What Is It Really Like To Own A Great Pyrenees? 7 Things You Need To Know

Considering bringing a Great Pyrenees into your life? I totally get the allure; these regal dogs are a sight to behold. Owning one, much like my journey with the lovable giant Winnie, is more than just enjoying their snowy coat and calm demeanor – they’re born protectors, originally bred to keep watch over flocks.

As you ponder this noble breed, let me share some real-talk from personal experience — there’s oodles to learn about their unique needs. So buckle up for a heartfelt guide brimming with those lived-in details that’ll equip you to be an ace Pyr pal!

Key Takeaways

  • Great Pyrenees dogs are natural protectors with a calm yet vigilant demeanor, suited for those looking for a loyal guard dog and affectionate family pet.
  • Owning this breed comes with responsibilities like regular grooming to maintain their thick coat, ongoing training to manage independent behavior, and being prepared financially for potential health issues.
  • They require ample space and may affect lawn maintenance due to their size; frequent vacuuming can help manage the shedding inside your home.

The Importance of Adopting a Great Pyrenees

Owning a Great Pyrenees brings a sense of safety to your home. Their protective instincts are strong, making them excellent guard dogs for families. They’ve been bred as livestock guardian dogs, so they have a natural ability to watch over those they consider part of their flock, whether that’s sheep or children playing in the yard.

Adding one of these gentle giants to my life was like gaining an affectionate companion and loyal protector all in one. With their impressive size and trustworthy nature, I found that my Great Pyrenees also taught me about responsibility due to their high maintenance grooming requirements and the need for regular obedience training.

Each day with my four-legged friend is both rewarding and educational—a constant reminder of the bond between humans and canine companionship.

Potential Health Problems and Expenses

I own a Great Pyrenees and caring for this large breed dog means being ready for some health challenges. Veterinary expenses can also be higher than you might expect. Here’s what you should know:

  • Hip dysplasia is common in big dogs like the Great Pyrenees, which can lead to pain and mobility issues. Treatment may require medication or surgery, and these costs add up quickly.
  • Bloat, or gastric torsion, is a scary condition where the stomach twists on itself. It needs immediate medical attention, which includes expensive emergency surgery to correct it.
  • They’re prone to ear infections due to their floppy ears; preventative care involves regular cleaning but if an infection sets in, vet visits become necessary.
  • Skin conditions such as hotspots or allergies are frequent problems due to their thick coats. Addressing these issues often requires special shampoos and possibly allergy tests or treatments.
  • Eye problems like cataracts can develop as they age, potentially leading to blindness if not treated surgically – another cost for your list.
  • Despite being gentle giants, their playful and intelligent nature doesn’t exempt them from occasional injuries during playtime requiring vet care.
  • Finally, don’t forget about preventative measures like vaccinations and heartworm prevention – maintaining good health in your giant friend isn’t cheap.

Unique Traits of Great Pyrenees

Known for their independent and protective nature, Great Pyrenees are high maintenance dogs with unique grooming requirements. Learn more about these gentle giants in the full blog post!

Independent and Protective Nature

My Great Pyrenees has a mind of her own and often makes decisions without waiting for my cues. This independent streak means that she doesn’t always follow commands unless she sees the point in them, which can be both amusing and challenging during obedience training.

Despite this, I admire how she takes charge, especially when it comes to being protective over our family.

She acts as a natural guard dog, instinctively placing herself between us and any strangers who come by. Her protective instincts are strong; never aggressive without cause but always vigilant.

Her presence alone is usually enough to deter anyone with bad intentions. Trusting her instincts has taught me that Great Pyrenees breeds are not only affectionate family pets but also trustworthy flock guardians with an innate sense of duty towards those they love.

High Maintenance and Grooming Requirements

Great Pyrenees require regular grooming to maintain their beautiful, thick coats and keep them clean. This involves brushing at least a few times a week to prevent matting and reduce shedding.

They also need regular bathing, nail trimming, and ear cleaning to ensure they stay healthy and comfortable. Due to their double coat, extra care is needed during shedding seasons to remove loose fur.

Their dense undercoat can become matted if not properly cared for. Regular grooming not only keeps your Great Pyrenees looking their best but also prevents skin issues from developing due to trapped dirt or moisture in the coat.

Considerations Before Getting a Great Pyrenees

Before getting a Great Pyrenees, it’s important to consider their barking habits, ongoing training needs, livestock guardian skills, lawn and home care requirements, and the time commitment and affection they require.

Find out more about what it’s really like to own a Great Pyrenees by reading on!

Barking Habits

Great Pyrenees are known for their strong protective instincts, and as a result, they tend to bark. This breed often barks at any potential threats or unfamiliar noises in their surroundings.

