If you ever crave for a polar bear, you can buy Great Pyrenees that looks similar to it. This breed is huge and fluffy and a treat to eyes. Its majestic snow white fur gives the dog prepossessing beauty. This dog is naturally protective in nature. It can protect estate, flocks of sheep, livestock, human and even children or other dog animal.
They also have an instinct drive to nurture wounded animals or baby animals. Because of their versatile nature, this breed is categorized as working class breed. They are sweet natured, gentle with children and loyal. Hence they possess every quality which an ideal pet dog should sport. According to American kennel club a standard breed should possess double dewclaws on its back legs.
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Great Pyrenees Origin
This dog originated in Pyrenees Mountains, which is natural border between France and Spain. Historically it was bred for to herd sheep. The dog is known by name Great Pyrenees in USA and Canada only. UK and other European countries call it Pyrenean Mountain Dog. This breed was favored by King Louis XIV and he declared the dog as “Royal Dog of France.”
With the introduction of transport and technology, this breed got imported to USA and Canada and later gained popularity all over European countries. After the two world wars, this breed was on verge of extinction but breeders took initiative to restore the glory of this much admired dog.
Great Pyrenees Facts And Characteristics
- This breed belongs to Pyrenees Mountains and is a working class breed
- They are fluffy looking breed with majestic fur on body
- They look like polar beer
- They are protective in nature and natural healer of wounded animals
- They are high spirited, affectionate and loyal breeds
- They live around 10 to 12 years of age
- Their height is around 70–82 cm
- Their weight ranges from 50–54 kg
- They are available in white, red, tan and grey colors
- Historically they were used to guard sheep
- They tend to be vocal in nature
- They have an independent thinking and wandering habit
- Their price is around $800 to $1200
- They are not hypoallergenic in nature.
They are fluffy shabby looking cute dogs. Anyone can fall in love with its appearance at first sight. They are large and heavy in body appearance. They have wedged shaped facial structure with almond shaped dark brown eyes. Its eyes are expressive and thoughtful. Nose and lips are also dark brown in color. Like full body, tail is also bushy and thick which is carried down. The dog is rectangular in structure.
Size and Weight
Male breed height lies between 27 to 32 inches at the shoulder while female height is around 25 to 29 inches. A dog weight should be in proportionate with height. Generally a 27 inches dog weighs around 100 pounds.
Coat and Color
They possess a thick double coat which is weather resistant. The hair is dense, long and straight. The upper coat is soft to touch while the top coat is coarse to touch. The coat gets thicker at the neck region. Generally this dog is white in color. Few dogs may contain other colors like red, tan and yellow. However color markings will not cover one-third of the dog’s body. Featherings can be seen at the back of the dog’s leg.
Great Pyrenees Temperament
- Personality – This dog was bred to guard sheep and later estates. This makes the dog fiercely protective in nature. Dog seize any newcomer in the house without thinking once. You can reduce its protectiveness level by right training and acknowledging the welcoming guests at home to dog. They are patient and playful around family kids but same cannot be said with outside kids. This dog takes the role of guard dog quite seriously.
- Behavior – They thrives in an environment where they are engaged in work. Boredom turns them destructive and as a result they may start barking incessantly and chew furniture or shoes. They may also turn aggressive if the owner is devoting time to it. Being territorial in nature they may not like other pets at home especially male dog. They naturally come on attack mode seeing any stranger. They lack socialization skills which you need to teach through training.
- Trainability – They have an independent mindset. You cannot make this dog learn skills through cruel behavior. You need to be firm with an air of gentleness in your behavior. Socialization seeds should be sown in dog’s mind at the time of childhood. You need to be patient and persistent in training this breed.
- Activities Requirement – Being a working class breed; you need to engage your dog in some sort of work. They need at least an hour or so duration of exercise. They love to do challenging task. Their best day is when their owner takes it on walk on mountainous region. Because of their huge size, loud voice and high level of exercise needs, they are not suitable for apartment life. This breed also takes time to get matured; it will still behave like a puppy when the dog has fully grown up. Care should be taken in summer season. They have low tolerance for heat and can collapse if they are vigorously exercised at that season.
Despite being huge in size their feeding quantity is low. They feed exactly of same amount what a middle sized or large sized animal eats. The reason behind their less eating capacity is their slower metabolism for their size. Food should be of high quality that is free from fillers and rich in natural digestive ingredients. During summer season you can also skip its meal.
They live around 10 to 12 years of age.
Great Pyrenees Health Issues
They are not hypoallergenic breed. Breed may suffer from following health issues,
- Elbow and hip dysplasia
- Shoulder osteochondrosis
- Deafness, cataract
- Heat strokes
- Progressive retinal atrophy
Dog’s coat is easy to groom. Nothing definitive can be said about its shedding; it varies from one dog to another. However you should brush its coat thrice a week to remove debris or lose hair.
Bath it only when required else it can lose its natural oil that makes the coat dirt and water repellent. Brushing its teeth and cleaning its ear should be included in grooming regime. Never ever trim the dewclaws because it contains bones helpful for dog’s functionality.
They are not suitable for apartment size house and regions receiving high temperatures. They thrive well in cold climate regions.
Things To Consider Before Buying
- They make excellent guard dog
- They are lovable and friendly to family members
- They are protective of their family members, sheep and estate.
- Their feeding cost is low.
- They cannot tolerate heat
- They tend to be vocal
- They are not suitable for apartment
- They need active owners who can provide it vigorous exercise.