Great Pyrenees Dog Breed Traits & Facts

Last Updated on November 2, 2022 by Becky Roberts

The Great Pyrenees are one of the most old dog breeds currently in existence. He is a canine friend that has played a key role in the creation of many large breeds. His history goes back to the Bronze Age. He is a great canine protector and will protect his family estate, flock, or toys with his whole life.

This furry-looking polar bear-like isn’t the right breed. The Pyrenees are a stubborn breed that can be difficult to train. For many families who don’t have enough space, the Pyrenees can be a problem.

As with all dog types, fully comprehend the Great Pyrenees’ contribution to your family before you welcome one into your home. This guide will help you understand what the Great Pyrenees can bring to your family, beginning with how it would live in your home. The breed’s training, grooming and nutritional requirements will also be covered. Let’s get started to find out if this gentle giant can be the right companion for you and your family.

Great Pyrenees

Breed History

The Great Pyrenees date back to the Bronze Age. Which, for those of us who didn’t pay attention during history lessons at school, is 1800 – 1000 B.C. This is because fossilized Great Pyrenees bones have been found by historians. Named after the region where his breed was most commonly found and refined, This is the Great Pyrenees mountain chain that lies between French and Spanish border.

The Pyrenees mountain people needed a large dog to protect their land , and flock. He could care for his flock for several weeks without being directed by his master. He is a legend in protection and can fight off bears, wolves and other human rustlers. His size and powerful demeanor made him a formidable opponent.

In the 17th century, his legendary defending and docile nature earned him the role of Royal Dog of France. He can still be seen roaming the mountains and chateaux, but he is becoming more popular as a family pet. He first came to the US in 1824, when a General imported two fine specimens as a gift for a good friend of his.

Temperament

The Great Pyrenees is a natural protector, so you can be certain about one thing: he will protect your family. Your property, flower pots, and every blade of grass in your garden. He will defend it with his entire life if it is in his territory. This is great news for family guard dogs. It’s not so great if you don’t know how to manage a dominant, protective dog. This breed should only be adopted by experienced owners.

His defense of nature means he barks lots! This breed isn’t for people who are sensitive to their neighbors or don’t like loud dogs. This breed is also very sensitive to noises and will bark at any visitor, human or feline. Don’t think you can have your midnight snack all to yourself. He is not a fan of constant visitors and prefers the quiet.

Despite his ability to defeat wolves and win, he is a gentle giant. He is an affectionate and gentle giant. As long as you don’t interfere with his family. He is docile in the family home and super chilled. He is happy to lie on the porch all day and keep watch. He’ll sit on the couch with you or sleep in your bed. As long as you are there, he won’t mind.

He’s quite sensitive and too. He needs a family who can spend the majority of their time with him. He can be very anxious if he doesn’t have his family to help him. An anxious Pyrenees can become a problematic, destructive and aggressive dog. Don’t assume he will get used to being left alone.

He is proud, dignified, and not clumsy. Some describe him as being a serious dog. This breed is not recommended if you are looking for a playful dog. This breed is great if you’re looking for a reliable dog. His calm and docility make him a great choice for children, despite his dominant personality and large frame.

Size & Appearance

The Great Pyrenees can be described as a large, or giant-sized dog, depending on his maturity weight. Females weigh a minimum of 85 pounds, and males weigh a minimum of 100 pounds. Males can reach weights of 160 pounds. Any dog who weighs over 100 pounds is categorized as a giant-sized dog breed. They also measure between 25 and 32 inches, from paw to shoulder. Females are shorter than their male counterparts.

Elegant is the most used word in breed. He is regal but gentle despite his powerful presence. Although he is tall, his features look more like a Golden Retriever. They are sometimes mistaken for an English Cream Rescuer. His head is not very large and his eyes are always dark.

His ears range in size from small to medium and are V-shaped. Only a few breeds of dog have double dewclaws at each side. They are used to balance and climb, as well as to protect his family members.

Coat & Colors

The Great Pyrenees have a weatherproof double coat. The wooly underlayer is dense, fine, and wooly. The outercoat is thick, long and flat and covers the underlayer. It protects it from wind, rain, and snow. Males have thicker neck fur, particularly in the middle. The tail has longer hair, creating a plume. His hair is feathered on his back and thighs, giving it the appearance of pantaloons.

The breed has only one color option, and that is white. He might have different markings all over his body. These markings can be described as badger or gray, reddish brown, or tan. His coat must be white, or creamy. His markings should not exceed one-third his body if you are looking to show your dog.

Exercise Requirements

Surprisingly, the Great Pyrenees is a low energy dog who only needs 30 minutes of exercise a day. Sometimes even less! It doesn’t have to be intense. He doesn’t like intense exercise. This breed is known for his slow and steady approach. He is a great companion for seniors and those with mobility problems.

