We Raise Quality Pups, Starting Before Birth
Randall Glen is a working farm and our Great Pyrenees are working dogs. Our dogs are not kenneled. They live the guardian life they are bred for, patrolling our farmland freely and protecting their livestock from predators. When one of our mama dogs is expecting puppies she keeps on with this work—it’s the purpose of her life and it brings her joy. We carefully monitor her health and diet, adding maternity vitamins and extra supplements to her regular diet.
The Pyrenees is an outdoors dog. Even when she’s expecting pups we do not lock mama up. When her delivery time is very near, we install her in the “delivery suite” in our barn, a snug stall deep with hay for nesting, with good cool fresh air in summer and heated in the winter, monitored by audio and video camera. We give her privacy for birthing her pups but keep a close watch in case she needs assistance. We have a vet tech on staff to help her and the pups if needed.
After the pups are born we check each one for health and make sure they’re nursing well. Great Pyrenees are good mothers and are very caring with their puppies. Mama spends the first few days close by her pups. When she feels confident that they’re stable, she starts going back to work for a little while at a time. The maternity stall is set up so that the puppies are safely contained but mama can come and go during the day. For everyone’s security, mama spends nights with the pups. We monitor the family in person and by camera throughout the day and night.
We handle the pups and talk to them from the time they’re born so that they’re well socialized. Our Great Pyrenees grow up very social and interact wonderfully with families and children, while still performing their primary work as guardians. We like to say that they’re super laid back until the predators come, then they go from zero to scary in nanoseconds! Once the threat is taken care of, it’s right back to “relaxed gentle giant”.
Our Great Pyrenees are real dogs. The maternity stall is a real stall in a real barn. From the time they’re born, long before their eyes open, our pups hear chickens roosting in their stall, goats in the barn, horses and cows, sheep and pigs nearby. When they start moving around, their first playmates are the chickens nestled with them in the hay. When they begin to play, we introduce them to the puppy paddock. In this big grassy paddock they can run freely and interact with goats, ducks, chickens, and guineas.
Through the fence they get to know bigger animals like horses and cows. They even hang out with the barn cats! Visitors often remark on the Pyrenees’ friendly relationship with every animal. This is their inborn guardian nature, and we foster it from birth.
Many breeders adopt out their puppies at eight weeks, and at this age they’re certainly grown enough to go to a new home. But we prefer to raise our pups to at least twelve weeks so they can start to “learn the ropes” from our grown dogs. Through thousands of generations, guardianship is hardwired in a Great Pyrenees. They need no training to take care of their livestock. But any job is better when you’ve had some apprenticeship. Our pups spend several weeks in the company of our working adults so they have a good grounding as guardians. They go to their new homes more confident and more mature than most young pups.
We also make use of this extra time to begin teaching our pups basic manners, to respect the people they interact with, to know “Come” and “No” and, of course, “Good dog”. The Great Pyrenees is an exceptionally intelligent breed and quickly learns the basics. You can continue this training when you bring your pup home.