Better known as “Chien de Montagne des Pyrénées” or simply “Patou”, the Pyrenean Mountain Dog is an awe-inspiring sight. The mountainous landscape of the Pyrenees would be inconceivable without the original herding dog. However, the majority of dogs today no longer do strenuous work with the herd. Instead, the large-format and elegant four-legged friends find a new purpose as good-natured family members.
Pyrenean Mountain Dog History
The Pyrenean Mountain Dog is an old French breed of dog that was already known and appreciated in the Middle Ages. Archaeological finds prove the existence of dogs in the region as early as the Bronze Age. Originally, the Pyrenean mountain dog was a herding and herding animal. In the 17th century, he increasingly became a companion dog that held a representative prestige function for his owners. The first systematic description of the breed dates from 1897; the current breed standard is still based on the 1923 version. After interest in the dogs temporarily leveled off, tourism brought new popularity to the breed in the 1980s.
Nature of the Pyrenean Mountain Dog
Pyrenean mountain dogs are considered gentle giants. Her imposing demeanor is enough to inspire respect. In its nature lies a strong protective instinct towards its people, coupled with high intelligence and the ability to independently assess situations and act accordingly. This results in a certain obstinacy. He treats strangers with suspicion. Due to the basically balanced, friendly character, it is also suitable as a family dog, which generally gets along well with children and other pets. His sociable and affectionate nature makes him a popular four-legged friend.
Training and keeping of the Pyrenean Mountain Dog
As with most dog breeds whose task was once to herd management, the Pyrenean Mountain Dog has a strong tendency towards independence and autonomy. This requires tenacity, patience, and assertiveness from you when training the dog; you should not expect unconditional submission from the animal. You achieve the necessary respect with consistent, but always emphatic behavior. In addition, we recommend taking part in puppy courses and attending a dog school, where the Pyrenean Mountain Dog also has the opportunity to practice social interaction with other dogs. The Pyrenean mountain dog is a very active dog and therefore needs a lot of exercise – for example in the form of long daily hikes or as a companion when jogging and cycling, where he is allowed to walk off-leash. Due to its high weight, however, the four-legged friend should not jump much. Dog sport is, therefore, less suitable for him.
It is ideal and in line with its character if the dog has access to a spacious property on which it can move freely and which it can guard. The Pyrenean mountain dog can also be used as a companion or rescue dog with appropriate training. In the big city, it is difficult for the dog to develop in a way that is appropriate to the species; its format alone makes keeping it as a flatmate impractical.
The Pyrenean Mountain Dog’s lush coat requires careful grooming. It should be brushed several times a week to keep it from matting. During the change of coat, the dog sheds a lot; then daily grooming can make the process easier.
Peculiarities of the Pyrenean Mountain Dog
Since an extensive gene pool has always been available for breeding the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, no specific hereditary diseases have developed in this breed. Like most large dogs, however, the four-legged friend carries the risk of developing hip dysplasia.