This pup only needs to walk around the park or block. He will happily take a long walk if you’re a fan of long walks. It doesn’t matter how cool it is. This breed does not like heat and even slightly warmer climates. He won’t be able to exercise in summer and will chase the shade. The breed does best when it is cold or in moderate climates.

He needs to be active, but he still needs to get a lot of stimulation home to keep his mind stimulated. He will be happy and entertained and it will keep him from getting bored. You can rest assured that he will not be able to take on a wolf. You can expect lots of playtime in the form tug of war, fetch, and training sessions. To keep him entertained, make sure you have plenty of toys.

Living Conditions

It is obvious that this giant to giant-sized dog needs a large home . He will be a mad dog if he lives in cramped or small homes, as he loves being outdoorsy and mountain doggo. It will most likely drive you crazy, too, to be fair! This is why you need to have access to your yard. Because he may wander off to find a flock to protect, you will need to secure your yard.

This fantastic breed is great with children. You can count on him to be a serious guardian of small things. He is calm and non-bossy, making him a great sibling for children. Always supervise young dogs, and any dog of his size. He will be able to get along with other pets as long as he has been socialized as a puppy.

Training

*The Great Pyrenees are an independent breed that is quite different from other dogs. This breed can take care of his flocks alone for several weeks without any assistance from his master. He is therefore able to make his own decisions. The breed is also not known for its intelligence, making the Pyrenees difficult to train. You will need to have experience with dogs.

Early Training is essential. when training independent dogs. You should still give him a chance, even though he might tilt his head and look through your eyes when you ask him to sit. Although he might not be listening to you, he will learn that he must follow your instructions if he wants to get treats or cuddles on his sofa. You never know when your dog might be a true obedient pup.

This breed requires positive reinforcement training. He will walk away if you shout too loudly at him. You can expect him to be motivated by tasty treats , so make sure you use them to your advantage. This is how to train a large dog. Because at up to 160 pounds, he needs to know how to walk politely with you.

The Pyrenees is a gentle, charming and elegant dog. But, for him to become this dog that we all know and love, he needs to be socialized well as a pup. enrol him in puppy obedience classes .. This is a great way to achieve this. Mixing dogs and people will help you kill two birds. He will not only learn to be polite with dogs but also gain confidence when he faces new situations.

Health

The Great Pyrenees is a healthy breed. He is expected to live for around 10 to 12 years. Although this is a good lifespan for large-to-giant-sized dogs, it is susceptible to health issues HTML2. It is important to work with a quality breeder that will produce healthy dogs.

Below is a list of major concerns for his breed. It is not exhaustive but it will help you to identify the symptoms. An early detection as well as regular visits to the doctor are key to preventing and overcoming illness.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

This is when the affected joints develop at an abnormally high rate. This can lead to painful joints and increased wear. It can lead to arthritis and mobility problems if it is not treated. Joint dysplasia is manifested by exercise intolerance, inability to stand or climb stairs, and whining while walking. You should look for breeders that can provide hip and elbow score certificates.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar refers to the knee. And luxation is where something is floating. Dislocated or floating kneecaps can cause mobility problems and pain. This condition is similar to the ones described above. Exercise intolerance, pain while moving and kicking his affected leg out of no reason are all signs.

Eye Conditions

The Pyr is susceptible to several eye problems, the most common being cataracts in old age and entropion. The eyelids roll inwards when there is entropion. It is most common at six months of age. It can be irritating for your dog and cause serious eye injuries. Entropion is when your dog rubs his eyes or has bloodshot eyes. It will need to be corrected with surgery in order to prevent blindness or injury.

Addison’s Disease

Hypoadrenocorticism is also known as hyposuadrenocorticism. It can be a serious condition and sometimes requires daily medication. Because the adrenal gland doesn’t produce enough adrenal hormones, his salt and potassium levels are affected. Addison’s disease is early symptoms. It can eventually lead to severe cardiac problems and even death.

Cancer

Recent research has shown a higher incidence of cancer in this breed than other dog breeds. Two types of cancer are most common in the breed, osteosarcoma, which is bone cancer, and hemangiosarcoma, which is blood vessel wall cancer. You should be aware of signs such as a change in appetite, swelling, lethargy, and non-healing wounds.

Nutrition

The Great Pyrenees is large dog that will eat four to six cup of kibble each day. His size, age and energy level will determine how much he eats. To ensure your puppy is well-fed, it’s important that you follow all instructions. His breed is susceptible to being overweight. He has a slow metabolism and is very sedentary.

Always feed your dog the best food you can afford. It’s also super important to provide him a high-quality Pyreness kibble designed specifically for large or giant-sized dogs. It is especially important in the puppy phase because it helps control his rapid bone development. This can reduce the likelihood of him developing skeletal problems like joint dysplasia.

