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Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees Dog Breed Information

In a Sentence:

A large, fluffy, white dog breed originally bred to guard livestock.

Scientific Name:

Canis lupus familiaris.
Type:Mammal

Size:

Great Pyrenees are considered a Very Large dog breed.
Weight:36-54 kg.
Height:70-82 cm (27-32 inches)
Length:100-120 cm.

Lifespan:

The average lifespan of a Great Pyrenees is between 10 to 12 years

Behavior:

What type of dog is a Great Pyrenees, how do they behave and what temperament do they have? See below for a detailed overview of their traits and personality.

Personality & Temperament

Great Pyrenees are known for their gentle and calm temperament. They are affectionate and loyal to their families and are often protective of their loved ones. They are intelligent dogs that are quick to learn, but they can also be stubborn at times.

Great Pyrenees are independent dogs that were originally bred to work as livestock guardians. As such, they have a strong instinct to protect their territory and their family. They are known to be wary of strangers and can be aloof with people they don’t know. However, with proper socialization, they can learn to be friendly and accepting of new people and animals.

Great Pyrenees are also known for their patience and tolerance. They are gentle with children and other animals and are often used as therapy dogs. They have a calm and steady demeanor, which makes them excellent companions for people who are looking for a laid-back and easy-going dog.

Despite their calm and gentle nature, Great Pyrenees can be quite vocal. They are known to bark loudly and frequently, which can be a problem if you live in a densely populated area. They also have a tendency to roam, so it’s important to keep them on a leash or in a securely fenced yard.

Overall, Great Pyrenees are loyal, affectionate and protective dogs that make excellent companions for families who are looking for a calm and gentle dog. They require proper socialization and training, but with the right care, they can be wonderful pets.

Intelligence

Great Pyrenees are considered to be intelligent dogs. They are known for their independent thinking and problem-solving abilities. They were originally bred to be livestock guardians, which required them to be able to make decisions on their own and protect their flock without human intervention. However, like all dogs, their intelligence can vary based on their individual personality and training. Consistent training and socialization can help bring out the best in their intelligence and abilities.

Trainability

Great Pyrenees are intelligent and independent dogs, which can make them a bit challenging to train. They have a strong instinct to protect their family and territory, which can sometimes lead to stubbornness and a desire to do things their way.

However, with patience, consistency and positive reinforcement training methods, Great Pyrenees can be trained successfully. It’s important to start training early and socialize them with people, other dogs and different environments.

Great Pyrenees respond well to rewards-based training, such as treats, praise and playtime. They also need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them engaged and prevent boredom.

Overall, training a Great Pyrenees requires dedication and patience, but with the right approach, they can be well-behaved and obedient companions.

Sleep

Great Pyrenees dogs typically sleep between 12-14 hours per day. However, the amount of sleep they need may vary depending on their age, activity level and overall health. Puppies and older dogs may require more sleep than adult dogs. It’s important to provide your Great Pyrenees with a comfortable and quiet place to sleep, as they are known to be heavy sleepers and may need uninterrupted rest to stay healthy and happy.

Bark

Great Pyrenees are known to be vocal dogs and can bark quite a bit. They are bred to be watchdogs and protectors of their flock, so barking is a natural behavior for them. However, with proper training and socialization, they can learn to control their barking and only bark when necessary. It’s important to note that excessive barking can be a sign of boredom, anxiety or other underlying issues, so it’s important to address the root cause of the behavior.

Drool

Great Pyrenees are known to drool moderately. They have loose jowls and a tendency to drool, especially after eating or drinking. However, the amount of drooling can vary from dog to dog and can be influenced by factors such as age, health and diet. Regular grooming and dental care can help reduce excessive drooling in Great Pyrenees.

Lick

Great Pyrenees are known to be moderate to heavy lickers, depending on the individual dog. Some Great Pyrenees may lick more than others, but in general, they are affectionate dogs that enjoy showing their love and affection through licking. However, excessive licking can also be a sign of anxiety or stress, so it’s important to monitor your dog’s behavior and consult with a veterinarian if you have concerns.

Jump

Great Pyrenees are not known for their jumping ability. They are large, heavy dogs that are more suited for activities such as hiking and guarding. While they may be able to jump over small obstacles, they are not typically known for their jumping ability and should not be encouraged to jump excessively as it can put strain on their joints.

