Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees

Group: Working Group

Origin: France

Males: From 27 to 32 inches (69 to 81cm)
Females: 25 to 29 inches

Weight: Weight should be in proportion to the overall size and structure of the dog. A 27 inch male will weigh approximately 100 lbs. and a 25 inch female will weigh about 85 lbs.

Also Known As: Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Le Chien de Montagne des Pyrénées, Grand Chien des Montagnes

Great Pyrenees
Image by April Anderson from Pixabay

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Breed Profile

The Great Pyrénées (known as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog in most places in England and Continental Europe and Le Chien de Montagne des Pyrénées or le Grand Chien des Montagnes in France) descended from the Molossian hounds brought to Spain by the Romans. He was originally used to protect sheep from predators and guard fortresses during the middle ages. The Pyr is a working dog who’s physical and mental characteristics have remained virtually unchanged through the centuries. While today, the Pyr is most commonly seen as a family companion or in the show ring, there is a growing interest to use the breed once again as a guardian of livestock.

In appearance, the Great Pyrenees is elegant, majestic and beautiful with a kind and regal expression. Adult Pyrs are calm, confident, affectionate and gentle by nature. Intelligent, an independent thinker, attentive, fearless and loyal, the Pyr is an excellent guard dog with a natural instinct to protect.

His coat was created to withstand severe weather; the outer coat is long, flat, thick and coarse while the undercoat is heavy and fine for insulation. He is all white or white with badger, grey or tan markings.


Health Issues

The Great Pyrenees breed’s average life expectancy is 10 to 12 years and they have few major genetic disorders. However, if you are considering the adoption of a Pyr puppy, or any breed, it is still very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main General Information page.)

Additional Health Resources:


Grooming Information

The Pyr’s coat requires regular brushing to remove dead hair and keep shedding to a minimum.

  • Grooming the Great Pyrenees
  • Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.

Training Resources

  • Starting the LGD Pup by Catherine de la Cruz
  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.


Additional Information

*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit:

*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

Breed Listing

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