Weird Things People Say About Our Great Pyrenees


Patronus gets to go a lot of places with us.  In the time since we adopted him, he has been on walks and hikes, on many car rides, to parties, in pet stores, and even on trips to the taco truck.  He’s a pretty unusual breed of dog, so we’ve gotten used to random people approaching us to ask all kinds of questions about him.  We definitely enjoy taking him everywhere with us and are happy to answer questions that people may have about him.  It only starts to get weird when instead of questions, we get awkward comments.  Without further ado, here are the top things we hear about our dog from random people on a regular basis.  

I bet they don’t live very long.

In the first month that we had Patronus, we must have heard some form of this comment at least half a dozen times from people, if not more.  While the lifespan of his breed is usually something that many people are curious about (and logically so), phrasing it this way is basically the equivalent of telling the parents of a newborn, “What a cute baby, how long until it dies?”.  For the record, although they are considered a giant breed dog, Great Pyrenees on average actually have a lifespan comparable to that of most large breed dogs.

Those dogs are really expensive.

I never really know what people are implying when they say this.  Like, are you interested in getting a Pyr and just trying to gather information?  Do I look like I can’t afford my dog?  Do I look like I’m wealthy and you think that’s why I have a big fluffy dog?  Are you just trying see if I agree with you that he’s expensive so you can make a judgement call on how much money you think we have?  This is just an awkward statement.

He must be eating you out of house and home!

He is a big dog, so yes, on an average day he’s going to eat more than a chihuahua or a yorkie.  That said, just because he is big does not mean that he is scarfing food 24/7.  The amount he eats varies based on the weather and his activity level, but on average, he’s usually pretty cool with 4-5 cups of dog food per day.

You should feed him gluten free/raw/vegan/grain free food.

I think people are usually pretty well-meaning when they make this suggestion.  Just like people, dogs can have sensitivities to different ingredients in their food, and consequently, they shouldn’t eat those things.  (As somebody who feels the best when following a plant-based diet, I totally get this, believe me!)  While I’m definitely not an expert on dog food, the foods we feed Patronus have been recommended to us for him by the rescue organization we adopted him from, which is run by a reputable Great Pyrenees breeder, and by his veterinarian.  Should he encounter any issues, of course we’ll look into other options, but why change just because some random person without a degree in veterinary medicine or years of experience working with dogs of his breed told us to?

Are you walking him or is he walking you?

I never really know if this comment is supposed to be a “joke” about our dog being human-sized, or if the person is actually trying to criticize his behavior.  Luke and I always walk Patronus at our side on his leash and we use the “heel” command regularly, so I’m assuming it’s the former?  I don’t really know how to respond.

You should be taking him running with you.

I would love for him to be my running buddy, but he still isn’t fully grown, and even then, he’ll have to “train” for running just like a person would.  For large and giant breed dogs, running too much too soon can be damaging to their bones.  So for now, he’s limited to walks, hikes, and backyard games of fetch.

That thing could eat me!

When people say this, I instantly think of that segment of Creepshow called “The Crate” where this guy finds a monster in a crate and it starts eating people so he feeds his nagging wife to it.

Look at that horse / polar bear / St. Bernard!

I’ll give you polar bear.  Yeti and wampa would also be acceptable.

I don’t want a big dog because they cost too much money.



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