Are Great Pyrenees Good for First Time Owners?

are great pyrenees good for first time owners?

The Great Pyrenees dog was bred with herding in mind. While these dogs are still commonly used for shepherding purposes today, there has been increased interest in this breed among pet owners looking for a sweet, loyal, and gentle dog.

Many first-time dog owners are curious if this big, attractive breed is right for them.

If you don’t know much about the Great Pyrenees, you should be sure that you are aware of the breed’s preferences, temperament, and care requirements.

It is always a good idea to be sure that you are getting a dog that you can care for and that fits right into your home with ease. There are a few reasons that this breed might not be right for a first-time dog owner, which we will break down in more detail in this article.

The Great Pyrenees Breed At a Glance

First of all, let’s discuss the breed’s characteristics. This is a very large breed with mature dogs weighing more than 100 lbs.

These dogs are often also as tall as 32 inches high at the shoulder. They were bred with size in mind since the Great Pyrenees dog was originally needed for shepherding duties and protection of herd animals without natural defenses.

This breed has a thick coat that can come in colors like reddish-brown, a color called badger, tan, gray and white.

Many people are surprised that the breed expresses any colors besides white. The other color variations are as beautiful as the snowy white coat that most people imagine when this breed comes up in conversation.

Read Next: How To Pick The Right Great Pyrenees Puppy (5 Things you Must Consider)

Are Great Pyrenees Easy to Own?

This breed is very enjoyable to own, and they are loyal and kind to a fault. However, there are always considerations that should be kept in mind related to large dog breeds.

Large dogs cost more to feed and can also sometimes cost more to care for due to issues with bone and joint health. A large dog can also be a bad fit for apartment living and might be too strong for someone very small to take on walks safely.

Many first-time owners do not think about the fact that this breed requires a lot of exercise and that they are quite strong. Being prepared to keep a Great Pyrenees fed, housed, and entertained requires a commitment of time that not every first-time pet owner has to give.

Read Also: Should I get a Male or Female Great Pyrenees? – Here’s How to Decide

Are Great Pyrenees Easy to Housebreak?

The Great Pyrenees is actually really easy to housebreak if you make sure that you are paying attention to their behavior.

Since this breed loves approval, sending them out to go to the bathroom and then praising them extensively when they come back inside is often all that is required to get potty training off on the right foot.

Make sure that you are prepared to get up to take puppies out for a walk in the middle of the night for the first four to six months that they live in your home.

Grooming Requirements for the Great Pyrenees

This is one aspect of this breed that every first-time dog owner needs to think about very carefully before getting a Great Pyrenees.

While it is possible that first-time owners can cope with a dog with a thick double coat, it is often not recommended that first-time pet owners get a dog that requires as much grooming as a Pyrenees.

This breed sheds heavily, requires care with specific grooming tools, and will need to be cared for by a professional groomer on a regular basis.

You will need to be sure that you are prepared to pay for proper grooming for this breed and that you understand how to provide coat care at home.

Incorrect grooming techniques or a lack of grooming can lead to health issues like skin infections due to matting of the coat.

Health Considerations Related to the Great Pyrenees Breed

Like most large breeds of dog, the Great Pyrenees can be prone to early-onset arthritis, as well as hip and elbow issues.

They also are at an increased risk for back problems. In animals that are not roaming across the side of a mountain caring for sheep, obesity can be a common health issue as well.

Great Pyrenees are also more prone to skin health issues related to improper grooming or a lack of grooming and can get yeast or bacterial infections as well as hot spots.

You will also need to be sure that you work with a skilled and experienced breeder to get your Great Pyrenees because the breed can also have issues with dwarfism, along with some other genetic disorders related to inbreeding.

Great Pyrenees Temperament and Training

This breed is loyal, gentle, and kind, and they are often good with children. However, since they were bred to be allowed to roam across pastures caring for livestock on their own, they can be quite independent.

Training this breed can be difficult without consistency and extreme patience. Any time that you try to convert a working dog breed to the life of a pet, it can be hard to get a routine established that the dog respects.

This is one of the reasons that the Great Pyrenees is often not an ideal choice for a first-time dog owner. The best way to overcome this problem as a first-time pet owner is to plan to work consistently with a dog trainer until you feel that you have built up a rapport and routine with your Great Pyrenees.

Working hard to overcome the natural indifference that Great Pyrenees often feel toward human commands can take time, but it is worth the effort.

Great Pyrenees Socialization Needs

This breed requires a lot of attention and socialization to be happy. These are dogs that were bred to live in small packs and care for herd animals, so they are practically designed to need companionship and company.

It is not uncommon to see Pyrenees dogs sleeping curled up with their flocks. You will need to remember that, while this is an independent breed of dog, they still can get very lonely and suffer from separation anxiety.

Great Pyrenees experts will tell you that you should plan on spending a lot of time with your dog playing, exercising, and generally entertaining them. If you have other dogs in the home, they will need to be patient with a dog companion that likes to lay near or on top of them and who will follow them around all day.

If you love a dog that wants to be in your company all the time, then this is a dog breed that will be a good fit for your personality. Keep this in mind as a first-time dog owner if you have never had a pet living under your feet all day long.

Great Pyrenees Exercise Needs

Many people think that the Pyrenees breed is sluggish and lazy because they are not prone to running around and playing hard the way that smaller dog breeds are.

While a Great Pyrenees might not run and play hard all the time, they were bred to be strong and fit enough to wander over miles of territory with a grazing herd of sheep or goats every day. This means that your Great Pyrenees will need lots of mental stimulation and low-impact exercise each day.

While you might not go running with this breed of dog, they will need daily walks, and they will be much happier with consistent work on tricks and other skills.

Budgeting for this kind of time and attention is key when you are considering a Great Pyrenees for your new pet companion.

Who is the Perfect Owner for a Great Pyrenees?

The perfect owner for this breed is someone who has the time and patience to train a dog that is naturally independent.

This person will also need to have the time and money to take their pet to the groomer on a regular basis. Ideally, the person who gets a Great Pyrenees will also be willing to get the help of a dog trainer as needed.

These dogs need a lot of room to play and roam around, so the right owner for a Great Pyrenees is someone with a large yard for their dog to spend time in.

Lastly, the right owner for this breed of dog will be familiar with the dietary and exercise needs of this breed to prevent health issues like obesity.

If you believe that you meet all of these conditions, then this dog breed might be right for you, even if you have never owned a dog before. This breed can be challenging to train, but they are loyal, loveable, and kind and can make great family pets.


Hi, I'm the owner of Juniper Pets! You can often find me playing fetch with my dogs, working out or cooking up something legendary in the kitchen. Hope you enjoy my blog!

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