Are Great Pyrenees Good Volunteer Therapy Dogs? Find Out!

As a breed, Great Pyrenees are gentle giants and have a calm demeanor. They’re a breed that is known for being kind, patient, and good with children, making them a potentially good choice for volunteer therapy dogs.

Are Great Pyrenees Good for Volunteer Therapy Dogs?
However, there is no definitive answer to this question as each dog is an individual and will have its own personality and temperament.

If you haven’t gotten a dog yet, it’s important to do your research and find a reputable breeder who can provide you with information on the temperament of the dog’s parents and other relatives.

If you already own a Great Pyrenees, you will need to assess some qualities of your dog to see if they’d make a good fit in a therapy setting.

Below are three pros and three cons of using Great Pyrenees as volunteer therapy dogs.

Pros of Great Pyrenees as Volunteer Therapy Dogs

In this section, we’ll cover some of the reasons Great Pyreens would make great therapy dogs.

Size

Great Pyrenees are large dogs, which can make them intimidating to some people. However, generally speaking, big dogs can make great therapy dogs because they are often calmer than smaller breeds.

They are a great choice for settings with big groups of older children. Not only will more kids be able to interact at the same time with the dog, but a big dog will be more forgiving if a child gets too rough.

Great Pyrenees can grow to be up to 32 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh up to 120 pounds. They have a very impressive appearance with their long, flowing fur and large size.

Great Pyrenees love children and people of all ages.

Their size can also be an advantage when working with patients who need a lot of physical support. The type of therapy your Great Pyrenees will do is very important to keep in mind when making your decision.

Temperament

Temperament is important for therapy dogs because it determines how well they will be able to interact with people. Dogs with good temperaments are patient and gentle, while those with bad temperaments can be aggressive or fearful.

A therapy dog’s temperament is one of the most important factors in determining whether or not they will be successful in their role.

Great Pyrenees are known for being calm and patient, which often makes them great candidates for therapy work.

Often, they are used as working dogs in rural areas, and are known for their ability to protect livestock from predators. The animals that they protect commonly are smaller than they are, such as chickens and goats.

Because of their working heritage, Great Pyrenees are bred to be calm and reliable in many stressful situations.

Loyalty

One of the most important qualities of a good therapy dog is loyalty. Therapy dogs provide important emotional support to people who are going through a tough time.

Are Great Pyrenees Energetic?

They offer comfort and friendship, which can be very helpful in the healing process. For this reason, it is essential that therapy dogs are loyal and reliable. If a therapy dog is not trustworthy, they may have behavioral issues in the worst possible moment.

Great Pyrenees are very loyal to their owners and families, developing deep bonds and trust that will be beneficial during therapy visits. They will seek to please their owners, even more so than a typical dog will.

That desire to please will keep them in line in excitable situations, such as with large groups of kids.

Cons of Great Pyrenees as Volunteer Therapy Dogs

In this section, we’ll go over some issues that Pyrenees owners noticed with their dogs that would hinder their therapy dog effectiveness.

Training

Great Pyrenees dogs are known to be very intelligent, but that also means they can be stubborn and hard to train at times.

They are bred as working dogs, which means they are independent, strong-willed, and have a mind of their own. As a breed, they will patrol several miles a day and make many “fight or flee” decisions to keep the livestock they’re guarding safe.

For training, Great Pyrenees should be kept busy to make them more trainable. This can come in the form of daily walks, games, or other forms of exercise.

Daily exercise is important for a healthy Great Pyrenees’ mental and physical well-being.

Great Pyrenees are not known to be aggressive dogs, but it’s important to make sure that they are too protective of you in group situations.

Some trips to the park and interaction with other dogs and humans should provide ample opportunity to correct any shortfalls.

With patience and perseverance, most Great Pyrenees can be taught the necessary obedience commands to be a good volunteer therapy dog.

Size

Although their size is often a benefit, a Great Pyrenees that isn’t properly trained can be a big problem. Most big dogs make excellent therapy dogs, while others may be too energetic or boisterous for the role.

It is important to carefully consider whether a particular dog would be a good fit for therapy work before bringing them into a care setting.

Great Pyrenees are a large breed of dog and may not be the best fit if the therapy visits will be with large groups of small children (6-years-old and younger).

It may be too much for you to handle to keep an energetic 100-pound dog under control in a high-energy situation.

Knowing the type of therapy you have in mind for your Great Pyrenees is crucial, especially if you doubt your ability to train them to stay calm in stressful settings.

Shedding

The Great Pyrenees is a large, fluffy dog that sheds a lot of hair! This is because they have a double coat of fur. The undercoat is soft and dense, while the outer coat is long and coarse.

Some dogs that shed a lot may make great therapy dogs, while others with shorter coats may be better suited for this type of work. Ultimately, it’s up to you or the therapist to decide if a dog is a good fit for therapy work.

It’s important to remember that some settings, such as hospitals or nursing homes, will have patients with sensitive allergies.

If you plan on taking your Great Pyrenees into these settings, you may have to take several precautions beforehand to limit any risk to those with dog allergies.

While Great Pyrenees have the demeanor necessary to be successful therapy dogs, there are a few cons, such as being more difficult to train or shedding too much, that make them the wrong fit in your situation.

It’s important to take all factors into account before deciding if your Great Pyrenees would make a good volunteer therapy dog!

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