Animal-World > Dogs > Working Dogs > Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees

Pyrenean Mountain Dog

Family: Canidae Great Pyrenees PictureCanis lupus familiarisPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Justin Brough
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We have a one year old great pyrenees named Mochi. He is the sweetest dog but certainly has a mind of his own. I purchased him to be a goat guardian but he... (more)  Marcy

The Great Pyrenees is bred to guard livestock, but is also used as a sled dog and a rescue dog.

The Great Pyrenees is also known as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog. This is a beautiful, large working dog breed. They were bred to protect livestock, and as a companion dog are instinctively protective of, and devoted to, their families.

Great Pyrenees dogs tend to be very gentle and affectionate toward their families. This large dog breed is easy going until provoked, so needs early socialization and a confident but firm hand in training. They will get along with children and cats, but may not be tolerant of other types of pets. When choosing a Great Pyrenees, look for signs or family history of hip dysplasia.

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Canidae
  • Genus: Canis
  • Species: lupus familiaris

Common Name(s) Great Pyrenees, Pyrenean Mountain Dog

Breed Type The Great Pyrenees is a large working breed. Prized as a guard of livestock, the Great Pyrenees also makes a devoted pet. Cool climates are best for this breed.

Background The Great Pyrenees is an ancient breed. Proof of the existence of dogs similar to the Great Pyrenees goes back to 1800 BC. Known as a European breed, it may have actually originated in Asia or Siberia. In addition to guarding livestock, the Great Pyrenees has served as a rescue dog, sled dog, and possibly a war dog.
Popular hybrids include the Golden Pyrenees, a cross between the Golden Retriever and the Great Pyrenees.

Description The Great Pyrenees is large and solid, with a thick, coarse, long coat. Colors include white with tan, gray, or pale yellow patches, and solid white. The head is wedge-shaped, the ears medium and triangular, the nose black, and the eyes dark brown. The tail is feathered and slightly curved upward. Males are usually 27-32 inches tall and weigh 100 pounds or more. Females are 25-29 inches and weigh 85 pounds or more.

Care and Feeding The Great Pyrenees should have a diet that consists of lamb, poultry, wheat and potato, with a high fat ratio. egular brushing is important for this breed, especially when shedding the undercoat. Baths should be given only as needed.
The Great Pyrenees is a healthy breed, but regular checkups are advised. Vaccinations are due as follows:

  • 6-8 weeks: Distemper, Leptospirosis, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvo, and Corona virus (DHLPPC)
  • 10-12 weeks: Second DHLPPC
  • 14-16 weeks: Third DHLPPC and rabies
  • Annually: DHLPPC and rabies booster

Great Pyrenees shed heavily once a year. Frequent vacuuming is necessary during this time.

Housing Your Dog The Great Pyrenees needs plenty of space if kept indoors. They need a yard to exercise in, but it is best to keep them fenced in to prevent them from wandering off.

Social Behaviors The Great Pyrenees gets along well with children if socialized with them early. It tends to get along well with other types of pets, particularly cats. Males may be aggressive toward any type of animal, however.

Handling and Training Great Pyrenees may be difficult to train. Their trainers must be confident and firm in order to succeed.

Activities The Great Pyrenees needs some form of exercise to stay healthy. This may be obtained through work as a livestock guardian. If not used for this purpose, they need long daily walks.

Breeding/Reproduction When selecting a mate for your Great Pyrenees, ask the owner about hip dysplasia test results.

Common Health Problems Generally a healthy breed, the Great Pyrenees sometimes suffers from hip dysplasia and skin problems. Skin problems may be avoidable by avoiding very hot temperatures.

Availability Great Pyrenees are easier to find in cool climate areas. Prices are usually $400 to $800.


Lastest Animal Stories on Great Pyrenees

Marcy - 2011-10-29
We have a one year old great pyrenees named Mochi. He is the sweetest dog but certainly has a mind of his own. I purchased him to be a goat guardian but he prefers to guard the couch. He chews our pillows, steals our laundry and sits on people, the other dogs, cats....This is def my new favorite breed of dog!

