The Great Pyrenees is a stunning dog breed belonging to the AKC working ground. “Pyr’s” are considered calm, patient and smart. Bred to work independently, obedience training can be a challenge. They carry the label of being strong-willed.
My sister-in-law, who adopted a Great Pyrenees, said her male likes to roam. She can usually find him lying on a neighbors porch, sleeping. The Great Pyrenees Club of America explains-“Pyrenees have been known to increase their territory and may also protect stock belonging to adjoining neighbors pastures.”
The Great Pyrenees is a very old breed that has been used for hundreds of years by shepherds, including those of the Basque people. The Basque people developed the breed to protect their flocks from predation by bears and wolves, and have been used for this purpose for over a thousand years.
Some believe they originally came from Central Asia or Siberia and followed the migration into Europe. One of the first descriptions of the breed dates back to 1407, and was a favorite of the French aristocracy.
Great Pyrenees is a very large dog breed. Males can weigh between 110-120 pounds, with an average height range of 22″-24″ tall.
Their main coat color is white with shades of gray, red, or tan around their face, ears and sometimes on the body and tail. The weather resistant double coat has a long, thick, outer layer of coarse hair, over-top a dense, fine, woolly undercoat.
The coat is thicker around the neck and shoulders where it forms a ruff or mane, which is more pronounced in males to help fend off wolf attacks.
Wikipedia states they have one singular characteristic unique to the Great Pyrenees, double dew claws on each hind leg!
Affectionate, good with children and doesn’t mind being alone. They can be lazy in warmer weather and are prone to drooling when exercised. Widely recognized as having a keen intelligence and a kind, but regal expression.
By nature, the Great Pyrenees is nocturnal, so be prepared for barking at night. These steadfast guardians usually exhibit a Zen-like calm, but can quickly spring into action to meet any threat.
The Great Pyrenees Club of America describes one of the most interesting qualities of a Great Pyrenees-“the absolute intolerance of all predators, coupled with extraordinary patience and kindness to stock.”