Great Pyrenees

85-115 lbs
Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Chien des Pyrenees, Chien de Montagne des Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees, which is also called the Pyrenean Mountain Dog in some countries, is a large dog with a lifespan of 10 to 12 years. They are calm and great around children, and get along with other pets as well. They were originally bred around 10,000 B.C. with the goal of helping shepherds guard flocks, and they are related to the Hungarian Kuvasz and Maremmano-Abruzzese. They have thick coats that are white and can sometimes have slight markings. They are not hypoallergenic and do shed quite a bit, with a fairly high drooling tendency as well. However, they are not known to be very smelly. Although they are great babysitters and are very sweet with children, they do require proper training as they can be stubborn. They are also very vocal and have a tendency to bark.

sheep guardian
Date of Origin
ancient times
hungarian kuvasz, maremmano-abruzzese

Great Pyrenees Health

Sketch of Great Pyrenees
Average Size
Male Great Pyrenees size stats
Height: 27-32 inches Weight: 100-160 lbs
Female Great Pyrenees size stats
Height: 25-29 inches Weight: 85-115 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Addison's Disease
Minor Concerns
  • Entropion
  • Cataracts
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Hip
  • Knee
  • Blood Test
  • X-Rays
  • Physical Examination

Great Pyrenees Breed History

These dogs go by the name of Great Pyrenees in the United States and Canada, but in most of Europe and the United Kingdom, they are called the Pyrenean Mountain Dog. The mountains separating France and Spain, the Pyrenees Mountains, are the place of origin of these dogs, hence the name. It is thought that the ancestors of these dogs originated from Asia Minor some ten to eleven thousand years ago. This breed was created with the goal of making a dog that would help and work with shepherds. In 1675, the Great Pyrenees were thought of as peasant’s dogs, up until it was declared by the Dauphin from the court of King Louis XIV that they would be the Royal Dog of France. From that point on, the French nobles began to use them as guard dogs for their estates. It was in Newfoundland, Canada that the first Great Pyrenees was imported. It was there that they were crossbred with the Newfoundland dog to create the Landseer Newfoundlands. The breed became more popular in Europe, the United States and England in the 1800s. They were also used in Switzerland as part of the St. Bernard’s breeding program. The breed went through a tough time during both World Wars, but survived since several of the dogs were imported to the United States before the war began. Breeders then worked to bring back the breed at the end of the war. These dogs are descended from the Maremmano-Abruzzese and the Hungarian Kuvasz.

Great Pyrenees Breed Appearance

The Great Pyrenees have double coats that are water resistant. With a coarse, long and thick topcoat that is never curly, but instead can be straight or wavy, they do well in cold weather conditions. Their overcoat is woolly and also quite dense. Around the neck there will be a rough mane that will be more visible in males. Feathering on the back of the legs will also be present. The hair around the ears and face will be short and fine. These dogs are mostly white, or can have gray, tan, reddish-brown or badger colored markings that appear as a mask, on the ears and head, on the tail, or sometimes on the body. These colored markings will not cover more than one third of the dog’s body. The undercoat will be either white or shaded. The bodies are slightly longer than tall and the backline is level. They have wedge-shaped heads that are slightly rounded, and the dog’s muzzle will be about the same length as the skull’s back. The Great Pyrenees have black lips and noses with level scissor bite teeth. The slanted eyes will be medium sized and almond shaped, and will be dark brown in color. The ears are carried near the head, low and close to eye level, and are V-shaped but rounded at the tips. These dogs have fairly broad chests, and bushy tails that can be either carried low, reaching nearly to the hocks, or high up in a wheel when they get excited, and will sometimes have a crook at the end. They also have single dewclaws on the front paws and double on the back.

