Great Pyrenees, also known as Pyrenean Mountain dogs, are a breed that exudes grace, strength and a gentle demeanor. Originating in the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain, these dogs have a history steeped in mystery, nobility and service. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of Great Pyrenees puppies, exploring 20 fun facts that set them apart from the canine kingdom.
1. Great Pyrenees puppies are born with dark fur, which lightens with age.
One of the most intriguing aspects of Great Pyrenees puppies is their changing coat color. Although they are born with darker shades, their coats gradually turn to their signature white or spotted white as they grow. This change is a testament to the adaptive nature of the breed and the climate for which they were bred.
2. They were historically guardians of livestock.
Great Pyrenees were originally bred to protect livestock in mountainous areas. Their protective instincts combined with their large size made them ideal for protecting sheep and other animals from predators such as wolves and bears. This role of guardian is deeply embedded in their genes and manifests itself even in modern urban conditions.
3. Great Pyrenees puppies can be quite loud.
These puppies are known for their vocal nature, often communicating through barking and growling. This trait dates back to their days as livestock protectors, when they used their voices to warn of threats. While this can be enjoyable, potential owners should be prepared for a chatty puppy.
4. They have a unique “double dew claw”.
On the hind legs of the Great Pyrenees there is a distinct double dewclaw. While this may seem like a surprising feature, historically it has provided them with extra stability and traction on the rugged terrain of the Pyrenees.
5. By their nature, they are nocturnal.
Given their historical role as nocturnal guardians of livestock, it’s no surprise that these dogs are naturally nocturnal. While at home, their sleep patterns may adjust to family patterns, and they may still be more alert and active at night.
6. Great Pyrenees puppies are gentle giants.
Despite their considerable size, these dogs are known for their gentle and calm behavior, especially with children. They are often called “nanny dogs” because of their protective and affectionate nature with children.
7. They have a weather resistant double coat.
To withstand the harsh weather conditions of mountainous regions, Great Pyrenees have a dense double coat. The outer coat is long and coarse, while the inner coat is soft and wool-like, providing insulation from both cold and heat.
8. Training requires patience.
These puppies are independent thinkers, a trait that arose as a result of decision-making while guarding livestock. This means that learning requires consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement.
9. They are sensitive to heat.
Given their thick coat and mountainous origins, Great Pyrenees can be sensitive to high temperatures. During the hot months, it is important to provide them with adequate shade and water and to avoid excessive exercise.
10. Great Pyrenees puppies grow quickly.
It’s exciting to watch these puppies grow. They can reach a significant portion of their adult size within a year. Proper nutrition and regular veterinary check-ups are essential during this rapid growth phase.
11. Their history goes back to ancient times.
Fossils indicate that the ancestors of the Great Pyrenees existed as early as 1800 BC. They have been depicted in various works of art and literature throughout history, highlighting their enduring legacy.
12. They were the favorites of the French nobility.
In the 17th century, the Great Pyrenees gained popularity among the French nobility, especially after King Louis XIV declared them the “Royal dog of France.”
13. They are natural travelers.
Given their history of patrolling large mountainous areas, these dogs have an inherent wanderlust. Fenced yards and leash walks are essential to keep them from straying too far.
14. Socialization is crucial for Great Pyrenees puppies.
For them to grow up well-rounded and confident, early socialization with a variety of people, animals and environments is crucial. Classes with puppies can be beneficial.
15. They have a lifespan of 10-12 years.
Despite their large size, with proper care, a balanced diet and regular veterinary checkups, these dogs can lead a healthy lifestyle for a decade or more.
16. Great Pyrenees have a calm disposition.
Although they can be protective, these dogs are generally calm, level-headed, and carefree. Their calm nature makes them great companions.
17. Their shedding is seasonal.
Although they molt throughout the year, Great Pyrenees have two significant molting seasons, spring and fall. Regular grooming can help manage loose fur.
18. They can make good apartment dogs.
Despite their size, with proper exercise and mental stimulation, these dogs can adapt to living in an apartment. Their calm nature means they are often content to rest indoors.
19. Great Pyrenees puppies learn quickly.
Although they value their independence, these puppies are intelligent and can quickly pick up on commands and cues, especially with positive reinforcement.
20. They are true companions.
Great Pyrenees form strong bonds with their families. Their loyalty, affection and protective nature make them invaluable members of any family.
Frequently asked questions about the Great Pyrenees puppies
1. How big do Great Pyrenees puppies grow?
Great Pyrenees are large dogs, with males typically weighing between 100 and 130 pounds and females between 85 and 115 pounds. Their height can range from 25 to 32 inches at the shoulder. Given their size, potential owners should provide enough space for these gentle giants to move around comfortably.
2. How often should I groom my Great Pyrenees puppy?
Great Pyrenees have a thick double coat that requires regular grooming. Combing them at least once or twice a week can help prevent matting and reduce shedding. During their peak shedding season in the spring and fall, you may want to groom them more frequently to manage their loose fur.
3. Are Great Pyrenees good with children and other pets?
Thus, Great Pyrenees are often called “nanny dogs” because of their protective and gentle nature towards children. As a rule, they get along well with other pets, especially if they are introduced and socialized from childhood. However, their protective instincts can make them fearful of unfamiliar animals.
4. What exercises do Great Pyrenees puppies need?
Although they are relatively calm and love to rest, Great Pyrenees puppies still need regular exercise to keep them fit and mentally stimulated. Daily walks and games in a protected yard can be beneficial. However, given their thick coat, it’s important to avoid strenuous activity during hot weather.
5. Are Great Pyrenees known as barkers?
Yes, the Great Pyrenees are known for their vocal character. Historically, their barking served as a warning to predators and a threat when guarding livestock. If you live in a noise-sensitive environment, it’s important to consider this trait and perhaps work on learning to deal with excessive barking.
6. Do Great Pyrenees puppies adapt well to living in an apartment?
Although they are large dogs, Great Pyrenees can adapt to apartment living provided they receive adequate exercise and mental stimulation. Their calm demeanor means they are happy to relax at home, but owners should provide them with regular outdoor activity to avoid becoming overweight or bored.
7. What training is best for Great Pyrenees puppies?
These puppies are independent thinkers, so training requires consistency, patience and positive reinforcement. Early socialization and exposure to different environments, people and animals is crucial for a well-rounded dog. Puppy training classes can be very beneficial.
8. How much food should a Great Pyrenees puppy eat?
The amount of food a Great Pyrenees puppy should eat depends on its age, size, metabolism and activity level. It is important to follow the feeding instructions provided by the dog food manufacturer and consult your veterinarian for individual recommendations. Overfeeding can lead to obesity, which is a common problem for the breed.
9. Are there any typical health problems in the Great Pyrenees?
Like all breeds, Great Pyrenees can be prone to certain health problems, including hip dysplasia, patellar dislocation, and certain eye conditions. Regular veterinary examinations and a balanced diet can help detect and resolve health problems in the early stages.
10. Can the Great Pyrenees tolerate hot weather?
Given their thick double coat, Great Pyrenees can be sensitive to high temperatures. It is important to provide them with enough shade and water during the hot months and to avoid excessive exercise in the heat. Regular grooming can also help keep them comfortable.