When we adopted Beanie, we were warned about the barking, repeatedly. We assured the rescue group we were understanding of this trait and that we'd handle it just fine. No amount of warning can ever prepare you for the reality of the Pyrenees barking. I am often heard saying it is Beanie's one and only flaw. Indeed as a breed that is their only flaw in my eyes. That being said if your Pyrenees is an LGD (livestock guardian dog) then you welcome that barking, it makes you feel safe, because that barking signifies the detection of a threat and its' elimination. You know your sheep, chickens, cats and self are safe for the night because of the ever vigilant Great Pyrenees in your midst. Yes I do actually think they should wear capes! However, for us pet people, or maybe just me, that barking can be like nails on a chalkboard. He barks at everything and nothing! He barks at birds overhead, leaves blowing in the trees, the girls if they change the tone of their voice during play; sometimes he barks just to get other dogs to bark back! Some of it is boredom but not all of it because even when he had playmates he was an obnoxious barker.
There are those occasions though when I am thankful for that deep, scary bark. I am not ashamed to say I have used him to scare off a bunch of punk teenagers shooting off fireworks in front of my house at 10:30 at night during the week (yes I'm one of those people). Unabashedly, I leashed him up and walked him outside yelling at the kids to leave and his glorious bark worked its' charm and they took off! Tonight on our walk, under a clear, dark, star filled sky that bark stopped a charging, off leash dog in its' tracks on two different instances. He was leashed but I was prepared to drop the leash should the advancement continue, these dogs were not happy to see us. Luckily a few big barks from Beanie and I could have sworn I heard brakes squealing! Not once did I reprimand him as he was doing exactly what he has been bred for generations to do, what I in fact wanted him to do and he was entirely appropriate given the situation. I simply trained my flashlight on the offender and kept walking while Beanie bounced and barked.
There is no doubt I will still find his often times incessant barking annoying but I will never try to teach him to stop. Besides the fact that it is a fruitless endeavor, this flaw is actually one of his best qualities!