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!


www.madcapuniversity.com, 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.


Hip Dysplasia in Great Pyrenees



Hip dysplasia in Great Pyrenees and all large breeds can be a problem. One of my colleagues brought home a puppy named Gunner from a pet store 4 years ago. He’s now a fantastic dog with a great personality. This little guy was AKC registered and the pet store even gave contact information for the breeder. It was assumed that this was a high quality puppy. However, at about one year old he began to show issues in his hips and knees and was diagnosed with hip dysplasia. His veterinarian offered a $16k hip replacement surgery. They are waiting on that for now. Later, he sustained injuries in both knees resulting in tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) due to genetic knee joint problems. The above picture shows his knees. I’m not sure what the cost was for those surgeries. Currently, he’s now also recovering from a torn muscle around the knee.

Recently, I was contacted by a Great Pyrenees owner several days ago that just had her dog diagnosed with panosteitis which is simply growing pains. She sent me a video of him attempting to walk. I disagreed with the diagnosis based upon the video of this boy being hunched up and not extending it’s hips normally. He’s not from Up North Pyrenees either. I think this will be the start of another long road discovering more significant costly problems.

Poor genetics, obesity, improper dog food, trauma, and a sedentary lifestyle are all risk factors for hip dyplasia and knee issues. Education can minimize most of these problems before they even start.

Up North Pyrenees is committed to eliminating stories like these and hip dysplasia specifically in all of our puppies. Our breeding program has some of the best genetics for hips and knees based upon the best research based testing. That means happier families with pain free active dogs doing their jobs. Our current sire is Quiero Des Sentes Magala is a Belgian import that is clear of all genetic issues affecting Great Pyrenees. His hips and knees are in the top 5% of all dogs tested and our dams are in the top as well. Our next generation of dams is on the horizon.

We endeavor to do all things to the glory of Christ and for your benefit. This takes a lot of thought, planning, finances, relationship building and hard work. Up North Pyrenees doesn’t take short cuts and we hope you will consider us when you buy your next puppy. We are currently accepting deposits for future litters. You and your family will be glad you did.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Puppy

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What to expect when you’re expecting a puppy from Up North Pyrenees.

Our customers are often surprised when we tell them the extras they receive with their puppy from Up North Pyrenees. We try to make transitions easier and less stressful for you and your puppy. Hopefully, letting you know what to expect relieves some of your stress and makes getting your puppy more fun. Your puppy comes with the following:

  1. A cute collar that should last at least several weeks. This will give you time to order a larger one based upon your preference.
  2. A small bag of NutriSource Large Breed Puppy Food will be provided. We highly recommend NutriSource and encourage you to continue with a large breed puppy food until they are done growing at about 18 months old. Check out www.dogfoodadvisor.com for useful information to compare quality of dog foods that are available to you.
  3. Microchip pre-registration information.
  4. Veterinary packet including a record of shots and deworming.
  5. AKC pre-registration information.
  6. Delivery to your home area on puppy drop off day. This is included in our price for buyers in Minnesota. We personally deliver throughout the US for customers in the continental US and airship for customers throughout the world. This is an additional fee.
  7. Lifelong support for you and your puppy and our guarantee. Contact us any time.

We hope to exceed the above services but that’s what you can expect when you’re expecting a puppy from Up North Pyrenees.

Share us with a friend and reserve your Up North Pyrenees puppy today.

Feeding Your Great Pyrenees Puppy


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Feeding Your Great Pyrenees Puppy

“What do I feed my puppy?” is one of the most commonly asked questions we receive. Up North Pyrenees has a solid routine of what, when and why for our puppy nutrition program. Feeding your Great Pyrenees puppy correctly is extremely important to their long-term health. As a new puppy owner it’s nice for you to know our what, when and why.

