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Great Pyrenees are large majestic fluffy dogs. These dogs are often sought after further beautiful coats and calm temperaments. Imagining a perfect life with a Great Pyrenees can be very different from reality. Owning any dog is a big responsibility and you should always think about whether it’s the right choice for you and your living situation.
So, what are some of the pros and cons of owning a Great Pyrenees?
Great Pyrenees make great guard dogs, they’re intelligent, calm, and affectionate, and they’re also great with kids and other animals. However, some people struggle with Great Pyrenees because they don’t realize how much they bark, shed, and drool! If you’re used to big dogs a lot of these cons won’t be a surprise to you.
Let’s jump into some of the positive aspects of owning a Great Pyrenees and then see some of their not-so-positive traits, and hopefully, by the end of this article you will know if the Great Pyrenees is the right breed for you!
Pros Of Owning A Great Pyrenees
Great Pyrenees aren’t the most popular dog breed in this country. This probably has to do with a lot of logistical issues because it can be difficult to care for a Great Pyrenees. That being said, these dogs have some amazing qualities. It’s not uncommon for people who own Great Pyrenees to own multiple of these dogs over their lifetimes.
Here are some of the reasons why many people get hooked on these amazing mountain dogs.
1. They Make Great Gaurd Dogs
One of the most practical reasons why people own Great Pyrenees is for their excellent guard dog instincts.
Great Pyrenees are one of the oldest dog breeds known to mankind. They’re old enough that fossils have been found of them in the Alps and Pyrenees mountains. Originally, these dogs were bred to guard large flocks of livestock or families. They’re instinctively on the lookout and ready to protect those that they consider part of their pack.
In many situations, a loud and scary guard dog can keep danger at bay. When these dogs protect their families, they don’t mess around. With the proper training, these dogs are invaluable from a safety aspect.
If you don’t believe me, check out the short video below where you can see a great Pyrenees squaring up against a bear to protect its flock of sheep.
2. They’re Calm, Gentle, And Affetionte
Though it may seem counterintuitive, another pro of this dog breed is its nature.
When they’re not protecting their flock from a threat, these dogs are incredibly calm. They spend most of their days snoozing and relaxing. They are tolerant and gentle and make great companion dogs. They can also be very affectionate and seem to like to smile or their owners with cuddles.
Great Pyrenees or a dog breed that is prone to separation anxiety or nervousness. This can be a big plus for people who are gone during the day I need to rely on their pets to stay calm and relaxed at home.
3. They’re Easy To Train And Intelligent
There’s no denying that Great Pyrenees are intelligent dogs. Even when they’re relaxed they seem to be in a constant state of awareness. This is a pro because it makes them easy to train.
Training is so important, especially for a large breed dog. Without training your dog might become aloof and not listen to you. This can be especially dangerous if your great Pyrenees is overly protective and becomes aggressive towards others. Proper training and discipline go a long way with this dog breed.
If you’re curious about how to start disciplining a Great Pyrenees, read an article about it here.
4. They Love Kids And Other Animals
Another pro of owning a Great Pyrenees is that they love other animals and kids.
Because these dogs were raised to guard flocks of livestock and families, they fit right in with animals and children. They’re incredibly gentle and know how to play with things that are smaller than them. Many dogs can make great companions for Pyrs. If you have kids, you can rest assured in assuming that your great Pyrenees will tolerate them if not love them.
Some of these animals have an amazing amount of patience. You can see just how patient the Great Pyrenees can be by watching this video below. While the Great Pyrenees naps it allows goats to jump around and on it.
5. They Thrive In Cold Weather
Do you live in a cold area? Or maybe you experience harsh winters? If so you’ll be happy to know that Great Pyrenees are incredibly cold-resistant.
As we mentioned earlier these dogs were bred to live in the mountains. Obviously, they needed to be able to withstand incredibly cold winters and stay outside all night long with their animals. To this day, Great Pyrenees thrive in cold weather. In fact, Great Pyrenees can tolerate temperatures down to about 15°F before they start to show signs of hypothermia.
If it’s snowing you won’t need to worry about keeping your dogs inside for long periods of time. This dog breed loves to spend time in the snow and seems to prefer it over the warm weather.
