Great Pyrenees 

Breed History

Great Pyrenees Puppy

Great Pyrenees came from Asia or Siberia and were brought to Southwest Europe where they are known to come from. Herding dog, or flock guardian, always work alongside Shepherd dogs to herd and guard the flock.

Europe and UK call them Pyrenean Mountain dog, big mountain dog, or dog of Pyrenees. Dog has been around since thousands of years B.C. and evidence of their bones date thousands of years ago. One of the older breeds in the world.

Ownership by peasants and Royal members are well known. Mostly known as a dog that peasants had there is information regarding leaders of nations hosting them as pets also.

Many people believe the dogs are wolves or mastiffs. They aren’t Wolves or Mastiffs, but many breeds come from this dog. Newfoundland and Saint Bernard have them in their bloodline.

Saint Bernard extinction was saved from breeding with the Great Mountain Dog. Distemper and other diseases plaguing their homeland made their numbers dangerously low and the Pyrenees were of service to keep them afloat.

Late American entry to American Kennel Club in the 1930’s but they have been in America since the 1800’s. Far less popular than the dogs they are bred with like the Saint Bernard or Newfoundland, but they still hover around 70th in registration numbers.

Registration

Many places around the world recognize them with their Kennel Clubs. It is hard to go anywhere around the world and not run into an owner who has this breed.

Popularity has been shrinking over the last decades, but they will always have a place in many dog owner’s backyard.

Here are the Kennel Clubs that recognize this breed.

Great Pyrenees Size

Male Weight: 110-120 pounds

Female Weight: 80-90 pounds

Male Height: 28-32 inches

Female Height: 26-29 inches

Males are much larger than the females. You will see a noticeable difference between the different genders. Height is almost a non-factor, but you will see males slightly taller.

Litter Size

Mother dogs will see anywhere from 7 on average up to 12 puppies. Big breeds have an ability to have larger litter sizes than smaller breeds.

Colors

  • Main Color
  • White
  • Markings
  • Gray
  • Badger
  • Reddish Brown
  • Tan
  • Markings Area
  • Ears
  • Full Mask on Head
  • Tail
  • Small Body Spots

Great Pyrenees Price

You should look forward to paying around $1,500 to $5,000 for your dog. Papers on the dog will increase the price due to the documentation of the bloodline and certainty of quality for the puppy.

Without papers you will spend a couple hundred dollars, but you will not have the confidence that the dog is full blood. So, you must make the decision between quality and price.

Grooming

Fluffy white with a double coat and sheds all year long. They completely shed their coats at least one time per year sometimes two. Dogs double coat will help keep them warm in the winter and shed to keep them cooler in the summer.

The areas you want to stay on top of are the following

  1. Brushing
  2. Combing
  3. Bath
  4. Eyes
  5. Nails
  6. Ears
  7. Teeth
  8. Professional Help

Brush the hair often multiples times per week all the way to the skin. That will keep the coat healthy and shiny.

Combing the hair is very important for dogs with double coats. You need to untangle the coat on a weekly basis.

Bath whenever the dog is dirty or bath them on a schedule. Either way this is up to the owner, but you want to make sure you don’t bath too much.

Keep the eyes clean of debris and dry.

Nails should be trim if you walk them all the time. Daily activity is a requirement in our program. If you choose not to exercise the nails will grow long and you will need clippers to trim the nails.

Ears can get an infection if you don’t keep them clean. Practice cleaning the ear at least once a week of dirt and that will keep the ear infections low.

Teeth need to be clean. Your dog will get a lot of plaque if left unchecked.

Last, but not least is to get professional help. For a few bucks you can have a professional take care of everything we just went over.

Great Pyrenees Life Span

Life span of a Great Pyrenees is 10-12 years.

You can expect a full decade of your life with this breed. That is a long time to care for, feed, exercise, and train one dog.

A few dogs make it to see the mid-teens.

Make sure you are willing to make the commitment to keep this dog for the duration of his or her life.