  1. What do I feed my puppy? We recommend Life’s Abundance Large Breed Pupppy. This is the freshest dog food that we’ve found. It is made in the USA in small batches and sent directly to your house and not stored and sold in stores. Because it is so fresh it has never had a recall like almost every other dog food.  We also recommend Nutrisource Large Breed puppy. This is an excellent company located in Perham, MN. I have personally met with their sales representatives. We are impressed with this product and the price point. Our puppies look and do great with it. You can slowly transition to another large puppy food by mixing it 50/50 for 1-2 weeks. Transition to large breed adult food when they are full size which is usually at 12-18 months old. Checkout www.dogfoodadvisor.com to ensure you are getting a suitable quality dog food prior to switching. This is an objective organization that rates hundreds of dogs foods in a very systematic and understandable way.
  2. When do I feed my puppy? Your puppy will be leaving Up North Pyrenees on a 3x/day feeding schedule. Feed your puppy first thing in the morning after bringing your puppy out to go poddy.  Spread the other two feedings throughout your day. There are clear feeding instructions for amounts on the bag. We recommend that you adjust up or down based upon what they can eat in 15 minutes when they are not distracted. Remove the food after 15 minutes to avoid over eating. Free choice feeding promotes excessive eating and weight gain. However, always have water available or keep your toilet eat up. Transition to 2x/day feedings at around 6 months old and 1x/day at about one-year old. Scheduled feeding promotes predictable bowel movements. Feeding one time per day promotes overall health. Click here to see my blog post on intermittent fasting.
  3. Why do I feed my puppy this food this way? NutriSource is one of many nutrient dense dog foods which makes smaller poops as it is more indigestible. Large breed food is specially formulated with lower calcium. This slows skeletal grow in large breeds and reduces hip and joint issues due to early weight gain. Also, scheduled feeding allow you the opportunity to begin behavior training. This means that you can take food away to teach them manners or ruffle them up to get them accustomed to having their feeding interrupted. This is a helpful training technique especially if you have children that get too playful while your “hangry” puppy is eating.

Up North Pyrenees want the best for you and your new puppy for years to come. Please share us with a friend and call or message us any time with questions. Reserve your puppy today from our spring litters.

Urinary Tract Infections in Puppies

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Urinary Tract Infections in Puppies

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur when bacteria migrate up the urethra to the bladder. Urine flushes out the bacteria that migrate up the urethra. This is a shorter distance for females than males. Consequently, females develop UTIs more easily than males. Urinary tract infections in puppies is more common than in adults because the urethra is shorter than in an adult dog. Water consumption is key in preventing UTIs because of its flushing action. But, sometimes water isn’t available and puppies don’t drink water when they should. This is why water should always be available for your dogs. I’ll be explaining why food is a different story in my next blog post.

Imagine what an infected swollen urethra would feel like. Squatting to pee but having nothing come out is the most common sign of a UTI. Bloody urine that smells funny is another sure sign of infection. Bacteria can migrate further up into the bladder and even the kidneys if they aren’t dealt with soon.

The best treatment for a UTI is a trip to the veterinarian for evaluation. Typically, a course of antibiotics can kill the bacteria and treat the root of the problem in a day or two. But, beware of celebrating too quickly. Many people fail to give the prescribed dose which leads to a second course of antibiotics when symptoms return. But, even that can fail.

I work as a wound care specialist and culture infected wounds in order to get the right antibiotics the first time.  Every bacteria is susceptible to a certain type of antibiotic. Finding the right antibiotic is the key to getting the job done quickly and avoiding the creation of antibiotic resistance. This is the standard of care for humans and with some veterinarians.

Recently, one of our puppies developed a urinary infection. She was prescribed three rounds of the same antibiotics and as of now it has worked… after three rounds. Three rounds of antibiotics and no culturing of the bacteria. This isn’t acceptable to me and it should be unacceptable to you also.

Here’s Up North Pyrenees advice.
1. Request a urine test every time you get antibiotics when treating a urinary infection for your puppy. This will be around $150 and will make the medication for effective for your puppy every time. You may spend a little more money and your veterinarian may think it is overkill. But, it is your money and your dog. It will be worth it in the long run.
2. Ask your veterinarian for a probiotic after any antibiotics. Recolonizing the body with beneficial bacteria will help to combat any future return infection. There are many formulations out there. I am no expert on probiotics. But, this general principle is widely accepted.

