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Great Pyrenees

Tags: working, Large-sized, Kid-friendly, Protective guardian, Challenging for first-time owners

The French side of the Pyrenees mountains is where we guarded shepherds and their flocks from wolves and bears for hundreds of years. But my really ancient ancestors might have come from Siberia, Tibet, and Turkey (no one kept pedigree records in those days). We've guarded peasant homes and royal castles, smuggled goods through snowy mountain passes, and sat in the court of Louis XIV. The Great Pyrenees stands 25-32 inches at the shoulder (weighing 99-132 pounds) and was accepted into the AKC's Working Group in 1933.

Rave review

  • Affectionate, devoted family friend
  • Aloof and proud
  • Always alert
  • Confident and self-assured
  • Courageous canine
  • Even-tempered, good-natured
  • Loves kids and vice versa
  • Outdoors enthusiast
  • Perfect protector
  • Willing watchdog

Report card

  • Possible aggressive tendencies
  • Coat needs regular maintenance
  • Independent thinker
  • Intelligent and ready to learn
  • Novice owners will be challenged with this breed
  • Socialization and training must start early
  • Training can be difficult
  • Wary of strangers
  • Willing watchdog

What to expect

I need you to start my obedience training early (I'll be near-great before you know it) and keep that training firm, patient and consistent (because I take my Great-ness seriously and tend to dominate if you don't accept that role). Keep close control in class and around town, because I must learn not to be aggressive toward other dogs my size. One thing not to start early is strenuous exercise. My fast-growing puppy bones and muscles shouldn't have too much stress and strain. Ask the vet when I've reached the peak of the growth charts, and manage my exercise and feeding accordingly.

Watch for

Possible hip dysplasia, deafness, and cataracts.

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