Dig

Great Pyrenees are known to be moderate diggers. They may dig holes in the yard or garden, but it is not a common behavior for them. However, if they are bored or left alone for long periods, they may resort to digging as a way to entertain themselves. It is important to provide them with enough mental and physical stimulation to prevent destructive behaviors like digging.

Good Fit for You?

Is a Great Pyrenees the right dog for you? Keep reading to find out how compatible you are with a Great Pyrenees.

Exercise

Great Pyrenees are large and energetic dogs that require a moderate amount of exercise. They need at least 30-60 minutes of daily exercise, such as a brisk walk or playtime in a fenced yard. However, they also enjoy longer hikes and outdoor activities, so owners should aim to provide additional exercise opportunities whenever possible. It is important to note that Great Pyrenees are prone to joint issues, so low-impact activities like swimming or gentle walks may be more suitable for older or overweight dogs.

Space

Great Pyrenees are large dogs and require a lot of space to move around and exercise. They are not well-suited for apartment living and need a large yard or open space to run and play. Ideally, they should have at least a half-acre of land to roam around in. However, it’s important to note that Great Pyrenees are not very active dogs and are content with lounging around most of the time. They do need regular exercise and mental stimulation, but they are not high-energy dogs that require constant activity.

Apartment

Great Pyrenees are not recommended for apartment living as they are large dogs that require a lot of space to move around and exercise. They are also known for their protective nature and may bark excessively in an apartment setting, which can be disruptive to neighbors. Great Pyrenees are better suited for homes with large yards or open spaces where they can roam and play. If you live in an apartment, it is recommended to consider smaller breeds that are more suitable for apartment living.

Left Alone

Great Pyrenees are known for their independent nature and can tolerate being left alone for short periods of time. However, they are social animals and prefer to be with their family or other dogs. If left alone for long periods of time, they may become anxious or destructive. It is important to provide them with enough exercise, mental stimulation and socialization to keep them happy and healthy. Additionally, it is recommended to gradually train them to be alone for longer periods of time to prevent separation anxiety.

Kid/Family Friendly

Yes, Great Pyrenees are generally good with kids and families. They are known for their gentle and patient nature and they are protective of their family members, including children. However, it is important to supervise interactions between young children and dogs to ensure safety for both. Additionally, Great Pyrenees are large dogs and may unintentionally knock over small children, so it is important to teach children how to interact with them appropriately.

Perfect Fit

Great Pyrenees are large, independent and protective dogs that were originally bred to guard livestock. They are loyal and affectionate with their family but can be wary of strangers. Therefore, a household that would be a perfect fit for a Great Pyrenees as a pet would be:

  • A family with older children or adults who have experience with large dogs.
  • A home with a large, securely fenced yard where the dog can roam and play.
  • A family that has the time and commitment to provide daily exercise, training and socialization.
  • A household that has a low to moderate activity level and is not too noisy or chaotic.
  • A family that is willing to provide regular grooming and maintenance for the dog’s thick coat.
  • A household that is willing to provide the dog with a job or purpose, such as guarding livestock or serving as a therapy dog.

Overall, Great Pyrenees are best suited for homes with experienced owners who are willing to provide them with the training, socialization and exercise they need to thrive.

Pros and Cons:

Great Pyrenees are large, majestic dogs that have been bred for centuries to protect livestock. While they can make wonderful pets, there are both pros and cons to owning one. Here is a table outlining five of each:

ProsCons
1. Excellent watchdogs1. Can be stubborn and difficult to train
2. Gentle and affectionate with family2. Heavy shedding and grooming needs
3. Good with children and other pets3. May have a tendency to bark excessively
4. Low energy and exercise needs4. Prone to health issues such as hip dysplasia and bloat
5. Beautiful and impressive appearance5. Require a lot of space and may not be suitable for apartment living

Cost:

The cost of a Great Pyrenees in Australia can vary depending on several factors such as the breeder, location, age and pedigree. On average, a Great Pyrenees puppy can cost between $1,500 to $3,000 AUD. However, prices can go higher for show-quality or champion bloodline Great Pyrenees. It is important to do thorough research and find a reputable breeder to ensure the health and temperament of the puppy.