So, fill up the water dish when it’s empty and bring your puppy or dog in immediately if they are having problems. Your puppy and your checkbook will be glad you did.

Like what your reading? Share us with a friend. Click here to see pictures of our puppies.

Kidney Stones in Dogs?

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Kidney Stones in Dogs?

Did you know that kidney stones in dogs and are just as much a problem for them as for humans? I remember passing a stone in the bathroom on the way to Physics class in college. The pain was so intense that I collapsed against the wall. I think it rivaled childbirth but my wife just laughs at that assertion.

Kidney stones in dogs are more common in some breeds. Jack Russel Terriers, Giant Schnauzers, and Weimaraners are among the highest carriers in one study.1  One of the reasons the kidney stones form is due to elevated levels of uric acid in the urine due to a genetic mutation.2

There is a genetic test available to inform breeders whether hyperuricosuria is in their dogs. This is an easy tool for breeding decisions that may have significant impacts in the future.

Up North Pyrenees has tested all of our dogs and currently they are all clear of this mutation. Our commitment to quality for the puppies that we raise shows and will also mean improved quality of life down the road for your puppy.

I know that most breeders don’t test the way we do. The thought process is that they never hear back that their puppies have problems. So, they must have good genetics. Wrong. This also serves to maximize profit on behalf of the breeder. In the end, it is your puppy who suffer the most. You will end up footing a hefty veterinary bill. Cheap puppies can be expensive.

Ensuring quality is expensive for us but we hope that is worth your business. Please contact us today to reserve your future puppy.


1. Karmi N, Brown E, Hughes S et al. Estimated Frequency of the Canine Hyperuricosuria Mutation in Different Dog Breeds. J Vet Intern Med. 2010;24(6):1337-1342. doi:10.1111/j.1939-1676.2010.0631.x

2. Hyperuricosuria. Vgl.ucdavis.edu. https://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/services/Hyperuricosuria.php. Published 2019. Accessed September 5, 2019.

Discovering the Best Dog Breed for You


Discovering the Best Dog Breed for You

Choosing a puppy can be an emotional decision that turns out to be a nightmare or a blessing. Discovering the best dog breed for you should be a fun process that adds value to your life. I would like to recommend a book for you.

Your Purebred Puppy by Michele Welton is a great book that will describe dog behaviors in each breed and so much more. Purebreds were developed to increase predictability in appearance and behavior. This has been very helpful as we all different. We have different needs and desires. This is the primary reason to choose a purebred puppy and why mix-breeds produce less predictability in appearance and behavior. Variability increases even further when a dog is comprised of more than two breeds.

In 2005, we read this book and ended up choosing an English shepherd.  Her name was Belle and we brought her home to northern Minnesota from Louisiana. She fit our family well and served her purpose. Consequently, she lived a good life with a loving family.

Most dogs that end up in shelters end up being there for one of two reasons.

First, the buyer shouldn’t have purchased a puppy in the first place. They were eagerly given a problem dog or purchased a cheap one that they couldn’t even afford. Usually, they have the maturity and parenting skills of a 7th grader. Financial stress comes and this poorly trained dog is then dropped off on the side of the road as a cost-saving mechanism. My job is to decide if I want to sell you a puppy. I have a fairly rigid algorithm that is about as sophisticated a Google’s. Just kidding, but sometimes I get it wrong. At least I try.

Second, the buyer had no clue of the behaviors a dog would display. They could have learned the breed behaviors if they would have taken time to research beyond looking at puppy pictures online. All dog breeds are bred for a specific purpose over the millennia. This was typically done to assist their owner with specific behavior.  Pointers point, retrievers retrieve, sled dogs pull, guard dogs bark, and little cute dogs… well they just look cute and satiate our desire to have a perpetual baby.

