We are the proud parents of five rescue kitties, four chickens, three Nigerian dwarf goats, and now two puppies! Paco and Pearl are the newest additions to our little hobby farm. They are so fluffy and cute and naturally I want to share all of the details about them with you.
1. What breed are Paco and Pearl?
Great Pyrenees. We chose Great Pyrenees because they are bred to be livestock guardian dogs.
2. What is a livestock guardian dog?
A guardian dog is just that… a “guardian”. This differs from a “guard” dog as a guardian protects and guards but the main difference is in how it is done. A Great Pyrenees bonds to its animals and protects out of love for what it is protecting. While it protects, it will also care and nurture its charges. (exerpt from the Blissberry Dairy Goats website, because they explain it perfectly) Great Pyrenees protect against all kinds of predators ranging from hawks in the sky to wild dogs and bears on the ground. After we had the dog climb our six foot fence and attack the Goatie girls we knew we needed more than infrastructure protection and that's when we made the decision to get guardian dogs.
2. Are Paco and Pearl brother and sister?
They are half siblings. Paco and Pearl have the same Daddy but different Mommas. Pearl is a week older than Paco but they were raised around each other so they have the familiarity of litter mates.
3. Where did you get them?
Blissberry Dairy Goats in Alexandria, Minnesota. Paco and Pearl have the job of guarding our little farm and we wanted to make sure that our Pyr's came from a working environment. They were born and raised around goats and chickens so when they came home with us our goatie girls were nothing new. In fact, Blissberry raises Nubian Goats which are a standard sized goat so our little dwarf goaties were small potatoes compared to what Paco and Pearl were used to!
4. How did you get them home to Georgia?
John and I went up to Minnesota and flew them home on the plane with us. We wanted to avoid having to put them in cargo so the only seat area with enough room for them was in the first class cabin, needless to say they were the most popular passengers. Thank goodness we got them the week we did because they were both right at the weight limit and almost too big.
5. How big will they get?
Breed standard for a Great Pyrenees male will be about 110-120 lbs. and females will be between 80-90 lbs. Even though Paco is a week younger he has already surpassed Pearl in size and weight.
6. Will they be ok in the hot Georgia Weather?
Yes, they will be just fine staying outside in the Georgia climate. They have an air conditioned barn where they can go if it gets too warm for them and they also love playing in the water to keep cool.
7. Will you shave them?
No, we will not shave them. They have a double layered coat that helps their body stay cool in the heat and keep warm in the cold.
8. Do the Goatie Girls like them?
Yes. I would say tolerating them is the best way to describe the relationship. Paco and Pearl are still playful puppies and their exuberance can sometimes be a bit much for the goaties. When the puppies get a little too excited the goaties have no problem giving them a head butt to remind the pups who is in charge.
9. How are they with the chickens?
Well… it's a love/hate relationship with the chickens. The chickens try to steal the puppy food and Paco is constantly trying to keep them away. Pearl wants to “play” with the chickens which we are trying to nip in the bud. Pearl LOVES eating their eggs before we can collect them. So pretty much, we are working out the kinks there.