great pyrenees

Great Pyrenees

General Description

(Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Chien de Montagne des Pyrénées) The Great Pyrenees is a beautiful, majestic dog with an overall appearance that denotes elegance, grace, and intelligence. The breed’s regal, kindly expression and sound, coordinated movements distinctly show the dog’s capability to be both a companion and a flock guard. While the coat of the Great Pyrenees implies a larger build, these dogs are actually of medium substance. Their body is well-proportioned and balanced, with the height of the withers being somewhat less than the length of the body from the shoulders to the buttocks. The angulations of the front and rear are balanced, and these proportions create the dog’s rectangular shape. Their muscular neck is of medium length and their topline is level. The chest is comparatively broad, and the rib cage is well-sprung, oval-shaped, and long enough to reach the elbows. The loin is strongly coupled and moderately tucked up, and the croup is gently sloping. Tails of this breed are plumed and are carried low when the dog is in repose. Their shoulders are muscular, well laid back, and lie close to the body. The length of the shoulder blades and the length of the upper arm are approximately the same. Their forelegs are well-boned and muscular enough to balance well with the rest of the dog’s frame. When perceived from the side, the forelegs are located directly under the withers. They have round, close-cupped feet that are thickly padded and feature a set of well-arched toes. Thighs of this breed are strong, brawny, and extend from the pelvis at right angles. The head of the Great Pyrenees is not heavy in proportion to the dog’s size. It is wedge-shaped and has a slightly rounded crown. The muzzle is approximately equal in length to the back of the skull. They have flat cheeks and a slight furrow between the eyes. They have medium-sized, almond-shaped eyes that are dark brown in color. Their small ears are V-shaped and have rounded tips, and their teeth close in a scissors or level bite. The weather resistant, double coat of the Great Pyrenees consists of a thick, flat, long outer coat of coarse, straight or slightly wavy hair that lies over a fine, dense, woolly undercoat. The hair is more profuse around the neck and shoulders, where it forms a ruff which is more pronounced in males of this breed. Coat colors for this breed include white or white with markings of badger, gray, reddish brown, or varying shades of tan.

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The Great Pyrenees is devoted, loyal, and even-tempered. They are calm unless provoked. They are natural guardians, and they are often used to guard livestock. This breed is leery of strangers and dogs it does not know. They are courageous, obedient, and affectionate with the people they love. They are very gentle with children. Because they are independent and somewhat stubborn by nature, they require a dominant owner who is self-assured in the dog’s presence. They are independent and hard-working, and they are sometimes difficult to train. Males of this breed are sometimes aggressive towards other dogs. They usually get along well with cats and other types of non-canine pets. This breed tends to drool, slobber, and bark a lot.

Should have large yard to roam and at least a 6 ft fence. They are known to be fence climbers


25 – 35 inches

25-35 is their show height, but in almost every case, they grow larger then that, with some up to 40 inches


85 – 100 pounds

General Health

Like many other large dog breeds, the Great Pyrenees is prone to hip dysplasia. Some lines can develop skin problems in hot weather conditions. This breed typically lives for about 10 years.

This breed lives up to 12 years. They are also prone to "bloat"

They are prone to bloat and eye infections due to their long eyebrows.


The Great Pyrenees is a descendant of the Hungarian Kuvasz and the Maremmano-Abruzzese. The breed is considered to be the aristocratic relative of the Newfoundland and the Saint Bernard. Remains of a dog similar to the Great Pyrenees were discovered in Europe and dated back to the year 1800 BC. It’s highly likely that the breed actually originated much earlier in Siberia or Asia. Throughout its native country of France, the Great Pyrenees has a long history as a guard dog of sheep and chateaux. These dogs were greatly sought after by French nobility throughout the seventeenth century. The AKC officially recognized the breed in 1933.


The double coat of the Great Pyrenees should be brushed on a regular basis. Extra care should be given to the undercoat when the dog is shedding. This breed should be bathed or dry shampooed only as necessary. They shed heavily once per year.

Coats should never be clipped sheared or cut. Brushing only.

Ideal Environment

The Great Pyrenees is not suited for life in a small household or apartment. They adapt well to a variety of living conditions, but they need plenty of space to stay physically and mentally healthy. They are a comparatively inactive breed indoors, and they are happiest with at least a medium-sized yard. This breed prefers cooler climates. They need a substantial amount of regular exercise to stay in good shape.

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