Did you know?
The Kato Indians of California believed that the dog existed prior to the creation of the world. Nagaicho didn’t create the dog: It was simply unthinkable that there shouldn’t be one.
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man. – Mark Twain
Descended from dogs brought to Spain by the Romans, the Great Pyrenees was developed in the Pyrenees Mountains to work as a livestock guardian in the rugged mountain environment in all kinds of weather. There, left alone for days at a time, he guarded sheep against wolves and bears. He was also used as a guard dog and protected fortresses.
The breed is naturally nocturnal and aggressive towards potential predators that may harm his flock. Nonetheless, he exhibits a natural, gentle guardianship with any small, young or helpless animal.
The Great Pyrenees was a popular favourite at the French court prior to the French Revolution.
Outside of North American, he is known as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog.
Photos displayed courtesy of Valerie Toth and Emily Toth Tamminga, Glenire Reg’d, Ontario
This is another of the gentle giants. He ranges in size from 27 to 32 inches (69 to 81 cm) at the shoulder and will weigh in excess of 100 pounds (45 kg). In spite of his great size and because he was bred to be alone in the field for days, the Great Pyrenees has a very low metabolism and therefore, has a very small appetite.
The majestic Great Pyrenees has a thick, weather-resistant, double coat that protects him from extreme cold. He has a pronounced ruff or mane around his neck and a plumed tail. All that long hair means lots of shedding! The Pyr is white and may have badger, reddish brown, grey, or tan markings. Although this breed lives well outdoors, he needs human companionship and attention and lots of space.
Like many of the giant breeds, he is very gentle with children. As a guard dog, he is loyal and protective to his family. He is a large dog and needs plenty of exercise. An independent thinker, accustomed to working alone and thinking for himself, the Pyr should be well trained.