Are you curious about the Great Pyrenees’ quirks and characteristics? Do you want to know a little more about this dog breed before you shop or adopt? We’ve got just the guide for you!
The Great Pyrenees is thought to have originated around 5,000 years ago in the mountains of the same name. As such a storied breed, we have had time to discover personality traits and “quirks.”
Remember, though, that every pup is different! While one Great Pyrenees may love to play and romp, another may like to snuggle and collect kisses. The dog you end up with will have a bit to do with his instinctive behavior and a lot to do with how he’s trained.
Ready to learn more about the Great Pyrenees breed? Here are some of the most important — and our favorite — Great Pyrenees quirks!
Before reading this guide, “Great Pyrenees Quirks,” check out: The 8 Best Brushes for a Great Pyrenees! (2023) and 6 Best Pyredoodle Breeders in the United States! (2023).
1. The Great Pyrenees Is a Couch Potato
Great Pyrenees are alert, active dogs when “on duty” protecting your home. Your pup will bark and growl with the best of them and stand sentry throughout the day in an effort to protect your home.
But when the day is done, you’ll find yourself with a huge lapdog. When your Great Pyrenees feels safe and secure, he’s most happy lounging at your feet, on your couch, or anywhere by your side.
2. Your Great Pyr Will Be Huge
One of our favorite Great Pyrenees quirks is simply their size. Males can grow to be as heavy as 160 pounds, and females will grow to be as large as 110 pounds. It’s absolutely essential you have room for a large dog like this.
If your Great Pyrenees doesn’t reach these weights, that’s usually okay! Some males, for example, will only grow to be around 100 pounds at their largest.
Talk to your vet to determine whether your pup is on the right schedule of feeding and exercise, and ask about the correct time to spay or neuter your dog, too. Both can affect your pup’s size.
3. Great Pyrenees Quirks Include Faking You Out
We mentioned that the Great Pyrenees is a loyal, faithful watchdog. So how do we explain them “sleeping on the job” when you come home from work?
Well, the Pyr will play possum! Throughout history, this breed has refined the art of pretending to sleep so as to more easily identify predators and threats. So much so, sometimes you won’t be able to tell if your dog is sleeping or not.
You know your dog’s a couch potato, but if you’re relying on him to watch for threats don’t worry. Your pup may seem like he’s disinterested in doing his job when in fact he’s doing that job better than most other dog breeds!
4. Your Dog Is Likely to Roam the Neighborhood
If you adopt or buy a Great Pyrenees you’ll want to have a high fence. In fact, most shelters will require that you’ve installed at least a six-foot tall fence in your yard before you’ll be permitted to adopt.
Your dog isn’t looking for trouble, though intact males are likely to roam in search of a mate. Instead, your dog is looking for threats — for additional enemies to fight off in order to keep you safe.
Your Pyr is smart and knows where home is, so he’s unlikely to stay away for long. However, even a microchipped dog is at risk when he escapes. Traffic and dognapping are just two of the threats he faces, so please keep your beloved pup contained.
5. Your Dog Is Going to Make a Huge Mess
Great Pyrenees require a lot of patience from their owners. They’re absolutely not the dog for you if you like to keep a clean house. That’s because two of the most annoying Great Pyrenees quirks are drooling and shedding.
These huge dogs shed fur everywhere. In fact, they’re considered one of the highest-shedding breeds we know of! Your Pyrenees is also going to slobber quite a bit.
To mitigate messes, give your pup a blowout twice each year and brush him frequently. For the drooling, well, there’s not too much you can do. Make sure your pup has plenty of water, and keep a mat beneath his bowl to catch as much of the drool as you can. You may also want to look into buying a drool bib.
6. Great Pyrenees Pups are Snow Babies
Do you live in a climate that sees a lot of snowfall? Your Great Pyrenees is going to absolutely love it! They originally hailed from snowy, mountainous climates, and they were literally born to navigate a wintry landscape.
You, too, will love snow when you have a Great Pyrenees. You have not seen a dog with the zoomies until you’ve seen a Pyr playing in the first snow of the year!
Bear in mind your dog is going to be out-of-his-mind excited. Keep him on a lead or behind a fence to prevent your pup from running off in search of a snowy adventure.
7. The Great Pyrenees Breed Is Difficult to Train
Don’t get the wrong idea — your Pyrenees is a smart dog! But one of the many Great Pyrenees quirks is that they are intensely stubborn. They think they know better than you do and, as a result, they’re super stubborn.
Start your dog’s training when he’s just a puppy. Socialize your dog, too, so that he can learn how to get along with others. By training your dog early, you’ll make his stubborn personality a little easier to handle.
8. Great Pyrenees Love to Bark
Some breeds love to cuddle, some love to whine, and some love to bark. The Great Pyrenees does all three.
Your Pyrenees takes his job personally. He knows his job is to protect you … from squirrels, from dust bunnies, from curtains blowing in the breeze, and from actual predators.
If you don’t like vocal dogs, the Great Pyrenees isn’t the right dog for you. He’s certainly going to let you know when anything at all is amiss, however, so if you’re looking for a diligent watchdog, these pups may be a good fit for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re thinking about adding a Great Pyrenees to your family, you probably have a lot of questions! Here are some answers to make your search easier.
This huge dog breed isn’t right for everyone. They’re messy, they shed, they’re loud, and they’re stubborn. Great Pyrenees are very excitable and they require about an hour of exercise each day.
Can you handle caring for these needs? If so, you’re in for a treat! While they’re difficult to train and exceptionally stubborn, the Great Pyrenees exhibit unmatched loyalty and a great sense of humor. They’re truly wonderful companions when they’re socialized correctly.
If you’d like to buy a puppy instead of adopting a rescue, we recommend starting with the Great Pyrenees Club of America’s breeder list. While there may not be breeders in your area, the kennels listed on the GPCA’s site are responsible and adhere to a strong code of ethics.
Furthermore, if your breeder isn’t local, they may be able to ship or deliver a puppy to you. Choosing a reputable Great Pyrenees breeder is essential to the success of your relationship with your dog, so it’s worth the transportation fees to find a quality puppy.
Should you decide to adopt, check your local shelters. Better yet, volunteer to assist in the shelter to get to know the dog breed better. Learn whether these massive animals are a good fit for your personality.
Your dog is going to be a wonderful companion to you no matter what quirks the unique pup has. It’s important to remember that behind every good boy or good girl is a caring owner who’s responsible enough to train the pup.
Start socialization and training when your dog is a puppy. If you adopt your dog from a shelter, ask about your dog’s personal history, and get recommendations for trainers in your area.
There’s no such thing as a bad dog, only dogs that come from bad environments. Create a loving, safe environment for your dog and you’ll be rewarded with a lifelong companion.
Conclusion for “Great Pyrenees Quirks”
The Great Pyrenees is a smart dog that’s just as happy with the zoomies as he is on your living room couch. He loves the snow — was literally born to enjoy it — but can tolerate warmer climates as well. He’s stubborn, so your dog will require plenty of firm training.
If these Great Pyrenees quirks sound more fun than burdensome, great! Shelters and breeders in your area have loving dogs that are waiting for a new home just like yours.
If you find this guide, “Great Pyrenees Quirks” helpful, check out:
- Great Pyrenees and Australian Shepherd Mix Guide! (2023)
- 4 Best Great Pyrenees Rescues in North Carolina (NC)! (2023)
- 6 Large Non-Shedding Dog Breeds! (2023)
Learn more by watching “Great Pyrenees: The Pros & Cons of Owning One” down below:
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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