Great Pyrenees


A large sized white Great Pyrenees
Great Pyrenees Quick Summary
Also Known AsPyrenean Mountain Dog
Height (at withers)25-32in (63.5-81cm)
Weight85-130lbs (39-59kg)
Hair Colour(s)White, tan, grey
Lifespan8-12 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size6-10
Barking TendencyMedium
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of trainingMedium
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftLow

The Great Pyrenees is a large dog with a cuddly and sturdy build. The body is well-muscled with strong shoulders, straight front legs and a long plumed tail. The large, wedge shaped head has a slightly rounded crown, drooping rounded ears and dark almond-shaped eyes. The thick, weather-resistant double coat can make the dog appear bigger than it actually is, and consists of a dense, woolly undercoat and a long and flat, course outercoat with a mane around the neck and shoulders. The colouring is normallywhite or white with tan or grey markings.


Great Pyrenees are confident, friendly and affectionate gentle giants that love human companionship, and they are a great choice for families that can provide adequate space for them to get some exercise. These intelligent dogs are quick to learn but can also be stubborn and very independent, which makes them more suitable for those with some experience of dog ownership rather than for novices. It is important for owners to be assertive and confident around these dogs, otherwise they may assume leadership and become dominant and bossy, and early obedience training and socialisation are very important. Territorial and protective of their flock and family, they get on fine with children when raised alongside them and will tend to be gentle and protective, but their large size means they are not suitable for small children. This protection will extend to other household pets, but they may chase away any strange animals and can be reserved around strangers. These courageous and protective dogs makes for good watchdogs.

History & Skills

Great Pyrenees originate from France, in particualar the Pyrenees Mountains from where they take their name. Bred to guard sheep from predators such as bears and wolves in these moutains, these days they have become trusted companions and family dogs. Their versatility has also seen them being used as therapy and rescue dogs, and as they retain their skills at being able to identify predators and unwelcome visitors, they continue to be used as guard dogs to protect homes, property and large estates.

Breed Specific Ailments

Great Pyrenees tend to live between 8-12 years and are fairly healthy and long living dogs for their size. Some of the health concerns noted in this breed includes elbow and hip dysplasia, luxating patella, entropion, cataracts, bleeding problems, and spinal problems. These dogs have low metabolisms and are sensitive to anesthesia.


Great Pyrenees are heavy shedders that also shed more heavily on a seasonal basis twice a year, and so are not really suited to those with allergies. However, their grooming requirements are not high as they are blessed with a coat that sheds dirt and makes grooming pretty easy. The coat will need brushing once a week, more during heavier shedding periods, and the eyebrows will need trimming to enable the dog to see properly. They will enjoy occasional baths or dry shampooing.

Exercise & Environment

Great Pyrenees are large dogs and require ample indoor and outdoor space, and so are not suitble for small homes such as apartments. They thrive best in rural settings, such as farms, and ideally need a quiet place to call their own. In urban environments they would need a well fenced yard or and secure garden area. Although quiet and inactive indoors, they love to release any pent up energy when outdoors through play, and enjoy a range of outdoor activities. They will get some exercise from their natural instincts to patrol, but a daily walk on the leash will help burn off excess energy and reduce boredom ad the risk of any destructive behaviour. Great Pyrenees like to wander off and explore, and so should be kept in secure areas and walked on a leash.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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