As with all dog breeds there can be some misconceptions of what a prospective owner can expect when taking on a Great Pyrenees. A majority of the time it is the dog's size and demeanor that are at the root of these false impressions. As many have come to find, each and every Pyr has its own likes and dislikes; however, there are some basic traits and behaviors that stand true for the Great Pyrenees. For the most part they are a serious dog that is happiest living and working in an outdoor environment. At the same time, they love nothing more than taking the opportunity to land all one hundred pounds of themselves in your lap.
The first thing that springs to mind for many when looking at the Great Pyrenees is the thought of astronomical feeding costs. It would only be logical to assume that feeding a dog that weighs well over one hundred pounds would also cost well over hundreds per month as well. However, the Great Pyrenees has many advantages; one of those being a slow metabolism that allows them a reduced caloric intake. Of all the large dog breeds found in the canine world, the Great Pyrenees requires the least amount of food. In fact, after its first year, it is said the Pyr often requires no more than a Golden Retriever.
While it is true that the Pyr will need a good amount of room and its fair share of regular exercise, the breed does not require an overly vigorous routine. Too much activity or harsh training can put unnecessary wear and tear on the hips and joints of the Great Pyrenees. This unnecessary wear and tear can cost owners hundreds if not thousands in vet bills. The Pyr should also never be expected to toil in the heat of summer as their heavy coats will have them running the risk of overheating.
When people hear that a breed is highly regarded as an excellent guard dog, they immediately assume they have a vicious canine on their hands. This is completely untrue when it comes to the Great Pyrenees. The Great Pyrenees is a vigorous defender of property and those he or she considers part of the flock. At the same time, they are patient and tolerant with a strong desire to be in literal contact with their owner. It is not uncommon for the Pyr to lean up against their owner's leg, sit on their foot or climb into their lap. The Pyr requires much in the way of gentle reinforcement when training. In fact, the Pyr is said to be so sensitive that even a small amount of anesthesia used in a vet's office can result in death.