Breed Description The Great Pyrenees is named for the mountain range between France and Spain where they have been used as guardians for shepherd’s flocks for centuries. They are known as Great Pyrenees, Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Le Chien de Montagne des Pyrenees or Le Chien des Pyrenees. Adopted in 1675 as the Royal Dog of France they were much sought after by nobility.
With an excellent sense of smell, exceptionally keen eyesight and a well muscled body they are well equipped in their duties as guardian. Deceptively laid back most of the time, he can react to trouble with lightning speed.
Breed standards for a fully grown male is 100 pounds with females around 85 pounds. Predominantly white with a large head, small to medium ears, intelligent brown eyes and soft expression it’s easy to see how they steal the hearts of many. The tail is well “plumed”, can be curled up over the back, carried in a semi-curled “shepherd’s crook” or may hang straight down to the hocks. Maturity is not reached until a Pyr is 2 years old.
Double dewclaws found on each back leg, used as thumbs when climbing rough terrain is a breed standard. Secure fencing and constant supervision when outdoors is a must due to the Pyr’s naturally born instinct to roam.
Special care needs to be taken with proper nutrition, insuring a healthy growth rate in the puppy stage with balanced nutrition for a long and healthy life of the adult. A slow metabolism makes them sensitive to anesthesia.
Known for his constant devotion and gentle nature, you will find him equally comfortable as a family member or as trusted livestock guardian dog. Many Great Pyrenees are therapy and rescue dogs, a perfect fit for this gentle and sociable breed. They tend to be aloof and wary of strangers in the home and should be allowed to greet newcomers at their own pace.
A deep and resonating bark signals danger and wards off predators. This also means that neighbors who might have a problem with barking is something to consider when bringing a Pyr into your home.
A wonderful and devoted companion, the Great Pyrenees requires a pet owner who is patient and willing to devote the time for proper training. Positive reinforcement, as with most breeds will prove the best method of training.
Coat Description Great Pyrenees are double coated, with a downy undercoat and a longer, flat outer coat. Primarily white in color, sometimes with gray or tan markings or masks which gives the French name "Blaireau", meaning "with color". The double coat acts to insulate from moisture, heat, cold and assists in protection when encountering predators.
Pyrs require regular grooming. A good brushing generally helps the coat “shed” dirt. Great Pyrenees should never be shaved. Twice each year Pyrs will “blow their coat”. This is where the soft, downy undercoat is shed in what at times seems amazing quantities!
"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful".