Pyrenean Mountain Dog
The Pyrenean Mountain Dog is one of the few breeds where height in the Breed Standard is a minimum; bitches should be at least 26″ at the withers and dogs 28″, but “most will considerably exceed this, great size is essential provided type and character are retained”.
So this is a dog who is meant to be massive, a dog bred for guarding flocks from wolves, bears and rustlers – not a dog for the novice owner.
The Pyrenean Mountain Dog is an ancient breed and fossils have been found from 1800BC of dogs showing recognisable type. They were taken up by the French aristocracy in the 18th century and Louis XIV named the breed the Royal Dog of France and he could be found in many chateaux in southern France.
However, the Pyrenean Mountain Dog remained a working dog and as recently as World War II they were used as pack dogs for French troops.
At the beginning of the 20th century the breed was depleted in numbers and M Dretzen and Bernard Senlac-Langrange were instrumental in preserving the vigour and purity of the Pyrenean. In the right hands a Pyrenean Mountain Dog will make a very successful housedog; gentle with children, they do not require too much exercise but is is essential that he learns his place in the pecking order and is raised with a firm but gentle had from the outset.
With all breeds it is vital that behaviour that would not be acceptable in an adult is discouraged in a puppy, but infinitely more so in a breed that will ultimately be heavier and stronger than its owner. His coat is abundant with a profuse fine undercoat and coarse outer coat with a heavy mane and plenty of feathering and breeches.
A twice weekly groom is essential to remove dead coat and prevent matting during the moulting period. The coat is white or mainly white with patches of badger (correctly ‘blaireau’), wolf grey or pale yellow. An immensely impressive dog, the Pyrenean Mountain Dog is not a dog to be acquired lightly.