By Theresa Granito

There are a lot of really good reasons to adopt an adult/senior dog of any breed. A quick search on the web for “advantages of adopting a senior dog” will result in an impressive list of sites. Almost all will list and expound on the positives. Here’s my top 5:

1 Almost no need to potty train;

2 They’ve been exposed to families and are already socialized to some degree;

3 They’re easier to train (they focus better and longer);

4 They’re no longer destructive around the house. You can leave your shoes by the couch and, usually, little Mary’s favorite plush toy is safe on the bed;

5 What you see is what you get; most often, there will be minimal change in color or size.

While all this sounds great, is it true of a Great Pyrenees? Great Pyrs are, after all, large dogs; large guardian dogs, at that. Usually, a big dog that’s five years old or older doesn’t have too many more years left, right?

It has been my experience that a five to seven year old Pyr isn’t really a senior but rather an adult. We’ve been owned by several Pyrs and know that barring any major health issues, a Pyr living into their teens is not uncommon. Our original crew didn’t slow down until they were about eight years old. At that age they were willing to let the young ones do more of the “work” while they supervised from their favorite surveillance spot in the yard. But they were still out there night after night patrolling the fence teaching the newbies the ropes. They got in and out of the car, up on the couch or bed, loved their walks and chased critters out of the yard.