© Sunheyy |

Great Pyrenees

Also known as: Pyrenean Mountain Dog

Nickname: Pyrs

Breed origin: Pyrenees Mountains (between France and Spain)
Original purpose: Guarding the flocks in all kinds of weather on the steep mountain slopes of the Pyrenees.

AKC recognized: 1933
AKC group: Working

Size: Weight: males 100 to 120 lbs; females 85 to 95 lbs
Size: Height: males 27 to 32 inches; females 25 to 29 inches
© Naturalista |
Color: White or white with markings of gray, badger, reddish brown, or varying shades of tan.

Life span: 10 to 12 years.

General characteristics/temperament: The Great Pyrenees is intelligent, confident, gentle, elegant, attentive, and affectionate. They are generally quiet, patient, and tolerant, but at the same time territorial and protective of their flock or family when necessary. They are nurturing of small, young, or sick animals, and are fearless and loyal to his charges. They were bred to work alone with the sheep up in the mountain valleys, and as a result are independent and strong willed, and tend not to take commands from people. They are somewhat reserved with strangers, and have an ability to distinguish predators or unwelcome intruders. Once mature, they are placid by nature and make excellent house dogs. Because of their large size and territorial nature, they do best in a rural or suburban setting and must be confined in a securely fenced area. Without a fence, they will exercise their powerful instinct to establish and patrol a large territory which might include many of your surrounding neighbors' properties.

© Lyudmila_b (Lyudmyla Raynard) |
Good with children? Yes

Good with cats? Yes

Good watchdog? Yes

Protective? Naturally

OK for inexperienced owners? No

OK in apartments? No

© Mda |
Intelligent? Yes

Easy to train? No

Energy/Activity Level: Low/Moderate

Suitable canine sports/activities: conformation, therapy, search and rescue

Grooming requirement: Brush thoroughly once or twice weekly. Never clip them in the summer - they need their coat for protection from the sun. For a long coat, theirs is considered easy to maintain because it is self-cleaning (sheds dirt) and mat resistant. Baths are seldom needed. However, a warm bath will help during shedding season.

Additional photos of Great Pyrenees

Recommended books for further reading:

Great Pyrenees (A Complete Pet Owner's Manual)
By Joan Hustace Walker
Published in 1999
88 pages

Great Pyrenees Owners Handbook
By Joseph B. Gentzel
Published in 2008
180 pages

Great Pyrenees (A Comprehensive Owner's Guide)
By Juliette Cunliffe
Published in 2004
155 pages

The New Complete Great Pyrenees
By Paul D. Strang
Published in 1991
256 pages

Show more books

Other websites for additional information:

American Kennel Club breed page
Great Pyrenees Club of America
Wikipedia breed information page
Great Pyrenees Club of America Rescue

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Page Last Updated: February 1, 2018

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