Acquired: Pet store
Training: No training
Reynoldsburg, Ohio, United States
Posted March 8, 2019
Our 6-year-old Great Pyrenees/Newfie mix is fantastic with kids and he has great guard instincts.
The pet store explained that they tend to be "protective, but not aggressive" and that was a perfect description of his demeanor. If someone comes to the door and we let them in, he greets them happily and excitedly sniffs and asks them to pet him. However, if someone walks in on their own, even if they've been here a handful of times, he becomes somewhat aggressive and tries to box them back out of the house and won't let them near us or the kids. One time during a cookout, some friends let themselves through the house and came to the back yard, and he became so agitated that we had to walk them back out the front door, and immediately let them back in, and then he was just fine. After several visits, extended family members can walk in with no issues. All in all, we think this is a great trait, and going out of our way to let each new guest in during parties is a minor inconvenience for the peace of mind he offers. Also, when I was working late hours and would come in late, he would run up the stairs and guard my wife in the bedroom instead of rushing the front door. At night, he sleeps at the front door to guard the entrance.
He was one year old when we had our first child (and 3 when we had our second), and we have never had any concerns about our children or any other children. If the babies were rough with him or pulled his hair, he would tolerate it and eventually he'd get up slowly, letting the baby roll/fall off of him, and walk to another area of the house to be left alone. If we thought the kids were too rough with him, we would immediately reward him with a treat for his patience, and he soon started to actually follow the kids around, hoping they'd do something so he'd be rewarded with a treat. He is a little uncomfortable with strangers getting close to the kids, and he tries to position himself beside them or between them until he's comfortable with the new person. When they play in the yard, he likes to follow them and play some, but he also likes to retreat to the highest points of the yard so he can watch the kids and look out for anyone else walking past our fence.
He was easy to housetrain and we taught him to sit, lay down, and roll over, but he was not interested in learning more tricks. We didn't push him too hard after that, so your experience may vary. He can be a little stubborn if we ask him to stay off the furniture or to give new visitors some space, and he loves to get into certain foods if we leave them within his reach and we're not looking.
He NEVER barks inside the house unless someone is at the door, or at night when he sees a person/animal walking by our quiet street. If he barks at night, I always get up to check because it means something is there. He does tend to bark a lot more when he's outside during the daytime. He likes to bark at squirrels and any person he can see. This can be a little annoying, but he is a dog and I suppose that's to be expected.
Overall, we love his temperament and will likely buy another version of the breed when he passes away.