I want to make you feel uncomfortable by criticizing the way some people pick their puppy. I don’t appreciate when people troll me on Facebook by telling me on my business page that my being a dog breeder is evil and that I am responsible for dogs in shelters. These crazy people do have a valid point though. There is a problem and I am hoping to improve it. That is why Up North Pyrenees requires customers to sign a contract to never bring their Pyr to a shelter. We will assist them in finding a new home. Winston Churchhill said “Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.” So, thank you for your criticism.

I have said this many times. There are very few bad dogs, but mostly just bad owners. Whatever you do… be a good one. We believe Up North Pyrenees is the right choice for Great Pyrenees puppies. Take some time to research dog breeds before you buy your next puppy. You’ll be glad you did.

DM Is Not In Up North Pyrenees!

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DM Is Not In Up North Pyrenees!

Many breeders have no idea what is in their genetics. But I can unequivocally tell you the DM is not in Up North Pyrenees. Even though dogs don’t play baseball they can get a genetic disease similar to Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).  In canine’s this disease is called Degenerative Myelopathy or DM.  Many different breeds can get this disease, though DM primarily affects large breed dogs.  3% of German Shepherds actually demonstrate the disease.1 One study found one in eight Great Pyrenees were carriers for this disease.2 Two carriers must be bread together for the gene to be expressed. Understanding what this disease will mean to your puppy and family is important and a picture is worth a thousand words. Click on this link to see the video of a dog with DM. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I10YGGSSZg.

Treatments for DM are not currently available. But, prevention is easy. A simple genetic test can be done before breeding dogs to ensure that two carriers of the mutated gene are not bred.

Up North Pyrenees’ lines are clear of DM. Take a look at our sire and dams. We have no dogs with this genetic mutation. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We hope our work and expense is worth your business. Either way, we sleep better at night knowing that none of our puppies will ever suffer from this issue. Hopefully, more breeders will work together to eliminate the DM gene from this wonderful breed.

Lou Gehrig’s Disease in Great Pyrenees? Not with Up North Pyrenees!

Click here to see our puppies and please share us with a friend.

1. Degenerative Myelopathy in German Shepherds. (2019). Retrieved 29 July 2019, from https://www.degenerative-myelopathy.com/degenerative-myelopathy-in-german-shepherds/
2. Paw Print Genetics – Degenerative Myelopathy in the Great Pyrenees. (2019). Retrieved 29 July 2019, from https://www.pawprintgenetics.com/products/tests/details/87/?breed=134

3. Images are in the public domain on the internet and selected on 7-29-19.

We Deliver Your Puppy To You!

We Deliver Your Puppy To You!

Have you ever taken a trip to the middle of nowhere? That’s what most visitors say about Warroad, MN unless you are coming to fish trophy walleye or musky. We are very rural here on the edge of the Canadian border on the sportsman paradise of Lake of the Woods.

Travelling to get a puppy can be received 327305331270503 e1562098715648difficult for a variety of factors. That’s part of the reason why Up North Pyrenees started delivering to our customers years ago. Our customers love getting in town service. We don’t outsource our delivery. It is hard to spend so much time with these little fur babies and think about paying someone else to deliver puppies across the country. At this point in life we like to build it into a family adventure. Hopefully, our children would say that is what it is. Have you ever had 10 puppies barking in a Suburban along with 6 children? This past spring we went zip lining near our end point at the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky the day after driving for 27 hours. This was a much needed sanity refresher.

We are now incorporating that service into our puppy price to make things simpler for you. This applies to our Minnesota customers only as that is where a majority of our sales are located. If you live outside MN, then meet us at the border of MN or add 55 cents/mile to where you would like us to meet you. We don’t stop once we start driving until we’re done. That’s better for your puppy as it decrease their stress. We know that you are eagerly awaiting your puppy and hope to serve you soon when we deliver to you!

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?

Share us with a friend if you appreciate what you’ve read.