  • Charlie Roche - 2011-10-29
    Pyrenes are wonderful totally great dogs/companions. Most likely he will HERD the goats in time and do it quite naturally. For the first year or so, they prefer to herd their humans. Just enjoy and yes, they think they are a lap dog and they can be huge.
  • Espinay - 2014-02-17
    Pyrs are NOT herding dogs. They are guardians. While a flock may move with a Pyr when under threat they do not round up or move their charges the way a herding dog does. They work in a totally different way. To learn more about how livestock guardians work I recommend going to
L.B - 2011-03-09
I looooove great pyrenees. I have one named duddley. He is the clumsiest dog in the world, but the sweetest. One thing about great pyrenees is that they sit on you :), they bark all the time and they never listen to you.

  • Betina Savoie - 2011-04-18
    Obviously you are the wrong owner for a large dog like that. How do you go out and get a dog and not teach and train him?
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-04-18
    I love them also. I They eventually grow out of the clumsy stage but mine would fall down and over frequently. They love to be close but they are sure clumsy. Maybe because they grow so fast. Mine never barked a lot. Would there be a reson yours is barking that you can think of? Something in the yard or needs to go out - anything? Mine listened but I also trained them using little pieces of hot dog th basics COME SIT STAY HEEL once they had me trained, we didn't have any problems. Good luck. They are so soft.
  • Mowog - 2011-05-18
    My dog is a 9-month-old GP/Walker coonhound mix. He exhibits mostly GP characteristics. He is bright, calm, and has been easy to train. I must say, he is the clumsiest canine I have ever seen, especially for the first several months, as he would frequently fall down. He is very, very soft and eminently huggable. I have learned that if he barks, I had better go check it out.
  • David - 2011-08-11
    I have found the Great Pyrenees to be gentle, intelligent, obedient, loyal, and all clumsiness gone by four months old. He had six basic commands by nine weeks old. I have had mine since 8 weeks old; he is now three years old, a mere 150 pounds, and owns the security of the sheep flock and the ranch. Barking is nocturnal, when predators are near. No losses here or at any neighbors since he has been here. He is always working unless ordered otherwise. My coming and going is not his problem. Watching him work, day or night - he is Awesome. I believe God shares him with me. Best training is for a Pyr is found in Livestock
    Guardian Dog.
  • tasha fox - 2012-02-24
    I have a GP hound mix and love him to death. He is a gentle giant and has most of the GP in him cuz he loves to sleep and is a couch dog for sure. I go to work eveyday and he guards the house while I'm gone for 9hrs... then when I come home I take him for a walk and he's happy. At midnight after sleeping for a while he will get up and gaurd the house till morning than he goes to sleep when I wake up. The hound in him is crazy for food so he eats very fast so I'm always in the room to watch him so he won't eat so fast he gets sick... but really he is the best dog I have ever had in my life and I've owned a lot of dogs. I also own a border collie/shepherd mix and he's a male as well and they get along very well for 2 males. They look at each other like brothers and when one is not in sight the other dog is looking for him. I love them both very much and whoever said 2 males can't get along is false cuz they do great together. I was very strong minded with both when I got another male. I worked very hard to make them both understand im the pack leader and fighting is not allowed and today the hard work paid off cuz they love eachother.
Riches DeEurope - 2012-01-14
we are a family of great pyr. lovers and have great regard for this large size loving member of the family , loving and kind with children . bright and love to explore . right family member for right person with big heart and correct care for the dog . housedog just a lap dog while family watches tv....great protection to any inknown noise safe and wonderful breed , can't wait to purchase another. wish this one was up for purchase looks like our amber . Best in the world . MrDeEurope

  • Riches paul DeEurope - 2012-01-14
    hello ,

    good day love looking at this great dog and breed. Any chance with approval buy you we may be able to purchase . If not have others that wil fit into this quality of pyr. this is one great looking bager pyr. with sincere intrest. Mr.DeEurope and family
hollie burnett - 2012-01-03
We have a 3 year old Pyrenees/Akbash named Lillie. We couldnt have asked for a sweeter or more gentle dog. We also have 5 cats and she considers them her 'sheep' and is very protective of them!

  • Charlie Roche - 2012-01-03
    Pyrenes are absolutely great, sweet and loving and soft and cuddly. However, if you don't have something for them to ROUND UP (your kittens) they will round up all the humans in the neighborhood. They are so fun.