Creative design

I am answering a Frequently Barked Question (FBQ) this week.

FBQ: Are Pyrenean Mountain Dogs, or Great Pyrenees, destructive?

Clowie: My short answer to that is that a contented and trained adult Pyrenean Mountain Dog is not destructive. I have not damaged anything in the house or garden since I was about nine months old.

However, we are capable of doing a lot of damage in a short space of time, so I can see why some people would say that we are destructive. Early training is very important so that we learn not to chew on the furniture!

Some of my creative efforts, when I was a puppy, have been misunderstood and my bipeds have said I’ve made a “terrible mess”. I believe that’s what they said when I gave the bathroom a makeover in the space of about ten minutes!

I never once chewed a shoe as a puppy. Oh, my biped has just peeped over my shoulder and said that’s because they kept them in the cupboard until I knew better and reminded me what I did to the table and benches in the kitchen – again my intentions were misunderstood!

Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Clowie

Chews taste better than shoes!

There was an incident with a baby gate they’d put across a doorway. It was hardly my fault that some of the door frame came away when I pushed the gate out of my way – the door frame must have been quite weak!

I tried to chew my way through a door – and I was doing quite well when they stopped me, but that was before I knew any better. I also chewed a chunk of plaster from the wall, but you don’t know you can’t eat something until you try it. I only did that once because it tastes awful!

I’m quite skilled at gardening and made the lawn much more interesting than just flat grass. My bipeds were so impressed that they gave me a corner of the garden to landscape as I pleased.

I did rearrange some plants that unfortunately died, but every gardener has to learn through experience – I didn’t know the roots were meant to be in the ground! They were mostly quite small plants as they are the easiest to move, but I did move a few shrubs and a small tree as well.

A large beech tree

My idea of a small tree!
Attribution: Philip Halling [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

I was accused of wrecking a water feature, but that was a misunderstanding – they kept putting plants in my outdoor drinking bowl!

I will make no excuse for sending the freshly-laid turf flying – that was lots of fun!

I think all of that is fairly normal puppy behaviour – I wasn’t unusual for a Pyrenean Mountain Dog puppy.

I’ve said that a trained and contented adult Great Pyrenees is not destructive, which is true. But if a bored adult does decide to nibble on the furniture they are obviously going to do a lot of damage very quickly. Early training to establish desired behaviour patterns is very important, as is sufficient exercise and time with our bipeds.

It is also important to prepare a Great Pyrenees to spend some time alone – we are just as prone as any dog to suffer from separation anxiety. It is better to avoid this than to remedy it. A distressed adult Pyrenean Mountain Dog has a lot of weight to throw about and most internal doors will not resist for long!

If our delight in digging hasn’t been controlled or directed in some way, you could end up with a copy of the Pyrenean Mountains in your back garden – my ancestors did create that range of mountains!

What do you think? Would you describe a Pyrenean Mountain Dog as destructive?

Aqua paw print

See you next Wednesday!

64 thoughts on “Creative design

  1. I think FBQ should be a regular weekly column in your internationally syndicated weekly magazine, Clowie. Can I be your publisher? Or is some other biped already doing that?

  2. Fine advice once again Clowie. It all comes down to good training in puppyhood.

  3. Our Border Collie chewed through our computer cables under the house when I was hospitalised when he was a pup. It appears he stopped chewing when he hit an electric wire and it seems it might have given him a warning buzz and he decided other things were a healthier choice.

    • It sounds as though he had a lucky escape. Inquisitive pups can get into all sorts of trouble so quickly!

      • Not only from the electricity either. My husband was not only furious but also feeling like this was the last straw. He’d done his round trip of seeing me in hospital, visiting the kids at my parents’ place and then came home to feed the dog and get some sleep and didn’t need chewed up cables. He works in IT so he didn’t really want to be working on the home front as well. Funny though how this disaster has transformed into one of our funny party stories.

  4. Whee would love to see more frequently barked questions!


  5. Well I voted like MOST of your friends did… are my CREATIVE CLOWIE!!!

    Hugs, Sammy

  6. Depyfinitely creative genius. I have a huge backyard with lots of trees and grass and nothing else. I think a replica of the Pyre a neat Mountains is just what is needed!

  7. I so agree with you, Clowie. The most dogs turn into a carnivore wreckingball when they are bored. Or they are wreckingballs because they are Weimaraners :o) Dogs need entertainment and a “job” :o) I just imagine what fabulous mischief I could do if I had your size :o) btw: do you know how big you are if you stay on your hind legs?

    • Yes, Easy, we all need something appropriate to do and enough exercise. I expect you need more activity than I do.

