For more information on health issues and Pyr Shep care visit our Breed Info
If you are showing your Pyr Shep, you only need
to ensure his coat
clean and tidy for the show ring. No trimming or scissoring is
required. It is important to
showing the breed in its natural state! Many long-coated breeds lend
to over-grooming and one should refrain from this. Most important
is that you should not bath your Pyr Shep unless absolutely necessary.
Bathing his coat will make it soft and prone to matting. Perhaps
a minor trim of the hair around his feet will bring into the house a
little less dirt but that is usually sufficient.
Brushing can be done as little as possible and the Pyr Shep will
retain his charming rustic appearance. Combing or brushing once a
month is more than sufficient to keep the coat clean. If you
would prefer less maintenance and would
dog to cord then only comb over the
shoulders and the head--the coat will naturally cord on its own.
Teaching your dog to lie still on a table
is helpful when grooming. This behavior will make the grooming
process a pleasure for everyone involved as your puppy learns patience
and tolerance. The amount of grooming this breed requires can
range from very little to quite a lot and this depends on the owner.
In the winter a combination of mild weather and snow will inevitably
cause snowballs to accumulate on your Berger's legs. During your
walk you can pull off the larger ones with your hand but when you
return home what can you do??
I use a rubber curry brush purchased at a agricultural supply store and just rub the snowballs briskly. The soft pointed rubber teeth will break apart the snowballs. I prefer the brush that is designed as a glove so my own gloved hand can fit into it. Of course, clipping the length of the leg hair also helps. By the Springtime the hair will have grown back.
WHAT SHOULD YOU FEED YOUR BERGER DES
Our puppies are
raised in our home and integrated with our stable pack
of adult dogs at the age of 4-5 weeks old. Until that time the
and their mother are raised with the care of respecting what Mother
dictates. The puppies are always being managed by their mother,
then by the other dogs, and then by us. From the time they are
born they are being taught limitations and boundaries by
everyone. We have
watched and studied how our mothers raise their
and the reactions of the pups in their environment as they grow.
Our puppies are kept warm
and fed by their mother in a quiet area of our home for the first 3
weeks. They are handled daily but very minimally to respect the
natural bond of the mother and puppy. Their bedding
large whelping box is cleaned daily and at 4 weeks of age they are
moved to a large pen in the centre of our busy household. This is
when our pack of dogs and ourselves become a bigger impact on the
puppy's management. At the
time, 4-5 weeks old, they are given the option of going out of
the adult dogs. By 5.5 weeks of age the puppies naturally go to
to go outside with the other dogs. They have gradually become
accustomed to the different tones of our voices as well as all the
vocalization of the other dogs. I create an environment that
promotes their natural curiosity as a curious puppy will build
confidence as it explores and conquers the world around it and these
experiences will aid in maturity. Playing with a puppy with toys
is a lot of fun for them but you also want to understand that fun is
fun and excitement and does not promote mental stability, growth and
maturity. The puppy must also educate his mind through your guidance of
his behavior and exploration of the world in a calm state of mind.
Bringing Your Puppy Home
You will receive your puppy no earlier than nine weeks of age. I feel nine to ten weeks of age is an ideal age for the puppy to leave his/her mother and littermates and start life with his new family. The puppies benefit a great deal from spending time with their mother as well as with our whole pack. At 4 weeks of age they are fully integrated into the Chaparral pack and learning how to be a well-mannered dog. We have started their house-training and their day and nighttime rituals to help make their transition to their new families easy for everyone.
