Pyrenean Mountain Dog Temperament and Attitude

The exact history of the origin of this breed is not known. However, bone remains have been found that date from the Bronze Age (1800-100 BC) and correspond to this breed type.

Wanted Pyrenean Mountain Dog

The Pyrenean Mountain Dog belongs to the FCI group 2 of the Molosser and originally comes from France. It owes its name to its homeland, the Pyrenees Mountains, which separate France and Spain. According to the breed standard, males should be at least 70 cm tall, while bitches should not be less than 65 cm at the shoulder.

The desired minimum weight is 40 – 50 kg. The Pyrenean Mountain Dog’s coat consists of a dense undercoat with thin hair and a long and dense topcoat with harsh hair. The color is pure white but white with light yellow, wolf-grey, or badger markings on the head is also permitted. Regular grooming is absolutely necessary so that the dog always looks well-groomed and the shiny appearance of the long-haired and coarse coat is preserved, but also to keep the dog healthy overall.

Breed Origin:

Between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, the Pyrenees separate the Iberian Peninsula from the landmass of wider Europe. The border between France and Spain, originating from the Pyrenean mountain dog, runs across the main ridges of the high mountains.

Two very similar dog breeds originate from this region of the world. One is the French Chien de Montagne des Pyrénées and the other is the Spanish Mastín del Pirineo. The two independent breeds are descendants of the same origin.

However, an agreement between the French and the Spaniards regarding a common breed standard fails. These animals, known as bog dogs, have lived in this area since prehistoric times. It is believed that this was followed by crossbreeding with the Tibetan Mastiff, which arrived from Asia more than 1000 years ago.

What is certain is that there have also been large herd guard dogs in France for over 1000 years and that such dogs have been used in the Pyrenees for several centuries to protect flocks of sheep from stray bears and packs of wolves.

During the 15th century, these dogs were increasingly used as guard dogs. The actual discoverers of the breed are the pre-revolutionary French nobility, who used them to guard their castles, especially in southern France, before the French Revolution.

The Pyrenean Mountain Dog became really popular under the so-called “Sun King” Louis XIV. He had them guard the Louvre in Paris, for example, and finally named the breed the “Royal Dog of France”. When the nobility was deprived of power with the French Revolution of 1789, the popularity of the Pyrenean mountain dog inevitably declined. Of course, the dog was still used by the farmers as a herd guard dog.

Is He Dangerous

He is suspicious to sharp towards strangers, but if the owner lets the stranger in, the dog will accept him too.

If these traits were not evident in a dog, it was abandoned, killed, or sold for as much money as possible to a stranger to whom these traits were not so important. Their physical characteristics also made them ideal for smuggling between France and Spain. The enormous dogs were loaded with contraband and their surefootedness enabled them to walk down routes impassable to humans in the steep Pyrenees mountains.


Basque fishermen also brought early examples of the breed to Canada’s east coast, where they interbred with native retrievers, laying the genetic foundation for such well-known breeds as the Newfoundland and Landseer.

When the breed was threatened with extinction at the beginning of the 20th century, the French cynologist Bernard Senac-Lagrange made a valuable contribution to saving the Great Pyrenees. He looked for good animals in the mountains and collected various remaining specimens, and he also wrote the first written breed standard. He was so taken with the breed that he once said:

“Only the true representatives of the breed possess that charming, very difficult to define, eye expression, both distant and caressing, alert and at the same time a little sad. If you look into those eyes, you will see her whole soul.” A short time later, the first Pyrenean mountain dogs made their way to America, where they were recognized as an independent breed by the AKC in 1933. During the Second World War, the breed served in the French army as a messenger dog and as a pack animal for transporting material.

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