Combining elegance with great strength, the majestic Great Pyrenees is used to turning heads. It’s no surprise that this stately working dog is considered to be one of the most beautiful breeds in the world. And their puppies are the sweetest!
Aside from their good looks, Great Pyrenees are known for their mellow attitude. These dogs are as patient as they come. As the American Kennel Club puts it, “Their innate patience came in handy when sitting atop a freezing-cold mountain for days on end with nothing to do but look at sheep.”
Their centuries-old aptitude for guarding livestock translates into a loyal and protective companion today. Great Pyrenees are steadfast and vigilant protectors of their families.
If you’ve been entertaining the idea of bringing a Great Pyrenees puppy into your home, then you already know there are loads of things you need to consider first. We’re here to help! Armed with our handy guide on Great Pyrenees puppies, you should have a clearer picture of how one of these canines might fit into your life.
Great Pyrenees puppy facts
Think a Great Pyrenees puppy could be right for you? These stoic dogs are a model of courage and patience, but they’ll jump into action swiftly if something threatens their family.
Continue reading to learn more about this ancient breed.
|Size||Giant. Great Pyrenees males will reach a height of 27-32 inches, while females will usually be 25-29 inches tall. Typically, males weigh 100+ pounds, and females weigh 85+ pounds.|
|Breed Characteristics||Great Pyrenees are strong, muscular dogs. They sport a regal, weatherproof double coat that comes in a striking shade of white.
His dark brown eyes express patient kindness, and he has a curved “shepherd’s hook” tail.
|Temperament||Placid and calm, the Great Pyrenees is a gentle and affectionate breed great for families. They’re patient and tolerant with kids, although they can sometimes be overly protective around strangers and unfamiliar pets.
This combined with their size can make them very intimidating, so training and socialization are needed to help control their protective instincts.
This breed is on the serious side. They’re also confident and fearless.
|Grooming and Health Needs||Great Pyrenees shed. A lot. While their outer coat is dirt and tangle-resistant, their soft undercoat will shed significantly.
Weekly 30-minute brushing sessions will reduce the amount of fur that ends up on your furniture and clothes.
This is not a dog for those that need spotless carpets or mind tiny dog hair tumbleweeds blowing around the floorboards. (Though an aggressive cleaning schedule or robot vacuum can help.)
Potential health problems include hip dysplasia, cancer, bloat, eye problems, and heart problems.
|Training||The Great Pyrenees is an independent thinker with a strong will. This can lead to training difficulties, especially for puppies.
His job as an unsupervised guard dog meant long hours spent alone. This can sometimes translate into a breed that is not accustomed to taking orders, and a little fuzzball that suddenly pretends they don’t remember their name or how to “drop it”.
Owners must be patient and firm to make training stick. Vetstreet recommends positive training to encourage good behavior, as they are smart enough to stymie their own training. (Following commands as slowly as possible is a known trait.)
Consider short and fun training sessions, and use whatever tools you need to, as Great Pyrenes can become bored easily, and engagement is key. As long as they’re interacting with you and receiving a response, they should continue paying attention.
Socialization is also important, as, without it, Great Pyrenees puppies can become overly protective of their family. (Even if there’s only one of you.)
It’s necessary to help them meet different kinds of people in controlled environments, so they can identify and learn what’s merely a chaotic situation, and what’s truly dangerous.
|Energy Level||Great Pyrenees have a moderate energy level. They’re generally satisfied with just a couple of short daily walks. They also benefit from canine activities such as obedience trials and nosework.
Despite their label as a herder, Great Pyrenees were meant as guards. While they can spring into action, they were bred to stay still and vigilant for long hours and naturally conserve their energy.
|Life Expectancy||On average, 10-12 years.|
Who is the best human for a Great Pyrenees puppy?
While he’s typically calm in the home, the Great Pyrenees can be a challenging puppy to live with.
In addition to being heavy shedders, Great Pyrenees can be messy drinkers and droolers. They’re are also very sensitive to heat, making them unsuitable for households in hot climates.
Fond of hiking in the great outdoors? A Great Pyrenees will gladly join you, especially in cold, snowy weather. Vigorous exercise, however, isn’t necessary. And be aware: this breed shouldn’t take off-leash walks, as they have a tendency to roam.
Great Pyrenees puppies are gentle around children and love being part of your family. They take on the role of protector very naturally, however, which can lead to behavioral problems, such as obnoxious barking at all hours. Their mistrust of the unknown can be a good thing (they won’t hesitate to scare off intruders), but it can also get out of hand if a Great Pyrenees isn’t socialized at a young age.
If you’re the type to take your dog to crowded music venues or places where they’re exposed constantly to loud strangers, these gentle giants may not be right for you.
Getting a Great Pyrenees puppy
The decision to adopt or to work with a breeder for your new Great Pyrenees puppy is a personal choice that requires research. Thankfully, there are many resources out there to help you find a rescue or a breeder who offers healthy, ethically-sourced Great Pyrenees puppies.
Adopting a Great Pyrenees puppy
It may come as a surprise, but adopting a Great Pyrenees puppy is possible. According to the AKC, most shelters report that the majority of their rescue dogs come from individual owner surrender due to a lifestyle change or an incompatibility with the dog. What this means for you: there may be many adoptable dogs and puppies out there who are looking for a new forever home.
The main difference between a breeder and a rescue is that a rescue may not always have young puppies to choose from. The benefit, however, is that most are mandated to only adopt out dogs that have been microchipped and spayed/neutered. This means you may end up with a dog who’s already been housebroken and doesn’t need these common medical procedures. You may also find a Great Pyrenees mix that has all the traits you want from the breed, but with a little extra thrown in.
Finding a Great Pyrenees rescue can be as simple as searching the internet. Start by checking out the Great Pyrenees Club of America to search for a good breeder.
Finding a Great Pyrenees breeder
Be sure to ask questions, and make arrangements to meet the parent dogs or mother. In the end, you must follow your gut. If something seems wrong at a breeder you visit, or the Great Pyrenees puppy seems too good to be true, there’s probably something fishy going on. The AKC also offers resources for finding a breeder, with fairly strict guidelines on who they let participate.
Vetstreet recommends buying a Great Pyrenees puppy from a breeder who exposes his dogs to a variety of different sights, sounds, and people to ensure they’re more receptive of the unknown.
Knowing what you’re in for when you get a Great Pyrenees puppy is an important step in being a responsible pet owner. Whether you find an ethical breeder or are planning to adopt, prepare yourself for an affectionate and friendly addition to your household.
Great Pyrenees puppy resources
After you find the right Great Pyrenees puppy, it’s time to prepare your home! Here are a few resources to get you started.
- How to Survive the First 24 Hours with Your New Puppy
- How Long Can You Leave a Puppy Alone?
- How Often Should I Walk my Puppy?
- The Essential New Puppy Checklist
- Puppy Training Resources
Featured image via Pixabay