No matter what
the age, it will take two to three weeks for your puppy to
learn to adjust to his new owners. You must observe
your puppy and determine his character and temperament and, if
necessary, modify certain behaviors to your advantage. During these weeks
the puppy is learning to adapt to the sights, sounds and smells of his
surroundings--a new house, a new yard, a new environment outside of the
property lines and sometimes new pets that he is also expected to live
with. Besides his new environment he is also learning and
adapting to his new human family and the odd and confusing
ways we humans run our lives. On top of all these changes to his
young life he is also
expected to learn to sleep by himself instead of cuddled up with his
littermates, learning to go to the bathroom in a new outdoor area, and
learning some basic
good manners to be an accepted member of the family. All these
new experiences are a lot of work for a
baby puppy, or an adult dog. A Pyr Shep puppy is very aware of
environment and very affected by his environment so it is important to
keep his life simple and calm until he has adjusted and started to bond
with his new owners. Your new puppy has a lot of work to do so don't
add to his workload by pushing the limits of his endurance. Make
the first three weeks of
his life as
uncomplicated as possible. He does not need to meet new friends
or be traipsed around to every puppy class or park. There are
many, many years ahead of your
puppy to start training tricks, etc. DO NOT RUSH! Teach
name, the toys it
can play with, the command "no bite", "off", his housetraining
training. As much as it is tempting to show off
your new puppy to your friends and start taking the puppy out and
about try to limit such new experiences to the home, property and
surrounding area where the puppy is
already becoming comfortable with his surroundings. Once the
puppy exhibits signs that he is comfortable and confident within his
environment you can start to introduce him into new
situations and adventures. Always be aware of what your puppy is
saying to you and respect his wishes. Do not allow other people
to tell you what you should be doing with your puppy--you know him/her
If you feel
your puppy is going to be overwhelmed in a situation, like a large
family gathering, it is sometimes best to just put the puppy away in a
place where he feels safe and just allow him to observe all the
goings-on instead of participating in them. They learn a lot
through observation and be certain they will always have their eyes on
you to see how you are managing the environment. Dog crates,
plastic or wire, are
excellent training tools. If he can hear the goings-on or
them from a distance it is enough information to digest so the large
pens that you can purchase are also a handy tool to use when visiting
friends. If you
do not have time to be with the puppy and show him the behavior your
expect from him in any given situation then it is best if the puppy is
not left to his own devices and to put the puppy in quieter area of the
house until you have time to deal with him. Like babies, you
shouldn't let a puppy become overly tired or over-stimulated or expect
him to put on a
good performance for everyone. They too will become cranky and
irritable and because they have already communicated to you at one
point that they have had enough and you have ignored them then they
start to lose confidence in your abilities to understand them.
Despite all the puppy's efforts to be alert and stay
with you it is up to you to know when he should be resting.
Puppies sleep a lot, if allowed.
At 10 Weeks
Now that the puppy is confidently following you along you can start to challenge him. You've been bonding with your puppy for a couple of weeks now and he is getting accustomed to your body language and learned the tones of your voice so now you can start to challenge his senses a little. Follow the same program as at nine weeks, but make it a bit more challenging. Occasionally hide from the puppy when it is distracted in the woods. Watch the puppy - does it notice that you are missing? If it does and starts looking for you, come out from hiding and praise it profusely. If the puppy does not look for you, toss a pebble to make it notice you are missing, then call from your hiding place. When the puppy starts to look for you, come out and praise it. This will teach the puppy, it is repeated time and time again, to watch you when you are out in the woods instead of you constantly watching the puppy. Play this game with the puppy over and over again until you find it nearly impossible to hide because it is always watching you. Don't spend your entire walk calling the puppy's name. Being able to rely on your dog taking the responsibility of staying with you and keeping his focus on you is an attribute you will appreciate when he is older and is one that he must learn as he is growing. Please note that this only works effectively if the puppy is trained at an early age.
strangers on your outings we hope
they will first ask
to pet your puppy. But, in most cases, they do not ask but just
assume it is appropriate. This is
unfortunate because a large strange hand coming directly towards the
puppy's head will usually make him shy away. It is best to allow
your puppy to stand quietly beside you or hold
your puppy while you carry on a conversation with the people (usually
explaining what breed the puppy is) and ask the people to just
wait a couple of minutes and allow the puppy to make advance and sniff
new person before they touch the puppy. While standing
conversing with the stranger your puppy is starting to adjust to the
stranger and gaining
his confidence through your casual air. When you feel the puppy
is relaxed, or he gives you an obvious signal, such as struggling to
come out of
your arms or looking at the stranger in the face, put the puppy on the
ground or allow him or her to now greet the new person. The new
person may then
bend over and offer a friendly hand. Never allow a stranger to
pick up your puppy. That is far too intimate a gesture. The
puppy will usually,
quite happily, greet the stranger and then cut off the greeting while
the puppy is still in a joyful frame of mind and walk away.
Always leave your puppy wanting more. If you wait for this new
experience to take a negative turn then that lesson of not wanting to
interact with strangers has just been learned and it will take you a
long time to undo it. You can encourage the greeting
or just allow the puppy to be part of the group thus it learns that
other people (and sometimes their dogs) pose no threat. It is
just as acceptable to tell the stranger to just ignore the puppy if the
puppy is telling you both that he is uncomfortable and does not want to
be touched by strangers. Try to
keep the encounter brief so the puppy happily trots away with you and
has experienced a positive encounter. Always leave with the puppy
For the first 2-3
weeks it is best to keep a low profile with the puppy. Although
the desire is to show off your new family member to all your friends is
strong, it is a good idea to first earn the trust of your puppy.