Breed History:

Great Pyrenees were originally bred as livestock guardian dogs in the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain. They were tasked with protecting flocks of sheep and other livestock from predators such as wolves and bears.

The Great Pyrenees is a large, strong and intelligent breed with a protective instinct that makes them excellent guardians. They are known for their loyalty, courage and calm temperament, which allows them to make quick decisions in high-stress situations.

Today, Great Pyrenees are still used as livestock guardians, but they are also popular as family pets due to their gentle nature and affectionate personality. They are also used as therapy dogs and search and rescue dogs.

Current Usage

Great Pyrenees are primarily used as working dogs, although they can also make excellent pets. Here are some of the ways Great Pyrenees are currently being used:

  • Livestock guardians: Great Pyrenees have a natural instinct to protect livestock, making them excellent guardians for sheep, goats and other farm animals. They are known for their ability to deter predators such as coyotes and wolves.
  • Search and rescue: Great Pyrenees have a keen sense of smell and are often used in search and rescue operations. They can track missing persons and are also trained to locate survivors in disaster zones.
  • Therapy dogs: Great Pyrenees have a calm and gentle demeanor, which makes them ideal therapy dogs. They are often used in hospitals, nursing homes and schools to provide comfort and support to patients and students.
  • Service dogs: Great Pyrenees can be trained as service dogs to assist people with disabilities. They can help with tasks such as opening doors, retrieving objects and providing balance and stability.
  • Pets: Great Pyrenees make loyal and affectionate pets. They are known for their gentle nature and love of children. However, they do require a lot of exercise and space, so they are best suited for families with large yards or rural homes.

Guard Dogs

Yes, Great Pyrenees make excellent guard dogs. They are known for their protective nature and are often used as livestock guardians. They are loyal and devoted to their family and will do whatever it takes to protect them. They are also very alert and will bark to alert their owners of any potential threats. However, it is important to note that they require proper training and socialization to ensure they do not become overly aggressive or territorial.

Where Are They Found?

Great Pyrenees are most popular in the following countries:

1. France6. Italy
2. United States7. United Kingdom
3. Canada8. Australia
4. Spain9. Belgium
5. Germany10. Netherlands

Climate

Great Pyrenees are best suited to a cool to moderate climate. They have a thick double coat that provides insulation against the cold, so they can tolerate colder temperatures. However, they can also overheat easily in hot and humid climates, so it’s important to provide them with plenty of shade and water during hot weather. Overall, they are adaptable to different climates as long as their basic needs are met.

Population

It is difficult to determine the exact number of Great Pyrenees in the world as there is no centralized database or registry for all dogs. However, it is estimated that there are tens of thousands of Great Pyrenees worldwide, with the majority of them being in their country of origin, France.

Physical Appearance:

Great Pyrenees are large, majestic dogs with a strong, muscular build. They have a thick, double coat that is typically white or cream-colored, which helps to protect them from the cold weather. Their fur is long and silky, with feathering on their legs and tail.

Their head is large and broad, with a slightly rounded skull and a strong, square muzzle. They have dark, almond-shaped eyes that are set deep in their skull and their ears are triangular and hang down close to their head.

Great Pyrenees have a powerful, sturdy body with a broad chest and a straight back. Their legs are muscular and well-boned, with large, round paws that have thick pads for added traction. They have a long, plumed tail that is carried low when they are relaxed, but may be raised when they are alert or excited.

Overall, Great Pyrenees have a regal and imposing appearance, with a calm and confident demeanor that reflects their role as a guardian and protector.

Coat:

Colours:

Great Pyrenees can come in a variety of colors, including white, cream, gray, tan and badger (a mix of white and gray or tan). However, the breed standard for Great Pyrenees is white or white with markings of gray, badger or tan.

Hair/Fur Length:

Great Pyrenees have long hair that can grow up to 6 inches in length. Their thick, double coat helps to protect them from cold weather and harsh conditions.

Shedding:

Yes, Great Pyrenees do shed. They have a thick double coat that sheds seasonally, usually in the spring and fall. During shedding season, they will require more frequent brushing to help remove loose hair and prevent matting. Regular grooming can also help reduce shedding and keep their coat healthy and shiny.

Grooming:

The Great Pyrenees has a thick, double coat that requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and free of mats and tangles. They shed heavily twice a year, so during those times, they may require daily brushing to remove loose fur. Otherwise, weekly brushing is sufficient.

