Golden Pyrenees

70-110 lbs
24-30"
United States
Golden Retriever
Great Pyrenees
Great Pytreiver

Something of a gentle giant, the Golden Pyrenees is a combination of two very different  breeds — the Golden Retriever and the Great Pyrenees. This Great Pyrenees Golden Retriever mix has a delightful temperament, making it a fabulous pet for the right pet parent. Because of its size and energy though, the Golden Pyrenees isn’t really suitable for a first-time dog owner.

This guide will reveal more about the Golden Pyrenees, including:

  • Both parent breeds come from a sporting and working background
  • Golden Pyrenees dogs aren’t always golden in color
  • The Great Pyrenees influence means they can be stubborn
  • These gentle giants can be protective, watching over their family

Golden Pyrenees breed overview

A Great Pyrenees Golden Retriever mix, the Golden Pyrenees combines the best traits from two popular breeds. The Golden Retriever is gentle, playful, loving and a lot of fun, while the Great Pyrenees is reassuringly loyal, protective and a big ol’ softy when it comes to family life. The Golden Pyrenees — sometimes referred to as the Great Pytriever — is, therefore, a lovely designer or hybrid breed. 

Like all dogs, they need the right kind of environment to thrive; if you’re considering bringing one into your home, you should know what to expect in terms of care, maintenance and health. A Golden Pyrenees might not suit your circumstances as well as another breed of dog. Becoming a pet parent is a big responsibility, after all.

A Golden Pyrenees dog can be stubborn. They need a fair bit of space, too, and like a lot of exercise. You’ll definitely notice one in your life; this isn’t a quiet pup who will happily fade into the background! But, if you want a dog who will keep you busy, make you laugh and double up as your best friend, let’s introduce you to the Golden Pyrenees.

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purpose Purpose
Companion
history Date of Origin
Unknown
ancestry Ancestry
Golden Retriever and Great Pyrenees

Golden Pyrenees Health

Average Size
Male Golden Pyrenees size stats
Height: 24-30 inches Weight: 80-115 lbs
Female Golden Pyrenees size stats
Height: 24-30 inches Weight: 70-110 lbs

Golden Pyrenees Breed History


There have been so many so-called designer dog breeds emerging in recent years that it’s not always straightforward to state with certainty where a hybrid has originated from. The Golden Pyrenees falls into this category; it’s not known where and when it was first bred.

Still, that’s not a great concern when so much is known about both its parent breeds. We know that the Golden Retriever dates right back to the 1800s, when Lord Tweedmouth (previously named Dudley Marjoribanks) bred his puppy Nous — who had a yellow coat — with a Tweed Water Spaniel, resulting in yellow retriever puppies. The breed became established in Inverness-shire in Scotland, receiving official endorsement by the Kennel Club as the Golden Retriever in 1920, and then in 1925 by the American Kennel Club.

The Golden Retriever was bred as a gundog, used to retrieve fallen game for hunters. Many Golden Retrievers still work, even if not in the field — this eager-to-please and easy-to-train breed makes an excellent service dog.

The Great Pyrenees is also a dog bred to ‘do a job’. This is an ancient breed, believed to date right back to 10,000 BC (we know this because fossils have been found). Its role was to act as a guard dog and a watchdog, protecting flocks of sheep in the Pyrenees Mountains that border France and Spain. Quite often, this was at night — while shepherds slept — so Great Pyrenees dogs were nocturnal.

Though not as popular as a pet in the US compared to the Golden Retriever — which has consistently been ranked in the top 3 breeds — the Great Pyrenees is, nevertheless, well known in America. In 2022, it was ranked the 69th most popular dog breed (out of 201 recognised by the AKC). It was officially recognised as a breed by the AKC in 1933.

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Golden Pyrenees Breed Appearance

The Golden Pyrenees is a magnificent-looking specimen of a dog. Think of the classically handsome Golden Retriever, with its kind, almost smiling expression, but larger, thanks to the influence of the Great Pyrenees.

Remember, this is a big dog. Golden Pyrenees puppies look cute and fluffy, but bear in mind that a full-grown Pyrenees can weigh up to 100 lbs and stand as high as 32 inches. This dog has a regal stance and a broad build, deep chest (often with a ruff of fur around it) and strong forelegs.

One its most appealing features is its tail — long and fantastically fluffy, which is capable of wagging at an impressive pace. Ears are triangular in shape, short and floppy. The Golden Pyrenees’ coat, meanwhile, is thick, dense and long. 

And, while we might automatically imagine a mixed breed with a Golden Retriever as a parent breed has a cream or golden-colored coat, it’s not always the case. Despite its name, a Golden Pyrenees dog can be black, white, brown or gray.

