The Great Pyrenees seems to be the perfect dog for us, except for the off leash part. I got my info from this website: The Great Pyrenees Temperament
What I like about them especially are these things:
- Gentle and easily managed (we need a dog patient with kids)
- Affectionate and loyal, but not attention-seekers or needy dogs (I plan for it to live in the pasture/barn and don't want it to get excited about new people)
- Not a one-man-dog
- Protective, but only agressive when necessary
- Laid-back and tolerant, particularly of small things like children and of strangers petting them
- Independent - I need a dog that can think for itself and make decisions; I also liked how the dogs evaluate each new person or animal to decide if they're welcome
- Attentive and fearless
And of course, they were bred specifically for the purpose I need one for.
Is there another breed that has most of these characteristics that would do better off leash? I understand that staying nearby off-leash can directly contradict some of the traits I value more, such as independence and ability to make their own decisions when guarding my horses and family, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Worst case scenario, I guess we could do something with an invisible fence or limit his territory with goatwire fencing. I plan to have his territory include the pasture and barn areas as I wouldn't want him in the front yard if someone needed to come to the door. Any suggestions for other breeds? Or anybody with experiences with Great Pyrenees?