Combining elegance with great strength, it’s no surprise this stately working dog is considered one of the most beautiful breeds in the world. And their puppies are adorable! Our team saw one at Landings Park the other day in Fort Walton Beach and it was ridiculously cute. It resembled one of the Polar Bear babies off the old Coca-Cola commercials.
So without further adieu the breed we’re referring to is the Great Pyrenees!
Aside from their good looks and mellow attitude, these dogs are as patient as they come. History shows their innate patience came in handy when sitting atop a freezing-cold mountain for days on end with nothing to do but look at sheep.
Their centuries-old aptitude for guarding livestock translates into a loyal and protective companion today. Great Pyrenees are steadfast, vigilant protectors of their families.
If you’re considering bringing a Great Pyrenees puppy into your home, then you already know there are tons of things to consider first. We’re here to help and provide a clear picture of how one of these canines may fit into your life.
Think a Great Pyrenees puppy could be right for you?
These stoic dogs exemplify courage and patience, but they’ll jump into action swiftly if something threatens their family.
Let’s cover the details…
They’re practically giants! Great Pyrenees males will reach a height of 27-32 inches, while females will usually be 25-29 inches tall. Typically, males weigh 100+ pounds, and females weigh 85+ pounds.
Great Pyrenees are strong, muscular dogs. They sport a regal, weatherproof double coat that comes in a striking shade of white. How’s that for a “Devil Wears Prada” fashion description?
Some would say their dark brown eyes express patient kindness, and they have a curved “shepherd’s hook” tail.
Placid and calm, the Great Pyrenees is a gentle and affectionate breed perfect for families. They’re patient and tolerant with children, although they can sometimes be overly protective around strangers and unfamiliar pets.
Combined with their size this makes them very intimidating, so training and socialization are crucial to help control their protective instincts.
This breed can get on the serious side pretty quickly. Their confidence and fearlessness steered in the wrong direction is a big no no.
Grooming and Health Needs
The thing about Great Pyrenees is that they shed. They shed a lot. While their outer coat is dirt and tangle-resistant, their soft undercoat will shed significantly.
A nice weekly 30-minute brushing session will reduce the amount of fur that ends up on your furniture, clothes, and everything else!
This is not a dog for those that need spotless carpets or mind tiny dog hair tumbleweeds blowing around their tile floors. (Though an aggressive cleaning schedule or robot vacuum never hurts.)
Potential health problems include hip dysplasia, cancer, bloat, eye problems, and heart problems.
The Great Pyrenees is an independent thinker with a strong will.
Their historical job as an unsupervised guard dogs meant long hours spent alone. This can sometimes translate into a breed that is not accustomed to taking orders, and a little fuzzball that suddenly pretends they don’t remember their name or how to “drop it”. They will test you at times, but what breed doesn’t?
Owners must be patient and firm to make training stick. Great Pyrenees can become bored easily, and engagement is key.
Socialization is also important, as, without it, Great Pyrenees puppies can become overly protective of their family. (Even if there’s only one of you.)
It’s necessary to help them meet different kinds of people in controlled environments.
Great Pyrenees have a moderate energy level. They’re generally satisfied with just a couple of short daily walks.
Despite their label as a herder, Great Pyrenees were meant as guards. While they can spring into action, they were bred to stay still and vigilant for long hours and naturally conserve their energy.
On average, 10-12 years.
Am I ready for a Great Pyrenees puppy?
While typically calm in the home, the Great Pyrenees can be a challenging puppy to live with.
In addition to being heavy shedders, Great Pyrenees can be messy drinkers and droolers. They’re are also very sensitive to heat, so our Florida climate is definitely something to consider.
Fond of hiking in the Eglin Preserve? A Great Pyrenees will gladly join you, but vigorous exercise, however, isn’t necessary.
Great Pyrenees puppies are gentle around children and love being part of your family. They take on the role of protector very naturally, however, which can lead to behavioral conflicts, such as obnoxious barking at all hours. Their mistrust of the unknown can be a good thing (they won’t hesitate to scare off intruders), but it can also get out of hand if a Great Pyrenees isn’t socialized at a young age.
If you’re the type to take your dog to crowded music venues or places where they’re exposed constantly to loud strangers, these gentle giants may not be right for you. It can be stimulation overload for their natural instincts.
Adopting a Great Pyrenees puppy
It may come as a surprise, but adopting a Great Pyrenees puppy is possible. According to the AKC, most shelters report that the majority of their rescue dogs come from individual owner surrender due to a lifestyle change or an incompatibility with the dog. What this means for you: there may be many adoptable dogs and puppies out there who are looking for a new forever home.
The main difference between a breeder and a rescue is that a rescue may not always have young puppies to choose from. The benefit, however, is that most are mandated to only adopt out dogs that have been microchipped and spayed/neutered. This means you may end up with a dog who’s already been housebroken and doesn’t need these common medical procedures. You may also find a Great Pyrenees mix that has all the traits you want from the breed, but with a little extra thrown in.
Finding a Great Pyrenees rescue can be as simple as searching the internet.
Knowing what you’re in for when you get a Great Pyrenees puppy is an important step in being a responsible pet owner. Prepare yourself for an affectionate and friendly addition to your household.