6. They’re Independent
Because these dogs often spent hours and hours watching over their flocks, they are very independent. This means that you are great Pyrenees will be able to entertain themselves and manage themselves if you’re away for big chunks of time during the day. They might seem a little aloof, but it’s a blessing that they keep themselves busy.
If you have a large property, this independence is a huge pro. Your great Pyrenees will take advantage of the space they have to roam to their heart’s content.
7. They Have Beautiful Coats
The last pro of owning a Great Pyrenees is their beautiful coat. Let’s be honest, part of the reason why we adopt the dogs we adopt is because we think they look nice. Great Pyrenees are one of the most majestic and beautiful dogs in our opinion. Stand tall and have feathering white fur coats.
Cons Of Owning A Great Pyrenees
So, with all of the pros of owning a Great Pyrenees, are there even any cons?
As with any dog breed, there are positives and negatives. No dog is perfect, but the trick is finding the dog that’s perfect for you. Here are some of the downsides of owning a Great Pyrenees so you can weigh them against the good attributes above.
1. They Shed A Lot
Great Pyrenees are large fluffy dogs that shed a lot!
These gentle giants shed a little bit all year round. This is mainly due to the fact that they have a thick double-layered coat. However, there are two large seasonal shedding events every year where Pyrs lose fur like crazy in preparation for the changing weather.
Throughout the years, these dogs require regular brushing and grooming and during a shedding event, you’ll need to brush them almost daily. But, this isn’t unmanageable and there are plenty of ways to reduce shedding in your Great Pyrenees if that’s a concern for you.
2. They Bark A Lot
Another potential con to owning a Great Pyrenees is how much they bark.
As guard dogs, Great Pyrenees have a naturally loud bark and they bark a lot. They’re instinctive and reactive to unexpected noises, especially at night. For people living in apartments or in homes close to their neighbors, this can turn into a serious issue.
But, if you live in a more isolated area, a loud bark could turn into a positive for you!
3. They Need Space To Roam
Because of their breeding history, Great Pyrenees need to get out and roam every day. This can be a con to owning a Great Pyrenees because it means that you either need land or time to take them outside.
When Great Pyrenees don’t get to go outside and explore, they can become ornery and destructive. If they’re not spending time outside on their own, it’s important to make sure that Pyrs get out for at least 40 minutes to 1 hour each day.
4. They Drool
A true con to owning a Great Pyrenees is how much this dog breed can drool. There’s not really any way to spin this one in a positive light. Certain individuals of this breed drool a lot and you can never know if you have a drooler until they get a little older.
Dog drool can be repulsive, dirty, and even stinky. If you have an aversion to drool, this may not be the breed for you.
5. They Have Short Lifespans
One of the most heartbreaking cons of owning a Great Pyrenees is that they have a very short lifespan. Because they’re a large breed dog, Great Pyrenees only have a life expectancy of about 10-12 years. These dogs quickly become members of the family, and having such a short time together is a serious consideration you’ll need to make.
Plus, this means that you’ll have to start dealing with geriatric issues and general health issues much sooner than you would have to with a medium-sized dog.
6. They Can Be Aggressive And Have A Strong Bite
The last con to adopting a Great Pyrenees is that in some cases they can be very aggressive. These dogs have an incredibly strong bite that exceeds the force of a Rottweiler or Pitbull bite.
These dogs are protective by nature and when their protective instincts take control, they can be scary. While this can be avoided with proper training and socialization, it can be a difficult behavior to stop once it’s already begun, especially since some Great Pyrenees can be stubborn.
So, Should You Adopt A Great Pyrenees?
In the end, the choice of whether to adopt a Great Pyrenees is up to you.
You should look closely at the pros and cons of this breed and see if the good outweighs the bad. Sometimes it’s easy to focus on the positives of a breed, especially when they’re a cute fluffy puppy. But, being realistic will help you and your future dog live a better quality of life. In some cases, the cons may even be a benefit to our living situation.
There are so many positives to owning a Great Pyrenees. They’re loyal, affectionate, and intelligent. They also do well in cold weather and get along with other animals. On the flip side, Great Pyrenees shed, bark, and drool, plus they have a pretty loud bark.
Hopefully, this article has helped you to consider the pros and cons of owning a Great Pyrenees so that you can make an informed decision when you decide to adopt one!