Great Pyrenees puppies are becoming popular pets. These beautiful and intelligent dogs function well as both companions and working dogs. They're loyal, they're strong, they're cute, and they're incredibly affectionate. These are large dogs, reaching up to 160 pounds for males, and they need quality training and attention on a regular basis, so be sure you're ready for your puppy to grow! If you can meet their needs, Great Pyrenees pups are an excellent addition to any family.
History of the Great Pyrenees Dog
The Great Pyrenees dog, also known as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog in Europe, has a rich history that spans continents and cultures. This ancient breed can trace its origins to mountain dogs in Asia Minor that guarded flocks of sheep in 3,000 B.C. The Pyrenees dog has also been the noble companion of kings. In 1675, the Pyrenees was adopted as the Royal Dog of France by the Dauphin during King Louis XIV's reign. After gaining this distinction, the dog appeared in many aristocratic and royal households.
Ideal Environment for a Great Pyrenees Puppy
Your Great Pyrenees puppy will grow up into a large dog that loves the outdoors and needs room to get regular exercise. The dog fits in well in a ranch or farm environment. Pyrenees dogs that live indoors need a large fenced-in yard for daily exercise and play. The ideal environment for a Pyrenees puppy is one where they can play outside as much as possible, but have access to indoor space in case it gets too cold or rainy outside. Apartment life is not recommended for this breed.
- If the puppy sleeps in a crate, they are more likely to wait to go outside to potty because they will not want to soil their sleeping area.
- Once the puppy accepts the crate as their den, they will feel comfortable in the crate. It will become their safe place when they are home alone, need some alone time, or become anxious.
- Never let a Pyrenees puppy roam the house freely when they are home alone because the risk of destructive behavior is too great. Put them in their crate inside the house or in an outdoor kennel if the weather permits and leave them with plenty of water.
Great Pyrenees Temperament
Great Pyrenees pups are loving and loyal. They are highly intelligent, as they were bred to work alone in guarding livestock without human supervision. However, because of their guard dog nature, special care and training are necessary during the puppy years to prevent future behavior issues.
On the other side of the spectrum, the Great Pyrenees are very affectionate and loyal pets who love nothing more than being with their humans. They don't do well when left alone indoors for long periods of time, so if you work long hours every day or travel often, this might not be the right breed for you.
Great Pyrenees and Families
The Great Pyrenees has a reputation for being an excellent family dog. Despite their size, they can be gentle and calm with young children and are loyal and protective of their human families. The one concern a family with children should have with a Great Pyrenees is their protective nature, which can become a problem if your children have friends coming in and out of the house often. Proper socialization and training are essential to prevent this situation from happening.
Common Great Pyrenees Behavior Problems
Like all dogs, Great Pyrenees puppies and adults have behavior problems specific to their breed. You should learn about these concerns in order to be ready to work with your puppy.
Great Pyrenees puppies and adult dogs tend to bark at everything because of their protective nature. Obedience training and providing behavioral enrichment can help minimize the problem. If you live in a high-density area, you will probably need to keep your dog inside at night to reduce the barking your neighbors will hear.
Puppy-proof your house. Pyrenees puppies love to chew on things. Provide hard rubber toys and strong dog chews for heavy-duty chewers like Kong and all-natural one-ingredient dog chews like those offered at Real Dog Box.
Great Pyrenees puppies and adult dogs need a lot of attention. A lonely and bored puppy is likely to act out with destructive behavior like chewing up the fancy throw pillows on your couch or scavenging through the garbage. Because of their size, they can cause a lot of damage, so crate training and mental and physical enrichment are vital.
The puppies are smart and may seem stubborn when they want something. Enrolling your puppy in an obedience class will help you to build your relationship with your dog so they enjoy following your commands and have good manners.
Socialize your puppy as early as possible to get him used to strangers and other dogs. Puppy classes are a good way to introduce early socialization, followed by at least one or more levels of obedience classes.
Because Great Pyrenees were bred to be guard dogs, they are inherently protective. Guarding instincts do not correlate to a dog becoming aggressive. However, an unsocialized and untrained adult Great Pyrenees can be difficult to handle. It's essential that you socialize your Great Pyrenees puppy fully and continue working on socialization throughout his lifetime, as well as training at least the basics of common obedience behaviors.
Grooming a Great Pyrenees
Pyrenees puppies have a thick double coat that can easily be cared for at home. Groom your puppy once a week to maintain the coat. The weekly grooming should include:
- Eyes: Look for brown tear stains that are very visible on white fur. Use a cotton ball and a mild solution of dog shampoo and water to remove any tear stains.
- Ears: Check the ears for foul odors or discharge. Use a pet ear cleaner to clean out ears if necessary. Contact the veterinarian if you suspect an ear infection or mites.
- Nails: Keep nails short. Trim when necessary.
- Brushing the coat: Brush with a slicker brush to remove shed hairs. Remove mats. Finish brushing with a bristle brush.
The puppy can be bathed once a month or as needed.
Great Pyrenees Shedding
Because of their long thick hair, this is a breed that will shed a lot. Following a regular grooming routine can help keep the amount of shedding down, but expect to be dealing with dog hair often and everywhere.
Selecting a Great Pyrenees Puppy
Once you decide to adopt a Pyrenees puppy, search for a reputable breeder or rescue group. The Great Pyrenees Club of America has a list of recommended breeders and rescue groups. When you select your puppy, look for signs of a healthy animal. Here are common signs of a healthy Pyrenees puppy:
- Bright, clear, and alert eyes
- Pink inner ears with no odor or discharge
- Clean, thick fur
- Pink gums with no odor
- Tail and anal area are clean and dry
- Active and curious
The puppy should also have common traits of the breed standard in body structure and features. If you are dealing with a breeder, ask to see the parents of the dog. The parents should be healthy and good examples of the breed standard.
Your Puppy Will Get Big
When you choose your puppy, remember that the small bundle will grow up into a very large dog. The adult Pyrenees dog is a large, muscular canine with thick, coarse white fur. The dog stands between 27 and 32 inches at the shoulder and can weigh up to 100 pounds. While they are adorable puppies, make sure you are ready for the lifetime commitment of a very large dog with specific training and exercise needs.
Cost of a Great Pyrenees Puppy
The average price you can expect to pay for a "pet quality" Great Pyrenees puppy is about $600. If you're looking for a dog to show in conformation or to breed, your new Great Pyrenees puppy could cost you from $1,400 to $5,000. You should also factor into the cost of how much owning a Great Pyrenees will be. Since this is a large dog, expect to pay more for dog food and possibly veterinary care, as well as the usual costs for pet supplies such as crates, bowls, toys, and chews. Obedience training and puppy socialization classes are also a "must-have" to add to your costs.
Bringing Home a Great Pyrenees Puppy
You should learn as much as possible about the Great Pyrenees breed before you adopt a puppy. Researching the breed will help you make an informed decision about whether this type of dog fits your lifestyle. When looking at puppies, it's important to find one that has been raised in a loving environment where they've had plenty of socialization with people and other animals. It's also important that the puppy's mother was registered with the AKC or CKC so you can be sure of its lineage if you're planning on breeding your pup later down the road.