Shepherd of the Pyrenees, known as the Great Pyrenees in U.S. is a large breed, used as a guard dog in the household. Great Pyrenees is a very old breed and has been used for millenniums by shepherds, including the Basque, who inhabited parts of the region and around the Pyrenees Mountains of southern France and northern Spain. More recently, he served as an official dog of the French royal court. The Great Pyrenees is considered one of the oldest natural breeds.
During the Second World War, these dogs were used to transport artillery over the Pyrenees mountain chain to and from Spain and France. They are related to other European breeds, including dog Maremano (Italy), Shepherd Kuvasz (Hungary), Akbash (Turkey). It is considered to be the relative of the noble Saint Bernard dog and Terra – Nova.
The Great Pyrenees has a long history in native France as a watchdog of sheep. Armed with spiked collars and thick coat (a natural defense against attack), the Great Pyrenees dogs would protect sheep from predators such as wolves and bears. Born to live in the mountains, this versatile breed is used as well as for rescue in case of avalanches, sleds or cart pulling and as a companion and defender of family and home. With minimal training can be used for any of these even today. In ancient times, when the temperament was less gentle he may have been used as a war dog.
These dogs are majestic, like the mountains of origin of their names – massive, beautiful and very elegant. At maturity, the Great Pyrenees is a large animal, solid and muscular. He has a long, rough coat (outer layer) which is either right or slightly wavy, while the inner layer is soft and thick. The coat is resistant to weather conditions, which allows him to live in free in areas with harsh climate. The coat can have different colors: white, white with patches of brown, gray or yellow. He is known to be mentally independent. They blindly obey orders and become quickly bored with them when they are repeated at a regular basis. The master must always show that he is in the dominant position.