Is my dog a Great Pyrenees?




I live in Florida, and I purchased an English Golden Retriever which, as you probably know, looks a lot like a Great Pyrenees. The pup's owner was supposed to mail me the AKC papers but never did, and would never return my calls.

When I was in North Carolina (where Great Pyrenees are more common, probably because of the colder weather), I saw two Great Pyrenees that I thought were English Goldens, AND I had several people come up to me and comment on what a beautiful Great Pyrenees my dog was. (One of the people who approached me actually breeds Great Pyrenees.)

I had never heard of a Great Pyrenees (probably because of where I live...in the heat!). From the very beginning, my husband and I noticed that this new pup was nothing like our other Goldens. She was absolutely precious, but very stubborn and would totally ignore our calls almost as though she did not hear us. She would wander off at great distances and was extremely independent, very unlike Goldens. She absolutely insists on being outdoors almost at all times during the day, even if it means we have to sometimes have her on a chain because we do not have a fenced in back yard. AND, she has two dew claws on her hind legs whereas Goldens have none.

At first, she was growing quite quickly, out pacing the growth rate of our Goldens, but at about eleven months old, she pretty much quit growing. By a year, she weighed only 70 pounds which would be about right for a female Golden, but I think would be small for a Great Pyrenees. She does not drool (at all), LOVES people and other dogs, and literally NEVER barks. Also, although she has an incredibly thick white coat, she sheds very little and is very, very playful with every person and every animal she meets.

I have done a lot of research on Great Pyrenees, and she seems to have a lot of the traits of a Great Pyrenees, but then not some of the other traits. I absolutely LOVE her, and wouldn't trade her for anything. But I am wondering if the breeder sold me a Great Pyrenees but said it was a Golden because I would think a Golden would sell for a lot more money than a Great Pyrenees in Florida due to the hot weather. If she is a Great Pyrenees, I would like to get another one, because she's just wonderful and my husband has learned to be the "alpha" dog with her so that she listens now a lot more than she did as a pup (not as much as a Golden). Any thoughts? (Sorry for the long question.)

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Feb 09, 2015
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A little trickery afoot
by: Ed A from NJ

When I first seen the picture I thought English cream after reading what you wrote I'm thinking a little mix of English Cream and great Pyrenees. This is a pretty popular mix up Jere in the land of designer breeds. So if you now feel your ready for a full GP look at the dogs you have if you have any males you will want to consider a female as a big alpha male could disrupt the house and a female might be easier as your first pyre (a little easier for your first). Now for the double edged sword, the breeder may have over charged but on the other hand you may have caught a very lucky break by getting involved with what I think is the greatest breed in the world and your life will never be the same. Good luck.

Feb 09, 2015
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Is she or isn't she
by: Anonymous

Chances are she's a part bred. A reputable breeder (which obviously yours was not) would have no problem with a)sending reg. papers, b)responding to your calls. Whatever she is, it's clear you adore her and are adapting to her Pyr-ness. Lucky dog, lucky you! Great narrative...
uplifting read. I wish you long and happy life with your fur babies.

Feb 10, 2015
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Mix / Reputable breeders
by: Donna

You definitely have a mix. She is lovely, though. Make sure to check out how to determine if a breeder is reputable, have a look at the link on our website:

https://www.great-pyrenees-club-of-southern-ontario.com/great-pyrenees-breeders.html

You should have walked away with the papers in hand.

You mentioned that your husband is 'alpha'. Please have a look at this video.

http://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/alpha-fallacy

I would highly recommend that you fence your yard. Pyrs need to be able to roam their property and not feel restricted by a chain.

It sounds like you have a sweetie keeper. Enjoy!


Apr 15, 2015
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Update
by: Anonymous

Well, I want to thank everyone for their comments. They are much appreciated and I enjoyed reading them.

As an update, my husband and I are getting more and more convinced that our precious pup (now a year and 3 1/2 months old), is a Great Pyrenees and not an English Golden, or as one person suggested, maybe a designer mix between a Golden and a Great Pyrenees.

At the time I wrote my first post, my pup really did not shed much at all. WELL, that certainly is no longer true! She literally sheds in chucks of white fluff...everywhere...and it is seemingly non-stop. She starting shedding about 2 months ago and she hasn't stopped.

I read that Great Pyrenees shed twice a year, so, (assuming of course, that she IS a Great Pyrenees), I assumed that she would be finished this shedding period. But no, not yet. I take her with me everywhere in the car, everyday, and my car looks like the car from the first version of the movie "Dumb and Dumber". No matter how I try to clean my car, there's fur everywhere in the back seat and floating around everywhere when you open the windows, which of course she insists on!

Now, again I live in South Florida, and it is hot, probably a little too hot for a Great Pyrenees, but, except when she INSISTS on being outdoors, she is either inside with me in the air conditioning or in the car with the air conditioning. She certainly appears VERY healthy as she has more energy than any dog I have ever seen and happy as can be!

So assuming she is a Great Pyrenees, is this constant shedding a twice a year sort of thing, or a 12 month a year thing? (The shedding IS less than it was at first, but I think that is because she doesn't have nearly as much fur as she used to!)

Also, she eats very, very little, but again is very active and happy. Someone told me that Great Pyrenees don't eat much during the summer and in South Florida, it is never very cold even in winter.

Should I mix wet food with the dry food?
Thanks for any input you can provide!

