It is generally though that a Pyrenean must be all white, but whilst he is mainly white, it is quite permissible for him to have markings of badger (called blaireau), wolf-grey, or pale yellow. His black nose and eye rims make a striking contrast.
He is a substantial, impressive-looking dog, hardy and healthy. Once used as a guard dog, protecting flocks against wolves, he has a very gentle side to his nature and is affectionate and tolerant with children, making him a popular house pet. One of the largest breeds, he does not reach full maturity until he is three or four years old.
His thick, double coat needs grooming thoroughly at least once a week. He is not tremendously active; a short walk in town, or a long ramble in the country will suit him equally well.
The breed comes from the Pyrenean mountain range in France, where he is known as the Grand Pyrénée. They have guarded flocks in France for centuries and dogs of the type pre-date even the Bronze Age (1800-1000 BC) but are said to have been ‘discovered’ by the French nobility before the Revolution and could be found in the great châteaux. Louis XIV named the breed the Royal Dog of France. As recently as the Second World War, Pyreneans carried messages and packs for French troops.
Vulnerable Native Breed
How much exercise?
Up to 1 hour per day
Length of coat
How much grooming?
More than once a week
Town or Country
Type of home
Minimum Garden Size
Under 10 Years
* If you are asthmatic or have an allergy, you should consult your medical advisor before considering obtaining a dog. More information can also be found on
the Kennel Club website
The Pastoral Breed Group
The Pastoral Group consists of herding dogs that are associated with working cattle, sheep, reindeer and other cloven footed animals.
Usually this type of dog has a weatherproof double coat to protect it from the elements when working in severe conditions. Breeds such as the Collie family, Old English Sheepdogs and Samoyeds who have been herding reindeer for centuries are but a few included in this group.