The Great Pyrenees is a beautiful and elegant-looking giant. Known as a very affectionate and gentle dog, he is a proud and noble animal who possesses the perfect mixture of traits to make a wonderful family addition.
Great Pyrenees History
The Great Pyrenees puppy is much more than a bundle of white fluff. He is a dog that can trace his mysterious origins clear back beyond the Bronze Age. The fossilized remains of this magnificent breed have been found in Europe, as far back as 1000 B.C., though it is believed he much older than that. In fact, some theories claim that he originally came from frozen Siberia or perhaps from Central Asia, migrating into Europe with the ancient people.
Regardless of where his origins lay, it is known that the Great Pyrenees developed into the magnificent animal he is today, while maturing along the slopes of the Pyrenees Mountains and the vast pastures of France. Having a dog that was able to fend of the various wild animals that would prey upon the flocks was essential, and so the Great Pyrenees was bred for this purpose. Choosing animals that showed an incredible degree of devotion, intelligence, loyalty and courage, the shepherds bred this dog to watch over their flocks and their families; a job which the Great Pyrenees took to heart and performed with loving abandon.
The first pair of Great Pyrenees ever to be brought into the United States were given as a gift, from General Lafayette, to a good friend by the name of J.S. Skinner. This was in 1824, but the breed would not be recognized by the American Kennel Club until 1933. Today, they remain a favorite of the working class.
Great Pyrenees Appearance
The Great Pyrenees is like the giant white cloud of the canine world; a medium-boned and yet powerfully built dog, he is muscular and strong without seeming bulky and should always appear well-balanced. Their eyes are intelligent, dark brown and almond-shaped, while the ears of the Great Pyrenees seem rather small, overall and should lay close against the head.
The coat of the Great Pyrenees can often be deceiving, as it tends to make the dog seem much larger than he is, particularly in males. Sporting a large ruff around the neck and shoulders, it often makes the dog appear very heavy in the front, and the long feathered legs adds to an appearance of excess length. The Great Pyrenees� tail is a great plumed sight to behold and, when he�s happy, is sure to wag and show you just how happy he really is. Great Pyrenees� most common color is white, though they can also have markings of tan, red-brown, badger or grey.
Great Pyrenees Temperament
Great Pyrenees are known for being very devoted and affectionate dogs. Rarely aggressive, they are wonderful with both children and animals. Raised for the purpose of tending flocks, as well as providing a companion animal, they are very close-knit and grow very attached to the human members of their family. This can, however, lead to protectiveness in regards to property or people, so it is best to always be cautious.
Great Pyrenees Exercise Info
The Great Pyrenees does not require an excessive amount of energy, though they do enjoy getting out for a couple of lengthy walks per day or enjoying a swim on hot days. Dog parks are another favorite for many Great Pyrenees puppies, where they are allowed a chance to mingle and socialize with other dogs. For the most comfort, it’s suggested that you at least have a fenced in yard for your dog to exercise in.
Great Pyrenees Grooming Info
The Great Pyrenees is not as high maintenance as some breeds, but he does require that his coat be combed out at least once or twice a week, in order to remove any tangles that could potentially mat up. This should be done slowly and with great patience, so as to be sure not to pull or scratch his skin. Special attention should also be paid to the dog�s ears, checking for any sign of dirt or debris, as well as ensuring there is no odor, which can signal an infection.
The Great Pyrenees only needs to be bathed once a month or as needed in order to keep him clean and smelling great. Toenails can sometimes prove daunting, but accustoming your Great Pyrenees to it as a puppy will help make the job easier.
Great Pyrenees Training Info
The Great Pyrenees can sometimes have a bit of a stubborn streak particularly during their juvenile, or teenage periods. However, once you move past that, he�s a very engaging dog that is usually very eager to learn. Starting them in basic obedience at a young age will help to keep them in control when they start hitting those rebellious and clumsy teenage years, as well as when they start to pick up a substantial amount of weight. In addition to obedience, the Great Pyrenees can also be taught to compete in obstacle events which many of them delight in. It’s often said that, whatever his human is doing, that’s what the Great Pyrenees loves to do the most.
Great Pyrenees Health Info
Like any breed of dog, the Great Pyrenees is subject to a variety of health concerns. Your best bet is, when deciding to choose a new Great Pyrenees puppy, check around with several breeders and ask about the various health issues that can affect these beautiful little dogs. A reputable breeder should be well-versed in the health concerns and should be able to give you more details, as well as showing you the sire and dam of your potential puppy. Some of the health problems that can affect Great Pyrenees Dogs include:
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Great Pyrenees Right Breed Info
The Great Pyrenees is a wonderful dog for either a single person or a family. Good with children and animals alike, they are known to make great companions and are very loving individuals. However, like with any dog, there are a few drawbacks: The size of the Great Pyrenees can be very intimidating, nor are they appropriate animals for apartment-living. Additionally, they do require weekly brushing and, while they only shed once a year, it can be a lot of free-floating white hair.
If you don’t mind a few stray white hairs and you�ve got lots of room to move around, then why not talk to some breeders of quality Great Pyrenees puppies? You’re sure to find one that will steal your heart!
More Information about the Great Pyrenees Dog Breed
Great Pyrenees on Wikipedia