Pyrenean Mountain Dog (Berger Des Pyrenees) (Pet Love)


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Pyrenean Mountain Dogs, also known as Great Pyrenees and Bergers Des Pyrenees, are large, thick haired dogs which are mainly white, with some colour on their faces. They were originally livestock guarding dogs, and shepherds tended to favour white dogs, because it was easier to tell the difference between them and wolves which might be stalking the flock. They have also worked as draught animals and rescue dogs.

Pyrenean Mountain Dogs can usually perform well in terms of obedience, so long as ground rules are set out consistently from when they are pups, because they are quite independent.. These dogs are usually calm, courageous, affectionate with their human family, and often reserved with strangers. They are generally good family dogs, and tolerant with children of the family, though of course supervision is important due to their size, and they need to be socialized with children, like any dog.

Well-socialized Pyrenean Mountain Dogs usually tolerate other dogs, though some males sometimes take a dislike to other male dogs. They usually get on well with any cats in the household. Pyrs can be quite barky as a breed, which is good if you want a large, imposing watchdogs. They may drool, and they tend to shed a lot in the spring. Their thick coats mean that they can suffer when it is hot, especially if they do not have access to shade. This means that they should be walked in the early morning and after dusk, when it's hot. They do need regular walks to keep fit, but their recall is not always instant, so they need a safe fenced area, or one that is away well from traffic, if they are to be let off the lead. Common health problems include skin problems, hip dysplasia and other problems common to large breeds, such as bloat and abnormal bone growth.

Juliette Cunliffe's guide is a good introduction to the breed, which gives help with training as well as advice on general care, including nutrition and health care.