Are Great Pyrenees Good With Kids? (Vet Tech Answers)

Are Great Pyrenees Good With Kids

If you don’t have much experience with Great Pyrenees, they might look very intimidating. Great Pyrenees are huge, white fluffy dogs that can have a wolfish appearance. Beneath the formidable outward appearance of the Great Pyrenees is a gentle and loving personality. These dogs are known for their calm temperaments and get along well with others.

Despite all of this, it can be scary to trust a dog with your kid.

So, are Great Pyrenees good with kids?

Great Pyrenees make wonderful family dogs and are usually good with kids. Great, Pyrenees are gentle, calm, and independent, meaning the arrival of a new family member won’t upset them. Plus, they can be trained and socialized to accept children. However, Great Pyrenees are huge and can act overly protective.

Let’s talk about some of the reasons why a Great Pyrenees may or may not be a good fit for a household with kids.  That way, you’ll be able to make an informed decision for yourself about whether or not you want to add a Great Pyrenees to the family.

3 Reasons Why Great Pyrenees Are Good With Kids?

There are so many things to think about when considering whether or not a dog will be good with kids. While many of those traits relate to the breed of the dog many of them also have to do with the individual dog and their history.

Some breeds aren’t recommended for households with kids, and you’ll often see signs at shelters that point out individual dogs that shouldn’t be in homes with children.

Luckily, Great Pyrenees are one dog breed that seems to do very well with kids. Here are some of the attributes that make Great Pyrenees good dogs around children.

Reason 1: They’re Gentle And Calm

One of the best things about Great Pyrenees is how gentle and calm they are. That has a lot to do with their breeding.

In the past, Great Pyrenees were bred to be livestock guardian dogs. This meant that they spent most of their time surrounded by smaller prey animals. Animals like sheep, cows, and goats were safe and protected because of the Great Pyrenees. In order to coexist with a group of scared farm animals, Great Pyrenees need to be calm and relaxed.

That personality trait seems to be one of the strongest surviving traits of their breeding. Pyrs extremely tolerant of smaller animals )and kids) because that’s what they were bred to do!

In the video below, you can see just how tolerant a Great Pyrenees is when goats are literally climbing on top of him.

Because Great Pyrenees are calm and relaxed, they’re generally a safe combination with kids, or dogs, and even cats, and many other animals!  If you’re worried about your Pyr snapping at a kid out of irritation, the odds are pretty low.

Reason 2: They Can Be Trained

Another reason why Great Pyrenees are good with kids is that they can be trained.

Great Pyrenees are pretty intelligent. Even though they only rank #64 in intelligence on a list compiled by a canine psychologist, they definitely know a few things. Because Great Pyrenees are an ancient dog breed, they have a strong instinctual intelligence that allows them to reason and make decisions.

Because Great Pyrenees are intelligent, they also tend to be stubborn. With good training and discipline, Great Pyrenees can be easily taught to behave.

If you’re unsure about how Pyrenee will act around kids, you can work on training with them beforehand. We’ll talk more below about exactly how you can prepare your dog to meet your kids, or vice versa.

Reason 3: They’re Independent

Independence is one of the most common defining traits of the Great Pyrenees. We see this trait as a big plus when it comes to kids.

Because of their breeding, Pyrs are used to spending their entire day alone in the company of animals only. They like to be able to make their own decisions and go where they want.  Great Pyrenees are usually not dogs who have separation anxiety and can entertain themselves. They are known to wander, and one of the things they like to do fast is walk slowly around their properties.

If you have kids, a Great Pyrenees is a perfect dog to have because you don’t need to entertain them as well. They’re perfectly content to set their own agenda for the day. If that includes playing with the kids. Great, if it doesn’t that’s also fine. That means you won’t need to carve out an hour or more of your day just to give your dog special attention.

To sum it all up, great, Pyrenees are good with kids because they’re gentle, trainable, and self-sufficient.

2 Reasons Why Great Pyrenees May Not Be Good With Kids

For as good as Great Pyrenees can be with kids, there’s also a flipside.

This dog breed is generally looked at as a big, fluffy cuddle ball. But, I know from personal experience that these dogs can be aggressive in certain situations when they’re not well-socialized. Let’s talk about some of the reasons why a Great Pyrenees might not be the best choice for a household with kids.

Reason 1: They Might Be Overly Protective

Great, Pyrenees are guardian dogs.

Not only did these dogs historically act as guardians for livestock, but they also guarded families. Great Pyrenees were once considered the royal dog of France, and you can find many of them inside the French palaces.   That status wasn’t just due to their striking appearance, but also to their loyal personalities.  These dogs are incredibly relaxed, but can be incredibly protective when provoked.

