Mix Breed Dog Epidemic

Mix Breed Dog Epidemic

There is mix breed dog epidemic in our country. I am not talking about the best of one breed being bred to the best of another breed for a purposeful reason. There are many poorly bred puppies being sold throughout this country that will end up being more expensive that anticipated. Health problems and unanticipated behaviors due to being an unknown mix breed will lead to owner frustrations.

Puppies sell themselves in our current environment amid lockdowns as loneliness creeps in from social distancing. Good breeding takes time, planning and resources. People are lonely and want relationships. Pets are one of the American ways we get a relationship fix. My recommendation is to go to church, talk to a friend, invite family over for a hot dish or hamburgers before buying a poorly bred puppy.

The sale of mix breed dogs is soaring amid the pandemic lockdowns. These puppies are typically accidental or intentional breeding of dogs of unknown origin and questionable genetics. They are also bred by people wanting to make a few extra dollars and don’t have the investment or responsibility of established breeders.

Nature has a way of weeding out poor genetics. These poor genetics will contribute to lifelong health issues. That is when the real bill hits when you go to the veterinarian. I will not delve into the many genetic issues with the breeds, but I assure you there are many. Mix breed puppies from a large number of these breeders are actually mix breeds being bred to mix breeds. Ask the breeder for a genetic test of your mix breed puppy or their parents. Ask to see their parents or pictures of them. Keep looking if they don’t do this as they typically have something to hide or they just don’t care. This reduces the chances that the behaviors these puppies display will resemble the behaviors consistent within breeds.

Up North Pyrenees makes a commitment to our families to breed only high quality known genetics, provide excellent pre and post-natal nutrition, begin behavior training activities, delivery of our puppies, and give a lifetime of support to make them work with your family. We also assist you to re-home instead of bringing your puppy or dog to a shelter. This all part of our 2-year guarantee. We encourage you to buy your next puppy through a reputable breeder and recommend that your friends and family do the same. Up North Pyrenees… Farm Raised, Family Loved and Delivered to You!


Washing and Combing Your Great Pyrenees

Washing Great Pyrenees

Washing and Combing Your Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees at groomer

High-quality tools and a few tips will give you the opportunity to have fun washing and combing your Great Pyrenees. Using poor tools is just about the most frustrating thing you can attempt, if you are mowing your lawn or fixing your car. So, why would you use a cheap $6.99 brush that breaks almost immediately?

Great Pyrenees getting bathMost of my dogs love a good bath, and I’d like to teach you the secret in just one sentence. Here it is. Regularly bathe them during the first year of their life. Yep. That’s it. Bring them to the groomer, do it yourself or both at least four times during their first year. Our local Tractor Supply Company has a pet wash station that I’m going to check out soon. This is an opportunity to train as the Great Pyrenees isn’t a natural water lover. Bring them to the lake, river, or a friend’s pool and gently introduce them so they don’t fear the water. Don’t worry about them jumping in 50 times like a Labrador Retriever. They’ll jump in, do some swimming, get out and return to duty guarding their flock of people.

Below are some products and tools that I’ve used and endorse. I will post a video of this process in the future, which I’m sure you’d love to see.

Warm water – Start with a warm water application for your dog or puppy. Baby pools are a grand thing to stand in if you don’t mind getting a little wet too. This allows you to bucket over some warm water all over their coat from head to tail. You need to rub the water in and the air out of their deep coat.

ShampooRevitalizing Shampoohttps://lifesabundance.com/Category/Products/Dogs/PetCare/RevitalizingShampoo.aspx?realname=20768995&cat=0&hdr=&Ath=False&crt=0&Category=DogShampoo_v11(Pet_Base)&Sku=101022 Rub in a high-quality shampoo all over their body, excluding immediately around the eyes unless that’s something you like to get into yours. Getting a shampoo with a whitening agent will make your Pyr glow. Slowly and gently rinse it out. You may need to do this a couple times if they are really dirty.


