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Pyrenean Mountain Dog

History

The Pyrenean Mountain dog or the Great Pyrenees is a very old breed, dating back hundreds (maybe even thousands) of years. They were bred to guard sheep and goats and were often considered a dog of the peasant, though in 1675 king Louis XIV made it the royal dog of France and the breed became popular amongst everyone. During and after World War II people simply couldn't afford to keep such a large breed and numbers dropped rapidly. Breeding programs started up and the breed is very popular nowadays.

Behaviour

The Great Pyrenees is, quite literally, a huge bundle of joy. They love being around people and can't get enough of the affection. They are great with children and in a family setting, though they can become overprotective if you aren't careful. Ther natural love of pleasing those around them makes them great therapy dogs. They enjoy playing with children and other dogs and are mindful of their size. This isn't the case in the home however and this big fella will try to squeeze up next to you in bed or on the couch, they like to be comfortable.

Being bred to guard livestock, Pyrenean Mountain Dogs (PMD’s) make great watchdogs. They have immaculate hearing and will alert you if anything is up. Their bark is loud and they ten to use it alot, you’ll have to teach them the quiet command early on. The PMD can be stubborn at times and they like to think independently. Training will need to be approached with a calm, kind and patient mindset. They take their time to learn new things, but never forget something - both good and bad. As far as they are censored, being with their owners is all that matters. They will happily walk by your side all day long, but this love for their masters can make them protective.

Early socialisation with lots of other dogs and people will be ended to produce a well rounded breed. PMD’s form a close bond to those around them and seem to be able to sense when something is up, coming in and offering a gentle nudge of comfort. They are a large breed, but not overly energetic. A couple of walks per day and some bonding time will result in a happy dog.

They shed a lot of fur all year round and brushing will be needed to remove dead hair. This brush down should be done at least 3 times a week. When they moult they will leave hair everywhere they go, this can’t really be avoided. This breed takes a while to fully grow up, usually fully maturing at around 3 years old. They can suffer from Bloat and Canine Hip Dysplasia.

Temperament

Pyrenean Mountain Dogs have a majestic and composed temperament. They are large dogs, originally bred to fend off wolves, so they really are dedicated and steadfast guardians. They will be devoted to their families and wary of strangers who they may perceive as a threat. Loud dogs with a booming bark you will struggle to keep them quiet through the night.

Health Problems

Health problems that may affect Pyrenean Mountain Dogs include canine hip dysplasia (CHD), cancer, luxating patellar (dislocation of the knee cap), entropion (inward rolling of the eye lid which can irritate the eyeball), heart disease and allergies.

Breed Details

  • Status: Common
  • Life Expectancy: 10 - 11 years
  • Weight: 110 - 130 lbs
  • Height: 25 - 32"
  • Rare: No
  • Coat: Medium
  • Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
  • Town or Country: Either
  • Minimum Home Size: Large House
  • Minimum Garden Size: Small to Medium Garden
  • Breed Type: Herding
  • Size: Giant
  • Energy Level: Low
  • Exercise Required: Up to 1 hour

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