Dog Profile-Great Mountain Pyrenee
History of the Breed
Like all mountain dogs,this pooch is a descendant of the ancient Tibetan Dog,that was brought to Europe during the fifth century by Asian,nomadic peoples.Great Pyrenees are,thus,related to other European sheperd breeds such as the Kuvasz and the Maremma Sheepdog.Furthermore,they are also considered to be relatives of the Saint Bernard and Terranova.Great Pyrenees are known to have been apreciated company dogs for the French nobility of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.In fact,in 1824,general Lafayette had sent a letter to one of his American friends, eulogizing his Great Pyrenee and describing it in great detail.
Height: 65.0 - 80.0 cm
Weight: 43.0 - 56.0 kg
Physical Appearance: Great Pyrenees are large,athletic dogs.Their heads have a trapezoidal shape and their snouts are equal to their skulls in size.Their nose is always dark coloured.Their eyes are usually brown and obliquely shaped.Great Pyrenees have V-shaped,flabby ears and long,bushy tails.They have a double coat-the outer coat is covered with medium to long hair follicles.The hair around their neck forms a "mane".They come in multiple colors,although the most frequent one is white.Other varieties are grey,beige and white-brown (bicolored).
Personality: Great Pyrenees are balanced and peaceful dogs.They are intelligent and usually devout to their owners.This dog is brilliant with small children as it is very tolerant with humans.However,they can get into nasty fights with other large dogs but they will not hurt miniature dogs such as terriers and other small animals.Great Pyrenees are reserved regarding strangers,always keeping a defensive stance.They tend to be difficult and stubborn at times and they are predisposed to a nocturnal lifestyle-resting during daytime and guarding their owners' home at night.
Care: This dog requires regular grooming.Brush intensively during shedding period!Great Pyrenees are generally healthy dogs-they can live up to 12-13 years.Common health issues for these dogs are bloating, hip dysplasia, bone cancer and luxated patellas.They can develop skin problems in very hot weather.
Environment: This is NOT an apartment dog.This is a weather resistant dog,that is very active and likes to move freely in open spaces.It requires a lot of exercise (on a daily basis) and does best with an active,energetic family.It requires early training and socialisation.
Training: Great Pyrenees require early training.If they are not trained before reaching maturity they can become very independent and stubborn.Training must be consequent and firm but not violent!
Utility: Great Pyrenees are brilliant guard dogs.In fact they are so good at guarding that they can drive wolves and bears away from sheep flocks.They do well as watchdogs,too as they are reserved when it comes to strangers and will alert their owners upon sighting an intruder.Great Pyrenees also make good family pets as they are calm and tolerant with humans.
Pros and Cons
-tolerant and protective with small children
-can be very stubborn and independent (early training is a must)
-brilliant guard dogs
-have a wide range of utilities
-can be agressive with other large dogs
-loyal to their owners,they are reserved when it comes to strangers
-require a lot of exercise and activity and a large,open space