Other Names : Great Pyrenees, Chien de Montagne des Pyrenees, Pyr
Country of Origin : France
Dog Group : Working Dog
The Pyr originates from the Pyrenees Mountains that separate France from Spain. Their exact history is unknown but they have been guarding the flocks in France for millennia. Fossils predating the Bronze Age (1800-1000BC) of the breed type have been found. Before the French Revolution, the breed could be found guarding the large chateaux in southern France. Exactly what breeds contributed to their make-up are not known but the Kuvasz of Hungary, the Maremma Sheepdog of Italy and Anatolian Sheepdog of Turkey are all likely candidates bearing similar appearances to that of the Great Pyrenees. Dauphin Louis X1V named the breed the Royal Dog of France, though the peasants still used them to watch their flocks. These dogs were also used to smuggle contraband over the border between France and Spain as their sure-footedness enabled them to use passes that were impossible for humans, thereby avoiding detection by custom officials. Early in the 20th century, however, the breed was scarce and Bernard Senac-Langrange and M Dretzen can both be credited for saving the breed. To this day, the breed works in France guarding their flocks of sheep and herds of cattle from bears, wolves and other stock thieves.
They look as majestic as the mountains that give them their name - massive, beautiful and with tremendous elegance. With their glorious white coats and regal presence, Pyrs are a distinctive breed. They look immensely strong and yet are well-balanced with unhurried, steady and smooth movement which is driven by powerful hindquarters.
Feeding & Ownership
As puppies these dogs are very expensive to keep. You must follow the breeder's recommended diet sheet to ensure healthy growth of their bones. As they become adults, this cost will drop considerably as they are not really big eaters in comparison to their size.
Pyrenean Mountain Dogs are now kind-natured and gentle dogs, thanks to generations of selective breeding worldwide. They are brave, intelligent, affectionate dogs who normally mix well with children and other household pets. They are loving and want to be included in all family activities. They can, however, be aggressive towards other dogs of a similar size. Strangers will be mistrusted and you and your family will be protected against any unwelcome strangers. Pyrs are reasonably independent and hardy but can also be stubborn and because of this are not really dogs for novices.
It is necessary to brush or comb this breed thoroughly once or even twice a day to remove loose hairs. This becomes even more important during the moulting times. Failure to do this will result in the coat matting and the dog's coat looking dull and unhealthy. They do require regular bathing and this is no easy task!