Great Pyrenees Dog, Buyer’s Guide (Sep 2023)

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The Great Pyrenees, often simply referred to as the Pyrenees, is a majestic and imposing breed of dog known for its size, strength, and protective nature.

Pyrenees dogs may vary slightly, but they generally conform to these breed standards. Their distinctive appearance, along with their gentle and protective nature, makes them a beloved breed among dog enthusiasts.

Here are some key characteristics and information about the Great Pyrenees:


Great Pyrenees Breed Info –

The Great Pyrenees is a noble and loving breed with a rich history of serving as a guardian and companion.

Great Pyrenees
Great Pyrenees Breed Info

They require proper training, socialization, and care, but for the right owner, they can be an incredibly loyal and rewarding addition to the family.


These dogs are large and have a well-muscled, solid build. They have a thick double coat with a dense, fine undercoat and a weather-resistant outer coat. Their coat is typically white, although some may have markings of gray, tan, or badger.

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Adult Great Pyrenees dogs are quite large, with males typically standing between 27 to 32 inches (68 to 81 cm) tall at the shoulder and weighing between 100 to 160 pounds (45 to 73 kg). Females are slightly smaller.


One of the most distinctive features of the Great Pyrenees is its thick double coat. The undercoat is dense and fine, while the outer coat is weather-resistant and slightly coarse.

Their coat provides insulation and protection from cold temperatures and harsh weather conditions. The coat is typically all white, although some may have markings of gray, tan, or badger.


They have a plume-like tail that is set high and carried over the back. The tail is well-furnished with long hair, which gives it a distinctive appearance.

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Pyrenees have a large, expressive head with a well-defined stop (the point where the forehead and muzzle meet). Their dark brown eyes are almond-shaped and convey a gentle and intelligent expression. Their ears are medium-sized, triangular, and set slightly below eye level. The ears may hang close to the head or have a slight lift at the base.


The muzzle of a Great Pyrenees is strong and moderately long. Their nose is usually black, and their lips are tight.


They have a powerful and slightly arched neck that blends smoothly into their shoulders.

Legs and Feet:

Great Pyrenees Breed Info
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The legs of a Pyrenees are straight and strong, with well-arched toes and thick, tough pads. Their feet are compact and cat-like, which helps them navigate rough terrain.


Many Great Pyrenees have double dewclaws (extra toes with claws) on their rear legs, which is a characteristic of the breed.

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Overall Impression:

They give the impression of a regal and noble dog. Their graceful movement, thick coat, and imposing size make them a striking breed.


The Pyrenees are known for their gentle and affectionate nature. They are often described as gentle giants. They are also very protective and make excellent watchdogs. They tend to be reserved with strangers but are devoted and loyal to their families.


Great Pyrenees Breed Info 1
Photo Credit: Pexels

These dogs are intelligent and independent thinkers. While they can be trained, they may exhibit some stubbornness, so consistent and patient training methods work best. Early socialization is essential to ensure they are well-adjusted around other animals and people.

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The typical lifespan of a Great Pyrenees is around 10 to 12 years.

Exercise Needs:

Despite their size, they are not overly active dogs. They enjoy daily walks and moderate exercise but are not typically high-energy dogs. They do, however, require mental stimulation and enjoy tasks that engage their intelligence.


Their thick coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and to keep it clean. They shed seasonally, so be prepared for more intensive grooming during these times.

Health Concerns:

Pyrenees are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues, including hip dysplasia, bloat, and certain genetic conditions.

Livestock Guardians:

Great Pyrenees Breed Info 2
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Historically, the Pyrenees were used as livestock guardians and are still used for this purpose in some areas today. They have a strong protective instinct and can be very effective in deterring predators.

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Family Dogs:

While they are protective and make excellent working dogs, they can also be wonderful family pets, especially in homes with the space and time to meet their needs. They are gentle with children and can be very affectionate with their human families.

Adoption Considerations:

Due to their size and protective nature, Pyrenees may not be suitable for everyone. Potential owners should be prepared for the responsibilities of owning a large, strong dog and should have the space and commitment to provide for their needs.