Appearance of Great Pyrenees
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Great Pyrenees eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Great Pyrenees nose
Coat Color Possibilities
white Great Pyrenees coat
cream Great Pyrenees coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Great Pyrenees wavy coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Great Pyrenees Breed Maintenance

As these dogs are used to roaming the mountains, they will often keep trying to gain more territory. Because of this, your yard will need to be fenced in with at least a four foot high barrier, as they can easily jump fences. They will need to begin training from when they are puppies, and it will need to be done with positive reinforcement. They have great memories, and will easily remember what you teach and how you do it. Great Pyrenees dogs will need at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise each day to remain active and healthy. They are big and strong dogs that can carry things like backpacks, but should not be allowed to work too hard in the summer when it is hot out. They do enjoy the winter months, however, and will love to accompany you on hikes as long as the weather is not too warm. They love being with people and can become destructive if left alone for too long, as they will get bored and lonely. Dog toys can help keep them occupied and mentally stimulated. Training can sometimes be a challenge, but can also be simple if started early. The key to successful training is patience and consistency. Leash training is among the important concepts to teach your Great Pyrenees, as they will grow to be big and strong. This is also important as this breed will need to be kept on leash, lest they wander off on their own. This breed of dog should be fed about 4 to 6 cups of food twice a day, but the exact amount depends on the individual dog and its lifestyle. They do shed quite heavily, especially in hot climates. This means that they require regular grooming, but are not too high maintenance. Besides brushing, the coat will not need any other forms of care. Hair around the hocks, feet, eyebrows, forelegs, whiskers and ears are sometimes trimmed. Although it may be tempting and can seem like a good idea, the Great Pyrenees should not have their coat clipped during the summer as it serves as protection from the hot sun. Since the coat will tend to shed dirt on its own, baths will only be needed once every few months. They have floppy ears that can block air circulation and will need to be cleaned weekly to prevent problems. Although daily is best, teeth brushing will be needed two or three times each week. If they do not wear down naturally, your pet should have their nails trimmed as needed. Due to their mellow personality, they can do well in apartments but will be very happy with a large backyard, always fenced in, that they can run around in.

Brushes for Great Pyrenees
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Great Pyrenees requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Great Pyrenees Temperament

The Great Pyrenees are calm and gentle dogs that are also courageous and devoted to their family. They are intelligent but can be stubborn as they are independent thinkers and are good at figuring things out by themselves. Despite being very friendly and docile, the Great Pyrenees will make great guard dogs. They adore children and will be calm and protective around any person or animal that is smaller and weaker than them. They are also friendly towards other pets, even more so if they were raised along with them from a young age. They are so calm and well-natured that they are often used as therapy and rescue dogs these days. Although they have wonderful temperaments, it may be different if they do not get the proper training and socialization as they are growing up; in this case, they may be aggressive, stubborn and hard to control. These dogs are known to be vocal and have a loud and powerful bark. They have exceptional hearing capabilities, and will let you know if they hear anything that is out of the ordinary.
Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
12 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Great Pyrenees Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
4.5 cups
Daily Cost
$3.00 - $3.50
Monthly Cost
$90.00 - $105.00

Great Pyrenees Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of Great Pyrenees at six months
Male Great Pyrenees size stats at six months
Height: 25 inches Weight: 70 lbs
Female Great Pyrenees size stats at six months
Height: 22 inches Weight: 55 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of Great Pyrenees at 12 months
Male Great Pyrenees size stats at 12 months
Height: 26 inches Weight: 90 lbs
Female Great Pyrenees size stats at 12 months
Height: 23 inches Weight: 75 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of Great Pyrenees at 18 months
Male Great Pyrenees size stats at 18 months
Height: 29 inches Weight: 130 lbs
Female Great Pyrenees size stats at 18 months
Height: 27 inches Weight: 100 lbs

Top Great Pyrenees Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Great Pyrenees breeders of 2019.
Top Great Pyrenees breeder J & R Rancho Great Pyrenees
J & R Rancho Great Pyrenees
Smithfield, Virginia
Top Great Pyrenees breeder Hug-A-Mug Mastiffs
Hug-A-Mug Mastiffs
Strafford, Missouri
Top Great Pyrenees breeder Wells' Providence
Wells' Providence
Silex, Missouri
Top Great Pyrenees breeder SL Farms
SL Farms
Turtle Lake, North Dakota
Top Great Pyrenees breeder Two T's Great Pyrenees
Two T's Great Pyrenees
Yadkinville, North Carolina
Top Great Pyrenees breeder North Country Canine Services
North Country Canine Services
Lowell, Vermont
Top Great Pyrenees breeder Hadleigh Grange
Hadleigh Grange
De Soto, Illinois
Top Great Pyrenees breeder Dreamflower Meadows
Dreamflower Meadows
Shelby, North Carolina
Top Great Pyrenees breeder Valhalla Organics
Valhalla Organics
Rogersville, Tennessee
Top Great Pyrenees breeder Wright Family Farms
Wright Family Farms
Warrensburg, Missouri