Detanglerhttps://chrischristensen.com/chris-christensen-ice-on-ice-detangling-conditioner/ Great Pyrenees detanglerThis comes as a conditioner that gets applied and washed out and leaves a slippery lubricant. You can also spray the detangler solution all over their body. Make sure to saturate the areas that are matted heavily especially behind their ears.


Hair dryerhttps://chrischristensen.com/chris-christensen-2xtreme-dryers/ Great Pyrenees blow dryerYou know you’ve really arrived when you have your own hair dryer for a Pyr. This a luxury product that will change your life. It will not only blow out the moisture through both layers, but will send stubborn hair flying away hundreds of feet around you.  Hair cleanup will be required!


Slicker BrushingGreat Pyrenees brush https://chrischristensen.com/chris-christensen-big-g-and-big-k-long-pin-slicker-brushes/ A good slicker brush is like gold. Ask any groomer and they will tell you the same as great brushes reduced your work, last a long time and pull out that stubborn hair quickly. Apply more de-tangler to mats and stubborn areas. Gently cut out mats with a scissors. Some hair mats defy all your efforts during brushing so do this as sparingly as possible.


Hair Rake – Great Pyrenees rake and combThis is my favorite low-cost hair Rake that seems to last and last. Use the rake to break up all the remaining knotted hair that is usually worst behind the ears. This is partially due to oils transferred from our hands onto this area when we pet them.

When you’re done with this process, you can enjoy showing off the magnificence of your snow bear. Take a walk in a public place, take pictures, and snuggle close before they get dirty again. Honesty, once they are combed out and looking good it seems like the dirt just rolls off their coat or is easily brushed out after a few minutes.

Waterless Shampoo as a touch upGreat Pyrenees cologneThis Wahl waterless shampoo comes in several different scents and they all smell better than wet dog. A quick application around the body dries quickly and also acts as a nice dog cologne.

Follow this link to the Great Pyrenees Club of America on how to groom a Great Pyrenees in exhaustive detail.



Bath Fresh Mist

Life’s Abundance Bath Fresh Mist – contains an intoxicating mix of certified organic herbal extracts, aromatic botanicals and natural fruit extracts to help foster strong, healthy and vibrant coats. Plus, this formula is enhanced with a moisture-activated odor fighter that safely absorbs and neutralizes unpleasant odors. There’s no better way to nourish the coat’s natural condition, leaving it soft, luxurious and delicately fragrant.

The perfect finish to a bath or a great between-bath freshener, you’ll love the way your pet kid smells after a spritz of Bath Fresh Mist! Gentle enough for puppies and kittens over 12 weeks of age.

mvimg 20201026 180347Recently, I went to Tractor supply and used the self-serve pet wash station. It was a good experience overall but the grooming table was too small for a Pyr, the shampoo was mediocre at best, and the tools were inadequate. However, it cost me $5.33. My daughter and I had a nice date time and we didn’t have to clean up after ourselves. It was a bargain! Next time I’ll just bring my own shampoo and tools.

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Clean Great PyreneesI’d appreciate your comments. Do you like these products? Do you have recommendations to post on this block post? Please leave a few words or wisdom or warning to help those new to this exciting sport of washing and combing your Great Pyrenees. Up North Pyrenees thanks you and so will our puppies.









Purebred or Mix-breed Dog?

Poodle, Red Standard PoodleMix breed dog, Pyredoodle, Great Pyrenees, PoodleGreat Pyrenees, Purebred,

“Is a purebred or mix-breed dog better?” What I say may offend some of you. But this may be due to a tendency to humanize our dogs. Please read this article thinking of a dog as your companion, friend and protector. That was and continues to be the primary role of the Great Pyrenees.

Some people believe the breeding of one purebred to another purebred is wrong. Some people think you can breed any two dogs together. What do you think? Is it better to buy a purebred or mix-breed dog?