Similar breeds to the Golden Pyrenees

The Golden Pyrenees is just one of hundreds of breeds, and mixed breeds, of dogs. If you’re interested in homing a dog with similar looks and personality, you could also consider:


Golden Pyrenees Breed Maintenance


There are two things you should never lose sight of when it comes to looking after a Golden Pyrenees — its size, and its coat. 

This is a large breed, and because of their sheer size and energy, this Great Pyrenees Golden Retriever mix is definitely not suited to living in an apartment. They’ll thrive in a house with plenty of space to roam around in, including a securely fenced yard outside so it doesn’t wander off.

Now, on the subject of that coat. Thick, soft and lustrous to the touch it may be, but it does require extra grooming to keep it from matting and tangling. The coat may not be as thick as their Great Pyrenees parent, but it still needs daily brushing to keep it soft and silky. They don’t require regular bathing, only when it really needs it or it may lose the natural oils from the coat. 

Other maintenance issues to address are trimming of the nails, and brushing the teeth to maintain good oral hygiene. The Golden Pyrenees will love all the attention and will obligingly let you groom them to perfection. 


Golden Pyrenees health risks

Dogs can get poorly from time to time, and no breed is completely immune from health issues. With mixed and hybrid breeds like the Golden Pyrenees, we can learn a lot about potential health problems by understanding what affects the parent breeds.

The following health conditions have been listed as those that the Golden Pyrenees might suffer from, during its lifetime:

Patellar Luxation

This is a relatively common condition that affects many different breeds of dog — Golden Retrievers are among them. Patellar luxation is when the kneecap becomes dislocated or displaced from the knee joint. It can be congenital — which is when dogs are born with it, in this case golden pyrenees puppies — or developmental, occurring later in life. Symptoms in your dog include limping, pain when moving the leg, restricted movement, swelling, and a reluctance to run or jump.

There are four different grades of a luxating patella, with Grade 1 the mildest, moving upwards to Grade 4. Treatment is always required, especially in the most severe of cases.

Hip Dysplasia

With hip dysplasia, the ball and socket is malformed, so it doesn’t move smoothly — instead, there’s a rubbing and grinding sensation in one or both hip joints which is obviously uncomfortable and painful. It can occur to any breed but is more common in larger dogs, of which the Great Pyrenees is one.

It can be an inherited condition, seen in young dogs, but can also develop in later life as a result of too much exercise, poor nutrition, and weight gain leading to obesity. Dogs with hip dysplasia may struggle to get up and down stairs, from lying down, and walking with a ‘hopping motion.’

Von Willebrand’s Disease

Von Willebrand’s Disease is a particularly nasty condition, a bleeding disorder that can ultimately prove fatal if not treated. With this, the blood doesn’t clot properly; a dog may start bleeding excessively after an injury, or post-surgery. Sometimes, a dog with Von Willebrand’s Disease may even spontaneously start bleeding from different areas of the body. The situation can get very serious, very quickly.

It’s an inherited condition, and though it’s most closely associated with Doberman Pinschers, the Golden Retriever is another breed considered at risk. There’s no cure for Von Willebrand’s Disease, but it can be treated and managed.

Bloat

Also known as stomach dilatation or gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV), bloat is a serious condition — life-threatening, in fact, in the most severe cases and if not treated urgently. Large dog breeds with deep chests are most at risk, and it’s often brought on by eating too much, too quickly, or exercising too soon after feeding. The stomach fills with gas, and/or food and twists, putting pressure on other organs. Stress is also thought to be a trigger. 

It’s difficult for pet parents to identify a case of bloat. Look out for your dog drooling, retching, breathing in a labored way, panting or generally appearing to be in distress.

What to feed a Golden Pyrenees

Big dogs have big appetites but as always, what you feed a Golden Pyrenees isn’t about quantity. Golden Pyrenees puppies may need four smaller meals a day; you can reduce this to two a day when they’re full-grown adults. Avoid feeding one large meal daily, as this can be a contributory cause of bloat. And, avoid over-feeding, as a Golden Pyrenees loves its food and can become overweight.

You should always aim to provide dog food made with the best possible ingredients. Don’t know where to start? Our guide to how to choose the best dog food for your dog has lots of good tips, while you might also find our discussion on feeding wet food or dry food useful.

We have recommendations for the best dog food for large dogs here and more picks for best choices for one of the parent breeds, the Golden Retriever, here.

You can also head over to our online friends and partners, DogFood Advisor, for in-depth analysis of leading dog food brands and recipes.

Golden Pyrenees Temperament

As a Great Pyrenees Golden Retriever mix, the Golden Pyrenees takes a lot of its personality from its parent breeds — their gentle loving nature and love of play from the Golden Retriever, and the affectionate and almost puppy-like enthusiasm even when mature from the Great Pyrenees. 

This is a dog that’s devoted to family, and friendly with other dogs and pets. They’ll be a fun-loving member of the household. They’re generally calm and happy, though because of its size can be a bit overpowering for young children so shouldn’t be left alone unsupervised with little ones. A Golden Pyrenees won’t mean any harm but can get a bit clumsy and over-excited, at times.

