Want a big dog with a big heart? Look no further than the Great Pyrenees. The Great Pyrenees is a breed of livestock guardian dog from France that has served as guardians for flocks for thousands of years. In some countries, it protects flocks from predation by bears and wolves. In the US, it is also used to protect flocks from predators.
The Great Pyrenees is also referred to as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog in some countries.
Fun Facts about the Great Pyrenees
Below are some fun facts about the Great Pyrenees:
- The Great Pyrenees breed is so old, they have even been fossilized. They likely arrived in the Pyrenees Mountains (accompanied by their shepherds) about 3000 BC. Fossils of this breed found in the region are dated to between 1800 and 1000 BC.
- These giants were originally bred to be guard dogs. The great Pyrenees made a name for themselves guarding livestock for the farmers in the Pyrenees Mountains in Europe.
- The Great Pyrenees are instinctively nurturing. They are not just guard dogs—they are guardians. In addition to protecting the flocks, they care for them and nurture them. Their instinct is to be patient with and kind to all the vulnerable animals.
- The Great Pyrenees are nocturnal by nature. They were bred to guard flocks against the predators at night as the shepherds slept. People who keep the Great Pyrenees as pets should not be surprised when they bark at night. In fact, being nocturnal makes them a good deterrent for burglars.
- The Great Pyrenees became royalty in France, gaining popularity with the French royals in the Renaissance years. King Louis XIV’s royal court declared the Great Pyrenees the Royal Dog of France in 1675.
- Queen Victoria of England owned a Pyrs in the mid-nineteenth century. Queen Victoria was a dog lover, owning many different breeds throughout her life.