Top Rated National® Puppy Finder

ARRANGED TRAVEL

Getting to Know the Great Pyrenees!

Sara Ochoa

By Dr. Sara Ochoa


Pyrenees, pronounced p-ruh-nees, are a most fascinating dog breed!

They are more commonly called by their nicknames Pyrs.

There is so much to learn about these gentle giants, and you will fall in love with their regal looks and bubbly personality.

Despite their intimidating exterior, on the inside Pyrs are big ole softies!

The great in their name not only refers to their respectable size and looks but also their fun and sweet personality!

 

If you are curious about any of the following things: their appearance and how to keep it up, if you will mesh with their personality, what kind of training and exercise they require, where they came from, or how to get one; then you are in the right place!

All of these questions will be covered along with anything else you may think of.

So if you are eager to learn more about your potential new pet, the Great Pyrenees, then let’s get started!

 

Appearance

Great Pyrenees

This breed has perhaps one of the most distinctive looks of many breeds!

Each and every Pyr has a thick and fluffy solid white coat.

Occasionally, they possess some beautiful colored markings of tan, reddish-brown, or gray.

The white coat and huge frame are what make them so unmistakable!

 

Aside from this, Pyrs measure around 32 inches at the shoulder and weigh in at a whopping 100 pounds & up.

One would imagine at this size, Pyrs would be rather clumsy or slow.

Quite the opposite, the Great Pyrenees move with grace and speed when a situation calls for it.

 

Pyrs are built very muscular with their thick, short neck, deep chests, and agile legs.

Their sweetness is apparent in their small, dark eyes and wagging tails.

While the Great Pyrenees’ majestic look is attractive in itself, guaranteed their personality is what will draw you in!

 

Personality

Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees’ personality is the opposite of their imposing looks.

Inside these powerful Pyrs are giant teddy bears who love cuddles and quiet, quality time with their humans. Lovey-dovey would not be an exaggeration for these dogs!

In fact, Pyrs have an extremely relaxed aura, almost always calm and laid back.

 

The only time this would change is if a dangerous or potentially dangerous situation presented itself.

When this is the case, Pyrs leap into action in a second, always ready to defend their loved ones.

Great Pyrenees’ stature and strength mixed with their immense love for their owners make them the perfect guard dogs!

 

Pyrs’ fierce loyalty is especially expressed around children.

Not known for being aggressive without reason, Pyrs are still wary of strangers.

Pyrenees have an independent streak that requires some firm training to get through to them.

These unwavering companions will protect and trust you fully. 

However, training is necessary to ensure that you have a well-rounded and well-adjusted pup!

Training of this breed will be discussed in detail later.

 

Exercise

Great Pyrenees

As you might expect with a breed this size, exercise is crucial to their well-being.

Their calm nature that was mentioned earlier still holds true even when it comes to playtime.

Given their upbringing as guard dogs, Pyrs tend to reserve their energy for chasing and compromising threats.

 

This means exercise doesn’t have to be complicated.

Being free to run in a fenced-in area is satisfactory for the Pyrenees.

Not only that but simply going for a daily walk with their owners is pure bliss for the Pyrs.

Allowing your Pyr to tag along with you through your day-to-day activities helps to build that owner-pet bond.

These doggos love attention and leaving them alone for long periods of time isn’t recommended.

Even though Pyrs don’t particularly need lots of exercise, time spent outside and being able to freely roam is as important for Pyrs as it is for any other breed.

 

Don’t let exercise become a chore but remember to keep it light and fun so it is enjoyable for both you and your pup!

 

Grooming

Great Pyrenees

To the joy of their owners, Pyrs require very minimal grooming!

Their ultra-thick coat is dirt and tangle-resistant!

Pyrs have a double coat, the outer coat is long and slightly rougher than their soft and warm undercoat.

 

The undercoat gets shed in spring and this can cause lots of white hair to suddenly show up all over your house!

A good brushing at least once a week with a pin brush or slicker brush is the best way to combat this shedding issue.

Baths can be few and far between given their natural avoidance with dirt.

 

Contrary to popular opinion, grooming includes more than just coat care.

Regular nail trimming is necessary to ensure that your pup is comfortable and able to run without pain.

Make sure that the Pyrs’ teeth and ears are getting a regular cleaning.

 

Grooming may seem overwhelming, especially to first-time dog owners, but your local vet is only a phone call away! 

Pyrs deserve to be healthy and happy and grooming is a big part of that!

 

Training

Great Pyrenees

As was mentioned briefly earlier, independence is a strong quality in the Great Pyrenees breed.

While they will do anything to please you, their natural instinct is to fend for themselves.

Training should start in the puppy phase. The older a dog gets the more set in their ways they become.

There are lots of puppy-training classes, and even something as simple as getting your Pyr to socialize with other animals and people helps them to be more open and friendly as they grow older!

 

Crate training has proved to be the most successful when it comes to housebreaking.

Other than when they sleep in it at night, Pyrs should not spend more than a couple hours at a time in their crate.

Pyrenees are people dogs, they don’t deserve to be confined any longer than training deems.

 

Pyrs are very intelligent and sometimes consider themselves above the basic sitting, heeling, and staying.

They get bored easily and it shows by them responding effortlessly slow to commands.

If trained properly their intelligence can work to both of your advantages.

