The Breed

The big white Pyrenean Mountain Dog is one of the most beautiful dogs in the world.

As the name indicates the breed comes from the Pyrenean Mountain, the large mountain range that divides France from Spain. Originally the breed is supposed to have come to Europe from Central Asia in the Bronze Age.

At the French side of the Pyrenean Mountain the Pyrenean Mountain dogs have been used for centuries as Lifestock Guardian Dogs, guarding the sheepflocks that graze this area against wolf and bear. It was a very independant job, the pyrs were often left alone with the sheep. Unlike the herding dogs pyrs did not work with the shepherd, a dog that needed orders from the shepherd was no good in these conditions.

This past still is still very much evident in the present day pyr. They are very independant dogs, with a mind of their own, and often seem quite stubborn. But like dogs of any other breed pyrs benefit from being obedience trained.

Those of us that already love the breed find them wonderful, but we have to admit that it is not a breed for everyone, it may not be the easiest of dogs to live with. It must be remembered that the cute little 8 weeks old Teddy Bear will one day turn into a very large dog. The bitches are from 65 – 75 cm high weighing around 45 kg, the males are 70 – 80 cm high weighing ca. 60 kg.

They are intelligent dogs that learns new things easily, but to repeat an exercise again and again, as is sometimes done in obedience classes, will soon bore them. Don’t expect a pyr to become 100% obedient, but with the correct training they will learn a lot. A well fenced garden is a must, don’t expect a pyr to stay at home in an unfenced garden.

If you have neighbours close by, don’t count on being able to leave the pyr outside, when you are not at home. They do have a tendency to bark a lot, especially when bored.

The Pyrenean Mountain Dog is very much a family dog, usually fond of children. Allthough they like to be with the family, most of them prefer to spend much time outdoors, or at least where it is cool. This is easy to understand when you see their double coat with a thick wooly undercoat covered with a layer of harder and longer coat.

This beautiful coat need surprisingly little grooming. A good brush through once or twice a week will keep the coat in good condition.

In short: the Pyrenean Mountain dog will never become your obedient slave, but if you can accept that – or even better prefer that – you will have a great companien and a loyal member of your family as well as a beautyful dog.