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Newfoundland versus Great Pyrenees

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

  
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Jesse

996514
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 16, '09 3:42pm PST 
Just for fun... sorta. For my next dog, who I won't be able to get for at least a year. I plan on adopting an adult through a breed rescue or shelter. Newfs are very uncommon in rescue; Pyrs are common enough that I could find one easily in a shelter within driving distance. Which sways me towards the Pyr.

I love both breeds, and while I've met them both, I've never spent enough time around them to truly know their personalities well. (I have of course read about them a great deal.) The things that are most important to me are (1) affection; (2) not very active (I'm a very indoorsy sort of person); (3) a dog that's "in the middle" on dependence (not so independent as a scent hound or Akita, but not so dependent as an English Setter); and (4) a dog that's "in the middle" as far as playfulness goes (not constantly dropping tennis balls in your lap, but having an interest in the tennis ball at times). The dependence issue sways me towards the Newf, but the activity level sways me towards the Pyr.

And I've read that Pyrs are terrible off-leash, which sways me towards the Newf. I don't walk around roads with my dogs off-leash, of course, but I do take them to lakes for swimming and I do *not* enjoy running after a bolter.

Any thoughts?
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Tyler

Whippy- The- Whipador
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 16, '09 3:52pm PST 
Hi Jesse wave

Haven't got much to add in regards to the difference in personalities but i worked at a boarding kennels once where the owner had 3 Newfies. Those dogs were gems! Grooming was a challenge and it took about 2 hours for the coat to dry natural. The owner showed her three and they had done pretty well, the oldest was 12 years old which was a good age. I was really sad when i left that job and had to leave these 3 beauties. There personalities were excellent, just such calm dogs. Even the 6 month old pup was calm.

We also had a Pyr come into kennels and i can't comment on the breed in general as i haven't spent alot of time with them. Ben the Pyr was HUGE though, bigger then the Newfs. He was more active too. Brilliant temperament again though, just a huge love bug. I used to come home covered in hair though, these dogs moult big time!

But all the Newfs i've come across have just been super. So gentle and laid back. If i had the room, time and money they would be high up on my list of wanted breedsway to go

Edited by author Thu Jul 16, '09 3:53pm PST

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Bunny

Black dogs rock!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 16, '09 3:54pm PST 
Chcck out the dog breed info on dogster here for both dogs. Not that I know much about either dog, but I think most Great Pyrenees are happier doing the job they were bred for. It says on site that Newfoundland dogs are similar to Labradors in temperment ( not surprising since they both came from basically the same placelaugh out loud ) so Newfies may be more content being just a pet. Just my opinion, I am sure others are more informed.smile
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Jesse

996514
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 16, '09 4:24pm PST 
Bunny, that may be true, but a lot of Pyrs come into rescue because they were bad at their jobs. I've seen a lot of Pyrs re-homed because they were incompatible with farm life - like, they ate the chickens or rabbits - or showed no interest in the sheep.

And of course, guarding breeds can guard ANYTHING, including herds of dachshunds.

If I did get a Newf, though, I'd definitely train him for water rescue because that's such a handy skill to have in a dog.

Tyler, thanks for your perspective. big grin I take it the Newf sheds less than the Pyr but requires more grooming?

I am used to dogs shedding but Jesse's hair annoys me the most. Mishka's and Zerbie's hair is longer and forms balls that are easily vacuumed up. Jesse's short hair doesn't attract to other hair, and sticks to the upholstery - and it simply refuses to be vacuumed. I just bought a leather couch and I'm getting rid of my upholstered ones due to this issue.
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Tigress

1009272
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 16, '09 4:46pm PST 
I've never met a newfie in real life ( Texas is not really their ideal climate, same reason I'd never SEEK OUT a pug or a Boston, sweet but not good camping, hiking buddies ). Pyrs are common, if it's laid back you want I'd go newfie. I love pyrs but they are guardians and tend to be suspicious of new things and people. They also seem a lot happier if they have room and lots of exercise. Most ( particularly from good working lines) are going to be a lot more independent.
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Tyler

Whippy- The- Whipador
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 16, '09 5:07pm PST 
The coat on both breeds is so thick Jesse that both breeds need alot of grooming but yes i would say the Newf needs more. As for moulting, both were big on that but obviously with a Pyr it shows more.


