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Great Pyrenees

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An Excellent Companion

Calm, Independent, Working Group

Great Pyrenees are extraordinary pets. While it is interesting to learn about the breeding purpose of Great Pyrenees, their genetics actually influence health, outward appearance and behavior. Some behaviors make the Great Pyrenees and some can be quite irritating! 

Understanding their unique needs will help you keep them healthy and will create a stronger bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about where they came, which health conditions are a risk to Great Pyrenees and how to keep them feeling their best.

Breed Details

Height:25-32" Weight:85-115 lbs Lifespan:10-12 years

Size
5

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
3

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
1

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
1

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
3

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
2

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Great Pyrenees are large, smart dogs with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored.

Grooming: They need a thorough brushing at least weekly most of the year. Twice a year they blow their coat and lose crazy amounts of hair; daily brushing is recommended during this time.

Dental: Great Pyrenees generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week.

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


The Great Pyrenees is a large working breed, known to be intelligent and independent. With proper exercise and socialization, they make a calm and patient family companion.

Positive Traits:

• An excellent companion, family, or working dog

• Good with children

• Even temper and gentle disposition

• Confident, steady, and fearless

• An excellent guard dog, courageous and dependable

• Intelligent and reliable

Negative Traits:

• May have a tendency to bark excessively

• Sensitive by nature, a bit slow to mature

• Doesn’t do well in the heat

• Can be gassy and drool a lot

• Can be strong-willed and difficult to train

• Suspicious of strangers




Whether you are considering adding a new Great Pyrenees to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Great Pyrenees will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Great Pyrenees, you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert. 

Some health issues a Great Pyrenees could encounter:

  • Bloat
  • Bleeding Disorders
  • Neurological Disease
  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
  • Joint Disease
  • Knee Problems

The Great Pyrenees is an ancient French breed originally used to herd sheep. They also worked as guard dogs for nobility. The Great Pyrenees was named for the Pyrenees Mountains in southwestern Europe. They are a loyal and devoted guardian of home and family. They also like to roam and explore their environment and their natural protective instincts can cause them to become overly territorial. They will benefit from early socialization and a securely fenced yard or sturdy leash.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Great Pyrenees shows signs of the following:

  • Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

  • General reluctance to run or play

  • Any new or changing lumps or bumps

  • Lameness with or without swelling

  • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

  • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

  • Cloudiness to eye lens

  • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

  • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

  • General listlessness, droopy facial expression, vomiting, diarrhea

  • Dragging the hind toes and hind limb weakness

  • Care

    Routine Care: Great Pyrenees are large, smart dogs with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored.

    Grooming: They need a thorough brushing at least weekly most of the year. Twice a year they blow their coat and lose crazy amounts of hair; daily brushing is recommended during this time.

    Dental: Great Pyrenees generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week.

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


  • Characteristics

    The Great Pyrenees is a large working breed, known to be intelligent and independent. With proper exercise and socialization, they make a calm and patient family companion.

    Positive Traits:

    • An excellent companion, family, or working dog

    • Good with children

    • Even temper and gentle disposition

    • Confident, steady, and fearless

    • An excellent guard dog, courageous and dependable

    • Intelligent and reliable

    Negative Traits:

    • May have a tendency to bark excessively

    • Sensitive by nature, a bit slow to mature

    • Doesn’t do well in the heat

    • Can be gassy and drool a lot

    • Can be strong-willed and difficult to train

    • Suspicious of strangers




  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Great Pyrenees to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Great Pyrenees will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Great Pyrenees, you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert. 

    Some health issues a Great Pyrenees could encounter:

    • Bloat
    • Bleeding Disorders
    • Neurological Disease
    • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
    • Joint Disease
    • Knee Problems
  • History

    The Great Pyrenees is an ancient French breed originally used to herd sheep. They also worked as guard dogs for nobility. The Great Pyrenees was named for the Pyrenees Mountains in southwestern Europe. They are a loyal and devoted guardian of home and family. They also like to roam and explore their environment and their natural protective instincts can cause them to become overly territorial. They will benefit from early socialization and a securely fenced yard or sturdy leash.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Great Pyrenees shows signs of the following:

    • Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

    • General reluctance to run or play

    • Any new or changing lumps or bumps

    • Lameness with or without swelling

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

    • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

    • General listlessness, droopy facial expression, vomiting, diarrhea

    • Dragging the hind toes and hind limb weakness

Great Pyrenees Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Great Pyrenees breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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