It’s essential to provide proper training and socialization from an early age to manage their barking habits effectively. Additionally, regular exercise and mental stimulation can help reduce excessive barking tendencies in Great Pyrenees.

Their instinctual behavior as livestock guardians may also contribute to their vocal nature. Understanding the reasons behind their barking tendencies is crucial for owners, ensuring that they can address this behavior positively without resorting to punishment or scolding.

Need for Ongoing Training and Maturity

After understanding the barking habits of Great Pyrenees, it’s important to recognize their need for ongoing training and maturity. Here are some important factors to consider in this regard:

  1. Consistent training is essential due to their independent nature and strong will. Positive reinforcement techniques work best with this breed.
  2. Early socialization is crucial to help them become well – adjusted adults, reducing the risk of behavioral issues.
  3. Maturity plays a significant role in their development; they tend to reach full maturity at around 2 – 3 years old, requiring patience and consistent guidance.
  4. Providing mental stimulation through activities like obedience training, agility exercises, or interactive play can channel their intelligence and energy effectively.
  5. Comprehensive understanding of their protective instincts is vital for creating a balanced approach to training that encourages good behavior without dampening their natural guarding instincts.
  6. Owners should be prepared for the long-term commitment involved in guiding these gentle giants towards becoming trustworthy and well-behaved members of the family.

Livestock Guardian Skills

Livestock guardian skills are inherent to Great Pyrenees dogs, making them exceptional at protecting herds and flocks. Their natural instinct to guard comes from centuries of breeding for this specific purpose.

These gentle giants possess a strong sense of responsibility towards the animals they protect, making them reliable guardians. They have an innate ability to differentiate between threats and situations that call for protection, allowing them to make sound judgment calls when safeguarding livestock.

Their unwavering commitment to their duties makes them valuable assets on farms and ranches. Great Pyrenees are known for their calm and composed demeanor when it comes to handling potentially dangerous situations involving other animals or predators.

Special Care for Lawns and Home Cleaning

Great Pyrenees require special care for lawns and home cleaning due to their large size and thick, white fur that tends to shed throughout the year. Regular grooming, including brushing at least three times a week and occasional baths, is essential to manage shedding and keep their coat healthy.

  1. Vacuuming your home frequently helps in controlling the shedding and maintaining cleanliness. Investing in a high-quality vacuum designed for pet hair can make this task more effective.
  2. Regularly mowing and grooming your lawn can minimize the impact of shedding on outdoor spaces. It also helps to prevent tangles, matting, and accumulation of dirt in their fur.
  3. Implementing a designated area for your Great Pyrenees when indoors can help contain shedding and make cleanup easier.
  4. Using pet – friendly cleaning products ensures that your home stays clean without posing any harm to your dog’s health.
  5. Implementing a regular bathing schedule using a gentle dog shampoo helps maintain the cleanliness of their coat and reduce odors in your home.
  6. Ensuring good ventilation in your home is important as it helps in managing pet odor and keeps the indoor air fresh.
  7. Adding washable covers on furniture or using blankets where your Great Pyrenees lounges can simplify cleaning upholstery regularly while keeping it free from excessive fur accumulation.

Owner’s Commitment to Time and Affection

Owning a Great Pyrenees requires a significant commitment to time and affection. These gentle giants thrive on companionship and interaction. Regular walks, playtime, and quality bonding moments are essential for their well-being.

Daily grooming sessions also promote bonding while keeping their coat healthy and tangle-free.

In addition to physical activity, Great Pyrenees crave emotional connection with their owners. Spending quality time together strengthens the bond and reinforces trust. Affectionate gestures such as cuddling or gentle petting can foster a deep sense of security within these loyal companions.


In conclusion, owning a Great Pyrenees requires dedication. Training your dog and providing affection are crucial for a balanced relationship. Understanding their protective nature and unique needs is essential.

Grooming and veterinary care will be ongoing responsibilities as well. Ultimately, welcoming a Great Pyrenees into your home can bring loyal companionship and unwavering protection to your family.


1. What is the temperament of Great Pyrenees dogs?

Great Pyrenees are known for their calm and gentle nature, as well as their protective instincts.

2. How much exercise do Great Pyrenees dogs need?

Great Pyrenees require regular exercise, including daily walks and ample space to roam in a secure area.

3. Are Great Pyrenees suitable for apartment living?

Due to their large size and activity needs, Great Pyrenees are better suited to homes with a spacious yard rather than apartments.

4. Do Great Pyrenees shed a lot?

Yes, Great Pyrenees have a thick double coat that sheds heavily, especially during seasonal changes.

5. Are Great Pyrenees good with children and other pets?

Great Pyrenees can be affectionate and protective towards children but early socialization is important. They may also display strong guarding instincts around other pets.