Purebreds are dogs with minimal variability. They were purposely bred that way at one point because their owners wanted certain physical and behavior characteristics that were already present to be more consistent with their off-spring. Is the dog black, white, brown, spotted, long hair, short hair, no hair, etc. Does the dog point, bark, retrieve, attack, dig, dive, run or sit on your lap?

Often a father dog (sire) was bred to one of his daughters (dam) to concentrate the genetics of that sire specifically. This happens in nature all the time, and especially in deer. This would be repeated to grand-daughters, great grand-daughters, and so forth. Each breeding would further concentrate good and bad genetics within the off-spring. High percentages of these dogs would die because of the matching up of fatal mutations. Others would be sickly and malformed because of non-fatal mutated genes matching in such a way that we would call in-breeding. A few of these would become something to be proud of and would more and more consistently exhibit the excellent attributes that were desired. This is due to normally functioning genes being present in the genes. We would call that line-breeding.

Did you catch the difference between line-breeding and in-breeding? This is how all purebreds were produced. It was when it worked versus when it didn’t work. This was originally done in the age when we didn’t have AKC, OFA, Penn Hip, or genetic tests. Purebreds must be closely monitored for quality because the gene pool available for that breed are quite limited. Also, there can be a new mutation at any time, and breeders need to be aware of this and ready to cull the genes from their breeding dogs.

Mix-breeding is taking different breeds and breeding them together. The hope is that you are achieving the goal of healthier puppies partially through a process known as hybrid vigor. I was first introduced to this process in cows by a local farmer breeding French Tarentaise to Angus. This resulted in an average increase in size of 200# which really paid off when that calf went to market. I later applied this principal to goats. I liked how the meat genetics of the male Boer crossed with any female dairy goats produced increased profits. The reason for this is the increase in the diversity of genes that can frequently make off-spring more resilient to disease. The more diverse the genes are between the breeds, the more hybrid vigor you will often have. The issue is that you can’t breed a poor quality animal to another poor quality animal and expect something significantly better to be produced. We must breed quality to quality.

One additional note about mix-breeds. Virtually all dogs that are mix-breed accidents are dogs to steer clear from. I once knew a family that didn’t neuter their lab because it had a heart condition and the veterinarian didn’t think he could make it through it. Many dog owners have a reason not to neuter/spay their dogs. Nearly every dog should be spayed/neutered unless they are purposed to be in a breeding program. Don’t let someone sell you a “cheap” dog. The health problems and uncertain parentage are not worth the risk. Yes, I know I’m a snobby breeder. But, I’ve see some very sad stories of people trying to get rid of dogs.

Breeding quality to quality is an immutable rule that cannot be broken if you want quality. This is a difficult thing to assess. This is why the American Kennel Club exists. They help to identify dogs worthy of Champion titles based on structure and movement of that structure. However, we can now add in genetic testing and radiologic testing that can predict disease processes that will be present during the lifetime of any Champion. What happens if a Champion develops severe hip arthritis at 6 years old? I believe he is not worthy of the Champion title earned previously and that with our current testing capabilities the breeder should have done testing to identify those variables in addition to what the AKC has done well for such a long time to make a good thing even better.

The second reason for mix breeding is to have some of the traits of each parent dog. This is a gamble and is less predictable than in purebreds but does have a measure of predictability. The advent of genetic tests for color, beards, hair curl, etc makes this even more predictable.

Making a good thing better is the point of this article. If you can make a good thing better then do it. Make a better mattress, car, cell phone, rhubarb crisp recipe, or pair of socks. If making a better puppy involves hybridizing, then do it. But don’t expect that puppy to be better if you aren’t breeding quality dogs. Otherwise, you will continue to perpetuate the question “Is a purebred or mix-breed dog better?” Let your outcomes be the answer to that question and withhold judgment on people that are striving for excellence with a fresh approach.

Up North Pyrenees strives for excellence for the glory of God, for ourselves, for our customers and especially for our puppies. We hope that we will be your choice whether you buy your next puppy. Make it a great day and please recommend Up North Pyrenees to a friend.