Pyrenean Mountain Dog Dog Breed
- General Appearance:
- Pyrenean Mountain Dogs are large, strong dogs whose traditional purpose was to protect livestock at pasture. They are usually white in colour and have a very fine yet thick undercoat with a longer, coarser outer coat.They look as majestic as the mountains that give them their name - massive, beautiful and with tremendous elegance. With their glorious white coats and regal presence, Pyrs are a distinctive breed. They look immensely strong and yet are well-balanced with unhurried, steady and smooth movement which is driven by powerful hindquarters.
- Other Names:Great Pyrenees, Chien de Montagne des Pyrenees, Pyrenean Mastiff.
- Country Of Origin:Spain
- Dog Group Kennel Club:Pastoral
- Mainly white with patches or purely white.
- They are generally friendly and confident but can be independent due to their breeding, that is to protect stock without human instruction. They can be wary of strangers and show protection towards their family.Pyrenean Mountain Dogs are now kind-natured and gentle dogs, thanks to generations of selective breeding worldwide. They are brave, intelligent, affectionate dogs who normally mix well with children and other household pets. They are loving and want to be included in all family activities they can, however, be aggressive towards other dogs of a similar size. Strangers will be mistrusted and you and your family will be protected against any unwelcome strangers.
- Powerful, steady and smooth with the ability to travel at speed if required.
- Care and training:
- It is necessary to brush or comb this breed thoroughly once or even twice a day to remove loose hairs. This becomes even more important during the moulting times. Failure to do this will result in the coat matting and the dog's coat looking dull and unhealthy. They do require regular bathing and this is no easy task!
Pyrenean Mountain Dogs are highly intelligent but do have a stubborn streak which can lead to problems if the handler is not consistent and loving. They must be trained from an early age with a firm hand as they are far too strong when fully grown and would, by then, be too independent. They are excellent in learning and very intelligent. They should be trained as puppies, and always use positive reinforcement.
- Overall Exercise:
- 80 - 100 minutes per day.
Exercising puppies must be done very gradually to avoid putting excess strain on their growing bones and tender tissues and, even with the adult dog, care must taken to build up exercise gradually. Having said that, for their size they really do not need copious amounts of exercise, but, in time, should be given free running off the lead as well as regular controlled walks.
- Feeding Requirements:
- As puppies these dogs are very expensive to keep. You must follow the breeder's recommended diet sheet to ensure healthy growth of their bones. As they become adults, this cost will drop considerably as they are not really big eaters in comparison to their size.
- Personal Protection:High
- Suitability As Guard Dog:High
- Level of Aggression:Medium
- Compatibility With Other Animals:High
- Suitability for Children:High
- Often Docked?No
- Average Litter Size:5
- Life Expectancy (yrs):8-13
- Health issues:
- Eye problems, inflammatory bowel disease, and bloat. Bloat is a health issue common to most dogs, being the largest killer of dogs only second to cancer. Breeds with deep chests often suffer from this condition. Another health concern for Pyrenean Mastiffs is a low incidence of hip dysplasia.
- The Pyrenean Mastiff is a native of the southern slopes of the Pyrenees mountains. The Mastiff was developed in the region of the Pyrenean Mountains that stretches from Aragon to Navarra. They came with Phoenician traders from Assyria and Sumeria, originally thought to have come from the Asiatic Mastiffs. They are thought to have arrived on the Iberian Peninsula at least 30 centuries ago. In Spain they found much use as sheep guards and herders. In ancient Spain, flocks were allowed to wander the fields across political and even war boundaries in search of grass. For this, the Pyrenean Mastiff was used to guard the flocks. Only 5 Pyrenean Mastiffs per 1000 sheep were allowed. But this provided a satisfying number, as the Mastiffs are highly equipped to run off any prey that might have come along. Depending on region, the Pyrenean Mastiff was named either Mastin d'Aragon (for those from the region of Aragon), or Mastin Navarro (for those living in the region of Navarre). The Pyrenean Mastiff was at one time almost extinct but has gained new interest in recent years. Spain recovered the breed slightly with its renewed pride in Spain's Pyrenean Mastiff. Today the breed is still somewhat rare, but its numbers are much higher than previously.