Great Pyrenees dogs are huge in size and regality. They are calm, composed and easy going. These dogs are usually reserved and aloof with strangers, especially if not socialized from an early stage. They are quite strong physically as well as mentally and hence require firm and consistent training.
Great Pyrenees dog breed is also known as Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Le Chien des Pyrenees or Great Pyrenees. The pure breed is believed to have originated from Pyrenean Mountains. Although, the rich history of these wonderful dogs can be traced back to the Bronze Age even before Christ. They were used to protect and guard sheep, goats and other livestock.
These balanced and proportionate dogs are a bit longer than they are tall with slight featherings along the back of the front legs and thighs. Their medium sized, low set ears lying close to the head are V-shaped and slightly round at the tips.
The almond shaped eyes are dark brown in color and moderate in size. Their eye rims, nose and lips are black in color. The tail is long, bushy and slightly curled. The strands of hair at the upper and lower face meet at a point typically forming a line starting from the outer corner of the eyes up to the base of the ears.
Color: The coat is white in color, at times, with markings of red, grey, or various shades of tan around the face, ears, tail etc. the undercoat may also be white or shaded.
Height: Great Pyrenees dogs are generally 27 to 32 inches in height. The average height for the females varied between 25 to 29 inches.
Weight: The dogs are usually 100 pounds in weight whereas the bitches are generally about 85 pounds in weight.
Large Great Pyrenees are prone to health issues like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, luxating patella and other spinal problems. They are also susceptible to bleeding disorders and eye diseases such as cataract, entropion, etc.
Health problems like Chondrodysplasia (dwarfism) and Addison’s disease and bloating have also been associated with this breed of dogs. In addition, Great Pyrenees are better off in cooler environments as they can be quite sensitive to hot climates.
Life Expectancy: On an average Great Pyrenees can live up to 10 to 12 years in good health.
Litter Size: 6 to 10 puppies
The moderate sized, weather resistant, thick Great Pyrenees double coat requires moderate amount of grooming. The long outer coat consists of straight and coarse whereas the dense and abundant undercoat is wooly in texture.
Therefore, the hair coat requires at least weekly brushing and combing. They tend to shed heavily during the shedding season. Bathing activity can be carried out occasionally depending on the condition of the coat. Their eyebrows should be trimmed on a regular basis to make the dog comfortable.
The long hair coat can be difficult to maintain in terms of working dogs. So, it can be shaved, but the coat should not be shaved in summers in order to protect the dog from sun exposure. Other grooming duties include nail clipping, teeth brushing, eye cleaning and ear cleaning.
Great Pyrenees breed dogs are characterized by gentle, serious, affectionate, confident, well mannered, protective, tolerant, independent, assertive, courageous and intelligent temperament. They generally get along well with children and other pets in the house. At times, these attentive dogs can exhibit protective and territorial behavior too.
Plus, the Great Pyrenees are quite well-known for being notoriously strong willed. These curious dogs might exhibit streaks of exploratory nature and silently wander off in case the owners are not attentive. They make for excellent watchdogs as they love to bark, especially during night.
A typical Great Pyrenees thrives on physical activity and spacious surroundings. Hence, it might be difficult for these dogs to settle in apartment situation. Thus, apartment dwellers should make special arrangements before getting these dogs. They are relatively quiet indoors and do not engage in mischievous activities.
These working dogs are immensely devoted to their owners. Therefore, in their turn, it is the responsibility of the owners to look after the health of their beloved dogs by engaging them in different activities, taking them out for long, brisk walks, and providing them access to moderate to large sized yards.