Farm Guardians: The Great Pyrenees

While now most Pyrenees are raised as companions rather than farm dogs, a Pyrenees bred to work will be both a protective and calm livestock guardian.

| February 2017

  • Despite his widespread use as a family pet, the Great Pyrenees retains his essential livestock guardian nature.
    Photo by Jean-Michel Labat/ARDEA
  • The Pyrenees often appears larger than he is due to his immense double coat.
    Photo by Pam Langrish
  • “Farm Dogs: A Comprehensive Breed Guide to 93 Guardians, Herders, Terriers, and Other Canine Working Partners” by Janet Vorwald Dohner.
    Cover courtesy Storey Publishing

As long as there have been farm, there have been dogs bred and trained to work alongside the humans who run them. Dogs protect and herd livestock, they guard properties, they kill vermin, and they even pull carts. In Janet Vorwald Dohner’s book, Farm Dogs (Storey Publishing, 2016), there are 93 comprehensive profiles of various working dog breeds with lists of their sizes, histories, natures, and more. Learn the benefits and downfalls of certain breeds, and use this guide to determine which dog will be the best working companion for you.

You can purchase this book from the GRIT store: Farm Dogs.

Great Pyrenees


Also known as Pyr, Pyrenean Mountain Dog, PMD, Chien de Montagne des Pyrenees, GP

Origin: France

Male: 27 to 32 inches, 100 to 140 pounds
Female: 25 to 29 inches, 85 to 110 pounds

1/18/2020 9:27:51 AM

Our first Pyrenees was a 2 year old rescue named Buddy. Buddy was an awesome guardian over chickens, peafowl, goats, pets and us. He was a beloved, indispensable, member of our family. We respected his independence and great ability to solve problems on his own. More than that, he became a legend to all that visited our farm. Although we continue to have wonderful, devoted Pyres as members of our farm family, the legend of Buddy lives on.

1/4/2020 4:36:02 PM

My daughter has a wonderful Great Pyrennees dog to guard her sheep. Belle stays out in the snow, happy as can be, and refuses to come inside. I feel sorry for dogs that are kept inside, as they are not suited for indoor temperatures. She has a gentle temperament and is very good with the children.

Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters