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Pyrenean Mastiff

Joel
Writer: Joel
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Updated on: April 24, 2021
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The Pyrenean Mastiff is a giant breed dog with a calm, pleasant demeanor. They are great family dogs but also offer protection. Their intimidating size and fearless instinct to face down danger and protect their flock makes it a great guard dog. They were bred for protecting livestock and continue to be used for this purpose, but they are just as good at protecting your human family as they are at protecting animals.

Pyrenean Mastiff 1

This breed has a patient temperament that makes them great around little kids and other pets alike. The biggest downside of bringing a Pyrenean Mastiff into your home is the amount of food you’ll need to feed it and the amount of grooming that goes into maintaining its coat.

Trainability

Pyrenean Mastiffs are gentle but stubborn. They respond best to a reward-based, positive training approach. You should begin training as early as possible. It’s never cute when puppy mistakes carry over into adult doghood, but it’s even less so when you’re dealing with a giant breed like the Mastiff.

Training should be fun and effective for both you and your dog. Begin obedience training around week 10 and keep early training sessions short and basic. Always end on a positive note with training, even if that means going back to a skill they learned very early on.

This breed is easy to train because they are calm and easygoing, but an older stubborn dog will be reluctant to learn new tricks. They tend to be independent and can be stubborn, but once you get to know your dog better, you’ll learn the tricks to get them to listen and be enthusiastic about learning. Resist any testing you’ll get from your pup and stick with consistent training that is enjoyable for both of you.

You should never use force when training your Pyrenean Mastiff. If you are struggling to teach your dog the basic skills he needs to learn to behave properly, it’s worth looking into a professional trainer. This is a giant breed and you’re not going to want an out-of-control dog of this size, even if they do tend to be friendly and gentle. They often need help understanding their strength. At the very least, your dog needs to understand basic commands that put you in control in a variety of different situations.

Early socialization is essential to ensure your pup will grow into a well-behaved dog. Like most breeds, this dog takes well to humans who act as strong pack leaders and seek guidance from their people.


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Temperament

Pyrenean Mastiffs are known for their calm demeanor. They were bred to wander among a herd of sheep without scaring them and they still possess this same placid nature. They are protective and can take a dominant role if not given clear guidelines and leadership by their humans. But if faced with a threat or feel a member of their pack is threatened, they have no qualms about facing down their fear.

This breed is very tolerant of other dogs and they tend to be patient with kids and pups alike. It’s surprising how calm this breed is considering its size. Those familiar with the breed describe them as confident and even-tempered.

Once full-grown, Pyrenean Mastiffs like to spend their days laying around observing their surroundings. They seem to understand how large they are and as such, aren’t bothered by much. They rarely use their strength, but they seem to know it’s there when needed.

Make no mistake, these dogs will protect your home and your family. They quickly change into fearless, aggressive, and intimidating guard dogs if needed. But unless there’s an obvious threat, you don’t need to worry much about your pup losing his temper.

These gentle giants make great family pets and are comfortable in families of all sizes.

Appearance & Care

Pyrenean Mastiffs are high-maintenance dogs because they are large and have long, thick coats. They require moderate grooming and have expensive lifestyles, mostly due to the amount of food they need to eat to maintain their size.

Pyrenean Mastiff 2

Appearance

The most obvious aspect of a Pyrenean Mastiff is his size. These dogs are large, strong, and muscular. They are well-proportioned and sturdy, and it’s surprisingly easy for them to move considering their size. They have large, long heads with black gums and small, almond-shaped eyes. They have medium-sized triangular heads and a broad neck and chest.

They have a double coat that is long, thick, soft, and dense. This developed to protect them from the time the breed spent on windy mountain ranges. Their body color is always white, but they tend to have spots of color on their faces and ears. Their colors most often include:

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Gold
  • Medium gray
  • Beige
  • Marbled

Males tend to weigh about 175 to 220 pounds, while females range from 150 to 190 pounds. They stand between 30 and 32 inches high. This breed looks similar to the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, but that breed is smaller.

Grooming

While you’ll need to invest time in grooming your Pyrenean Mastiff, very little of this time will be spent bathing. The less you bathe this pup the better. Their skin has natural oils that keep their coat fresh and healthy. The more they’re bathed, the more you interfere with the natural oils, so it’s best only to bathe when necessary.

You must brush this breed at least three times a week if not more. Their coats will mat without frequent brushing. Some owners use a detangling spray to further reduce the risk of matting. They’ll shed about two times each year and you’ll want to increase brushing sessions during this time to remove the dead hair. Make sure you trim their nails and check their ears during more comprehensive grooming sessions.

Ideally, you’ll brush your pup’s teeth once a day. At the least, you should include this as part of your multiple-times-a-week grooming sessions. They also tend to drool a lot, even when their oral health is perfectly fine. There’s no reason to worry – just wipe it away and know that it’s part of your dog’s normal behavior.

It’s surprising how high-maintenance this working dog is, but it’s all due to its coat and size. It’s important to understand the grooming needs of this breed and other large or long-haired breeds before bringing them into your home.  These dogs have the same basic healthcare needs and concerns as all giant breeds, but overall they are happy healthy dogs.

How Do I Know If I Have a Pyrenean Mastiff?

The only way to know for sure that you have a Pyrenean Mastiff is a DNA test. However, because these dogs are so large and are the only giant breed with this look, you’ll likely have some indication that your dog is full or part Pyrenean Mastiff even without a test.


Check out our review of the Top 5 Best Dog DNA tests.

Resources +

“Pyrenean Mastiffs USA Club.” Pmusa.pyreneanmastiffclubs.org, pmusa.pyreneanmastiffclubs.org/.

“Pyrenean Mastiff Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, www.akc.org/dog-breeds/pyrenean-mastiff/.

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