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Great Pyrenees |France Spain|

Great Pyrenees |France Spain|

This beautiful breed is known as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog in some countries and is distinctive due to its thick, white coat and impressive size. These dogs are valued as livestock guardians and watchdogs, and will live among huge flocks of sheep unsupervised, patrolling for predators. They are formidable and brave against intruders, but gentle and sweet-natured toward their families. Given their primary role, these dogs are independent thinkers and decision makers, which means they can be harder to train than some other breeds.

History

The ancestors of the Great Pyrenees probably arrived in the Pyrenees Mountains region from Central Asia by 3000 BCE. Once there the breed began to develop in geographic isolation and adapted perfectly to the harsh climate and difficult mountainous terrain. They were first mentioned in 1407 by a French historian from Lourdes, who described them as the “great dogs of the mountain.” In the seventeenth century, King Louis XIV of France declared them the royal dog of France, and they became prized by the aristocracy for guarding estates and livestock. During the same period, they accompanied Basque fishermen on their journeys to Newfoundland, and were influential in the development of the Newfoundland dog breed. General Lafayette introduced the breed to the United States in 1824, and in 1844 King Louis Philippe I of France gave one to Queen Victoria. When bears were reintroduced to the Pyrenees at the end of the twentieth century, local shepherds brought in extra Great Pyrenees to protect their flocks.

Great Pyrenees puppies are cute little balls of fluff, but they grow up to be exceptionally large dogs!

Great Pyrenees |France Spain| Great Pyrenees |France Spain| Great Pyrenees |France Spain| Great Pyrenees |France Spain| Great Pyrenees |France Spain|
From Dogs Unleashed, Copyright by Tamsin Pickeral, licensed through ContentOro, Inc and used by arrangement with Thunder Bay Press

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