Breed of dog. Originates from the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain. Its primary purpose for many centuries has been to be a working dog. The sheer bulk of a Great Pyrenees, combined with its fierce loyalty makes it excellent at guarding sheep. Skeletal remains have been found that date back to the Bronze Age. In the 17th Century the breed came into favor among the French nobles. They were made the official French court dog by Louis XIV. In recent years they have become rather popular as house pets.

Great Pyrenees are members of the Mastiff family. As such, they are quite large. Height at the shoulder generally varies from 27-32 inches for dogs, and 25-29 inches for bitches. A 27 inch dog should weigh around 100 pounds, and a 25 inch bitch should weigh around 85 pounds. They are very powerful, but not so much as the Saint Bernard. Great Pyrenees dogs have thick white coats, which some of the more fanatic owners harvest to make clothes.

As with other large dogs, Great Pyrenees often have problematic hips. Also due to their size, it is rare to have one live more than a few years beyond the age of ten.

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