Great Pyrenees Breed Information
Alternative names -
Chien des Pyrenees,
Chien de Montagne des Pyrenees,
Montanes del Pirineo,
Country of origin - France/Spain
Common nicknames - Pyr
Classification and breed standards
FCI:|Group 2 Section 2 #137|Stds
ANKC:|Group 6 (Utility)|Stds
CKC:|Group 3 - Working Dogs|Stds
The Pyrenean Mountain Dog, known as the Great Pyrenees in the United States, is a large breed of dog, used for protecting livestock (especially sheep) in pasture.
The Great Pyrenees is readily identifiable by a double dewclaw on each of its hind legs.
It is a very old breed, and has been used for millennia by the Basque people, who inhabit parts of the region in and around the Pyrenees Mountains of southern France and northern Spain. More recently, it served as the official dog of the royal French court (whose prominence began circa the Middle Ages, and lasted until the middle of the nineteenth century). During World War II the dogs were used to haul artillery over the Pyrenean Mountain range to and from Spain and France. They are related to several other large white European Livestock guardian dogs (LGD), including the Italian Maremma Sheepdog, Kuvasz (Hungary), Anatolian Shepherd (Turkey) and Polish Tatra or Polski Owczarek Podhalanski.
Males weigh in at about 100-160 pounds (45-73 kilograms), while females are approximately 85-115 pounds (39-52 kilograms). Their coats are white and can have varying shades of grey or tan around the face (including a full face mask), ears and sometimes on the body; as a Great Pyrenees matures, their coats grow thicker and the longer white hair of the coat often fades the markings on those dogs that were not born completely white. Grey or tan markings that remain lend the French name, "blaireau," meaning "with color" to those dogs who are marked. Only one in four will have a pure white coat. They are well known for their back double dewclaws.
2. In Popular Culture
* In the anime/manga Azumanga Daioh, Chiyo Mihama's pet Tadakichi-san (Mr. Tadakichi) is a Great Pyrenees.
* In the anime/manga Full Metal Alchemist, Shou and Nina Tucker's dog Alexander is most likely a Great Pyrenees.
* In the novel, Belle et Sebastien, Belle is a Great Pyrenees.
* The 2004 film Finding Neverland used a Great Pyrenees to represent J.M. Barrie's Landseer Newfoundland.
* The Spanish designer Javier Mariscal was inspired by this dog breed for the design of the 1992 Summer Olympics mascot "Cobi".
* In Hanazakarino Kimitachihe, the male lead had a Great Pyreness for a pet.
* The Japanese series Ginga Densetsu Weed features a Great Pyrenees named Hiro.
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