The Great Pyrenees
Pyrenean Mountain Dog

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The Great Pyrenees
Pyrenean Mountain Dog
Weight: 85 — 115 lbs
Height: 25” — 32”
AKC Rank 2008 #60
Lifespan: 10—12 yrs
Group: Working
Origin France

Dog Breed Info - The Great Pyrenees

Pyrenees mother, puppy and their pet girl.
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Breed Overview

Origin: Ancient times. Original function: Sheep guarding. Today, Companion, livestock guarding.

This breeds barks a lot and drools sometimes and is a messy drinker. Colors: White, or white with markings of grey, badger, reddish brown or tan.

When Nomadic shepherds brought their sheep to the Pyrenees Mountains, around 3000 b.c. the flock-guarding dogs came with them, forming the basis of the Great Pyrenees. These dogs excelled as livestock guardians for several centuries.

The first documented Pyrenees came to America in 1824. Many of the lesser dogs were given to tourists who brought them back to England and other countries. These dogs showed little resemblance to the great Pyrenees that had been so admired.

Fortunately, the breed still existed in adequate numbers and quality in their native mountain land so good breeding stock was obtained. These dogs served as the foundation of the modern Pyrenees. Serious importation of the breed to America occurred in the 1930’s and by 1933 the Great Pyrenees was registered by the AKC.


NOT easy to train. Stubborn. As a big, heavy dog with guarding instincts, the Great Pyrenees needs a lot of early socialization (something to check on if getting a puppy) and plenty of obedience training early in life and continuing on through. Does best with clicker training and positive reinforcement. The more time in training, the better the dog will be at home. This dog needs a really firm hand. The Pyrenees is not made for just any owner that comes along.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Great Pyrenees puppy? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

Some Great Pyrenees puppies can be difficult to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.

Great Pyrenees puppy frolicking in a field
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The Great Pyrenees is a devoted family guard dog that remains wary of strangers, both human and canine. As long as he is not provoked, he is calm, quiet and a bit serious. The dog is quite gentle with it’s family and with children. This dog can dominate an insecure owner due to it’s dominating nature so that should be considered before getting one. The Pyrenees must be kept on leash at all times. Maybe not a good choice for the first-time dog owner.

If you happen to get a Pyrenees with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."


Friendly Toward Other Dogs

No. Maybe if raised with them, but always wary due to their guarding instincts.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

No. Should be the only pet in the house.

Friendly Toward Strangers

No. Slow to make friends out of strangers. Once a friend is made, all is good.


Not very. Serious thinker.


Somewhat affectionate with family. They are a one-family dog.

Good with children?

No, not unless raised with the child. The Great Pyrenees should be kept away from toddlers where accidents can happen.

A Great Pyrenees listening intently to her owner.
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Good with Seniors over 65?

No. Too much to handle. Not very affectionate.

Living environment

House with large fenced yard where the dog could fetch balls and get exercise. Likes to be inside with his family or outdoors in the snow.


Energy level

Low energy. Indoor family guy.

Exercise needs, daily

A moderate walk on leash is needed daily, twice daily is better but it doesn’t have to be a marathon. The Great Pyrenees likes to hike, run and play in cold weather. Does not do well in hot weather.


Excellent. It’s in his blood.

Guard dog

Excellent. It’s in his heritage.




Brush twice weekly. Brush daily when shedding. The dog will ap[appreciate the extra attention. Get a stiff bristle brush from your pet store.



Suggest Reading For The Great Pyrenees
Click on the cover photo for more book information and reviews.

The book on the right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog emergencies, illnesses and injuries. It is a valuable reference book and I keep one close at hand.


Great Pyrenees Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Great Pyrenees puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training.
Great Pyrenees Breeders with puppies for sale.

Great Pyrenees Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for a Great Pyrenees Rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Great Pyrenees Rescue If adopting one, try to locate the dog health papers as they may come in handy later on.
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site but you might want to surf the web for Great Pyrenees Rescue groups or kennels closer to you if necessary.

Dog Health Issues For The Great Pyrenees
Below: The dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Great Pyrenees by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

Other problems could occur with your Great Pyrenees. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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