      If I stand up on my hind legs, I can put my front paws on the male biped’s chest and our faces are level – he’s slightly under 6ft tall. I can put my paws on the female biped’s shoulders and lick the top of her head!

      • that’s phenomenal…. so you can talk with your humans on eye level… :o)

        • Yes, I can, but I usually keep four paws on the ground. They say “let’s dance” when they want me to stand up. I used to do it quite a lot, but when they say it now I usually give them a funny look and pretend I haven’t heard!

  8. I love digging and like to scrape the dirt off the shovel when my biped is digging. So now when she wants a hole dug she will stick the shovel in the ground and I will jump there and dig the beginnings of a hole. We just keep this up until I’ve done all I can do. We just planted two new pecan trees and I broke up some hard ground too. Who needs a rototiller when you’ve got me!!!!!! Mack

  9. You nailed it about good training, C. Otherwise bipeds can’t blame a dog for being a dog.

    Love and licks,

  10. We were so lucky with Mity his ‘destruction’ was one small nob on a chest of draws. He would sit and chew it, when he was teething, that was the only thing he ever touched!

    • That is amazing! I just couldn’t stop chewing when I was teething and the things I was meant to be chewing got boring after a while!

  11. When I think I’ve totally puppy-proofed the house, my creative genius reminds me of anything I may have forgotten. Recently, we took Remy to a tricks class, and one of the tricks was teaching him how to open the fridge and bring us a soda-pop….I told my husband, ‘absolutely not’, we aren’t going there!!! If only I could teach him to clean house and do dishes 🙂

    • It’s hard to totally puppy-proof the place with a Pyr. My bipeds moved everything they could – that’s why I started on the walls and doors when I had a spare moment!
      My biped says it was bad enough when she had a cat that could open the fridge – an adolescent Pyr could clear the contents in seconds!
      I would do the dishes if they let me. I like to keep the kitchen floor clean for them when they’re cooking.

  12. Haha!!! I voted creative genius and apparently a lot of other people did too! BOL!
    On a serious note, I think it is quite normal for all dogs to go through a major chew phase when they are young. BUT huskies on the other hand….they can be destructive, it is what they are known for! BOL!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

    • I’m glad you think I’m a creative genius!
      Yes, it is normal for all dogs to chew a lot until teething is over. And I think any of the larger breeds are capable of doing a lot of damage in that phase.
      I’ve heard that Huskies enjoy digging as much as I do!

  13. Early training is the key. We had a hell of a time with Max & Bella, probably because they were both abandoned as puppies to a kill shelter and we didn’t get them till two months.Their learning curve was changed by that but they did outgrow some of the challenging behaviors that were not easy to break: chewing things. Very important post. I hate to think of how many beautiful dogs are given up because of owner’s lack of training. wag wag

    • Yes, early training is especially important with all the larger breeds. I think the teething phase is challenging with any dog but the bigger we are the more damage we can do. It’s sad that many larger dogs are given up during adolescence – it gets very difficult if we haven’t been taught any manners.

  14. It’s not just dogs. I had a cat that chewed on electrical cords. She chewed through one that ran under the bed so I didn’t see it right away. She must have gotten a tingle because she stopped doing it on her own. Now I’m more vigilant with young cats. My current young’un likes to chew paper — tablets, pads, mail, any kind of paper. Fortunately no shoes although my one cat did pee on a pair of new ones. I must have done something to annoy him.

    • Yes, one of our cats liked electrical cords – almost as much as string! Mulberry still steals pens all the time, he’ll go in a bag or pocket to get one. But on the bright side the bipeds always know they can find a pen under the sofa, that’s where he keeps his stash of things he’s taken.

  15. I am enjoying Frequently Barked Questions. I think it is not surprising that a bored dog could cause some destruction. Bored cats too. People think that all bored cats do is sleep, nope they can get in trouble too!

  16. Great artists are never understood in their own time.

  17. Mom says the smaller breeds tend to be much more destructive than larger ones, but any breed can be destructive if they are left to deal with boredom and lack of exercise.

  18. GPs are just overgrown Maltese looking for a comfy lap.

  19. Wise words, Clowie, and wonderful of you to give us bipeds your perspective on those creative behaviors. We don’t always understand that a dog’s “destructive” behavior is a sign that we’re failing in our responsibilities!

    • Thank you. It’s natural for puppies to get into everything, but it is a biped’s responsibility to train us and make sure we have enough activity to keep us contented as adults.

  20. Such a good post as always Clowie! Not enough people realise that pooches evern get bored, let alone what happens when they do!
    Hugs, Carrie & Pups x

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