Welcome, all dog lovers! Our special guests today are the Great Pyrenees dogs, who are also knowns as Pyrenean Mountain dogs, Chien des Pyrenees, and Chie de Montagne des the Pyrenees. How much have you known about them? Born as a flock guardian, however, they are truly loving family companions that you are looking for. What’s more? The following information is about to enclose what makes these guard dogs beloved by many people around the world.
The origin of Great Pyrenees
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Dating back to history…
Centuries ago, the Great Pyrs were bred with the aim to work with shepherds and herding dogs in the Pyrenees Mountains, which is the natural border between France and Spain. Their ancestors are believed to have come to this area sometime around 3000 B.C.
What were their main responsibilities? Well, as guard dogs, they were in charge of the flock and protecting them from potential predators such as wolves, bears and livestock rustlers. Nothing could enter their territory.
Can you believe that these Pyrenean Mountain dogs were able to sit on top of a freezing-cold mountain just to look at sheep? Yes, they did stand those hardships with their adorably innate patience. It is not exaggerating to say that their courage when guarding the livestock is truly legendary.
Great Pyrenees dogs’ characteristics
Which word is the best to describe what they look like? ELEGANT! That’s it! Regardless of what they are doing, they always convey the distinct impression of elegance and unsurpassed beauty.
When it comes to the Great Pyrenees size, they are giant dogs, both in size and heart. A fully grown male Pyr can be between 27 to 32 inches tall, a little bit higher than their female counterparts. In terms of weight, male Pyrs can reach around 100 and 160 pounds, while the female ones can be between 85 to 115 pounds heavy.
You will be impressed by their regal white or principally white coat. It can put on some markings of badger, gray, or varying shades of tan on their face, covering up to one-third of their body. The distinct feature of this breed is double dewclaws on their hind legs, which are as interesting as their white coat.
Great Pyrenees temperament
CALM, GENTLE, and DOCILE! Perhaps because of their guarding instincts, the Chien des Pyrenees always appear in calm and confident manners. They would devote all of their lives to your family, and never hesitate to sacrifice themselves for protecting their owners. Believe us! Their endless courage will melt your heart in any case.
LOVING! Yes, especially for younger and weaker creatures. As a result, they are the best suit for families with kids. Also, they are frequently used as therapy dogs.
INTELLIGENT! In the past, they were used to working on their own and doing everything by themselves. It helps create an intelligent, independent, but a little stubborn Pyrenean Mountain dog. As a result, they are quite difficult to train. If you are a new owner, they are not a good choice because you have to be strong and consistent enough to socialize them and train with positive reinforcement.
TERRITORIAL and PROTECTIVE! It may result from their heritage as livestock guardians. That’s why the Great Pyrs tend to be shy, aggressive, and nervous towards strangers. Living as a family member does not actually make this characteristic disappear. It requires more than that.
Therefore, early socialization is the best way to help polish their confidence in social skills. Even though it takes quite a long time, with good training, they will be well-mannered and know how to behave with other people in the right way. So, be patient, patient, and patient!
You can help your Great Pyr get exposure to different people, sights, sounds, and experiences as soon as possible. For example, you can take him to a puppy kindergarten or stores that allow dogs. In case they are given early socialization, they are highly likely to grow up to be well-rounded canines.
How to care for Great Pyrenees?
For dogs that are highly intelligent like the Great Pyrs, it is much more difficult to care for them. Don’t worry! WewPet is here to give you lots of useful information that you can apply to your pet.
Depending on the climate that they live in, these Pyrenean Mountain dogs are considered to be heavy shedders. As a result, don’t be surprised to see your clothes, car, and furniture covered with lots of white hair. However, their white, silky dust bunnies are really helpful for birds. Why? If you collect them and put them outsides, then birds can use these hairs, which are really good for their newborn babies, for their nests.
Regular brushing is a good way to help reduce the amount of white hair in your house. In spite of their heavy shedding, it does not require too much grooming skills. It takes you about 30 minutes per week to brush their silky hairs. In case their coat gets wet, it will be quick dry and then combs right out.
Should I cut clip their hair when it is summertime? The answer is a big NO. Why? Even though the Pyrs have a double coat, including the topcoat and the undercoat, it is their coat that keeps them cool. In case it is clipped, their natural protection from the sun is at risk.
Apart from grooming, there will be some other notes that you should do to make your pet clean. But it won’t take too much time.