And Tyler's hair is exactly how you describe Jesse's.short and fine and buries itself into any upholstery. I too have a Leather sofa for the same reason and wooden floors laugh out loud
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Lisa

Always my angel.
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 16, '09 5:24pm PST 
I don't know about Newfies, but I can tell you from experience that Pyrs shed A LOT. We're talking piles and piles of fur here. Invest in a de-shedding brush and use it religiously. It honestly sounds to me from your posts that what you're looking for is more along the lines of a Newfoundland. They're much more laid back and easy-going, more inclined to just hang out than a Pyr. A Newfie is also much more likely to enjoy swimming, and if it's water rescue you're after, then they're a natural.

Whether or not they have the aptitude for farm work, a Pyr is a guardian breed through and through, bred for generations to assess situations and react independently. This is different from a herding breed who works closely with a human shepherd - Pyrs were often left alone with their charges and were expected to maintain their safety without the aid of a person. They're not "indoorsy" dogs; they prefer a lot of outdoor space in which to roam. And regardless of aptitude they tend to be much more job-oriented than you'd likely expect. Our GP Molly would never have made it as a working livestock guardian, but she still needed a job to do. She used to go out on "patrols" - she'd walk the entire perimeter of the property, things like that. They're not intense like a herding breed, but they're not settled like a typical companion dog, either. And yeah, never take them off-leash and make sure your fencing is secure - they tend to wander. And if they do take off after something, it's generally difficult to get them back - again, it's that independent work history thing.

Not that you couldn't be a great home for a Great Pyrenees, and obviously I'd be so happy to see a rescue in need find a home! It just sounds to me like a Newf would be a better fit for you, in my opinion.
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Jesse

996514
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 16, '09 7:34pm PST 
Lisa, thanks for the detailed response. I agree that the Newfie is probably a better fit, but again, rare in rescue. On Petfinder I think there are about 8 honest-to-God Newfoundlands - many more that are labeled as Newf mixes but are probably furry lab mixes - not that I'm opposed to mixes or labs, but I do want a very big very furry guy. So I might end up getting a guy like this: Ashok

I've always wanted a huge, furry, somewhat-independent-but-not-too-independent male dog, since I was 15 or so! Newfs and Great Pyrs were always my dream breeds.

And there seem to be Great Pyrs in shelters all over, sadly.

I guess when it comes to be that time I'll try the Newf rescues and if that doesn't work out, look for a Pyr or mix close by that happens to be one of the more laid-back members of his breed (or a senior or special needs). I don't think "border patrols" are going to present a major conflict with my lifestyle (and I do have a big backyard); but the off-leash thing is pretty inconvenient, mostly because I already have a little herder that's as bad as a sighthound.

The main things I don't want in a dog, ever, are fervent obsessions with catching balls, oppressive clinginess/separation anxiety, and hyperactivity. Doesn't sound like either of these breeds have issues with these things, though.

Whenever I have acreage (and when I have acreage I'm building a lake for my dogs), I will definitely have a rescued Pyr or two. Definitely. I love those dogs. smile

Edited by author Thu Jul 16, '09 7:43pm PST

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Jesse

996514
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 16, '09 7:58pm PST 
And by "lake" i mean decent-sized pond. I can't wait until I don't have to take my dogs somewhere (and get my car nasty, and drive 30 miles) to swim. That'll resolve so many problems. Le sigh.
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Bunny

Black dogs rock!
 
 
Barked: Fri Jul 17, '09 2:56am PST 
Whatever you do , dont get a Border Collielaugh out loud
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