A range of rugged mountains lies along the border between France and Spain. It was here, in the Pyrenees Mountains, that the Great Pyrenees dog was developed to protect sheep.
Wild wolves and bears roamed the mountainsides in search of food, but they couldn't get past the Great Pyrenees dog. This big, brave dog was devoted to his flock and courageous against attackers. He was protected by his thick coat and usually wore a collar with sharp metal spikes.
Because of his size, the Great Pyrenees is a lot of dog to handle, and needs plenty of space at home. Usually he is calm and serious. He forms deep, loving attachments to his family that last a lifetime. Sometimes he chooses one person as his special friend. To strangers, he can seem independent.
Something to think about is the beautiful white coat of the Great Pyrenees. As big as a snow drift, it requires brushing only once or twice a week, but each time it takes one to two hours to comb it out correctly. In spring, when the winter coat sheds out, plan on even more brushing.
Excerpts from the Standard
General Appearance: Possessing a kindly, regal expression, great strength, and elegance.
Size, Proportion, and Substance: Height--males, 27 to 32 inches at the withers; females, 25 to 29 inches. Weight--for a 27-inch male, about 100 pounds; for a 25-inch female, about 85 pounds.
Since wolves and bears are not so numerous now in France and Spain, the Great Pyrenees has taken on additional duties. He is eager to pull carts and sleds. He guides passengers along snowy trails: He can find the dangerous spots and lead people away from them. He carried equipment in sacks across his back in World War I, and he was used by smugglers to take illegal goods between France and Spain.
Excerpted from The Complete Dog Book For Kids © 1996, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.