Great Pyrenees


The Great Pyrenees gets its name from the European mountain range where it has long guarded flocks of sheep, but its origins can be traced to Asia Minor around 10,000 BC. In medieval France, the imposing white dogs were prized by royalty and nobility. Although the Great Pyrenees has suffered setbacks, conscientious and focused breeding has allowed the breed to continue, achieving moderate popularity in the U.S. The Great Pyrenees achieved AKC recognition in 1933.


Giant; females 25 to 29 inches, 85 pounds; males 27 to 32 inches, 115 pounds.


White or white with markings of gray, badger, reddish brown, or tan, especially on the head.


Confident, territorial, and protective; affectionate, loyal, but reserved and serious. May try to dominate and wander off-leash, and tends to bark.

Energy level:

Low to medium.

Best owner:

Active owner with a large, fenced yard; someone strong enough to manage a giant, strong-minded dog.


Early training and socialization, kind firmness, daily exercise, leashed outings, weekly brushing (more when shedding).

Life expectancy:

10 to 12 years.