How Much Exercise Does A Great Pyrenees Need? (Answered By Vet Tech)

How Much Exercise Does A Great Pyrenees Need

Great Pyrenees are gentle giants that make loving additions to any household. Despite being so large, these dogs can be rather lazy. They seem to like to lay around and take naps on and off throughout the day. Like any other dog, Great Pyrenees need exercise to stay happy and healthy.

But, how much exercise does a Great Pyrenees need?

Most Great Pyrenees need around 40 minutes to an hour of exercise daily. Since they’re not high-energy dogs, exercise for a Great Pyrenees doesn’t have to be at a high-intensity level. Because these dogs are natural shepherds some of the best exercises for them include walking, hiking, and just playing with other dogs.

Let’s talk a little bit about just how much exercise a great Pyrenees needs each day throughout different life stages and the different ways you can get your pup active.

How Much Exercise Does A Great Pyrenees Really Need?

For a large breed dog, Great Pyrenees aren’t very high energy. 40 minutes to an hour of daily exercise is sufficient for a Great Pyrenees. Plus, their exercises don’t need to be high in intensity to make a positive impact.

The reason for the slow exercise requirement has a lot to do with their history.

Thousands of years ago, Great Pyrenees were bred to act as guardian and shepherd dogs. These huge dogs protected flocks of livestock and also families from big cats. The great Pyrenees not only acted as a great alarm because of their loud bark but could also face down predators because of their size and strong bite.

This might sound exciting but most of the Great Pyrenees days and nights were spent in a state of semi-alertness. This meant that the Great Pyrenees often spent their days snoozing and staying in one place. While they weren’t completely asleep they could still listen for signs of danger. And yet they were still able to lie around and not do too much.

This slow lifestyle is one of the reasons why the Great Pyrenees don’t need too much exercise today.

How Much Exercise Does A Great Pyrenees Puppy Need?

As Great Pyrenees are growing, they don’t need nearly as much exercise. Though great Pyrenees puppies grow quite large, they’re still just babies. Their underdeveloped skeletons and muscles can’t handle long days full of exercise. While it’s always a good idea to exercise your puppy to make sure they go strong and tall, over-exercising them can leave them exhausted and nutrient deficient.

A good time to aim for is about 30 minutes of exercise for your puppy each day. You might find that they want to play and run around for much longer, and that’s fine! As long as you’re not forcing them on a run extra exercise should be OK.

What Are The Best Exercises For Great Pyrenees?

So, if your great Pyrenees needs about an hour of exercise each day, what can you do for them? Below, we’ll list some of the best exercises to keep your Pyr healthy and happy without any overexertion.


Hiking is one of the best and most natural exercises for Great Pyrenees.

These dogs were born and bred to thrive in the mountains. Many of their special traits, like extra dewclaws, prove that they’re experts in navigating rocky terrains. Hiking is a great way to allow your Pyrenees to use different muscles tendons and ligaments and they would normally use while walking on flat surfaces. The balance aspect of hiking is a great way to help your Pyrenees improve their coordination.

When hiking, you’ll always want to consider the weather before you head out. Because of their thick coats and large body sizes, Pyrenees can’t tolerate hot weather. Hiking in anything above 70°F could potentially be dangerous for your pup.


Since many of us don’t have access to hiking trails that we can go to every day, walking is a great alternative. Walking is a great exercise for Pyrenees because it’s pretty low impact and good for their tire joints that supported their large bodies. Taking your dog for a walk is a totally acceptable form of exercise and is usually a little bit easier than going for a hike at the end of a long day.

Dog walks can be a great way to bond with your free friend and also work on leash training. You can use this time to establish a strong connection between the two of you.  Plus, you might meet some friends on the way!


Did you know that some great Pyrenees love water?

That’s right, you might be one of the lucky owners of a water dog. Great Pyrenees aren’t bred to be swimmers. But, some of them are great swimmers that love to spend time in the water. This might just be due to the cooling effects of the water, but that doesn’t make it any less good of an exercise.

Great Pyrenees often weigh 100 pounds or more so giving them low-impact exercise options is essential. As your large dog ages, more and more pressure will be put on its joints.  Swimming is not only a great way to get daily exercise but can also have therapeutic effects on tired joints.

If you’re nervous about letting your Pyrenees swim in a large body of water, we have the perfect solution. Check out this list of our favorite lifejackets for Great Pyrenees.  Or, you can always try letting your Pyr splash around in a safe kiddie pool like the one below.