In some ways, this can seem like a benefit for kids. But having a protective dog can make them act overprotective in the presence of kids.  Your dog will eventually see their kids as part of their flock. With good intentions, your dog might accidentally lash out at one of the kid’s friends.

Unfortunately, Great Pyrenees have a very strong bite force. Their bite is stronger than that of a Rottweiler. So, if your great Pyrenees does decide to act protectively, it could become a big safety issue.

Reason 2: They’re Huge

The other main reason why a Great Pyrenees dog may not be good with kids is just their massive size.

Great Pyrenees descend from other huge dog breeds. Historically, these dogs needed to be large, to be able to protect their flocks and stay warm in the mountains. Now, these dogs often reach weights of over 100 pounds as adults. This is all fun and games until you have a human running around that’s half their size.

As you can imagine a large Great Pyrenees might accidentally run a small child over. This might not be a big deal but could result in your kid being fearful, or resentful of dogs in the future. Or, in a worst-case scenario, your child might actually get hurt when they get pushed over.

Don’t worry, if your heart is set on bringing a Great Pyrenees into your home, we’ve got you covered! There are definitely ways to manage the protective streak, and the size of a Great Pyrenees.

Tips For Training Your Great Pyrenees To Be Around Kids

Proper training is so important for any dog. But, if you have a large dog it’s even more important. When a large dog acts aggressively, the consequences are much higher.  Here are some ways to make sure your Great Pyrenees will do good with kids.

Socialize Them Early On

Letting your dog experience new people and animals is so important in their young years. This allows your dog to understand that people and animals are OK and not a threat.  The more people and dogs your dog is able to meet the less likely they will be to act aggressively towards strangers.

Even if you weren’t able to socialize your dog when they were young, that’s OK. It’s never too late to start socializing an adult dog. Just be aware it might be a little more difficult and you’ll need to keep a stronger hold on your furry friend just in case they have a reaction.

Work On Obedience Training

Obedience training is another important piece to the puzzle of having a dog that’s good with kids.

Having an established communication system and a strong relationship with your dog is essential if you want them to listen to you. It’s also such a benefit to have commands that your dog will obey, even when things get a little chaotic. Positive reinforcement training is a great way to start establishing a communication system. You can take advantage of this when introducing your dad to kids.

Imagine being able to tell your dog to sit, stay, lay down, or back up in a sticky situation. If you have your dog trained well enough, odds are that they’ll listen to you regardless of whatever might be distracting them. It never hurts to have your dog’s favorite treats on hand so you can get their attention even faster.

Educate Your Kids

This doesn’t necessarily relate to training your dog, but if you already have kids, it’s important to let them know how to act around a dog.

For example, you should teach kids not to pull on dogs ears, fur, or tails, or to touch their faces for any reason. You should also try to teach your kid to read basic body language and understand when a dog does not want to be approached. Remind them to look for a wagging tail as a sign to approach, and raised hackles as a sign to back off.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hopefully, we’ve answered most of your questions about whether or not Great Pyrenees are good with kids. Here are a few more frequently asked questions on the topic.

Are Great Pyrenees Good With Babies?

Great Pyrenees are generally good with babies because they’re so aloof and calm. If anything, your Great Pyrenees might just be indifferent to a baby. That being said, it’s always important to monitor your dogs anytime they’re around a small child.

Are Great Pyrenees Safe Around Kids?

As far as dogs go, Great Pyrenees are very safe around kids. These dogs are incredibly tolerant and used to being surrounded by chaos. They’ll let cans climb all over them, and not even bat an eye. Even though great Pyrenees in general are safe around kids there are always exceptions and individuals who have different experiences.

Is the Great Pyrenees A Good Family Dog?

Great Pyrenees make fantastic family dogs as they often get along well with kids, pets, and livestock. They are natural guardians, and may be slightly protective of you when visitors come over. But, they’re incredibly loyal and relaxed and make a great addition to our family.

What Are The Cons Of Owning A Great Pyrenees?

A lot of the cons of owning a Great Pyrenees have to do with their physical bodies. These dogs bark a lot, shed a lot, and drool a lot. They also need a lot of outdoor space to be happy. To read more about the pros and cons of owning a Great Pyrenees, click here.

Do Great Pyrenees Like To Cuddle?

Great Pyrenees run hot and like to cuddle when it’s cold outside. But, since these dogs are so fluffy, they may not like to cuddle during the warmer months. Don’t take it personally, it’s just an easy way for them to stay cool.

Final Thoughts

Overall Great Pyrenees are really good with kids.  They’re gentle, loyal, and obedient.  Plus, Pyrs are independent and will keep themselves entertained without you having to do any work!  But, Great Pyrenees can be overprotective and very big.

If you pay attention to your Great Pyrenees and socialize them young, they should do really well with kids.  Though every individual dog is different, this breed tends to do just fine with small humans!

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