Pyrenean Mountain Dog - Information and NZ Breed Standards

Membership ID

Pyrenean Mountain Dog

General Information - Pyrenean Mountain Dog


Extra large

10-12 years



Very low

Watchdog Ability:
Very high

Protection Ability:

Area of Origin:

Date of Origin:
Ancient times

Other Names:
Great Pyrenees, Chien Des Pyrenees, Chien De Montagne Des Pyrenees

Original Function:
Sheep guardian


The original ancestors of the Pyrenean Mountain Dog are the Tibetan Mastiff and the Molossian Hounds which were brought to Spain by the Romans. For the next 1000 years, the dogs that existed on the border between France and Spain developed in relative isolation, thus the creation of the Pyrenean Mountain Dog. The large, intelligent animals were used to guard flocks of sheep in the hills, and could be trusted alone for days at a time. At times they were also used to guard French prisons, and during the reign of Louis XIV, the Pyrenean Mountain Dog was made the official court dog. It wasn't really until the 1800s that travellers to the area, impressed with these beautiful dogs, started to import them to other places throughout the world. The breed standard, adopted in France after World War I, was translated to English and by the 1930s, the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, was popular with breeders in Britain and North America. This breed is well-suited to family life, but because of its size should have plenty of room and exercise even though they can curl themselves into very small places!


The Pyr, as it is nicknamed, is very loyal, as well as affectionate and gentle. This intelligent dog makes a very welcome family pet. These dogs do have a mind of their own when it suits them.


The Pyr needs regular exercise to stay in shape, though its needs are not excessive. A moderate walk will usually suffice. In the warmer weather ensure that the Pyr has shade and plenty of water. This breed can live outdoors in temperate to cold weather, although it enjoys being with its family indoors. Its coat needs brushing once or twice weekly, daily when shedding and regular grooming in between. A well fenced property is a requirement and an awareness of barking as a dog bred to guard must also be noted. Obedience classes are to be recommended and mature male Pyreneans do not normally care for males of the same Breed or of other Breeds due to their territorial/guarding nature.

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