The ancestors of the Pyrenean Mountain Dog (also known as Great Pyrenees) are ancient Tibetan Danes or mastiffs. Even before the Middle Ages, these majestic dogs have already been used by people for various purposes. They have interbred with different European big dogs to get a modern kind of Great Pyrenees. Representatives of this breed have helped the French peasants for centuries, by guarding their homes and defending their flocks from predators. This dog can easily deal with wolves, but to defeat a bear, it needs the help of at least one more Pyrenees. The “White Beauty” was popular in the courts of monarchs.
According to a legend, the Great Pyrenees of Charles VI, saved him when he was attacked by an angry bull during a walk. In the early XX century, the Great Pyrenees would completely disappear as a breed. Shortly before World War II breeders began intensive work on the restoration of the breed. During the war, the brave mountain dogs helped the soldiers, delivered messages or transported cargo. Modern representatives of the breed guard the French herds, but with much softer character than their ancestors. The beauty of these dogs has been evaluated by filmmakers in France, Japan and the US have made many films featuring the snowy giants.
The Pyrenean Mountain Dog is high between 65 and 80 cm and weighs 45 to 60 kilograms. The body is large and muscular, the chest is well-developed, the head is large. The neck is muscular and strong. The muzzle is slightly elongated. The eyes of the Great Pyrenees are almond-shaped, dark amber in color. The nose is always black. The ears are high, dropping, triangular in shape with rounded edges. The tail of the dogs of this breed is long, fluffy and quite thick.
The coat is so thick that it protects the dog during battles with predators. The main coloration should be snow white, but may also be light gray or cream coat. Eligible are small spots on the ears, head and base of the tail. These spots may be cream or ginger in color.
Character and behavior
The Pyrenean Mountain Dog is loyal and affectionate to its master. It has a very pleasant and balanced character. With strangers is reserved, making it a good watchdog.
Training and education
Great Pyrenees should be trained seriously, because it is too large and must be controlled to avoid accidents. Do not use physical force during the training, but show patience and fortitude to require explicitly from your pet. These dogs are very attached to their owners and will do everything, but sometimes may try to show character and refuse to execute commands.
This is a very healthy breed, but it is prone to several problems. These include the ear and eye infections, hip dysplasia, joint problems, and various types of dermatitis. The average lifespan is about 10 years.
Grooming and care
The coat of the Great Pyrenees requires brushing twice a week to look good. Trimming is not allowed. When combing it you should pay particular attention to the area behind the ears. During the change of coat, dogs of this breed should be brushed every day. Do not bathe Great Pyrenees more often than three times a year.
Regularly check the ears and eyes to prevent infections. Great Pyrenees is too large for an apartment and would not feel good if you grow it that way. It is best to live in a courtyard to be able to run free all day. It is recommended to walk your pet on a leash in parks and other public places.
Children and other pets
Although they are distrustful with strangers, the Pyrenean Mountain Dog loves to play with other animals. No matter how strange it sounds, this dog prefers to play with cats. It is very kind and gentle with children.
In France, this dog is often called with the beautiful nickname "the snowdrift from the mountains."
An interesting fact is that one of the qualities of the Great Pyrenees, which is highly developed is its intuition.
Puppies for sale can be found mainly in France and Switzerland, but there are Kennels in the UK an the USA.