Great Pyrenees: The Complete Care Guide

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Great Pyrenees

Last Updated on August 30, 2023 by Fumipets

Great Pyrenees: The Complete Care Guide

 

The Great Pyrenees, often referred to as the “gentle giant,” is a majestic and noble breed known for its protective nature and strong bond with its family. Originating in the Pyrenees Mountains of France, this breed has a rich history as a guardian of livestock and a beloved companion. Here’s a summary of the Great Pyrenees breed, along with answers to some common questions:

Great Pyrenees


The distinctive characteristics of the Great Pyrenees are their long, flowing white coats and thoughtful faces. These enormous, powerful, calm, and intelligent dogs, known to their admirers as “Pyrs,” have long been used to working hard and making their own judgments.

They were bred to protect sheep from formidable predators in the Pyrenees mountains. Perhaps because this breed isn’t for everyone—they can sometimes seem obstinate and difficult to teach one minute, then docile and endearing—they aren’t very prevalent in the United States. The Great Pyrenees, however, may become a devoted family pet for the appropriate owner.

Appearance

It’s hardly surprising that the Great Pyrenees is sometimes likened to a polar bear given its enormous size, remarkable strength, and thick, fluffy white coat. The height of the Great Pyrenees varies from 25 to 32 inches at the shoulder. Males may reach a high over 100 pounds, while females typically average approximately 85 pounds. These canines have deep, dark eyes that are clever and soulful.

These dogs are extremely adorable. The Great Pyrenees are white, or largely white, with some badger, gray, or tan patterns. Surprisingly, the second layer resists tangles and grime. However, since the Great Pyrenees constantly shed, brushing is necessary to control the flying hair.  

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Temperament

The Great Pyrenees is a breed of dog that was developed to keep an eye on sheep and other animals for extended periods of time. 

Their innate need for independence might manifest as stubbornness or aloofness toward outsiders. It’s crucial to teach and socialize Great Pyrenees pups while they’re young due to this inclination and their size. This breed, in general, is kind and devoted, and he may make a wonderful family dog as well as a protector, keeping an eye on his owners, their kids, and other pets.

Living Needs

The Great Pyrenees are mountain dogs at heart and love the cold. These are the kinds of dogs who prefer to be outdoors in the snow rather than coming inside. Of course, you may not choose a breed like this if you reside in Florida. They’ll be more at ease in the colder temperatures, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have it.

The Great Pyrenees are best suited in a big, enclosed yard or perhaps a farm or ranch since they were literally bred to wander. Due to their propensity for wandering, this breed is best kept on a leash and requires barriers to prevent escapes and exploration. The Great Pyrenees prefer regular and peaceful environments and have a propensity to bark.

These dogs are nocturnal and tend to be more lively after dark since they were trained to stand watch over sheep at night a long time ago. They also like to nap all day. Pyrs are wonderful pet companions since they are friendly with cats and other much smaller animals.

The Great Pyrenees have a long history of solitude. They can now endure being alone, but they also tend to grow bored, which may result in unwanted behaviors. 

If your family doesn’t have much free time to devote to a dog and you spend a lot of time at work while the dog sits at home gazing at the wall, they may start acting out. They might be experiencing difficulties like anxiousness or separation anxiety. These are canines in need of employment. To keep them from being utterly bored, you should take them on long walks, play with them, and engage in some enrichment activities.

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Care

Pyrs shed a lot because of their double coat, which helps to protect them from the cold. There are seasonal sheds as well as a more extensive springtime shed. It helps to brush their hair at least once every week. The grooming practice should also include regular tooth brushing and nail trimming. 

The Great Pyrenees is an energetic breed, and frequent walks are a good type of moderate exercise for these dogs’ mental and physical health. They make great working dogs and take pleasure in things like obedience training, competitions, and pulling carts.

According to the Great Pyrenees Club of America, Pyrs may be strong-willed when it comes to training. They are intelligent and headstrong. They may not understand the purpose of sitting when asked to, and they have been characterized as “almost cat-like in their independence.” When training these dogs, consistency, positive reinforcement, and patience are essential.

Health

At 10–12 years old, the Great Pyrenees have a long lifetime for a big dog. Despite being typically healthy, Great Pyrenees are prone to a variety of illnesses, including dysplasia of the elbow and hip, knee issues, eye illnesses, neurological abnormalities, and several malignancies. 

Additionally, this breed is susceptible to bloat, also known as a gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) complex, a disorder that develops when the stomach twists as a result of an accumulation of air. It may endanger life. While there are certain measures owners may take to perhaps reduce the chance of bloat, according to Neabore, the ailment seems to have a hereditary component. 

He often suggests a surgery called a gastropexy to owners of large-breed pups, particularly those of the Great Pyrenees. This operation may be carried out while the animal is being spayed or neutered and comprises suturing the stomach’s outer wall to the body wall, preventing it from moving.

Neabore claims that the process is brief. “I normally advise doing it with any of those massive, deep-chested breeds as a preventative precaution against having that issue in the future.

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Great Pyrenees owners should discuss health concerns and preventative measures with their vets.

History

The hilly area between Spain and France, where these unusual white puppies historically protected sheep for their masters, inspired their name. Their heavy, weatherproof jackets protected them from the cold at the high heights.

These canines have earned a lot of respect throughout history for their intelligence and elegant appearance. The Great Pyrenees Club of America claims that the Great Pyrenees was so revered in France that King Louis XIV’s court proclaimed the breed the “Royal Dog of France” in 1675.

According to fossil data, these dogs have existed for a very long period. This breed, considered to have originated in Asia as far ago as 11,000 years ago, is similar to Bronze Age deposits that date to 1800–1000 B.C.

There is now just one variety of Great Pyrenees, however, there are several Great Pyrenees mixes, including Pyredoodle (Great Pyrenees plus poodle), Malanees (Great Pyrenees plus Alaskan malamute), and Shepnees (Great Pyrenees plus German shepherd).


Common Questions:

 

Are the Great Pyrenees good with other pets?

With proper socialization, Great Pyrenees can get along with other pets. Their protective instincts might lead them to watch over smaller animals.

Are they good for apartment living?

Due to their large size and protective nature, the Great Pyrenees are better suited for homes with spacious yards or rural settings.

Are they prone to barking excessively?

Great Pyrenees are known for their barking, which is part of their guarding instinct. Training can help manage excessive barking.

Do they require extensive training?

While they are intelligent, the Great Pyrenees have an independent streak. Consistent, positive reinforcement-based training is essential from an early age.

Do they shed a lot?

Yes, Great Pyrenees shed year-round with heavier shedding during shedding seasons. Regular grooming can help manage their shedding.

The Great Pyrenees is a breed that combines elegance, loyalty, and protective instincts. With proper training, socialization, and care, they make wonderful companions for families seeking a devoted and majestic four-legged friend.

 
 

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