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The Pyrenean Mountain Dog, known as the Great Pyrenees in the United States, is a large, majestic breed of dog that was used traditionally for protecting livestock (especially sheep) in pasture. 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. 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 Pyreneean Mountain range to and from Spain and France.
Males weigh in at about 100-160 pounds (45-59 kilograms), while females are approximately 85-115 pounds (39-52 kilograms). Their fur is often white with shades of grey or tan around the face, ears and sometimes on the body; these dogs are called "blaireau". Only one in four will have a pure white coat. However, most dogs of this breed, when young, are colored gray with tan spots. The Great Pyrenees is readily identifiable by a double dewclaw on each of its hind legs. These are considered breed standard, more than two dewclaws is not a fault just undesirable and should not be removed by veterinarians.
Neighbours may be annoyed and complain about the deep, booming bark — if the dog is left outside continuously or left inside without a companion too long. These dogs also have a tendency to bark when they sense a predator nearby. A predator to a Pyr can range from another dog to coyotes, bears, foxes, weasels, mountain lions, etc. They cannot be trusted off-leash, as their guardian dog nature will cause them to investigate anything and everything they find interesting, and to not trust their owners to make the final decisions. Great Pyrenees were bred to guard without instruction from humans and will decide for you what is in your best interest. A mature Great Pyrenees may be somewhat standoffish and wary of strangers. They are extremely protective of their family members - human or animal - and will never trust or like anyone who they think is a potential danger or threat to their family. Some will show discomfort by pushing against the stranger,or by nudging the owner. That said, they do warm up to friendly and kind people, especially children and women, fairly quickly. Train your pup using Cesar Millan's Dog Whisperer tips!