“Leader Chain,” The PC Way Of Saying “Choke Collar” 

We took Maycee, our 12-week-old Great Pyrenees to the vet this week and I mentioned to him that our pup, when we go for walks, tends to make the first portion a drag. Literally.

And so he started talking about harnesses, which he said aren’t effective, and then he said something about a contraption over the mouth and back of the head, and then he started talking about a “leader chain.”

He said you put the chain around their neck and when they don’t do what you want, it tightens in on them.  It doesn’t take long for them to learn that when you tug, that’s where they’re going. And he kept talking about leader chains, the harnesses, and the other contraption and finally I interrupted and said, ‘Leader chain?  Isn’t that a choke collar?”  And he kinda twitched and then said, “Yeah, but we don’t use the word ‘choke’ any longer for PC reasons.”

Even in the dog’s world, PC has taken the place for good, old fashion, easy to understand tools.

Maycee at 12 WeeksMaycee 25 lbs

Our pup weighed in at 25 pounds.  In another four weeks we’ll weigh her again. The vet says that at that point, he’ll double her weight, saying that’s the best predictor of how much she’s going to weigh when she becomes an adult.  Right now, given her rate of growth, she’s going to be about 75 lbs.

Lessons Learned From Our Other Great Pyr

I told the vet that we learned a lot from how we raised Molly, my first Great Pyr.

Most importantly, the 42-inch crate we use for Maycee we didn’t get for Molly until we’d had her for a month or so.  By that time, that ship had sailed. It freaked Molly out and she wound up tearing up metal sides of the crate.

With Maycee, Amazon Prime assured that her crate got her on Day Two of her being with us. That has been so good for all of us.

For one, it’s now Day 13 since Maycee had an accident of any sort inside. If she needs to go, she goes to the door and whimpers.  And that’s usually every two to three hours during the day, mostly to pee.

We’re to the point, also, where if I open the door of the crate at night, turn on this wave music off iTunes she has going near her, and I turn off the lights, she pretty much gets up and walks into the crate without my even having to say, “Kennel.” Even with that, I still give her two treats as rewards.

Car Rides

Maycee enjoys going for rides in the car. It used to scare Molly.  In fact, there were a couple of times when she pooped on the fabric seats of the Armada I had at the time.

Maycee gets up in the seat and watches the world. When we stop somewhere, she wants to come across me to say “Hi” to the dry cleaning people, etc. She also enjoys the spot right in front of the AC vents.


Some say ice for dogs isn’t good, but I’ve seen on the Internet that that’s a wive’s tale.  It’s to the point now though that if we open the freezer and even rustle one piece of ice, when we close the door, there are two black eyes and a fur ball sitting in front of us waiting for a two-piece treat.  Ice is cheaper than Milk Bone treats, too.


This past week Chandler taught Maycee how to do “High Fives.”  I didn’t believe it till I saw it, but she actually does turn her paw flat so that you can high five her. Then she gets a treat.

She also now will do sit, shake, down and fetch with a tennis ball.

Wave Music

I make sure when she’s in her crate or especially at night, that there is wave music playing near her.  White noise stuff, but the thing about Great Pyrs is they tend to like to bark at night with the comings and going that human ears barely can hear.  With the soothing sounds of the ocean, we’re largely blocking that out and she’s sleeping through the night.

Speaking of, she can now get in the crate about 10 p.m. and sleep until 6:30 a.m.  It was for a while that she needed to get up and go pee about 5:30 a.m. and then would go back to her crate and sleep another hour, but with a bigger dog and a bigger bladder, that’s getting better, too.

Leader Chain

We got a choke collar, I mean, leader chain last night. It made a huge difference in our walk today.  The vet said prettied colored collars only should be for show right now.  At least until she’s learned to go where I say, when I say….

My Hopes

I hope if you have a Great Pyr pup or are considering getting one, some of these things will help you.

Maycee has been a different dog than Molly. We’ve been better at ensuring training started from the beginning. We’ve been getting in our walks and we make sure we spend plenty of time each day rolling around in the floor with her playing with her toys and loving on her. So far, it’s had a tremendous impact.






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