It is not necessary to cut their hair, as their coat serves as insulation and protection from the elements. However, some owners may choose to trim the fur around their feet or sanitary areas for hygiene purposes. It is important to note that shaving a Great Pyrenees can actually be detrimental to their coat and overall health.

Hypoallergenic:

No, Great Pyrenees are not considered hypoallergenic. They have a thick double coat that sheds heavily twice a year, which can trigger allergies in some people. Additionally, they produce dander, which is a common allergen. If you have allergies, it’s important to spend time with a Great Pyrenees before bringing one home to see if you have a reaction.

Speed:

Great Pyrenees dogs can run at a maximum speed of around 40-50 kph (25-30 mph). However, their endurance is more suited for long-distance walking and hiking rather than sprinting.

Health:

Great Pyrenees are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues. Some of the most common health issues they are faced with include:

  • Hip dysplasia: a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to arthritis and pain.
  • Elbow dysplasia: a genetic condition where the elbow joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to arthritis and pain.
  • Bloat: a condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists, cutting off blood flow and causing a life-threatening emergency.
  • Osteosarcoma: a type of bone cancer that is more common in large breeds like Great Pyrenees.
  • Hypothyroidism: a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, leading to weight gain, lethargy and other symptoms.

Teeth:

Adult Great Pyrenees dogs typically have 42 teeth.

Eyesight:

Great Pyrenees have excellent eyesight, which is one of the reasons they are often used as livestock guardians. Their keen eyesight allows them to spot potential predators from a distance and keep a watchful eye over their flock or family. Additionally, their eyes are well-adapted to low-light conditions, making them effective guardians during the night.

Nipples:

Great Pyreneess typically have 8 to 10 nipples, arranged in two rows on their underside.

Gestation:

Litter Size:

The typical litter size for Great Pyrenees is between 6 to 12 puppies. However, litter sizes can vary and may be smaller or larger than this range.

Gestation Period:

The gestation period for Great Pyrenees is typically around 63 to 68 days, with the average being around 65 days. However, it is important to note that the exact length of the gestation period can vary slightly from dog to dog.

Heat:

Great Pyrenees typically go into heat twice a year, although this can vary slightly depending on the individual dog.

Male vs Female:

Male and female Great Pyrenees have some physical and behavioral differences. Males are generally larger and heavier than females, with a height of 27-32 inches and a weight of 100-160 pounds, while females are 25-29 inches tall and weigh 85-115 pounds. Males also tend to have a more muscular and powerful build than females. In terms of temperament, females are often more independent and territorial, while males are more affectionate and protective. However, these traits can vary depending on the individual dog’s personality and upbringing.

Tips and Advice:

Great Pyrenees are large, majestic dogs that were originally bred to guard livestock. They are known for their loyalty, intelligence and gentle nature. If you are considering adding a Great Pyrenees to your family, here are some tips and advice for caring for them:

  • Provide plenty of exercise: Great Pyrenees are active dogs that require daily exercise to keep them healthy and happy. They enjoy long walks, hikes and playing in a fenced yard.
  • Groom regularly: Great Pyrenees have a thick, double coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and keep their fur clean and healthy. Brush them at least once a week and more frequently during shedding season.
  • Socialize early: Great Pyrenees are naturally protective of their family and can be wary of strangers. It’s important to socialize them early on to prevent them from becoming overly protective or aggressive.
  • Train consistently: Great Pyrenees are intelligent dogs that respond well to positive reinforcement training. Consistency is key when training them and they require a firm but gentle hand.
  • Provide a comfortable living space: Great Pyrenees are large dogs that require plenty of space to move around. They do well in homes with large yards or on farms where they can roam and guard livestock.
  • Watch their weight: Great Pyrenees are prone to obesity, which can lead to health problems. Monitor their food intake and provide them with regular exercise to keep them at a healthy weight.
  • Keep up with veterinary care: Great Pyrenees are generally healthy dogs, but they can be prone to certain health issues like hip dysplasia and bloat. Regular veterinary check-ups and preventative care can help keep them healthy and happy.

Food:

Great Pyrenees are large dogs and typically require around 4-6 cups of high-quality dog food per day, divided into two meals. However, the amount of food they need can vary depending on their age, weight, activity level and overall health.