A well-balanced diet is important. Even though it is important to keep him trim omega fat acids are vital for his health . Omega 3s, 6s are essential for cognitive and cardiac function. They also promote luscious hair. They help maintain his immune system and nourish his skin and coat. Omegas are also good for his joints. In the ingredients list, look for ingredients like fish, flaxseed, fish meals, and fish oils.

Grooming

The Great Pyrenees is a double-coated dog with a simple grooming routine throughout the year. To remove dead hair, distribute his natural oils and prevent tangling, he only needs a brush twice per week . The best tools for the job are a slicker and a pin brush. You will need to brush your dog more often during the shedding season. For these few weeks, an undercoat rake or deshedder will help you to manage his fluff.

His weather-resistant fur repels dirt well, so bathe it only four times per year or less. Except if he’s a show dog, then you will need to keep him clean and bright. A concentrated, but gentle shampoo will give your dog a thorough clean without stripping his natural oils. Drying him completely is crucial as a damp coat can cause sores and infection.

Brush his teeth at least once a week with a toothpaste designed for doggies. They are allergic to toothpaste made from human ingredients. You should trim his nails when he is able, especially if you hear them tap on the ground. Do not trim his double dewclaws. Keep them as short and curvy as possible. They catch easily and cause . injuries. Keep in mind that your pet has blood vessels in its nails. If you’re not sure how to trim them, ask your vet.

Breeders & Puppy Costs

It might be difficult to find a reliable breeder depending on where you live. Traveling is an acceptable cost for healthy puppies. You’ll likely expect waiting list to expect litters. This means they will be focusing more on producing healthy puppies than trying to breed as many as possible. The AKC’s breeder list is a great place to start.

The average price of a purebred puppy from a reputable breeder is approximately $1,500. This covers healthy puppies, medical expenses, as well as a loving, socialized upbringing. Look for breeders who are willing to welcome you into their home and introduce your pup to their mother and litter. They should be able to give you health certificates, and they must also be contactable and pleasant.

If you have a negative feeling about them or they try to pressure you into buying a puppy. Don’t allow them to show you the litter or the environment in which they are raised. A poor breeder will charge a higher price than the average. only choose a high-quality breeder if you want happy, healthy pups.

There are many other costs that you should consider when it comes to puppy cost. It costs money to set up your home and make it Pyrenees-proof. You also need to purchase beds, crates, and coats. This is a large-sized dog and products that are larger than toys can be expensive. To name a few, there are continuing costs for looking after a dog, such as food and medical expenses. Before you commit to a puppy, make sure you are able to financially support him throughout his entire life.

Rescues & Shelters

There are many rescue shelters all across America that have Pyrenees dogs. Talk to staff at your local shelter to learn more about the adoption process. Adopting a dog is cheaper than buying one from a breeder.

If this fails to prove fruitful, there are lots of rescue organizations that are solely focused on rehoming this breed. The Great Pyrenees Club of America lists many rescue shelters state by state, so this is a great place to start. You will also find a lot of useful information about the breed. You can also consider a Pyrenees mix, which will increase your chances of finding the right dog.

As Family Pets

  • This breed is known for being headstrong and independent.
  • The breed is laid back in the home and loves to relax with family.
  • He is very affectionate with his loved ones and is a true gentle giant.
  • His exercise needs are fairly low.
  • The Pyrenees only needs 20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day.
  • He needs mental stimulation in the form of play to keep his brain active.
  • The Pyrenees is an innately protective dog who will bark at anything.
  • He is an independent dog who may not always listen to commands.
  • The breed loves to wander and roam.
  • This means a secure yard is a must for any owner.
  • He needs a large home, but he is happy to live with children and other pets.
  • He gets hot very quickly, so his home and yard need to offer plenty of shade.
  • The Pyrenees does better with colder climates.

Final Thoughts

The Great Pyrenees is a large- to giant-sized dog that needs plenty of space in his home. He needs to be able to move around inside and outside, as well as access to fresh air and a yard. He needs human companionship and an experienced dog owner who can manage his independent canine character. The mountain doggo is easy to take care of and very laid back. However, you need to ensure that you are able to meet the above-mentioned needs.

Hopefully, you have read this guide and are now clear about whether this perfect dog breed is right for you, your family, or your lifestyle. You can rest assured that he will be a loving, calm, and intelligent doggo if you give him the right things. You can add a little protection spice to your life! Tell your children that you are getting a Polar Bear as a pet. They might be pleasantly surprised!

Becky Roberts

Becky Roberts

One of Becky's favourite things to do every morning is to browse the top pet-related forums, looking for issues and questions that people have. She then shortlists the most common ones, and turns them into blog posts for Fuzzy Rescue. She's had over 4 cats and 2 dogs over the past decade, so she does know a thing or 2 about raising/training, and more importantly, loving them. She's the only one on our team that doesn't like coffee, but it seems to us she really doesn't need more energy :). We're very fortunate to have her on board as she does most of the heavy listing for the site, outputting an insane amount of content each month. Read More

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