put the 12 week old pup in the coop with 100 newly delivered mail order bidd'ys..needless to say the next day I took my now branded chicken killer back and refunded their money. This pup and her nine siblings had had free range in our barnyard with all our fowl, (ducks, chickens,turkey, geese), since birth and had never so much as looked at a bird. These dead biddys were also wet and there was no blood. She had also crushed some by sleeping on them. I still have her, she is now a two year old and one of my best dogs with the birds,goats, calves and horses.
I socialize all my pyrs with adults, and children from birth. When a new puppy goes, buyers are asked to put the pup in a SEPERATE pen next to what you want him to guard. They can socialize with their new charges through the fence but not interact physically with them. A pyr pup should really for safety sake never be left full time with any livestock untill about 8-9 months of age, depending on the maturity of the pup. My pups are 25 pounds at 8 weeks and though they look big they are still very much babies. Even at 6 mos the pup is huge but should never be expected to
drive off or kill a predator. My momma dogs start to take the pups on patrol with them at about 12 weeks so I have to seperate them to keep the pups safe. You can tell the very instant a pyr pup "turns on" or matures so to speak as their demeanor will change suddenly and the tail will go up and they will alert on a predator. My older girls lay with the goats and calves and will actually lick the baby goats until they are dry and nursing, cleaning up all the afterbirth. With the cows, they lay under a tree or bush at a respectable distance and dont leave until the calve is up and nursing. If we lose a baby animal they actually mourn and lay on the grave.
They drive my yorkie pup away from the road, eat with my mini mares, play with my shelties, get between me and anyone who drives up in the driveway , meet the grandkids at the bus and generally take care of this farm. We have 8 of them and they are porch pets by day and on the prowl all night. They are definately like no other breed I have ever owned but give them up now for nothing. They have saved us thousands in lost livestock. I couldn't afford to have human help with their efficiency. The have their quirks, they love to roam, are stubborn and when they are "on a mission" as we call it there is no calling them back.


9 Years
Jul 15, 2010
Danvers, Massachusetts
Pleasantpyrs said it all...great summarization based on experience.
We had a Pyr x border collie cross as a protector for 14 years and though he looked like a border collie on steroids, his demeanor was all pyrenees.
He hated coyotes especially, and though he didn't sleep with the birds, they free roamed during the day and he was never a problem out in the yard with the ducks. We did like pleasantpyrs suggests, and let him acclaimate to poultry slowly, with human intervention at all times until he exhibited protective behavior on his own.
Good luck training your new pup when the right time comes. You made the right choice of breeds, and obviously chose the right breeder - now get the right pup and with the right training and you'll be set for a dozen years.
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