Placid in nature, the presence of the Great Pyrenees means they retain those protective, guarding instincts so can be a little wary of strangers. They may bark to let you know someone they don’t recognise is around — and it’s a big bark.

When it comes to training, it can be a Great Pyrenees vs Golden Retriever tussle; which parent breed’s genes are stronger? It’s important because the be-your-best-friend Golden Retriever is a breeze to train; very receptive and obedient. The Great Pyrenees is more of a challenge. They can be stubborn and like to practice ‘selective deafness’ when they have other intentions. So, the Golden Pyrenees needs a firm leader who will be committed to training; they’ll respect a pet parent who takes on this role.

As with most dog breeds, start training and socialization as early as possible — ideally when Golden Pyrenees are still puppies.

Golden Pyrenees Activity Requirements


This dog will also need regular daily exercise, and plenty of it, to keep fit and healthy. It will also help to keep them within a healthy weight range, as they can easily put on excess weight otherwise.

Play activities can be anything from chasing after a ball, to a game of tug of war; your Golden Pyrenees will love physical activity and fun. A romp and run around with other dogs in the secure dog park will assist with socializing your dog so that he or she will learn to accept other dogs and people. A word of caution: they don’t tolerate extreme heat well with their thick coat so exercise in the coolest part of the day is best advised.

Golden Pyrenees Owner Experiences

Lily
1 Year
2 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Tug-of-war
Rope
Completely food oriented. Will only respond to my commands if she gets a treat after.
2 years, 4 months ago
Bambi
1 Year
3 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Play
Walk
cuddle
Hike
Bambi is the sweetest high energy dog, who loves attention and cuddles, always wants to play, loves going outside and is friendly with other people and other dogs. She is a great companion!
2 years, 9 months ago
Theodore
9 Months
4 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Fetch in the pond
Hiking
Running
Theodore is a great pup, he's stubborn when he wants to be but listens rather well when compared to his siblings. He's very affectionate but also protective of the property and will let you know if you don't belong on it. All around an absolutely wonderful dog.
6 years, 5 months ago
Buddy Big Boy
7 Years
2 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
He is the smartest dog. When he is happy he snaps his teeth and jumps around
4 years, 2 months ago
Abby
11 Weeks
2 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Nice dog with calm nature .
4 years, 1 month ago
Bentley
3 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walking
Mild hiking
Our 135 lbs Golden Pyrenees Bentley is amazing! Wonderful, attentive,loving, friendly but at the same time very Great Pyrenees: protective. No aggressive only very aware of surroundings, especially when walking with us, he loves to shows that nothing intimidates him, so always calm. Lazy and lay back so you need a lot of patience with them. And, as you said he does have "selective deafness", it's really funny the way he looked at us when we call him, we never know if he will obey or decide give us "the look" which means: "I will go when I want to and you cannot make me, I am a big and heavy baby".
4 years ago
Matylda
13 Weeks
4 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Matylda loves all kids that come to our house. She gets along great with our older chihuahua and our cat. Walking gets her so tired, she takes about 5 hr nap after:) Eats twice a day. Snack on carrots and celery. Also likes apples and cucumbers. She had learned to sit and wait. To shake and for the most part the quiet command is effective;) We are working on recognizing toy vs other chewables. She is a joy and a real eye candy. Loves water and the tasting of other dog’s poop is subsiding 😆
4 years ago
Gertie
14 Weeks
4 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Hiking
Very friendly, wants to meet all dogs, kids, adults. Ok with free range chickens, doesn’t attack them, sometimes chases them though. Slight separation anxiety- hasn’t been left alone much.
4 years ago
Sammie
10 Months
4 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Sammie has been an amazing addition to our house. She has incredible energy but also just loves being around us. She is very attentive and anxious to learn new things, and to make us proud of her. She loves anyone that will pet her and puts her paws on your shoulders if you ask her for a hug. She really is a big lovable sweetheart.
3 years, 8 months ago
Sully
1 Year
3 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Our Sully is very playful and never meets a stranger. He's very affectionate and a bit spoiled.I totally agree with the "selective deafness" & stubborness. He was easy to potty train but stubborn with anything else we've tried. Def a watchful ear & eye for our household, though I don't think he'll be much of a guard dog because of his friendliness.
3 years, 3 months ago
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Question - My pet
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I have a golden pyrenees that has developed diabetes, at one point he was 82 pounds, now I have been told he should weigh only 50 pounds. He looks like he is starving at the 63 that he now weighs since being put on the Hills science diet w/d. I can't get a straight answer to how much he should weigh he is approximately 25 to 28 inches tall.

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Question - New pet
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Hi Hoping to see what could be the advantages of having a golden Pyrenees, pup ? Thank you so much

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Book me a walkiee?
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