Great Pyrenees 

Frequently Asked Questions 

The AKC Great Pyrenees is a "strong willed, independent, and somewhat reserved, yet attentive, fearless, and loyal to his charges – both human and animal." A majestic-looking dog with a kindly, regal expression, the Great Pyrenees is calm, composed, and serious..

How much will a Pyrenees weigh?

A male will weigh anywhere from 90- 130 pounds and females around 90-110 pounds.

Are all Great Pyrenees white?

The Pyrenees can be all white or have wolf grey or badger markings.  At least some puppies from the litter should be colored and it is very hard to tell which pups will turn all white and which will keep their masks and markings.  Most always the markings on the body will disappear except for maybe in the summer when your dog sheds out. Litters that are born all white are possibly severely line-bred and you should be very cautious moving forward.

When do Great Pyrenees shed most?

It depends if you keep your dog inside or outside. Our dogs seem to not shed a lot except when they blow their undercoats in the spring. We like to brush our dogs as much as possible though, this will help prevent any matting (check behind the ears and where the collar lays).

Do Great Pyrenees bark a lot?

Yes, and sometimes no. Our first Great Pyrenees didn't bark until she was almost 10 months old, and she still is our quiet one. However if Izzy barks we know to come outside and check because she means business. Everest barked at a few weeks old and hasn't stopped barking yet, its loud and increases at night (we put our dogs in the barn at night with the livestock). Oscar is in-between in the barking department. You will also find as they mature they will bark at less and save their barks for known threats. But even when it seems as though they’re barking at nothing, it can be that they’re simply barking at something you’re not aware of. I'm thankful for the barks!!

Do Great Pyrenees make good pets?

This depends on what you mean by “pet”.  The Pyrenees will love you, your children, and do anything to protect you.  However, the Pyrenees is not a Labrador, a Golden retriever, or any type of dog like that.  They have a higher purpose in life that being your best buddy, they are bred and born to guard and that’s what they will do.  They will not always welcome strangers warmly, but should not be over aggressive either.  

They must be allowed proper exercise and the Pyrenees needs to have free roam.  They are not a breed that you can chain outside or lock up constantly.  A large, fenced yard is a necessity for them and preferably a country setting with multiple acres for them to wander (fenced in that is).  They will not go out in the backyard and run around like most dogs, they would rather have half the day to walk around slowly and see what has changed. Most times when we look out at the pasture two out of the three dogs are snoozing.

No dog can make the pet that the Pyrenees can, but they are not for everyone.  You must be strong willed and in charge, because the Pyrenees will be stronger willed, and you must be able to provide exercise and space for the dog.  

 

 
How much do they eat and what should I feed them?

A growing puppy will eat as much as any other puppy, but, the full grown Pyrenees has a small appetite for their size. We feed all of our dogs Victor Hi-Pro Plus Formula for Active Dogs & Puppies, and found they tolerate this food best. We free feed our dogs, and never had any issues with weight. However, our dogs are working dogs and have access to open pasture 24/7. Our dogs also get fresh raw goats milk twice a day, along with the occasional egg as a treat (the benefits of being on a working farm). Consult with your veterinarian on how to feed your puppy, this is what works for us and may not work for your situation.

Do we need a fence for our dog?

Yes, yes, and yes!! A Great Pyrenees thinks its their job to provide protection as far as it can roam! A solid fence is going to be your new best friend and lifesaver when owning a Great Pyrenees. As, a puppy they will stay close by you but trust me they will begin to roam with time and there's nothing worse than a lost dog. We DO NOT recommend underground electric fence systems most Great Pyrenees don't respect the invisible fence and will run right through it but then don't want to cross back over (trust me we learned the hard way with our first dog Izzy). The other problem with underground electric fencing is that it does NOT keep strangers and animals OUT of your property. This can be a potential problem for these protective dogs. 

Training a Livestock Guardian Dog and other useful websites:

Training your LGD to chickens step by step

https://www.forloveoflivestock.com/blog/training-livestock-guardian-dogs-the-ultimate-guide

http://www.canismajor.com/dog/livestck.html

what to do when you encounter a working livestock guardian dog

advice on putting a puppy in with livestock

Puppy bonding to livestock part 1

Puppy bonding to livestock part 2

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patrishacaplan@yahoo.com

 

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Site last updated: January 13th, 2021