The Pyrenean Mountain Dog is one of the calmest breeds I have ever encountered. Their quiet confidence is an inspiration both to me and to the dogs that I own. Their state of mind is reassuring, though at times off putting, especially if you (like me) are used to the high energy aggression that many personal protection dogs are predisposed to. A remarkable transition, however, quickly takes place when the Pyrenees encounters an intruder: their eyes light up, they spring out of their nearly meditative state and attack with such decisive and confident action that it is hard to imagine a counter attack — the typical predator response is tuck tail and run for dear life (can you really blame them?).
According to royalcanin.com, “This giant breed is imposing and strongly built, but not lacking in elegance. Great Pyrenees dogs are tenacious shepherds that are able to hold off bears and wolves, a role they continue to play today. They are now popular on every continent, from North America to Australasia. ”
To observe the dog in guard mode just youtube “Great Pyrenees LGD schools Saint Bernard “, or “Great Pyrenees Intruder Alert”, to get a little taste of this behavior.
The historical background of the Pyrenees is documented by petmd.com:
Dating back to nearly 10,000 B.C., the Great Pyrenees breed originated from the enormous white dogs or flock guardian dogs of Asia Minor. Around 3000 B.C., when nomadic shepherds took their sheep to the Pyrenees Mountains, they also brought the flock-guarding dogs, which were the ancestors of the Great Pyrenees. Such dogs proved their prowess as livestock guardians for centuries.
This breed became a brave fortress guard in medieval France, and gradually many big chateaux took pride in owning this imposing dog. The French nobility found the dog attractive in the late 17th century and for a short while, the Great Pyrenees’ demand grew in the Royal Court of Louis XIV. The king decreed the breed as “Royal Dog of France” in 1675. During the same period, the dog found a place in Newfoundland, probably leading to the growth of the Newfoundland dog breed.
The characteristics of strength, calm courage, and majestic beauty made this breed a valuable addition to the royal medieval court, and these characteristics are every bit as valuable today. This breed is the top LGD in America, with the Akbash, Anatolian Shepherd, and Maremma at very least close to the same level of repute.