Health Issues

Hip Dysplasia – is a condition where the legs don’t fit properly into the hip socket causing pain for the canine during exercise and normal activity. Pain will be noticeable within the first few months of life and will persist. X-ray’s from a vet will determine if they have this condition or not.

Eye Disorders – There are many eye problems and you should take this breed to the vet at least annually for a checkup.

Luxating Patellas – the knees slip out of position and cause discomfort. The dog will require surgery to take care of this issue and time to heal.

Bloat – a deadly condition that causes dog to die at an alarming rate. Stomach expansion puts pressure on the other organs and veins. Resulting in death in a lot of cases if the condition isn’t taken care of quickly.

There are two tests that Great Pyrenees Club of America recommend in their health statement.

Hip testing

Patella Luxation exam

There are eight more that are on the list that affect his breed. Click on the link for their health statement for more information.

Breed Group

Working group is the dog breed they’re in. All the dogs in this group did multiple activities that were assisting humans. Some of the dogs in this group were herding, pulling, guardians, and many other talents that were in need at some previous timeframe.

The dogs in this group are

They come from many different countries, different coat types, and different sizes but they all were bred to work. Legendary group to be apart of and great dogs in the canine community.

Exercise Needs

Like all big breeds it isn’t too hard to get the big fella in a state of exhaustion. We would call their energy level moderate and doesn’t require a high volume of exercise.

Ultimately, we understand that all dogs need different levels within the same breed so the dog will decide how much they need with their conduct.

Here is what we recommend:

Morning 1 hour run, walk, or treadmill

Evening 30 minutes run, walk, or treadmill (optional)

I would just try to get a morning session of exercise and see if that’s all they need. Sometimes one trip outside may do the trick.

Whenever behavior problems start to exist and continue add another session at the end of the day. That should be all they need to reach a good exercise regimen.

Behavior problems should be looked at in relation to how much exercise you’ve been giving them. Tired dog is a good dog will always be a true statement.

Failure to reach the requirements of an exercise program will be like a domino effect to the rest of your training efforts. Dogs show high levels of excitement when they don’t have a daily outlet.

The results will be a dog that jumps, bites, nips, barks excessively, and doesn’t listen every time. Later, they will start using aggression to deal with the energy needs.

Be careful with them, like other dogs with a double coat, when exercising in the summer time. Get them out early in the morning to prevent overheating.

How to Socialize a Dog or Puppy

Training

Known as a dog that doesn’t like to listen. What does that mean? Nothing at all. You can get any dog to listen to you. A brand-new owner will have issues but any do trainer with experience will be happy to take on the challenge.

As we were just discussing the previous section if the dogs don’t want to listen that means more exercise. That’s why it is the biggest part of the training program.

Getting compliance over some what listening will happen quickly. Making the dog listen to you every day for hours at a time is what exercise does.

Many people skip over this step and will always fall short of having a dog that was given complete training.

Commands are apart of the program but not the biggest part contrary to belief. You will spend the least amount of time on teaching commands to your dog.

Once you understand the amount of repetition you need to teach the dog you will be able to teach them almost anything with the right work ethic. Again, this is a small portion of training.

Finally, you will need to correct this dog to get their attention. Owners report the dog not listening. Attention is a big part of not listening. Whenever you don’t have the attention a light correction will snap them back into listening.

Combine the exercise program, repetition with commands, and learning the principles of corrections will set you and your dog up for success.

Top 10 Commands to Teach Your Dog

Ultimate Puppy Training Guide

Are Great Pyrenees a Good Pet?

Yes, they’re a lower energy big breed that protects the yard. Most people want a dog that will protect the household. This dog does it with size and aggression.

Dog aggression is very low, and they get along well with other dogs that you will have already or add to the home.

Great with kids and don’t have a bad reputation. Known to be gentle and protective is a beautiful combination.

Overall, there is no bad traits that you need to worry about. The biggest threat for this dog is the owner not understanding how to raise them and the work requirement in order to train them.