Group: Working Group
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
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.
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:
- GPCA Health Committee Report (PDF format)
- Health and Nutrition — Growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website which includes information on several health and nutrition related issues.
- Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) — Providing a source of health information for owners, breeders, and scientists that will assist in breeding healthy dogs. CHIC is a centralized canine health database jointly sponsored by the AKC/Canine Health Foundation (AKC/CHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).
- AKC Canine Health Foundation — Working towards developing scientific advances in canine health.
- OFA – Companion Animal Eye Registry (CAER)
- Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)
- Ontario Veterinary College (OVC)
- University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHip)
- HealthGene — HealthGene Corporation is the leading provider of veterinary DNA diagnostic services in Canada.
- Labgenvet — Laboratory of Veterinary Genetics is a Canadian diagnostic laboratory that offers a comprehensive service of DNA tests for veterinary genetic diseases.
The Pyr’s coat requires regular brushing to remove dead hair and keep shedding to a minimum.
- Working Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGD) — What is their Job?
- Livestock Guardian Dogs: Their Current Use Worldwide by Robin Rigg
- The Great Pyrenees Temperament
- Is this the Breed for You?
- Est-ce une race qui vous convient?
- Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
- Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.
*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: www.caninehealthinfo.org
*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.