Pyrs excel in several canine events including obedience trials, cart-pulling, and other strength competitions.

 

Owning a dog isn’t just a privilege, it is also a responsibility and that’s exactly why training is so important!

It requires lots of dedication and patience, but in the end, your Pyr will reward you with love, loyalty, and a lifelong companion!

 

Health

Great Pyrenees

Breeders of the Great Pyrenees have taken special commitment to health issues and have stressed having every dog tested for a variety of conditions that could potentially affect this breed.

Some of these conditions include elbow and hip dysplasia.

These are both degenerative diseases that can slowly cause pain and possibly a limp as time goes on.

Eye disorders are also something to look for, especially in older Pyrs.

 

A condition unique to the Pyrenees is bloat.

Bloat is a life-threatening disease that is caused by the stomach suddenly distending and sometimes twisting.

Pyr owners should educate themselves about the symptoms and treatments for bloat.

Reputable breeders will have their dogs screened and will be able to inform you about anything concerning your Pyr.

 

A positive condition the Great Pyrenees possess is very acute hearing.

Hearing so sensitive that they could hear an intruder from inside the house even when kids are screaming music is playing or the washing machine is rumbling.

Their hearing is yet another trait that makes them such excellent guardians!

 

Nutrition is simple.

 Good quality dog food given in proper quantities and fresh clean water should be available at all times.

 

Vet visits should be frequent and regular to ensure that your Pyr is free from any diseases and is living pain-free and comfortably!

 

History

Great Pyrenees

Originating at its namesake, the Pyrenees mountains, the ancestors of these dogs are thought to date back thousands of years to 3000 B.C.

Pyrs were bred to be sheepdogs but also guards for the shepherds. They were prepared to fend off any threat to the sheep or their owners.

Patience is one of the most apparent characteristics as they were trained to sit atop a freezing mountain waiting and watching for any threats.

Their fearlessness when defending the flock is outstanding.

 

Originally Pyrs were thought to be peasants’ dogs, but then in 1675, the court of King Louis XIV declared the Great Pyrenees the Royal Dog of France.

This sparked an interest in French nobility who then used Pyrs to guard their estates.

Throughout the 1800s the breed gained immense popularity in England, Europe, and the United States.

 

The two World Wars were rough on this breed, and before Europe was effectively closed due to World War 2, several Pyrenees were imported to the United States.

When the war ceased, breeders immediately went to work to restore the breed to the esteem it once held.

Years later we have the vigilant and loving breed known as the Great Pyrenees!

Where Can I Find My Own Pyrenees?

It is no small task to find a new furry companion to be the addition you need in your life.

This section is dedicated to giving you useful advice on where to find your Pyr!

 

Lots of research should be done on each breeder you are considering adopting from.

Reliable breeders should care about the well-being of their dogs.

This means they should have medical screening done and they should be able to inform you of any red flags or concerns with your Pyr’s health.

Not only this but a good breeder should be able to tell you about the dogs’ personalities and likes and dislikes.

 

While there are many great breeders, there are also lots of puppy mills and scams that are easy to get caught in.

Be wary of the websites you visit when searching for your pup.

Asking questions is a great way to get to know your breeder.

It is encouraged to meet your pup before making your final decision!

 

Lastly, if you want to find your own loyal Pyr then don’t hesitate to look here at VIP Puppies!

Find out if this is the pup for you!

 

FAQ

Q: Do Pyrs need a lot of space?

A: No. All they really need to be happy is their humans, a couch to cuddle on, or a porch swing to share. BUT. They are big, and when puppies, they can kick up a fuss when playfully excited. Also, if you work many hours (aren’t home much) and reside in an apartment, your neighbors (and perhaps the landlord) will not be happy with your lonely, loud, bored Pyrenees.

Q:  Do they bark a lot?

A: Yes—they bark a lot. Indoor dogs tend less towards barking than their farm counterparts but this also depends on the amount of outside noises they are surrounded by (and how loud these noises are). They are guardians after all, and barking is part of what they are bred to do. However, this can be changed with loving training.

Q: Are they hard to train?

A: “Hard” isn’t the correct term. More like, “might take some creativity” to train the Pyrenees, because 1, he’s smarter than we think he is. And 2 because he’s smart, he will need to be entertained or he will find clever ways to avoid orders when these bore or make no sense to him! They are independent thinkers.

 

In Closing

Great Pyrenees

If any of these statements about the Great Pyrenees appealed to you, then you should consider finding one of your own to be your dedicated sidekick!

Don’t let their appearance fool you, they are one of the sweetest, calmest companions you could get!

Content to go for a stroll or to be your cuddle bug, the Pyrenees are very adaptable.

Going from calm and cool to alert and ready to defend you with their life, you won’t find a more loyal pup!

This one-of-a-kind breed deserves to live up to their full potential and you could give that to them!

Each Pyr has its own unique personality, find out which Pyr is for you!

 

References

American Kennel Club (2022). Great Pyrenees 

Retrieved from the American Kennel Club:

https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/great-pyrenees/

 

Dogtime (2023). The Great Pyrenees 

Retrieved from Dogtime:

https://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/great-pyrenees

 

Great Pyrenees Club (2019). 

Retrieved from the Great Pyrenees Club:

https://hogpc.org/f-a-q-page

 

Speak Your Mind

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

See Why Our Customers Love Us!

Read Reviews

As Seen On

CART