The Great Pyrenees also goes by the name of the Pyrenean mountain dog is a large breed of dog that weighs between 85 – 100 pounds with a height average between 25 -32 inches. These specific dogs date back to centuries old and are best known for the role of protecting livestock. They enjoy working and do well with an owner that is active.
The Great Pyrenees has a water-resistant coat that is thick and long that is either totally white or white that features patches of pale yellow, reddish-brown, gray or tan. Their eyes are dark brown and almond-shaped and the nose and lips are black. The tail is feathered and the ears present a V-shape. The life expectancy of this breed is around 12 years or more.
Fossil deposits found in Europe from 1800-1000 BC from the Bronze Age have produced remains of the Pyrenean dog. This breed was often a companion to noble men and French royals and they were used on the steep slopes on the Pyrenees Mountains to guard the flocks. They served as protectors against predators or wild animals that quickly reinforced the dog’s loyalty, intelligence and devotion. This breed is also known for its incredible sight and incredibly strong sense-of-smell.
Originally the Great Pyrenees were livestock guards, today only a few are still used for this purpose. This breed makes a great companion pet and is enjoyed with participating in sledding, avalanche rescue and protecting property and families.
The Great Pyrenees are highly intelligent dogs, incredibly loyal and so courageous that they would give up their own life in order to protect their property or family. They are extremely wary of other dogs and strangers and are often difficult when it comes to training due to their nature which is independent. They are instinctively used to making their own decisions and this behavior is often viewed as stubborn.
This breed is affectionate with their owners or family members and are suitable with children and even non-canine pets when they have been socialized, which is highly recommended during the first year of the puppies life. Great Pyrenees that are not used for working purposes require a lot of exercise and socialization in order to avoid destructive behavior. This breed is very used having work to attend to and are not suitable for spending time on their own or being idle.
Living in an apartment is definitely not suitable for this breed. They require a large yard or a firm commitment to some serious exercise every day. Caution is needed when taking this breed outdoors as they instinctively will want to find out about the boundaries of the property that will require protection. When taking the dog for a walk, the breed will be known to wander away in order to search for a perimeter. It is highly advisable to always use a leash when taking this breed away from their home.
This breed is also known for barking in the evening time and a few can slobber or drool. Cooler climates are more agreeable with the Great Pyrenees. In most cases these breeds will work as a unit or team when they protect livestock. When a threat has been noted one of these dogs will always stay with the flock while the others will move off to investigate. Even though this breed is not typically agreeable with other types of dogs, they do work fairly well for herding other dogs that they have already been socialized with.
Great Pyrenees that do not have a job or tasks to attend to will definitely require play and daily walks in order to get rid of energy. Without exercise this breed can become extremely destructive. Exercise should take place in a contained or fenced off area or on a leash.
Over and above maintain this breeds toenails, ears and teeth, their coats will need to be brushed 2 to 3 times a week as they are regular shedders. Their entire coat will excessively shed once a year and every day brushing will be needed at this time. Their coats are not prone to matting, unless they are working dogs and trapped debris and dirt lands up in their coats. Sunburn is a very common problem in the summer time if the coat has been shaved and bathing should be kept to a minimum as it can cause irritations to the skin.
This breed is typically healthy with only very few health problems. Although these issues can vary from one dog to another. These issues can include:
• Skin issues
• Luxated patella
• Hip dysplasia
• Canine bone cancer
The Great Pyrenees breed is recommended for people who live on large properties and have the time and patience to spend with their pets. These dogs make excellent companions and protectors.