Dog Breeds 101: Great Pyrenees

Dog Breeds 101 – Great Pyrenees - WP
Photo – Wikipedia (PD)

The elegant and majestic Great Pyrenees is a livestock guardian that is greatly admired for its devotion, intelligence and loyalty to its owners. These dogs are the combination of strength and agility which makes them the perfect workers in steep regions of the Pyrenees Mountain where they originated. This breed has a thick double coat which protects it from harsh weather. The undercoat is dense while the outer coat is flat coarse and long making the dogs look larger than they actually are. The Great Pyrenees was recognized as an official breed by the American Kennel Club in 1933 and today, it is still a dependable livestock guardian but is not usually kept as a household pet. [1]

The ancestors of the Great Pyrenees is thought to be dogs that originated in Asia Minor which came to the Pyrenees Mountains (located between France and Spain) around 3,000 B.C. They were developed there to aid shepherds in guarding the flocks. They were considered to be dogs of the working class until 1675 when the Dauphin in the court of King Louis XIV declared them the Royal Dogs of France. Soon after, the French nobility started to breed the dogs to guard estates. [2]

Due to the breed’s independent nature, the Great Pyrenees is slow to learn commands and is ranked #64 (out of 79 ranks covering 131 breeds) in Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs. This dog was made to patrol its perimeter and will likely wander off if not kept in a fenced area. Also, the Great Pyrenees is quite vocal because it protects its flocks by barking. It also has the tendency to bark at night but this behavior can be eradicated through firm and consistent training. The Great Pyrenees have been protecting flocks and families for thousands of years and have proven itself to be an excellent and reliable guardian. [3]

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