Playing With Other Dogs

Another way to help your Great Pyrenees get exercise is to let them play with other dogs. Great Pyrenees get along really well with a lot of other breeds of dogs. While playing with other dogs you’ll notice that your great Pyrenees runs and jumps and makes all other sorts of movements. This play is a great form of exercise because your Pyrenees definitely looks forward to it.

If you feel like this is the best way for your individual dog to get exercise, you might want to consider getting them a permanent playmate. Great Pyrenees get along really well with a variety of dog breeds. They’re independent by nature but prefer to be around other animals and may become anxious if they’re not.

So, adding another dog to the house will benefit not only a Great Pyrenee’s physical health but also their mental health.


Did you know that training can make a great exercise for your pet?

Training sessions have so many mental and physical benefits to them. During a training session, your dog is focused and is establishing better communication with you. They’re also doing whatever you ask them to do. You can use this to your advantage for daily exercise requirements.

Try asking your dog to jump over a log or to lie down and sit up over and over again. Of course, you’ll need to reward them appropriately for listening.  But, they’ll get plenty of physical exercise during a training session like this too.


Running is an acceptable exercise for Great Pyrenees and something they might do occasionally in the wild. However, it can be difficult to run a Great Pyrenees for a variety of reasons.

Great Pyrenees are so large that it can be hard to find a comfortable pace with them. Their fur is double-layered and thick which makes it hard for them to effectively cool off when they warm up. Plus, Great Pyrenees are large dogs in the high impact and high-intensity effects of running can damage their joints in the long run.

If you do feel like you have a great Pyrenees that loves to run, try to encourage them to do it on a soft surface like grass or dirt.

Don’t Forget Mental Stimulation!

While focusing on how important exercise is, don’t forget how important mental stimulation is. According to the American Wellness Magazine, mental stimulation is essential in keeping your pet happy and healthy.

Mental stimulation gives your dog a sense of purpose and helps to tire them out. Mentally stimulating activities are things like puzzles, new scents, and novel activities. The more your dog is mentally stimulated the more confidence they’ll gain.

What Are The Benefits Of Exercising Your Great Pyrenees?

Many of the benefits of exercise for dogs are similar to the benefits of exercise for humans. Regular exercise helps keep cardiovascular and respiratory systems in tip-top shape. That means a stronger heart, lower blood pressure, and better circulation. As we know, physical exercise also has significant mental benefits.

For dogs facing anxiety Arabis destructive behavior patterns, exercise is a must. Mental and physical stimulation can help dogs take the focus off of inappropriate behaviors and put it back on what they should be doing. After good exercise, your dog will hopefully be too tired to do anything they shouldn’t be doing.

Regular exercise is also a great way for your dog to bond with you and other pets.

Can Great Pyrenees Get Too Much Exercise?

It is possible for your dog to get too much exercise. Too much exercise could lead to nutritional deficiencies and eventual damage to the musculoskeletal system. The excessive activity could also cause your Great Pyrenees to overheat under her thick and fluffy coat. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your pet and make sure that you’re not forcing them to do anything they don’t feel up to doing.

Luckily, Great Pyrenees are so big that they should be able to tell you when they’re over an activity. If you have a Pyr you know they might just sit down or turn around when they’re done walking. If your dog does this just listen to them and turn back, they might be too tired or too hot to continue.

Do Exercise Needs Change As Dogs Get Older?

Yes, exercise needs change as dogs get older.

As your Great Pyrenees ages, you might notice a significant drop in energy. It’s normal for senior dogs to have less energy than adult dogs. You can kind of imagine that they’re turning into a puppy again, they need more sleep and higher-quality nutrition to function.

Plus, large-breed dogs are always prone to arthritis and hip dysplasia as they age. Excessive exercise could aggravate problems like these.  It’s important to talk to your veterinarian about the needs of your senior dog and how much exercise they should be getting every day.

Can A Great Pyrenees Be An Indoor Dog?

With all this talk about physical activity, it’s hard to imagine a great Pyrenees being a good indoor dog. However, great Pyrenees make wonderful house dogs and even apartment dogs.

The trick with this is that you’ll just have to take them out for all of their physical activity. You won’t just be able to let them roam and get exercise throughout the day. Just make sure you get them out for their 40 minutes – 1 hour of activity per day.

Final Thoughts

For such a large dog, Great Pyrenees don’t need that much exercise each day. They’re naturally low-energy and aren’t known as hyper dogs. This means that activities like walking, playing, or even training are acceptable for these gentle giants.

Try to get your dog somewhere around an hour of exercise each day to keep them healthy and happy for the rest of their lives!

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