Top 9 Things You Didn’t Know About the Great Pyrenees


The Great Pyrenees live up to their name with their big size and heart. They are natural protectors, primarily because they have protected flocks for thousands of years. As natural guardians, they’ll rush to defend their owners from perceived harm as well.

With a strong stature and thick coat, the Great Pyrenees make an adorable lot. What makes them even more special is that they’re so darn affectionate…it’s like they have a bottomless pit of unconditional love.

Read on further to find out 9 things about them you didn’t know.

#1 WW II Warrior.

This tough dog breed was used in the World War II to haul artillery, crossing the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France. So, no wonder they go back a long way. 

#2 St. Bernard Brought Back.

When the St. Bernard breed was dying out from both natural causes and accidents, it was the blood of the Great Pyrenees that was used in 1870 in combination with other large dog breeds to resuscitate the St. Bernard. That’s why, the Great Pyrenees are respected.

#3 US Migration.

In 1824, the French military officer Marquis de Lafayette brought a pair of Great Pyrenees to the USA as a gift for his author friend, J.K. Skinner. Later on, the author went to write a book called “The Dog and The Sportsman”. 

#4 A Royal Companion.

The Great Pyrenees were not only favored by the French. The British monarch, Queen Victoria, had many different dog breeds and the Great Pyrenees were among them. So, it’s truly a royal breed!

#5 From the homestead to the French castles.

The Renaissance period saw many changes in arts, religion and culture. Not least among these was the rising popularity of the Great Pyrenees from homes of peasants to the castles of France. Writings that can be traced back to 1407 show how these dogs guarded the French royal castles. They were even declared the Royal Dog of France by the royal court of the Sun King or King Louis XIV.

#6 Nocturnal.

The Great Pyrenees were brought up to guard houses against predators during the night. So, it’s not surprising to find this breed awake and alert throughout the night. They make great burglar alarms!

#7 Born to Nurture.

The Great Pyrenees have the motherly instinct and so, it makes them great for guarding flocks of sheep. In addition, their protective nature makes them great pets.

#8 As Old As Time.

Fossils of mountain dogs resembling the Great Pyrenees have been uncovered in the Pyrenees Mountains. These fossils date back to between 1800 and 1000 BC. It is believed that this breed of dogs originated 11,000 years ago in the Asia Minor region and descended from the mountain dogs of the same territory.

#9 Bred to Guard.

The farmers in the Pyrenees Mountains of Europe bred the Great Pyrenees to guard their herd and home. The large size of these dogs made them ready to take on animals like wolves and bears in order to protect the herd. They’re also nocturnal, which allowed them to ward off vicious predators that would attack the flock at night.

Do you have any more interesting facts about the Great Pyrenees to add to this list? Feel free to use the Comments section below!

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