Dog Breed Facts: Great Pyrenees

1. The Great Pyrenees was Originally a Guard Dog

The Great Pyrenees was created to be a guard dog. It was supposed to watch over the livestock on farms to keep them safe from harmful predators that may have invaded. They specifically worked on farms that were found on the Pyrenees Mountains that were located in Europe.

The Pyrenees Mountains are part of the dog’s namesake. These mountains are found on the borderline that separates France from Spain. The Great Pyrenees would work in conjunction with the herding Pyrenean Shepherds. The Great Pyrenees would simply keep wolves and bears away from attacking.

2. Fossils Exist of the Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees has been around since the B.C. era. They were brought into this mountain range of the Pyrenean Mountains during this era. Specifically, the dog was thought of to have been started being bred in 3000 B.C.

Fossils have been found that seem to be evidence of this dog. These fossils are time-stamped with dates ranging from 1800 B.C. to 1000 B.C. The ancestors of the Great Pyrenees are thought to be at least 11,000 years old. They are thought of as being part of the family of white mountain dogs that were in Asia Minor.

3. The Great Pyrenees is a Natural Nurturer

The Great Pyrenees love to take care of the people and animals it cares about. It is known for being a protector in that it is a guard dog. It is also known that the dog is a guardian in a sense in that it nurtures.

The Great Pyrenees have been known to take care of and nurture all animals. More specifically, it nurtures animals that are left vulnerable and care about them. This is a very kind and patient breed of dog.

4. The Great Pyrenees is one of the Only Dogs that is Nocturnal

The Great Pyrenees is a nocturnal dog that was raised to be so. It was made to protect flocks of sheep during the night. The shepherds were unable to watch over them due to time spent sleeping.

The Great Pyrenees still retains this nocturnal personality today. It is known for barking throughout the night due to being awake during this time. It will be very alert to protect your home against intruders or other dangerous incidents that may occur.

5. The Great Pyrenees is a Royal Dog

The Great Pyrenees was raised as royalty in France. Before this, the dogs were owned by farmers who were not at all noble for many years. This made the transition extremely ironic for the dogs to suddenly become a sense of nobility.

French royalty fell in love with the Great Pyrenees during the Renaissance period. They considered these dogs the “Great Dogs of the Mountains.” They assisted in guarding French castles such as Chateau fort de Lourdes. The Great Pyrenees is even the “Royal Dog of France,” according to King Louis XIV.

6. The Great Pyrenees is International Royalty

The Great Pyrenees did not just become a royal dog in France, though. It became a part of royalty in countries such as England as well. Queen Victoria was known as a dog lover and brought this dog into her royal court.

Queen Victoria owned a Great Pyrenees. This dog lived among her many other dogs as well that included Dachshunds and others. They were treated and pampered like royalty due to their royal owner during this time. The era of the ownership was during the mid-1800s.

7. The Great Pyrenees was Brought to America by Marquis de Lafayette

Marquis de Lafayette was a Frenchman who assisted America during the time of the American Revolutionary War. He was a military officer in the army of France and was friends with the first president, George Washington.

In 1824, Lafayette brought the Great Pyrenees to the United States. He gave two of the dogs to J.S. Skinner, who was one of his friends in America at the time. J.S. Skinner went on to write a book about his two pets called “The Dog and the Sportsman.”

8. The Great Pyrenees Brought the Saint Bernard Back

Saint Bernard was going through a time of slowly becoming extinct. Many of this breed of dogs were dying off by avalanche or by distemper in Switzerland. No more Saint Bernards would be around had they gone extinct during this time.

In the year 1870, the Great Pyrenees was chosen to be one of the dog breeds to bring Saint Bernard back. The blood of the dog and other large breeds was injected into Saint Bernards, who was dying. It was able to revive these dogs back into being a fully functional breed.

9. The Great Pyrenees was a Soldier During World War II

The Great Pyrenees was a valuable asset during World War II. The dog assisted in bringing valuable equipment to where it needed to go to Europe during the time of the fight. Artillery supplies were never low with the dog’s help.

The Great Pyrenees was trained to bring artillery over the Pyrenees Mountains. Troops were able to get artillery from Spain to the trenches in France. This ensured they were always well stocked with what they needed to get the job done.

10. The Great Pyrenees Has Double Dew Claws

The Great Pyrenees have double dewclaws on each hind leg. It is rare for the Great Pyrenees just to have single dewclaws. Without a double dewclaw, the dog is probably not a pedigree standard Great Pyrenees.

The double dewclaws were very useful to the Great Pyrenees. They assist them in gaining traction when climbing mountains. The farms they worked for had to have been around the mountains, requiring traction to be of prime importance. The mountains also had to be climbed in delivering artillery supplies.

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