It is necessary to bath your Pyr once every couple of months with a highly recommended shampoo that suits him to prevent stripping oils from his skin and coat.
Besides, do not forget to check and clean their ears weekly to avoid ear infections, which can be caused by dirt, redness, or a bad odor. You should use a cotton ball moistened with a pet-approved cleaning solution to gently wipe out their ears. If you notice an odor smell from their ears or redness, then they are likely to face an ear infection. Your Pyr often shaking his head or scratching at the ears is also a sign of ear infection.
Their teeth need to be brushed two or three times a week to reduce the risks of dental problems. If possible, dental brushing is the best way to help prevent them from tartar buildup, gum disease and bad breath.
To avoid them from naturally wear them down, it is better to trim their nails frequently. When you hear their nails scratching on the floor, it is the right time for them to be trimmed because they are too long. For the first time, do it slowly and neatly since it can scare them. Do it step by step! It takes time!
As a giant dog breed, the Pyrenean Mountain dogs should be formulated for the large-to-giant breed. When it comes to the Great Pyrenees puppies, for the first tow years of birth, you should serve them the large-breed puppy food because they will take a longer period to mature than other dog breeds. If you want to give them free feeding, it is still fine for them as they are often good at regulating their weight.
However, if you are still wondering about how to feed your Pyr in the right way, then the advice from veterinarians or professionals is very necessary because they will tell you which diet most suits your pet at each stage. Remember that each dog is a unique creature, and each stage of their life requires different needs.
In fact, the Great Pyrs are not highly energetic companions. As a result, a daily 30-to-60-minute walk is an adequate amount of exercise for them. Due to the heritage of livestock guardians, they do the best job when being outdoor pets.
Also, you can help your Pyr do exercises through stimulating games such as playing fetch, chasing games, etc. It is a really good way to not only support their overall health but also strengthen the human-canine relationship between both of you.
In general, this is a somewhat healthy breed. However, there are some diseases that they are prone to suffer from. It is better for you to notice these potential health problems.
This is a common bone problem for large-to-giant dogs. It happens when the thighbone does not function in the right way and not fit into the hip joint, which results in pain and lameness on one or both rear legs. To reduce the risks of this problem, dogs with hip dysplasia should not be bred. Therefore, before buying a Great Pyrenees puppy, it is important to see the evidence which proves that his parents have been tested for hip dysplasia and are free of this disease.
Similar to hip dysplasia, it is a genetic problem of the large-to-giant breeds. To simply understand, abnormal growth and development cause a malformed and weakened joint. It can lead to arthritis or lameness.
Often referred to as bloat, it is life-threatening. Unfortunately, large, deep-chested canines are highly prone to this problem. A Pyr has a high chance to face it when he is fed one large meal per day, drink too much water after eating, eat rapidly, or over-exercising after eating. Older dogs are highly likely to get this issue. It relates to their stomach, when it is distended with gas or air, and then twists, resulting in a drop in blood pressure, and then the dog going into shock. If left untreated immediately, unfortunately, he can die.
Patella Luxation (slipped stifles):
In fact, small dogs have more chances to get this problem; however, it does not mean that large dogs are exceptions. It happens when the knee joint slides in and out of place, which causes pain.
This is an eye problem, resulting in opacity on the lens of their eyes. And the worst result is poor vision. It often happens during the old age and could be treated by surgery to improve the vision.
In terms of health problems, it is essential to take your lovely Pyr to a vet as soon as you notice some strange symptoms. If a Pyrenees dog is given regular check-ups, adequate nutrients, healthy exercises, and lots of care coming from his owner, he can live happily with your family for up to 12 years.
Great Pyrenees mix
There are also some mixed dog breed relating to the Grand Pyrenees.
Great Pyrenees Lab mix
As a result of breeding a Labrador retriever and a Pyrenean Mountain dog, there comes the Great Pyrenees Lab mix. They are often called Pyradors or Labreenes. These dogs inherit the best characteristics from their parents, especially the gentle and loving personalities from the Labrador, and strong, protective traits from the Pyr.
Great Pyrenees German Shepherd mix
Often known as the Germanees, they are the result of a German Shepherd and a Great Pyr. Like their parents, with a strong guarding background, they are truly good watchdogs and always inquisitive and smart.
IN THE END…
Are you ready to adopt a Great Pyr to your family? We are sure that from time to time, you will figure out that owning a dog is one of the best things ever in your life. It is a long process, which requires lots of work and patience; however, in the end, it really worths such effort.