Knick knack patty whack give the dog a bone?

give the dog a bone

Knick knack patty whack give the dog a bone?

boneI love history. Sometimes it reinforces something valuable and sometimes not so much. This phrase originated from a folk rhyme was published by Anne Gilchrist’s Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (1937). She learned the rhyme from her Welsh nurse long before in the 1870s and was titled “Jack Jintle”. The idea is simply to quiet the dog, not to give him a healthy meal that is good for him. However, people give puppies bones frequently and think they are a healthy treat.

Bones typically consist of 50-70% calcium. This calcium may be good for certain groups like a mother that is nursing puppies or recovering afterwards. However, large breed puppy food is purposely formulated to have LESS CALCIUM. So, the “give the dog a bone” attitude actually works to harm your puppy.

Slowing skeletal growth in large breed dogs reduces joint forces of their long bones and has been shown to reduce trauma to the joints and hip dysplasia. This is too common in large breeds. Up North Pyrenees takes breed healthy puppies very seriously. This is why all of our puppies go home with Large Breed puppy food and we advise against the “give the dog a bone” for dogs until their frame is fully grown.

Another source of Up North Pyrenees success in breeding excellent structure in our puppies is having all of our dogs Penn Hip tested. We haven’t had a single puppy diagnosed with hip dysplasia in the past 5 years. We only breed the best of the best. That means their genetics will be at a much less chance of developing these issues. We also educate how to keep them trim, how to feed, and how to have the healthiest puppy possible.

doggie treatss

But, what CAN YOU FEED your puppy as a snack or a treat that they will love? What can be fed through the teething stage or when you are doing kennel training to keep them occupied?

We whole heartedly recommend the treats from Life’s Abundance. They’ve never had a product recall due to their high quality. Their treats are a healthy choice that gives an alternative to bones that will actually be nutritious for your puppy and keep them busy chewing in their kennel instead of chewing on your couch or dining room chair.

Try an order of these today and save the “give the dog a bone” for later in life. Your furniture will thank you and so will your puppy!


The #1 Easiest Way to Potty Train Your Puppy   

Up North Pyrenees Puppies

The #1 Easiest Way to Potty Train Your Puppy        Up North Pyrenees Puppies

Constantly cleaning up potty throughout the house can lead to the breaking point where some families get rid of their puppy. Breeders that establish good potty training habits from birth are essential to making the transition home easier but families continuing this process finishes up good behaviors for a lifetime.

Puppies naturally do not want to soil themselves. Placing them in a confined area while sleeping at night will discourage them from urinating or pooping until you remove them from confinement. This is where most people fail miserably fail to potty train by default.

Opening a kennel after a puppy has been confined will result in a quick escape followed by an even quicker squat which produces a puddle of urine. This is how we feel sometimes when we drive just a few too many miles when delivering puppies.

When the puppy is yelled at he will run in fear to yet another spot and repeat this behavior. Our second response is to clean it up. If you take too long then you’ll be cleaning up poop.

The easiest way to potty train is to pick up your puppy from the kennel and walking with them outside to an area that they can relieve themselves. Give them praise and their favorite food treat afterwards to doubly reward them.

The common mistake is to outsource this task to your kids that tend to be in a hurry which causes a secondary accident. Don’t go back into your home until they’ve gone poop and potty. Plan to spend a few minutes playing, giving them water, or giving them their food. If you don’t have time them build a small fenced in area that can either be temporary or permanent. 

We potty train Up North Pyrenees puppies initially by carrying them outside from the whelping box holding wood chips and/or a puppy crate after sleeping for the night. After a week or two we’ll allow them to run outside on their own. Any stragglers are individually potty trained for a little longer and we rarely have puppies pee or poop in the whelping area connected to our home.

Here are some benefits to crate training from

Potty train

I’ve had discussions with frustrated people on how to potty train puppies that were purchased somewhere else and this is why I’m now writing this blog post.

Based on comments we receive back from our families I believe this is why our puppies are typically potty trained easier than puppies born on a farm and raised in a barn. Barns allow them to establish bad habits that some people are unable to break. We circumvent that entirely and give them a good start for you to finish.