Great Pyrenees are not typically food-oriented dogs, meaning they are not overly obsessed with food. They are known for being independent and self-sufficient, so they may not be as motivated by food rewards as some other breeds. However, they still enjoy treats and will appreciate occasional rewards for good behavior or training. It’s important to monitor their food intake and avoid overfeeding, as they can be prone to obesity.

Facts:

Great Pyrenees are large, majestic dogs that have been bred for centuries to guard livestock. Here are three interesting facts about them:

  1. They have a thick, weather-resistant coat that helps them survive in harsh mountain climates. Their fur is also self-cleaning, which means they don’t need to be bathed frequently.
  2. Great Pyrenees are known for their loyalty and protective nature. They will fiercely defend their family and livestock from any perceived threat, even if it means putting themselves in harm’s way.
  3. Despite their size and strength, Great Pyrenees are surprisingly agile and graceful. They were originally bred to move quickly and quietly through mountainous terrain and they still retain those skills today.

Names:

Great Pyrenees are majestic and regal dogs that are known for their loyalty and protective nature. When it comes to naming a Great Pyrenees, it’s important to choose a name that reflects their strong and noble personality. Here are 15 names that would be a good fit for a Great Pyrenees:

1. Zeus6. Freya11. Caesar
2. Athena7. Thor12. Cleopatra
3. Apollo8. Loki13. Aurora
4. Hera9. Titus14. Luna
5. Odin10. Maximus15. Atlas

These names are inspired by mythology, royalty and strength, which are all fitting for a Great Pyrenees.

Famous:

Great Pyrenees are majestic dogs that have captured the hearts of many people throughout history. From their role as livestock guardians to their loyal companionship, Great Pyrenees have made a name for themselves in the world of dogs. Here are some of the most famous Great Pyrenees of all time:

  1. Duke: Duke was a Great Pyrenees who became famous for his role in the movie “The Journey of Natty Gann” in 1985.
  2. Belle: Belle was a Great Pyrenees who became famous for her role in the movie “The Artist” in 2011. She won the Palm Dog Award at the Cannes Film Festival for her performance.
  3. Patou: Patou was a Great Pyrenees who became famous for his role as the mascot of the Pyrenean Mountain Dog Club of Great Britain.
  4. Monty: Monty was a Great Pyrenees who became famous for his role as the mascot of the Pyrenean Mountain Dog Club of America.
  5. Sirius: Sirius was a Great Pyrenees who became famous for his role as a search and rescue dog during the 9/11 attacks in New York City.
  6. Beau: Beau was a Great Pyrenees who became famous for his role as the mascot of the University of Memphis.
  7. Rufus: Rufus was a Great Pyrenees who became famous for his role as the mascot of the University of Mount Union.
  8. Bashful: Bashful was a Great Pyrenees who became famous for his role as the mascot of the University of North Alabama.
  9. Smokey: Smokey was a Great Pyrenees who became famous for his role as the mascot of the University of Tennessee.
  10. Koda: Koda was a Great Pyrenees who became famous for his role as the mascot of the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Summary:

Great Pyrenees is a large breed of dog that originated in the Pyrenees Mountains of France and Spain. They are classified as a working dog and were originally bred to guard livestock. Great Pyrenees are known for their majestic appearance, with a thick white coat and a strong, muscular build. They are intelligent, loyal and protective, making them excellent watchdogs and family pets.

Great Pyrenees have a calm and gentle personality, but they can be stubborn at times. They are independent thinkers and may require firm and consistent training to ensure they understand their role in the family. They are also known for their strong protective instincts and may be wary of strangers or other animals.

Great Pyrenees have a long history of working with humans, dating back to ancient times. They were used by shepherds to protect flocks of sheep from predators and their skills and loyalty made them highly valued. Today, Great Pyrenees are still used as working dogs in some parts of the world, but they are also popular as family pets.

As a pet, Great Pyrenees can be a wonderful addition to a family. They are loyal and protective, making them excellent watchdogs. They are also gentle and affectionate with their families and they enjoy spending time with their people. However, due to their size and protective instincts, they may not be the best choice for families with small children or other pets. Great Pyrenees require regular exercise and grooming to keep them healthy and happy.