If you take the puppy to stressful venues and it has not had enough
time to start bonding with you then you are letting your puppy down and
the puppy feels that it has nobody that it is by itself and has nobody
it can rely on. If you watch your puppy carefully and learn how
the puppy communicates it will show you when it is ready to explore the
world further. It only takes time and patience to build a solid
foundation of trust and respect--be patient!
Socializing your pyr
shep puppy does not need to
involve handling by
strange people. What the
Pyr Shep puppy needs to experience all the sights and sounds of our
world and his
world. It is enough for him to see
people, see other dogs, see
traffic and other strange people activities. He doesn't need to
be thrown into the thick of things. Let him stand on the
sidelines, assess the situation and become relaxed being there then
Remember, the Pyr Shep is very sensitive to his environment--you are
in control of his environment! If you worry how he will react, he
react worried!! Don't worry, relax, feel confident knowing that
not put your puppy in harms way and the puppy will feed off of your
confidence. If you are confident then the puppy will be confident.
Meeting children should be a privilege
for your puppy or dog. The dog should not be allowed to go up to
a child unless he is in a calm state of mind, well-mannered and you
tell the dog it is OK to do so. Your dog
should show his respect with his head and ears lowered and a calm
Take a trip to the farm. Let the puppy see cows, horses, chickens and whatever else you can find. This time you can keep it on leash. Make sure the puppy is safe from the animals and can get close enough to sniff them. Be sure to have a positive attitude and act nonchalantly, as if this is what every 12 week old puppy does. All dogs should be respect for other animals and should never be allowed to harass them.
socialized puppy is far more likely to
treat a new
experience or object with curiosity and will want to discover and
explore it. If the puppy is fearful then do not belabour the
point. Do not praise fearful behavior such as barking or lunging
but show the puppy that you are in control of the situation and in
control of him and make it seem to him that you have decided to end the
confrontation (or end his barking) by distancing yourselves to a point
where the puppy feels more secure and there you can ask him to sit down
and be quiet. If your puppy is off-leash and wishes to place
itself quietly off in the distance then allow the puppy to do so.
The more you try to coax him and focus on him the more suspicious he
will become and then he will start to worry, you will start to worry
and nobody is happy.
At 13 Weeks
Take the puppy into town on a leash. This should be a short outing - perhaps 10-15 minutes as this outing is an exercise for his mind moreso than his body. Walk on a main street with light to moderate foot traffic. The puppy should see and hear people walking, bicycles, delivery people, etc. Praise the puppy with a "Good Dog" for positive behavior but if he is showing nervousness try to keep the puppy walking forward and not allow him to dwell on what it was that made him nervous in the first place. When you get back into the car pile on the praise for the puppy's remarkable feats of courage. Try to be aware of what the puppy is seeing and smelling from his point of view. Often what we take for granted is missed by our suppressed senses but is very blatant for a puppy. Don't forget to take the puppy on his regular romp as well as this daily romp should also be a great place where he can relax and enjoy an outing with his most favorite person in the world--YOU!
At 14 Weeks
Take a trip to the beach or some other place the
puppy has never
seen. Perhaps the local grade school front lawn just when all the
pouring out. Let the puppy stand and watch all the activity without
contact with all the children. It is important for the puppy to
and assess the situation before experiencing any negativity from a
of children. Walk the puppy away from the activity with an air of
then praise the puppy when you return to the car. This exercise
can be repeated, not too often, and eventually the puppy will become
accustomed the all this flurry of activity. Do not allow a
puppy to bark at children as that is being very rude on his part.
Pyr Sheps have
remarkable memories and each new
retained for many weeks so it is not necessary to expose a puppy daily.
This is a bad time to subject your puppy to stress such as airplane trips, a visit with the veterinarian, a boarding kennel or any other threatening situation. Many puppies are very fearful at this age and this should be a quiet time in their lives.
In general, Pyr
Sheps do not enjoy the company of
often not under the control of their owners. I recommend exposing
puppy to the presence of other dogs without direct
interaction. It is not necessary or desirable for your puppy to
have doggie playtime or go to doggie daycare.
