The Great Pyrenees is also known as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog. The length of the dog is slightly longer than it is tall. The head is wedge-shaped with a slightly rounded crown and is in proportion to the rest of the body. The backline is level. The muzzle is about the same length as the back skull. The skull is as wide as it is tall with flat cheeks. Height: Males 27 – 32 inches (69 – 81 cm) Females 25 – 29 inches (63 – 74 cm) are the average heights, but some Pyrenees are as tall as 40 inches (1 meter) Weight: Males from 100 pounds (45 kg) Females from 85 pounds (38 kg)The Great Pyrenees originated in Central Asia or Siberia.
The breed was descended from the Hungarian Kuvasz and the Maremmano-Abruzzese. The Pyrenees is also a relative of the St. Bernard, contributing to its development. It has a long history as a guard dog of sheep. The dogs made their way to Europe; the Great Pyrenees remained in the high mountain regions until the Middle ages, when the breed gradually gained popularity with the French nobility as a guard dog. By the late 17th century, every French noble wanted to own one.
Armed with a spiky collar and thick coat, the Great Pyrenees protected vulnerable flocks from such predators as wolves and bear. The Great Pyrenees has proven to be a very versatile breed working as an avalanche rescue dog, as a cart-puller, sled dog, as a pack dog on ski trips, a flock guardian, dog of war, and as a companion and defender of family and property. The AKC officially recognized the Great Pyrenees in 1933.
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