Great Pyrenees Owner Experiences

1 Year
3 People
House & Yard
Odin is half Pyr and half Border Collie. We adopted him from a friend who could no longer take care of him. This is mine and my boyfriend's first dog together. Odin is very protective of his people and his space. We are having a hard time training him due to getting him when he was already a year old. Odin barks at night when he hears any sounds that he is unsure of (pretty much any sound). Odin is great with other dogs, he just needs to be introduced correctly. Odin becomes easily destructive if he is not stimulated throughout the day. He will rip up blankets and sometimes a patio if he is being ignored.
1 month, 1 week ago
8 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Loving,gentle and so cute.
10 months, 4 weeks ago
7 Months
I have walked 2 Great Pyrenees’ and they both have so much energy coursing through their enormous bodies. You can definitely expect to have a Great Pyrenees jump up and put his paws on your shoulders, but they are very affectionate dogs. They are extremely fluffy, and extremely large. Their size does make for them to be difficult walkers, and you can expect to be yanked around a bit by the younger dogs. The older they get, however, the slower they become and the more they like to sniff and pee on everything that they see around them. In my experience, they do not seem to like the rain, but do love walks no matter what. They do not like being cooped up or chained down in anyway, and just want to be free to run around constantly.
1 year, 2 months ago
10 Months
Being outside
Perfectly fits the description of gentle giant. My experience with a very young Great Pyrenees has been nothing but sweetness! She doesn't have a very high energy level, so she tires out quickly after play and likes to lay down and watch the rest of the dogs play instead. She loves going for walks, especially in the snow, but is very headstrong so a Gentle Lead is helpful. You can certainly bribe her with food or treats, but she does get very stubborn about going back into her crate and will use her weight to her own advantage! She's not much of a cuddler but loves meeting new people and spending time with her humans. She’s just as sweet when meeting other dogs, too. She sheds enough in a night to make a whole new dog. Also loves to jump up on people to give them a bear hug.
1 year, 2 months ago
5 Years
I have had the pleasure of waking the sweetest Great Pyrenees! She always greets me with a smile and does a cute happy dance when she gets excited knowing she’s about to go on her walk. She is pretty laid back on her walks and definitely likes to take her time. And she is pretty stubborn about it as well. If she wants to go somewhere or sniff something - that’s what we are going to do! She loves attention and she knows she is just about the cutest thing as she struts her self around the park! She always looks so well groomed, but I can’t imagine that being an easy task. She is always easy to walk and I never have had any behavior issues with her. They are great dogs and I give them an A+ on the cuddle rating!
1 year, 3 months ago
3 Years
Human interaction
Great Pyrenees are very friendly and affectionate, and are known to stand on their hind legs and "hug" humans by placing their paws towards your shoulders. While this might seem cute, it can actually be dangerous to have the weight of a 100+ pound dog placing their weight on you and waving paws nears your face. They should be trained to only do this on command or not at all. They are very strong and need leash training to keep them manageable. They require consistent grooming on order to keep up with their beautiful coats, and that beautiful white coat and their large size make them showstoppers. They are gentle giants and very affectionate with humans and other dogs!
1 year, 3 months ago
1 Year
Great Pyrenees are lovely dogs and often trigger those who walk by to stop and gaze at their sheer size. Although a dog of their size might seem intimidating at first, Great Pyrenees are gentle giants who are friendly and quite easy going. They enjoy taking in their surroundings by sniffing at every opportunity and can’t help but leave a light trail of hair wherever they go. But despite the shedding, it is impossible not to love them instantly as they exude love unconditionally. Fiercely loyal, Great Pyrenees are there to stand by your side no matter what. They are the definition of the ultimate companion who will be there for you through thick and thin. It is no wonder that they serve as the perfect family dog, with their steady behavior and unwavering affection.
1 year, 3 months ago
5 Years
Great Pyrenees are large dogs and have lots of hair so being in hot Texas is a little hard on them. He loved being outside and meeting new people!
1 year, 3 months ago
Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd