This is Why Genetics Matter

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This is Why Genetics Matter

My friend purchased a small dog from an apparently good breeder for $500 several years ago. Several months later, that puppy developed eye issues that were likely genetically related and after $1000 of vet bills was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes. This is why genetics matter. Surgery was available to correct this for $1000-2000 per eye. Their family loves this dog and he will stay with them. He is now a $1500 dog. He will not become a $3500-5500 dog with new lenses. He has adjusted to life with poor vision and so has the family.

The second part of the story is sad. The breeder stopped talking to this family when she heard about these puppy problems. She continues to breed the same sire and dam despite these issues. She doesn’t do testing of any kind. This is a breeder that puts up the facade of being reputable but really is just pumping out puppies any way possible. No breed specific testing, no monitoring of problems, and no involvement with families that purchase puppies if problems arise. This practice seemingly maximizes profit but doesn’t consider the little girl that puppy belongs to. I don’t think a breeder needs to be your new best friend. But, they should at least be there for you to answer questions.

A good breeder can virtually eliminate stories like this. What are your experiences with dog breeders? What kind of breeder do you want to buy a puppy from? Do you have expectations for the breeder if problems crop up?

I can guarantee you that most breeders aren’t getting rich. Most do this job because they love the breed. However, there are very few Great Pyrenees breeders that really want to improve the breed by weeding out common genetic flaws with inexpensive and simple genetic tests.  Many customers see a $200-500 puppy from unknown origins and take their chances over a more expensive puppy from a good breeding program. Poor breeding will end up being more expensive in the end. Excellence in breeding is expensive because it takes thoughtful work with significant financial investment. Breeding puppies is cheap when you have no standards. This is why genetics matter.

Up North Pyrenees has improved our genetic lines and proved the quality our genetic lines through years of hard work. Currently, we are adding in 2 additional genetic tests. All of our tests are breed specific and we use the information to assist in breeding decisions that will benefit our customers. We also go the extra mile and have always been more generous with the health guarantee that we promise.

I love to think of the little kids that get our puppies. What kind of stories will they have? My hope is for a lifetime of health and vitality so that they can serve their families well. We love Jesus Christ and He wants us to walk that extra mile with you… even when it comes to puppies. That’s something each one of us can do. What are you doing in your life to demonstrate excellence and walk the extra mile with the people you serve?

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Tick Borne Diseases – It’s Time to Get Serious!

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Tick borne diseases can be a major problems for us and our dogs in certain areas of the country.

Several years ago, one of our Great Pyrenees mamas got sick. Dolly started slowing down. In a matter of days, she was nearly unable to move. I knew there was something wrong when I said “come” and she didn’t even look. Now, I understand that Great Pyrenees are known for being stubborn but they are not known for being stupid. They are among the smartest breeds which makes them a perfect guardian.

I called my veterinarian and said I needed something done fast. I carried Dolly into my car and then into the clinic.  A blood test was completed on something that looked like a home pregnancy test stick. Three tick-borne diseases were identified within 15 minutes. The veterinarian said that this is more common than people know and would put her at risk for arthritis down the road. Dolly was started on a 21-day course of Doxycycline. Within three days she was back to normal.

Around that time I repeated this drill with two of my sons to the emergency room. My younger son Josiah became unable to bear weight on his left leg due to swelling in the knee. He was diagnosed with Lyme’s disease and was back to normal in three days after starting a 21-day course of Doxycycline.

I did my research and talked to a few professionals. I settled on purchasing a liquid product called Talstar P that is mixed in a tank sprayer and applied to the yard. You wear a respirator mask and remove all critters or people that you don’t want inhaling the poison. Talstar P worked so wonderfully that every insect died on our property…even the bees. OK, maybe that was an exaggeration as it wasn’t like the “silent spring” but my wife wasn’t happy. Ever seen a #110 angry Swede? Her tree frog pet that joined her on the kitchen window each night suddenly went on a diet and eventually disappeared. I was informed that spraying every area of the lawn was no longer an option. Every now and again I let her believe she gets to call the shots. I did have a brief moment of redemption when my sister in law came to visit in July. She is allergic to mosquitoes. She had only one mosquito bite while she was here. That is miraculous. But, it swelled to the size of a golf ball and required a medication that kept her quite drowsy and in bed.

Up North Pyrenees dogs receive a yearly vaccination for Lyme’s disease and are on oral Bravecto or topical Frontline Plus. This protects them from the ocean of ticks around us. What about my family? What about the mosquitoes and flies that pester all of us and transmit diseases?

Last year was especially dry and insect free. It was the closest thing to heaven that I can imagine. This year is the exact opposite. My t-shirt looked furry from mosquitoes several days ago while working on fencing. However, I have abandoned the scorched earth policy and I am waiting until the fruit trees are done blooming. I will wage war on the insects afterward. I will avoid Amber’s flowers in front of the kitchen window. I am living in the reality of bugs problems and the benefit they provided. But, their time is coming to an end as everyone in our area is noting an uptick in the tick and mosquito population. I understand there may be side-effects for this chemical yet to be seen.

Many of you may be gasping and hoping this story will have a non-chemical twist. Some of you may fear the future consequences of such a dangerous chemical. I am already considering that two of my sons may be at a higher risk of arthritis as well as unknown long-term issues from the ticks. I want my relatives to come visit us in the woods. I want my lawn back or else I’m moving to Arizona. Long live Talstar P!

Click here to see available Great Pyrenees puppies and please share us with a friend.

Addendum: We now have five guinea hens as of July 20th and they are loving our yard.

Getting Your House in Order

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Getting Your House in Order

There is nothing more exciting than a new life. Babies are one of the best of all God’s gifts to us. Puppies are awfully exciting too. But, getting your house in order is important.

With every gift comes the responsibility to care for it well. A blessing can seem to turn into a curse when not properly tended. A child that is never disciplined will end up disrespectful towards authority which will end him up in prison or worse.  Most of the time you reap what you sow.

An untrained puppy that grows to #100 will be bound for the humane society. He will become someone else’s problem as they work for years to correct mistakes that could have easily been addressed earlier.

Make sure a puppy will be a good fit for your family. Can you afford it? Most disputes in marriage are over money problems. Is your spouse or family on board? I don’t recommend getting a puppy if your family isn’t in full agreement. Maybe spend the money on a Weekend to Remember or a family trip to the Grand Canyon. We live in a consumer economy where just about anything can be purchased on the internet and delivered to your home. Even Up North Pyrenees will deliver your puppy to you!!! Avoid purchases that are a spur of the moment decision and make sure you look at the big financial picture and commitment in the years to follow.

Read a good puppy training book if you still plan on getting a puppy. We recommend The Art of Training a Puppy. Train the trainer. You will be telling your friends about your amazing dog if you become an amazing trainer.

Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God all these things will be added unto you.”  Jesus knows we have desires and needs.  You usually get the things you want when you put His desires first.  Prioritization has of way of putting first things first. When your house is in order life is better.  Enjoy your summer and put relationships first. Contact us when you are ready to bring a puppy into that kind of family.