The top resolutions every new year are to eat better and get in shape. I’m sure it’s been your resolution at least once (I know it’s been mine!). But gym memberships can be expensive—especially the sign up fee.
I’ve been looking for ways to get fit that don’t require going to a gym, and I realized the answer was in front of me this whole time. When I thought about it, having Great Pyrenees can give me a cardio and strength training workout.
You don’t need a gym membership—just a Great Pyrenees.
(psst… you can see the entire routine at the end of the article)
First, let’s start with some cardiovascular exercise to keep your heart and lungs fit. You don’t need to step on a treadmill or spend hours on the elliptical to do get your workout in. That’s why you have a Great Pyrenees!
Running stairs to quiet barking: daily – 20x/day
Let’s set the scene. You decide to put your home office upstairs, in the front of the house. Pyrs like to spend time in the backyard, which you can only access from the downstairs.
You’re getting some work done in your office and your Great Pyrenees starts to bark. To prevent your neighbors from calling the cops, you run downstairs, thank your pyrs for barking to quiet them down, then return to work.
Approximately three minutes pass (if you’re lucky), and they start to bark again. Back down the stairs, back up the stairs. Over and over and over.
There’s your cardio workout for the day!
Chasing during a walkabout: 30 min – 1x/week
These smart escape artists can get out of almost anything. Whether it’s a friend not closing the front door entirely, or maybe your pyr can open the back gate—they’re always looking for an adventure.
When they get a taste of adventure, they capitalize—and they are quick. Most people wouldn’t expect a pyr to be exceptionally agile, but they have to be to do their job. How can a pyr
There have been times we’ve basically clotheslined the dog to end the walkabout. Did I tell you about the time Kiska jumped out of the SUV window and went on an adventure? 🙄 That’s a story for another day…
Trying to get your pyr inside: 10 mins – 5x/day
It doesn’t matter how small your yard is—if your pyr doesn’t want to come inside, you’re going to have a challenge. Our yard is a good size, and trying to corral three dogs into the house isn’t an easy task.
If they’re in guard dog mode (and when aren’t they in guard dog mode?), it will be a new level of challenging. Put on your running shoes—you might need cleats if you’re in the muddy PNW like us—and let the games begin.
Sometimes, I think I need a Border Collie to herd them all inside 🤷🏼♀️
We can’t just focus on cardio—strength training is equally important! Luckily, you don’t need weights or fancy machines to work your muscles. Your Great Pyrenees is all you need for strength training.
Brushing your pyr: 30 mins – 3x/week
Think dumbbells and weight-lifting machines are the only way you can get an arm workout? Think again. Brushing your Great Pyrenees will give the arm training you never knew you needed.
You’ll also feel sore in places you didn’t know could feel sore. I realized I had muscles in the strangest places.
Trimming the nails: 10 mins – 1x/week
Another essential part of the Great Pyrenees grooming routine, and a great way to build your arm and grip strength.
If by some miracle you’ve found toenail clippers that can easily trim pyr nails (that also aren’t hedge clippers), you won’t get as much of a workout here. However, that’s a rare find (and please tell me your secret tool).
Keeping your dog still and trying to get through their thick nails will be a full body workout.
We’re working on transitioning all the dogs to a dremel for nail trimming, but we’re working on our grip strength in the meantime.
Lifting into the car: as needed
If you have a queen like Mauja, you’ll have to help lift your dog into the car. And not to reveal a lady’s weight, but Mauja isn’t light as a feather. She’s like, a lot of feathers—and floof.
Or maybe you share your life with
We do have a great car ramp for dogs, but sometimes it just isn’t convenient.
Oh, and remember. Lift with your legs not your back.
Keeping the home fur-free: 15 mins – 3x/day
How many times a day do you vacuum or sweep? If I want to keep the house looking *somewhat* tidy, I vacuum once a day. If I want a clean house, it’s at least three times per day.
Little did you realize, your Great Pyrenees is actually helping you get fit! I’ve decided that’s why they shed so much. They’re just looking out for our health. What wonderful dogs 😉
Walking an untrained pyr: 30 mins – 2x/day
Pyrs aren’t just born with great leash manners—it takes a lot of work and practice. And these lovable goofballs are strong.
Related: How to Train Loose Leash Walking
I’ve received many strange looks while attempting to walk an untrained Great Pyrenees. The leash becomes a toy, you get tangled in leash and paws, and SQUIRREL. It’s another full body strength training exercise!
So, see—you really don’t need a gym membership to achieve your resolutions this year. All you need is a Great Pyrenees (and a little humor 🙃).