Would you like to add to the family a member who instinctively cares for, guards, and nurtures others? The Great Pyrenees first helped shepherds take care of their flocks in the Pyrenees mountains, which separate France and Spain.
Over the years, they have evolved into wonderful pets that make great family dogs. They are kind dogs that are loving and patient with vulnerable family members.
But that is not the only reason why you would pick Great Pyrenees.
They are purebreds adorned with striking looks and a great personality. King Louis XIV’s royal court declared the breed the Royal Dog of France.
The breed has a rich history in Europe. It dates as far back as 3000 BC. In 1824, the Marquis de Lafayette, a French soldier who fought in the American Revolutionary War, brought the large dog breed to America. More than 100 years later, the American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed in 1933.
Are you considering adopting a Great Pyrenees as a royal member of your family? Here are a few notes that will help you decide.
General breed information
The Great Pyrenees is a large dog with a muscular build. An adult male weighs 100 to 150 pounds, and a female weighs 85 to 120 pounds.
These big dogs fall under the category of working dogs and have a keen drive for work.
The shepherds loved the breed because, besides the muscular build, the dogs also are fearless. The breed could fight off attacking wolves and bears. But simultaneously, it was gentle and caring to the sheep.
Adults can grow to about 32 inches (2.6 ft) in height.
The dogs have a rough, thick white overcoat and a woolly undercoat. Some dogs may have gray markings, and others have brown or reddish-brown markings.
But for most dogs, white is the dominant color. Most Great Pyrenees live up to 12 years.
It is a nimble-footed breed, and you would notice its graceful movements rather than speed.
The Great Pyrenees is still a keen worker today, and you can expect a faithful worker’s personality.
Anyone can fall in love with the Great Pyrenees’ combination of gentleness, attractive looks, and strength. They are also friendly, confident, and affectionate. The demeanor is of a loyal worker exhibiting confidence, composure, and patience.
They are devoted to their charges and get along with children and other pets. This breed would go the extra mile to protect their family members.
They are also territorial and protective. The instinct to protect could work against strangers or neighboring kids who may visit to play.
They are just strong-willed dogs that require a firm and consistent leader. Others may describe them as reserved dogs with medium energy levels.
Great Pyrenees dogs can often become anxious. Showing them love and attention is essential to help keep them happy and healthy. Providing them with a calming bed can also be beneficial.
They like human company and are adventurous. The Great Pyrenees make excellent companions if you love outdoor dog fun.
Do not make the mistake of leaving the dog at home alone. He would get bored and indulge in mischief.
Everyone agrees that all Great Pyrenees have a great personality. But their high tendency to bark, especially at night, could be something to consider.
Care and grooming
The thick white double coat means plenty of shedding and grooming.
If you are unsure whether to DIY or hire professional groomers, check out the pros and cons. If you opt to DIY, plan to brush the hair at least once a week.
Also, schedule monthly baths—their fur seldom mats. However, an effective plan to control the hairballs and keep them off your clothes and furniture is vital.
The thick white coat also means that the dog languishes in hot weather. Plan to shave him more frequently as summer approaches. But the dogs thrive in cold weather.
When grooming, look for additional dewclaws on their rear limbs and clip these, too; it will help avoid splitting.
Training and exercise
Great Pyrenees, bred to be watchdogs for flocks, require more than the usual exercise. Make plans for frequent and intense sessions.
A Great Pyrenees puppy responds best to a firm and consistent leader.
Teach the dog to socialize first. It could be the most crucial skill they learn.
The dogs are naturally wary and suspicious of strangers. This could challenge your visitors when you are in social spaces.
Training should start early and should continue into adulthood. Consistency, patience, and firmness will eventually win them over.
You may consider getting professional help when training a Great Pyrenees.
Dogs have many health issues. Check with the vet for the following health concerns common to Great Pyrenees:
- Abnormal development of the hip socket, which can lead to hip dysplasia.
- Discomfort in the joints because of abnormal cartilage formation.
- Inverted eyelids.
- Addison’s disease.
The dogs are renowned for their ability to tolerate pain, apart from these health issues.
Inspect the dog regularly and check for injuries and pain points.
The Great Pyrenees are easy feeders. Serve him a cup or three of dry, high-quality dog food twice daily.
The amount of food varies with age, size, and activity level. Have plenty of treats on standby. They work wonders in bending the dog’s strong will.
You can consult with a veterinarian concerning special diets for a specific dog.
Concluding thoughts about the Great Pyrenees
- Striking looks
- Friendly and affectionate.
- The breed gets along with children and other pets.
- Loyal and protective.
- The dogs have a high propensity to shed and require regular grooming.
- The breed tends to bark, especially at night.
- Because the breed is strong-willed, so, inexperienced pet parents could face challenges when training.