Potty training and crate training are somewhat inseparable for a young puppy and an older dog. A lack of crate training will make your job so much harder. But, when you establish these good habits it is very easy to give them freedom later on without any problems.

Urine and poop in an area will trigger the nose of a dog or puppy producing the easiest way to potty train your puppy and in the days, weeks and years to come you’ll reap a harvest of joy…and clean carpet…and sanity.

Training, Training, Training. Is this post resonating with anyone out there with a nightmare experience trying to keep your carpets clean? Do you have an easy way you’d like to share about potty training? I’d love to have you share it here.

If you’ve made it to the end of this article I hope you’d take some time to consider us for your next puppy or refer us to a friend. Happy New Year from Up North Pyrenees!

Is Liver Good For Your Dog?

Is live good for your dogs?

pxl 20210112 025533650.mpIs Liver Good For Your Dog?

Every family that brings our puppies home is encouraged to read through our blogs especially on how to feed their puppy. There are many dog food companies and dog supplement companies such as NuVet that I would recommend. But the liver is arguably the best natural vitamin due to the many nutrients available. It is also something that our dogs absolutely love and need no coaxing to consume. Freeze-dried liver is sold widely but is completely unnecessary if you want to buy it fresh and cut it up yourself.

I have a friend that supplies me with as many cow livers as we want. We cut them into small cubes and freeze them on a tray or place 5-10 of them directly in a Ziploc bag and thaw them later in hot water. We then feed it 1-2 times per week to our adults.

In the wild, canines naturally open the belly and eat organ meat first. It is the most nutritious part of an animal. However, there is nothing wasted and the entire carcass is consumed. It is recommended to feed no more liver than 10% of the diet.The primary concern is getting too much vitamin A which is fat-soluble and is stored in the body and is typically found in dogs only fed table scraps or a diet solely of liver.2

You will not need to worry about this if you are feeding a high-quality dog food. So, if you are looking for a way to use organ meat after hunting or just want to buy some liver at the grocery store you may want to give it a try. Just make sure to slowly add it to the diet in small amounts and keep it in their diet regularly.

Several weeks ago I gave a marble-sized piece of liver to 7-week old puppies. They liked it the very first time they tried it. Several days later I gave it to them again and they absolutely loved it.

Up North Pyrenees strives to make you the very best puppy not just through great genetics, careful breeding, and lots of positive socialization. We feed your puppy and their parents highly nutritious foods to set them up for a lifetime of health.

1. Henriques J. Why Your Dog Should Eat More Liver. Dogs Naturally. Published 2021. Accessed April 7, 2021.

2. Vitamin A Toxicosis in Dogs. vca_corporate. Published 2021. Accessed April 7, 2021.



Choosing the Right Puppy Food

puppy food

Choosing the Right Puppy Food

Choosing the right puppy food is important to maximize the immune system, general health and prevention of growth related problems common in large breed puppies. Feed only large breed puppy food until they stop growing. The reduced calcium content of large breed puppy food slows down skeletal growth which is essential for large breed puppies in order to reduce skeletal injuries.

Food companies are not all the same and that is why I like to recommend to compare them in order to make good decisions.

Our dogs favorite foods are Life’s Abundance Large Breed Puppy, Nutrisource Large Breed Puppy, and Diamond Naturals Large Breed puppy. All of these are high-quality puppy foods that we trust for our puppies wherever they travel.

Large Breed Puppy Food

Life’s Abundance Large Breed Puppy food is new to us but we really appreciate that our dogs love it. This dog food is made in the USA and it markets through dog breeders to their customers. It is conveniently shipped to your home through auto-ship that you can easily set up. It is the freshest dog food that we’ve found. Every bag has a date stamp that will allow you to see when it was made.

We especially like the Canned Venison and Porky Puffs for crate training. Of course, we love the Great Pyrenees Puppy food on the this dog food bag too. They sell a variety of other great products as well. Click here to buy Life’s Abundance products.

Large Breed Puppy Recipe

Nutrisource Large Breed Puppy food is also made in the USA in Minnesota and can be found in many stores but unfortunately isn’t shipped. Our puppies love this food. The kibble is very small which is ideal for puppies under 8 weeks old.

dnlbpup rev

Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy is a good puppy food that our puppies have eaten well. The kibble is slightly larger and is widely found in large stores.

