Pyrenean mountain dog

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Here, you will find all the useful information about pyrenean mountain dog. This descriptive profile will allow you to discover the aspects of this breed. You can notably consult information about the average price, monthly and annual upkeep expenses, their health, name ideas, as well as their official recognition by competent authorities.

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Overall description of the breed

The Pyrenean Mountain Dog, a breed with deeply rooted origins in history, emerges with traces of its existence dating back over 5000 years before BC, brought by Asian peoples.

It served not only as a shepherd dog but also as a protector of communities against formidable predators such as bears and wolves, displaying legendary courage and bravery.

Endowed with impressive power, this dog was capable of standing up to creatures much larger than itself. Later, in 1897, Count Henri de Bylandt established the first breed standard.

In 1923, thanks to the efforts of Bernard Sénac-Lagrange and the breed club "Les amateurs des chiens des Pyrénées," the Société Centrale Canine officially registered the breed. Subsequently, on January 25, 1955, the International Cynological Federation also granted it recognition.

Classified among large dog breeds, this gentle-hearted colossus maintains a close relationship with humans. Acting as an efficient shepherd and guard dog, it combines power and elegance to form a balanced and complete whole.

Its stocky and robust silhouette is characterized by balanced proportions, its body forming a square, a broad and strong topline, a deep chest, and a generously rounded back. Its strong yet flexible bone structure confers great agility.

Its massive head, proportional to its imposing stature, presents a rounded skull and a moderately long muzzle. Its stop is subtly marked, and its small triangular ears rest elegantly along its jawline. Its coat, long and abundant, offers a soft texture. It can display white, yellow, or orangish shades, with or without gray patches.

In terms of character, the Pyrenean Mountain Dog distinguishes itself with its gentleness and calmness towards family members. Nevertheless, it remains a vigilant and alert protector, constantly watching over those it deeply loves.

Its dedication is evident in its willingness to defend its loved ones under any circumstances, even at the risk of its own life. It enjoys peaceful games and obedience exercises, particularly with children, with whom it maintains a harmonious relationship.

As a guardian, it excels naturally, but it can also be employed as a shepherd dog. Its aptitude for learning makes it a quick learner, capable of assimilating commands and tasks entrusted to it. Although closely attached to its family, it retains a sense of mystery and independence. It tolerates solitude well and can occasionally display moments of solitude.

Endowed with unwavering dedication and natural kindness, the Pyrenean Mountain Dog becomes a source of affection and security for the entire family.

Regarding its measurements, males weigh from 56 to 64 kg (123.5 to 141 lb) and measure between 70 and 80 cm (27.5 to 31.5 inches) in height. Females, on the other hand, weigh between 50 and 59 kg (110 to 130 lb) and have a height of 65 to 72 cm (25.6 to 28.3 inches).


The Great Pyrenees breed, also known as Patou, originates from the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain. Descended from large Asian dogs, it has been used for centuries to protect herds against predators. It is believed that this breed dates back more than 4,000 years. The rugged mountains and harsh climatic conditions have shaped the robust character of the Great Pyrenees. In the Middle Ages, it served as a guardian of castles and monasteries, a role that has contributed to its reputation as a loyal and protective dog.


The Great Pyrenees was bred to protect sheep flocks from predators such as wolves and bears. In the 17th century, the breed was officially recognized by the royal court of Louis XIV, strengthening its popularity as a guard dog. With the gradual disappearance of large predators, the role of the Great Pyrenees evolved to protect farms and families. The breed almost disappeared in the 19th century but was revived thanks to the efforts of passionate breeders. Today, it is valued as much for its guarding skills as for its gentle and protective nature.


The Pyrenean Mountain Dog breed standard defines specific physical and behavioral characteristics. The male measures between 70 and 80 cm at the withers, while the female is slightly smaller, between 65 and 75 cm. Its weight varies between 50 and 64 kg for males, and 36 to 54 kg for females. Its coat is dense, thick and generally white, sometimes with light gray, beige or fawn spots. The head is imposing with a medium-sized muzzle and almond-shaped eyes. Its gait is majestic and harmonious, reflecting its power.

Physical characteristics

The Pyrenean Mountain Dog is an imposing and majestic dog. Males weigh between 50 and 64 kg and measure 70 to 80 cm at the withers. Females, slightly smaller, measure between 65 and 75 cm and weigh between 36 and 54 kg. Their double and dense coat is usually white, sometimes with marks of light gray, beige or fawn. Their thick fur protects them from the cold. Their tail is long and bushy, carried low. Their head is imposing, with dark almond-shaped eyes that express great gentleness.


The Great Pyrenees is recognized for its calm, dignified, and protective character. It is naturally wary of strangers, a characteristic inherited from its past as a guard dog. However, with its family, it is affectionate, loyal, and very protective, often showing patience with children. Its intelligence and independence make it a dog capable of making decisions on its own, a valuable trait for a livestock protection dog. It is important to socialize it from a young age to channel its protective instinct.

Life expectancy

The life expectancy of the Great Pyrenees is generally 10 to 12 years. However, as with all large breeds, it is essential to maintain a balanced diet and provide adequate exercise to maximize longevity. Regular check-ups with the veterinarian are also recommended to detect and treat any potential health problems as early as possible. With proper care, some dogs of this breed can live beyond the average, sometimes reaching 13 or 14 years.

Exercise and activity needs

The Great Pyrenees is an active dog that requires a moderate amount of exercise. Due to its imposing size, it is essential that it can regularly expend energy to stay in good physical and mental health. A long daily walk is recommended, combined with stimulating activities such as play and socialization. However, due to its independent nature, it may sometimes prefer to monitor its territory. Access to a large, secure space where it can move freely is ideal for this breed.