History of Great Pyrenees Dog

The Great Pyrenees, also known as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog or Pyrenean Mastiff, is a large and majestic breed that has a rich history dating back many centuries.

History of Great Pyrenees Dog
Photo Credit: Getty Images

This breed is named after the Pyrenees Mountains, which form a natural border between France and Spain. Here is an overview of the history of the Great Pyrenees:

Origin and Purpose:

The exact origins of the Pyrenees are somewhat unclear, but it is believed to be one of the oldest breeds in Europe, with a history dating back thousands of years.

They were originally bred by the Basque people who inhabited the Pyrenees Mountains. Their primary purpose was to protect livestock, especially sheep, from predators such as wolves and bears that were common in the mountainous regions.

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Guardian of the Flock:

Pyrenees dogs were highly valued for their protective instincts and loyalty to their flock. They would live with and guard the sheep, often working independently in the harsh mountain terrain.

Their thick, white coat not only provided insulation against the cold but also made them appear larger and more intimidating to potential threats.

Royal and Noble Companions:

Throughout history, Great Pyrenees dogs also found favor with the nobility and royalty of Europe. They were often kept as status symbols and companions to the elite. Some notable figures, such as Louis XIV of France, were known to have owned Great Pyrenees dogs.

Spread Across Europe:

History of Great Pyrenees Dog 2
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Over time, the breed spread beyond the Pyrenees Mountains and became popular in various European countries, including France, Spain, and the United Kingdom. They retained their role as livestock guardians but were also appreciated as family pets and show dogs.

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Recognition as a Breed:

The Great Pyrenees was officially recognized as a breed in France in the late 19th century. The first breed standard was established in 1927. They were recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1933.

Modern Role:

Today, Pyrenees dogs are still used as livestock guardians in some parts of the world, but they are more commonly found as family pets.

They are known for their gentle and calm demeanor, making them excellent companions. They are also popular in dog shows and various dog-related sports and activities.

Is a Great Pyrenees a good family dog?

Great Pyrenees can make excellent family dogs in the right circumstances, but there are important factors to consider when deciding if this breed is a good fit for your family:

Is a Great Pyrenees a good family dog
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Size and Space:

Pyrenean Mastiffs are large dogs. They need ample space to move around comfortably, so a large yard or access to open spaces is beneficial.

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Exercise Needs:

While they are not overly energetic dogs, Great Pyrenees still require regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Daily walks and playtime are important to prevent boredom and potential behavioral issues.

Training and Socialization:

Early and consistent training and socialization are crucial for Great Pyrenees. They can be independent thinkers, so positive reinforcement methods work best. Early socialization helps them become well-adjusted and well-behaved companions.

Conclusion –

Great Pyrenees can be wonderful family dogs for families that have the space, time, and commitment to meet their needs. Their gentle nature and protective instincts can make them excellent companions, but proper training, socialization, and grooming are essential to ensure they are a good fit for your family’s lifestyle.

Great Pyrenees Dog Price

The price of a Great Pyrenees dog can vary widely depending on several factors, including the dog’s age, pedigree, health, and the breeder’s reputation and location.

Great Pyrenees Dog Price
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On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 or more for a Great Pyrenees puppy from a reputable breeder.

Here are some factors that can influence the price of a Great Pyrenees:

Breeder Reputation:

Well-established and reputable breeders who prioritize the health and temperament of their dogs tend to charge higher prices.


Great Pyrenees with exceptional pedigrees and bloodlines may be more expensive.

Health Screening:

Responsible breeders often conduct health screenings on their breeding dogs to minimize the risk of genetic health issues. Puppies from such breedings may be more expensive.


Older dogs may be available at a lower cost than puppies.

Geographic Location:

Prices can vary significantly based on your location and the availability of Great Pyrenees in your area.


Dogs registered with kennel clubs like the American Kennel Club (AKC) may be more expensive.

Training and Socialization:

If a Great Pyrenees puppy has received early training or socialization, it may be priced higher.

It’s crucial to do thorough research and only purchase a Great Pyrenees puppy from a responsible breeder who prioritizes the well-being of their dogs. Avoid purchasing from puppy mills or backyard breeders, as they may not provide the best care for the dogs and may not breed for health or temperament.

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