We want you to find the best dog food available to you no matter which dog food you choose. Take some time research these dog foods and feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Share us with a friend if this was helpful to you. Blessings from Up North Pyrenees!


NuVet For a Healthy Puppy

NuVet For a Healthy Puppy

NuVetI am a big supporter of proper nutrition and I take vitamins personally. I try to get my family to take them as well but often find them on the floor or behind the refrigerator. We raised goats for many years and always saw a difference when we fed them supplements. Farmers routinely give vitamins and minerals to their cows, pigs, and chickens to maximize health. Chronic health problems are frequently a result of poor nutrition during conception onward as nutrients drive the expression of genes to optimize health.

Up North Pyrenees takes nutrition of our puppies seriously. All of our dogs are fed a partial raw diet along with a high quality dog food. Using locally sourced poultry and venision by products allows our dams to recover much quicker than being on kibble alone. These nutients and vitamins make their way into your puppy. Small amounts of raw venison are given to our puppies as well. However, this isn’t realistic for most people to continue with.

I’ve tried giving them many different brands of vitamins over the years but they always needed them covered in butter or wrapped in meat until we tried NuVet. They snap up NuVet Plus K9 Wafers like a piece of meat. So, we are now using NuVet Plus K9 wafers for all of our adult dogs and puppies. We start at 6 weeks old and continue throughout their life to maximize their health. NuVet is made in the USA and cold processed to retain maximum nutrition.

We are strongly recommending NuVet Plus K9 wafers for all of our Up North Pyrenees families. We recommend getting these vitamins prior to the arrival of your puppy to continue their normal daily diet. All of our customers are invited to access this product through this NuVet link

Click this link below to see the abundant research on each nutrient in NuVet K9 plus wafers.


Here’s an article about the scant amount of calcium in this supplement. This amount of calcium will not harm your large breed puppy.


Blessings from Up North Pyrenees! Please share us with a friend.

Puppy Training Resources


pxl 20210207 205426407.portrait2Puppy Training Resources for Up North Pyrenees Friends!

I just received these puppy training resources from Catie Straiton from Pyradigm Great Pyrenees and thought I would post it for your benefit. We are getting a beautiful puppy from her health tested parents for our next generation of puppies.

The below audio resources may not be available for very long. So, please listen to it as soon as is possible while you are driving or doing a work project. Enjoy and share it with a friend!

PUPPY TRAINING RESOURCES, associated with the Puppy Culture program, offers a free online course.


Mine, by Jean Donaldson. For resource guarding concerns (and preventing them!).

So Your Dog’s Not Lassie, Tips for Training Difficult Dogs and Independent Breeds, by Betty Fisher and Suzanne Delzio. General guidance of independent thinking breeds like Pyrs.

The Puppy Primer, by Patricia B. McConnell PhD and Brenda Scidmore.

Puppy Start Right, Foundation Training For The Companion Dog, by Kenneth M Martin DVM and Debbie Martin.

Social Civil and Savvy, by Laura VanArendonk Baugh.

The Art of Raising a Puppy by the Monks of New Skete. This is an Up North Pyrenees favorite.


Should I spay or neuter my Great Pyrenees?

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Should I spay or neuter my Great Pyrenees?

Up North Pyrenees frequently gets the question “Should I spay or neuter my Great Pyrenees?” The short answer is yes. But, the most frequently asked question is “When should I spay or neuter my Great Pyrenees?” Again, the short answer is at 1-2 years old. The remainder of this blog will discuss each of these questions in more depth.

Should I spay or neuter my Great Pyrenees? Spaying involves removing the ovaries of a female dog and eliminates ovulation, progesterone and estrogen hormone production. Menstruation and pregnancy is no longer possible. This also removes some related behaviors during her heat cycle like constant whining, bleeding and wanting to run and find any available male dog to breed with. These hormones can also trigger fights with other intact females which can get bloody.  Spaying results in a more even tempered female. Some veterinarians do perform a tubal ligation to preserve these hormones but prevent pregnancy.

