Large Breed Spotlight: Great Pyrenees
Huge, fluffy, affectionate, gentle, and brave, there’s a lot to love about the Great Pyrenees––both in their personality and size! Great Pyrenees, also known as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog are a giant breed that’s full of love and a fierce guardian.
They originated in the Pyrenees Mountains which create a border between France and Spain, where they were bred to protect livestock year-round. Their thick coat helps them stand up to cold winters on the mountain and their bravery is unmatched in the face of predators.
Today, Great Pyrs are loved by many, and if you can embrace their huge size and aptitude for shedding, a Great Pyr might make a great addition to your pack. Read on to learn more about this lovable breed!
Physical Traits and Health of the Great Pyrenees
Great Pyrenees are a large breed of dog that weigh in between 90 and 120 pounds, with some males getting up to 160 pounds in size! They are quite tall, with a should height of 25-32 inches. Their thick, fluffy coats make them appear even bigger. So if you’re looking for a big dog, these certainly fit the bill!
Great Pyrs are most often all white, but they also come in tan, gray, and red. Their show-stopping coat is surprisingly low maintenance! Yes, you’ll deal with intense twice-yearly shedding, but day-to-day, there’s not too much risk of matting and need for grooming. Because of their origins as mountain guard dogs, their coats have adapted to resists dirt and tangles.
Personality and Lifestyle of Great Pyrenees
Great Pyrenees are very intelligent dogs with guarding tendencies. For these reasons, early socialization is important so that they are comfortable and loving towards other dogs and people, and don’t become overly protective of your home and family.
Their intelligence doesn’t make them super easy to train. The breed is sometimes described as stubborn int his sense. Because they were left to their own devices on mountainsides, Great Pyrs don’t show a lot of interest in basic training and commands. However, with regular practice and consistency, you’ll be able to accomplish the basics.
Pyrs are very affectionate, known for being great with kids, and are friendly towards other dogs as long as their socialized. Unlike other working breeds, Great Pyrs don’t need the excessive exercise as say a German Shepherd or German Short-Haired Pointer. But don’t confuse this with no exercise, but 1-2 good on-leash walks with their owner is usually enough to keep this breed content.
And while they don’t need to run to get their energy out, keep in mind this is a working breed that’s meant to be on the lookout for predators all day. For this reason, they thrive on mental stimulation and will get bored if left alone in the house all day.
Drawbacks to the Great Pyrenees
The biggest potential drawbacks to the Great Pyrenees are their stubbornness, prey drive, and tendency to bark and howl. Remember, these dogs were bred to be guard dogs on mountainsides. For this reason, they do best in a setting with a large yard, on a farm, in the woods, or in other settings where they will have lots of space to roam and explore.
Thinking about a Great Pyrenees for your family?
Great Pyrenees are a good fit for families that spend a lot of time outside and ideally have a large outdoor space. They love kids and are very affectionate towards their family. With a Great Pyr around, you’ll always feel safe and protected by this excellent guardian.
Do you have a Great Pyrenees in your pack? We’d love to hear about them below!
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