Recommended diet

The Great Pyrenees needs a high-quality diet tailored to its large size. It is recommended to provide it with two meals a day to prevent stomach twists, a condition to which large breeds are susceptible. The monthly cost of its food can range from 60 to 100 euros, depending on the quality of the chosen food. It is important to avoid excess protein and calcium in puppies to prevent growth issues. Regular veterinary follow-up is recommended to adapt its diet at each stage of its life.

Training and obedience

The Pyrenean Mountain Dog is an intelligent and independent breed, which can make training sometimes difficult. Early socialization is essential to help it develop a balanced behavior. Training should be firm but gentle, as this breed is sensitive and does not like confrontation. It responds well to positive reinforcement, and training sessions should be kept short to maintain its interest. Obedience training is important, especially due to its large size, in order to ensure good control in all circumstances.

Behavior with children

The Great Pyrenees is known for its gentleness and patience with children, making it an ideal companion for families. It often takes on a protective role towards the youngest ones, watching over them with natural vigilance. However, due to its large size, it is essential to teach children how to interact correctly with the dog to avoid unintended accidents. Early socialization and attentive supervision help ensure a harmonious cohabitation between the dog and the children.

Compatibility with Other Animals

The Pyrenean Mountain Dog can get along with other pets if properly socialized from a young age. Its protective instinct towards livestock can also extend to other animals in the house, making it a gentle companion for cats or small dogs. However, due to its strong personality, it may sometimes exhibit dominant behavior towards other dogs, especially males. A gradual introduction and careful supervision are recommended when first introducing them to other animals.

Grooming needs

The Great Pyrenees has a thick double coat that requires regular maintenance. Weekly brushing is essential to prevent the formation of knots and mats. During shedding periods, usually twice a year, daily brushing is recommended to manage hair loss. It is also important to regularly check the ears to prevent infections, as well as to trim the nails if necessary. Baths should not be frequent, only when necessary, to preserve the natural oils of its coat.


The Great Pyrenees is generally a robust breed, but it can be predisposed to certain specific conditions. The most common health problems include hip and elbow dysplasia, heart diseases, and stomach torsion. Eye disorders, such as cataracts and entropion, are also possible. Regular veterinary follow-up and a healthy lifestyle can help prevent or detect these conditions early. Selecting a reputable breeder who conducts health tests on their breeding dogs is essential to minimize these risks.

Average price

The average price of a Great Pyrenees puppy can vary depending on its lineage, pedigree, and location. In general, prices range between 800 and 2000 euros. Puppies from champion bloodlines or with a superior pedigree can reach higher prices. It is important to choose a responsible breeder who conducts health tests on their dogs to ensure their good health. The cost of maintenance, including food, veterinary care, and grooming, should also be taken into account.


The monthly expenses for a Pyrenean Mountain Dog include food, veterinary care, insurance, and grooming. Food costs can vary between 60 and 100 euros per month depending on the quality of the food. Regular veterinary care, such as vaccinations and routine check-ups, can cost between 30 and 50 euros per month. Grooming services can cost between 40 and 60 euros, depending on the frequency. Lastly, a dog health insurance can add approximately 30 to 50 euros per month to the expenses.

Name ideas

The names for a Pyrenean Mountain Dog should reflect its majestic size and noble character. Here are some suggestions: Atlas, Everest, Goliath, Odin, Zeus, Aurora, Gaia, Everest, Helios, or Titan. These names evoke the greatness and strength of this imposing breed, while remaining easy to pronounce. A unique name helps the dog respond more quickly during training and daily interactions.

Legislation and regulation

The Pyrenean Mountain Dog is generally not subject to specific regulations regarding the classification of dangerous breeds. However, some local laws may require microchip identification, rabies vaccination, and registration with the competent authorities. Owners must also comply with regulations regarding large dogs in public, including the use of a leash and muzzle, if necessary. It is recommended to check local laws to ensure compliance with specific requirements in each region.

Official recognition

The Pyrenean Mountain Dog is officially recognized by several canine standards organizations in the world. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) has listed it in Group 2, section 2.2. The Kennel Club in the United States, the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC), and the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) also recognize the breed. In France, the Société Centrale Canine (SCC) oversees breed standards and dog registration. Official recognition ensures the maintenance of breed standards across generations.


Several breed clubs are dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the Great Pyrenees. In France, the Club du Chien de Montagne des Pyrénées (CCMP) is the main organization. In the United States, the Great Pyrenees Club of America (GPCA) manages pedigrees and events. The Pyrenean Mountain Dog Club of Great Britain (PMDCGB) operates in the UK. These clubs organize shows, working trials, and provide information to guide breeders and owners on the best practices for the breed.

Destination and usage

Historically, the Great Pyrenees was used as a livestock guardian dog in the Pyrenees mountains. Today, it still retains its role as protector of farms, but has also adapted to family life. Its loyal nature makes it a devoted companion and a vigilant guardian. Due to its strength and endurance, it can also excel in activities such as hiking, search and rescue. Its calm temperament and patience allow it to be used as a therapy dog in certain contexts.


Although the Great Pyrenees is not generally prohibited in jurisdictions, certain regions may have restrictions due to its size and strength. Owners should check local regulations regarding large dogs, including leash and muzzle requirements in public spaces. Additionally, some housing or insurance companies may have policies that limit ownership of certain breeds. It is always advisable to inquire about local laws before acquiring a Great Pyrenees.

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