Neutering involves removing the testicles of a male which eliminates testosterone and sperm production. This prevents him from running as far as his nose tells him there is a female in heat. This behavior starts at 6-12 months old and will likely continue the rest of his life. Both of these present problems for families that want an obedient pet or guardian to be on the job. Also, intact males will frequently fight over an intact female that is in heat. Obedience is not possible when his hormones flood his brain. Neighbors will be annoyed with your Pyr frequently visiting their females. Dogs that are neutered will frequently live longer due to a reduction of these behavior issues.

A female dog less than 50# will frequently die if a 100-140# Great Pyrenees male breeds her. This is due to very large puppies relative to her uterus size and she will be unable to deliver without a c-section. Getting “rid” of Great Pyrenees mixes will be a chore after lots of work properly raising puppies. Who wants to buy a puppy of unknown origin? That is the purpose of purebred dogs and buying from a reputable breeder where only the best dogs are being bred. Accidental mix breed puppies need to be avoided due to these and many other problems that accompany them. Veterinarians also do vasectomies if you want to keep the male hormones but prevent any breeding.

When should I spay or neuter my Great Pyrenees? Waiting until a dog is at its full grown size has been shown to be important to reduce musculoskeletal problems. This means that you’ll need to wait until your Great Pyrenees is 1-2 years old or at their full frame size. Large breed dogs take much longer to reach their full size and this requires these hormones to properly grow their structure. The lack of these sex related hormones causes structural problems. Several studies on Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds showed a significant increase rates of knee and elbow ligament tears, cancer, and hip problems according to Torres et al and others.1,2,3 Early neutering was defined as less than one year old in these studies. These breeds are typically smaller than Great Pyrenees. The larger the dog the longer you need to wait for full skeletal development. Typically, all dogs in shelters must be spayed or neutered prior leaving. Sadly, this means problems down the road for the majority of these dogs if they are under 1 year old.

Exact timing of spaying should be in the middle of a heat cycle for hormonal reasons. Neutering can be done any time. Consulting with a veterinarian that is familiar with large and giant breeds is extremely important for all Great Pyrenees owners.

One word of caution. Spaying and neutering is not a substitute for training. It will not make a mellow obedient dog. Early spay/neuter has been associated with a higher rate of anxiety and aggression. This was demonstrated in a research study of more than 10,000 dogs done by Farhoody and Zinc.These sex hormones are very important chemicals that must be present to develop as God intended and any alteration will have mostly negative consequences on temperament.

Ultimately, spaying and neutering is up to you. There are risks to altering normal reproductive function. But, sex related behaviors will pose problems as well. Up North Pyrenees requires spaying or neutering at 1-2 years for all of our puppies unless they are going to established breeders or new breeders that will abide by our standards.

  1. Torres de la Riva G, Hart BL, Farver TB, Oberbauer AM, Messam LLM, Willits N, et al. (2013) Neutering Dogs: Effects on Joint Disorders and Cancers in Golden Retrievers. PLoS ONE 8(2): e55937.
  2. Hart BL, Hart LA, Thigpen AP, Willits NH. Long-term health effects of neutering dogs: comparison of Labrador Retrievers with Golden Retrievers. PLoS One. 2014 Jul 14;9(7):e102241. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102241. PMID: 25020045; PMCID: PMC4096726.
  3. Hart BL, Hart LA, Thigpen AP, Willits NH. Neutering of German Shepherd Dogs: associated joint disorders, cancers and urinary incontinence. Vet Med Sci. 2016 May 16;2(3):191-199. doi: 10.1002/vms3.34. PMID: 29067194; PMCID: PMC5645870.
  4. (2020). Retrieved 14 December 2020, from


Calcium Is Not Your Puppy’s Friend

Great Pyrenees Puppy

Calcium Is Not Your Puppy’s Friend

Great Pyrenees PuppyExcessive calcium in a puppy’s diet is harmful for the large breed puppy skeletal growth. While the milk mustache commercials were beneficial as an alternative to pop for children this is not such a concern for puppies. In fact, excessive calcium will contribute to a limping puppy that can lead to the diagnosis of several musculoskeletal disorders found in large breed puppies.

Large breed puppy food has been formulated with reduced calcium when compared to the smaller dog breeds. This between 0.8 to 1.2% on a dry matter basis.1 Adding in extra calcium in the form of dog treats, bones, vitamins, or regular puppy food with increase these calcium levels. Excessive calcium with accelerate bone growth which will place more stress on the joints through longer bones. This will also create lower density bones surrounding the joints which will contribute to joint injuries.

Here’s the Up North Pyrenees recommendation.

  1. Feed only Large Breed Puppy food according to the instructions on the bag. Our recommendation is Nutrisource Large Breed Puppy food. Maintain a trim puppy body until they are fully grown.
  2. Allow uncooked bones to be eaten only after your puppy is fully grown. This will allow plenty of time to allow muscle growth to protect the joints.
  3. Bones are not bad but the right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.

Excessive calcium in a puppy’s diet is harmful for the large breed puppy skeletal growth. Maybe you have a story that you’d like to share. Tell us your thoughts on this subject. Blessings from Up North Pyrenees!


  1. Bassert, JM, John Thomas. McCumin’s Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians, E-Book. 8th ed. 2014. (Atlanta, GA, Elsevier Health Sciences): 319.

Pets and Lockdowns

Great Pyrenees with children

Pets and Lockdowns

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Minnesotans will again be having to deal with another lock down called “Dial Back”.  People are relational by nature. Many of us need relationship more than we think. Yesterday, I heard on the radio that 40 million Americans have anxiety disorders and suicide is on the rise from COVID related social distancing. God, in His wisdom, has made us so that we depend on each other and more importantly depend on Him.

Puppies can’t be bred fast enough and are being sold to those trying to cope with loneliness. I believe this a good coping mechanism. Pets give you permission to go outdoors for their benefit which is a wonderful way to bump into other people. But, I wonder what will happen when the world goes back to “normal” whatever that is. Will we stay isolated with out pets or will we become more neighborly.

Here are my thoughts.

  1. Don’t buy a puppy unless you think you’ll be a forever home. If you do get a puppy then read a book on how to train a puppy. I recommend the Art of Raising a Puppy. Enjoys this God given relationship.
  2. Stay connected with people because you were designed for relationships. Make phone calls, Zoom meetings, Face Time calls, or in person visits. Be a blessing to someone else in need by dropping off groceries for someone with COVID. We were recently the beneficiary of this ministry and it was blessing to our family. Thank you John!
  3. Be mindful that God the Father has designed a longing for relationships in you. Turn your heart towards him during your loneliness. Read the Bible, listen to Bible at, pray/talk to God about your thoughts and ask Him to reveal His thoughts, and worship Him in your solitude.

I’m reminded of this Bible verse in 1 Corinthian 4:17-18 “17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

May God richly bless you in tomorrow’s upcoming COVID lock down! Thank you for your interest in Up North Pyrenees. Please share us with a friend.

Prong Collars

prong collar

Prong Collarschrome plated prong collar quick release hs35 lrg

Prong collars get a bad rap because of the way a few people have used them. But, prong collars can give you control and a training tool for your unruly adolescent dog. I work as a physical therapist. I have seen standard collars with leashes completely remove thumbs which ended up causing permanent damage, loss of function, and large medical costs. Prong collars even work well on little dogs. So, I am a bit of a realist and have your best interest in mind which will help you train your puppy better.

This heavy-duty Herm Sprenger with swivel and quick release is my choice for every Up North Pyrenees puppy. This collar is made to last and can have links removed or added to grow with your puppy. Buy a smaller prong collar when they are younger and then move up to this when they get near their full size. The quick-release is a must-have feature as it will all you to safely remove the collar and not remove a finger when your adolescent puppy can’t sit still for one more second.

This is not a choke collar and it will not asphyxiate your dog. Pressure is generated on the front of the neck when your dog pulls hard. This is uncomfortable and will initially cause your dog to yelp. However, he will quickly realize that he has total control of this painful pressure. The result is a well-behaved dog that thinks twice before dragging you out in traffic after a squirrel.

Ease into using this collar with just several minutes the first time and gradually increase wearing time during your walks on a leash. It is as simple as that. Let the dog train itself while the collar is on. See my previous article Leash Training Your Snow Bear.

Up North Pyrenees advocates for the keeping of all your fingers and sanity. So, buy yourself a Black Friday gift this year. Share this product with your friends. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!