Great Pyrenees, also known as Pyrenean Mountain Dogs, are large and majestic working dogs that have a long and fascinating history.

These dogs were originally bred to guard flocks of sheep in the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain, but they have since become popular pets and show dogs all over the world.

Origins of the Great Pyrenees

The exact origins of the Great Pyrenees are somewhat unclear, but it is believed that they are descended from the large white livestock guardian dogs that were kept by nomadic shepherds in Asia Minor thousands of years ago. These dogs were brought to Europe by the Phoenicians and Greeks, and they were eventually crossbred with local European dogs to create the Great Pyrenees that we know today.

Development of the Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees became particularly popular in the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain, where they were used as livestock guardian dogs to protect flocks of sheep from predators like wolves and bears. These dogs were highly valued for their loyalty, bravery, and intelligence, and they were often given as gifts to royalty and other important figures.

Over time, the Great Pyrenees was also used as a hunting dog and as a companion dog for wealthy families. In the 17th century, the breed was brought to England and other parts of Europe, where it quickly became a favourite of the nobility. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1933, and it has been a popular breed in the United States ever since.

Significant Figures in the History of the Great Pyrenees

There have been many significant figures in the history of the Great Pyrenees, including breeders, trainers, and owners who have helped to shape the breed over the years. One of the most important figures in the breed’s history is the Marquis de Lafayette, a French general who played a key role in the American Revolution. Lafayette was an avid dog lover, and he owned several Great Pyrenees during his lifetime. He is said to have been particularly fond of a dog named “Protecteur,” who accompanied him on many of his travels.

Another important figure in the history of the Great Pyrenees is Dr A. C. E. E. von Schreiber, a German veterinarian who played a key role in the breed’s development in the early 20th century. Dr. von Schreiber was a breeder and exhibitor of the Great Pyrenees, and he worked tirelessly to promote the breed and improve its quality. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the first Great Pyrenees club in Germany in 1913.


In conclusion, the Great Pyrenees is a fascinating breed with a long and storied history. From its origins as a working dog in the Pyrenees Mountains to its current popularity as a pet and show dog, the Great Pyrenees has played an important role in the lives of people all over the world. Whether you are interested in the breed’s history or are simply looking for a loyal and loving companion, the Great Pyrenees is an excellent choice.

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Author: Jane