Oct 10, 2015
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Beautiful dog
by: Kathryn

Looks like a mix to me. I have one of each, both female and I think a mix would be the perfect dog!
My EC is very needy and hyper and my GP is mellow and lovey but wants to sit down in the middle of our walks. Love them both.
Looks like you have the best of both.

Oct 12, 2015
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Update
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the info on your dogs. Since Great Pyrenees love to run, I always assumed that of the two breeds, the Great Pyrenees would be the hyper one. Since I last wrote, we bought a property with eight acres (Yeah!) and with hundreds of acres of state owned property on two sides. It was mostly fenced in, but not completely, so we immediately fenced in about an acre around the house so that the dogs could spend as much time outdoors as they wanted. Our older Golden never wanders at all, so the fence was really for Lunar (named because she looked like a round full moon when she was a puppy.) We walked the property with the two dogs for several weeks with Lunar on a leash trying to train her about the property boundaries...and eventually tried without a leash. For the most part, she stayed by our side (which is a total change from when she was younger) and if she wandered away, she would immediately return when we called (also a complete change.) We eventually removed the fencing around the house and Lunar now has free range of the entire property. She runs and explores all day...having a GREAT time....swims in the property's two lakes...but then returns back to the house after a little while of exploring. If we get worried about her, all we have to do is ring the big brass bell on our front porch and she comes running back to the house (where she gets a treat!) When not exploring she generally sits on our gravel driveway right in front of the house. Even though it is brutally hot outside (and air conditioned inside) she always seems to prefer to be outdoors.

As you mentioned in your post, our older Golden is somewhat "needy", where Lunar is totally devoted to my husband and me but at the same time, a lot more independent and not needy at all. I am still thinking that she may be a Great Pyrenees, and not a Golden Cream or even a Golden Cream-Great Pyrenees mix, and I think she looks a little different because she does not have as much fur as most Pyrenees because it is so hot here in South Florida where temperatures are in the mid 90's for six months out of the year. She also has that "mane" of fur at her neck that is typical of Great Pyrenees. Either way, she is absolutely adorable.

Oct 12, 2015
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Update
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the info on your dogs. Since Great Pyrenees love to run, I always assumed that of the two breeds, the Great Pyrenees would be the hyper one.
Since I last wrote, we bought a property with eight acres (Yeah!) and with hundreds of acres of state owned property on two sides. It was mostly fenced in, but not completely, so we immediately fenced in about an acre around the house so that the dogs could spend as much time outdoors as they wanted. Our older Golden never wanders at all, so the fence was really for Lunar (named because she looked like a round full moon when she was a puppy.) We walked the property with the two dogs for several weeks with Lunar on a leash trying to train her about the property boundaries...and eventually tried without a leash. For the most part, she stayed by our side (which is a total change from when she was younger) and if she wandered away, she would immediately return when we called (also a complete change.) We eventually removed the fencing around the house and Lunar now has free range of the entire property. She runs and explores all day...having a GREAT time....swims in the property's two lakes...but then returns back to the house after a little while of exploring. If we get worried about her, all we have to do is ring the big brass bell on our front porch and she comes running back to the house (where she gets a treat!) When not exploring she generally sits on our gravel driveway right in front of the house. Even though it is brutally hot outside (and air conditioned inside) she always seems to prefer to be outdoors.

I am still thinking that Lunar may be a Great Pyrenees, and not a Golden Cream or even a Golden Cream-Great Pyrenees mix, and I think she looks a little different than most Great Pyrenees because she does not have as much fur as most Pyrenees because it is so hot here in South Florida where temperatures are in the mid 90's for six months out of the year. She also has that "mane" of fur at her neck that is typical of Great Pyrenees. There were several things that made me think she was a Great Pyrenees instead of an English Cream:
1. Double dew claws on rear legs.... Typical of Great Pyrenees whereas Golden Creams have no hind dew claws.
2. Her stature is not typical of a Golden Cream which tend to have shorter legs than American Goldens. Her legs are actually a little longer than my American Golden, not shorter.
3. Although her coat is much, much thinner now due to the long hot summer months, as a puppy her fur was very, very thick with an almost down-like base fur and then a heavier fur on top.
3. But mostly...her behavior as a puppy. She loves to run and run and run, and as a puppy displayed that independent stubborn characteristic that is apparently typical of Great Pyrenees and not at all typical of English Creams. As a puppy, she would completely ignore our calls as though she absolutely did not hear a word we said. Whenever I read about Great Pyrenees, I always noticed the disclaimer that Great Pyrenees are not for everyone and I assumed it was because of this very stubborn, independent streak and their desire to constantly be "on the run". I guess the reason I am so curious is because I worry that in a year or two, my older Golden may be gone, so I am seriously thinking I would like to get another dog in the next year or so. I really, really love Goldens but I am leaning toward a Great Pyrenees if in fact, that is what Lunar is. There is something about her that is unique and absolutely adorable.

Oct 14, 2017
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The Breed
by: Anonymous

Yep, Prys only shed twice a year. 6 months in the summer and 6 months in the winter. Wonderful companions though.

Jan 27, 2018
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ECG
by: Anonymous

The yellow color on her ears tells me that your dog is an English Cream Golden. The English creams come in colors from very white to golden and everywhere in between. This dog looks like a ECG with the yellow on her ears which is very very common.

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