Until the puppy has learned to react to the presence of other dogs in a
positive manner, his first reaction is often one of fear which will
only grow into aggression if left to his own devices. Your puppy
needs to know he can
trust your good sense. Teach your puppy to sit calmly by your
ignore the other dog(s). Discourage the other dogs from
approaching your puppy unless you are absolutely sure that the other
dog will behave calmly and quietly around your puppy. Once your
realizes that you are in control of his surroundings and that there is
option available to him he will not feel the need to react in a
negative manner like snapping and barking at the other dog. As
grows up and matures he will learn he can count on your good sense to
protect him and will eventually learn that strange dogs are not the
threat he once perceived them to be when he was a
wee little thing. He will then be comfortable in meeting strange
or better yet, ignoring them completely and allowing you both to
continue on your walks without any fuss. He may even want to have
a little play with another dog.
At 20 Weeks >
Puppy socialization classes are not necessary to raise a well-mannered and stable dog. If you own a Pyr Shep you should already be a person capable of teaching basic obedience skills. If you are not in control of how a class is run or are not confident enough to stand up for your puppy or to a trainer then you should not attend. The Pyr Sheps take many years to mature and there is nothing absolutely necessary that needs to be learned by the puppy under a year of age other than to respect and enjoy the company of people, have good manners out in polite society and become an absolute joy to own. Relax and enjoy the first year with your puppy then you will have many, many more years of pleasure ahead of you.
NOT FORGET THAT A TIRED PUPPY IS MORE
LIKELY TO BE A
WELL BEHAVED PUPPY! THESE LITTLE
AT LEAST ONE HOUR
WALK EACH DAY TO BURN OFF EXCESS
left with a dog with manageable energy! Many behavior problems
result of inadequate exercise for
this active breed.
When I am walking our
dogs and we see another pedestrian or dog walker coming towards us I
call our dogs over to one side and ask them to "sit" or
down" and "stay" & "leave it" so my dogs will ignore the
walker & his dog. We
wait for the other person to walk by then continue on our walk.
If I have a very young puppy, <3months, I will often just pick the
puppy up and hold him in my arms.
These actions show
your dog what good manners are expected in any given situation.
not bothering people that do not have a dog, and he is learning to
listen to you, to be patient while awaiting further instruction as well
as developing confidence in your ability to take
care of his well-being while looking out for his best interests.
is also learning that strange people and dogs are not to be feared and
that you do not need his protection, but instead, you
will protect him. Never allow your puppy to try to figure
out how he should react to a person, another dog, or any new
situation. You should always show him how you want him to
behave. Practice makes perfect. If you having your puppy or
adult dog continually practice behavior that demonstrates good manners
then the dog will eventually perfect this behavior and it will become
the norm for him. If you allow your puppy or dog to continually
demonstrate fearful and aggressive behavior then you are allowing your
dog to practice this undesirable behavior and unfortunately, he will
only get good at this as well!!
Don't allow your dog(s) to lead YOUR walk. They must earn their
good behavior before they are allowed off their leash or
released from a heel position.
Set off on YOUR walk by inviting your dog to join you,
not by following the dog on HIS walk.
Sometimes their patience is tested when my Granddaughter has an interesting story to relay. This exercise of patience is also establishing good manners
and a respect for all people, no matter what their size.
Your puppy will need a flat buckle collar
or flat adjustable clip
collar and a six foot leash.
Your Pyr Shep needs to be exercised rain
or shine so be prepared. These are terrific boots that I own and highly
In the U.S.A. http://www.muckbootcompany.com/
A handy little boot for
the wet grass.
A walking partner, especially one with a well mannered dog, will be an excellent socialization exercise for a puppy, as well as make the time fly by chit-chatting!
If you wish to have his coat cord then visit our Coat Care Page.
Either of these types of metal combs
will keep his coat in
order if you comb on a weekly basis.
Search for "curry brush" or "gel scrubbie curry comb" for the removal of wintertime snowballs. Or, they are wonderful for massaging your best friend.
If just dealing with the snowballs and mud is too much then you can
outfit your pyr shep with a protective pair of pants
These waterproof pants from Muddy Mutts work well. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO GET YOUR PYR SHEP OUT FOR EXERCISE.
Another invaluable item I own is a pair of YakTraks. They make
walking on ice as easy as walking on snow. Great traction!
Any type of dog nail clippers
are suitable. You can use the clippers or the electric type which
sands the nail down. Start a puppy by
clipping his nails when he is exhausted from a long walk. Lay him
on his side, tell
him to "stay" still, clip the nails on one foot, then praise, and leave
the other feet until the next day. It won't be long before you'll
be able to tackle all four feet at once with no struggle. Always
remain very calm and do not talk excessively to the puppy except to
reinforce "stay" still.
for more information e-mail us!
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