Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The Kennel Club

United Kennel Club

Pyrenean Mountain Dog

(Chien de Montagne des Pyrénées)

Pyrenean Mountain Dog

Great Pyrenees


ORIGIN

:
FCI
France.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
13.03.2001.
KC
May 2013

UTILISATION

:
FCI
Pastoral guardian in the mountains.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 2Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid
Section 2.2Molossoid breeds, Mountain type
Without working trial

KC
Pastoral
UKC
Guardian Dog

TRANSLATION

:
FCI
Mrs Pamela Jeans-Brown, revised by Raymond Triquet and Alain Pécoult).

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
FCI
Present in the Pyrenees from time immemorial, known in the Middle Ages and used as a guardian of castles, it is mentioned by Gaston Phoebus in the 14th century. Already appreciated as a companion dog in the 17th century, it reached glorious heights at the court of Louis XIV. The first detailed description of this breed dates from 1897 in the book by Count de Bylandt. Ten years later the first breed clubs were set up and in 1923 the Réunion of Pyrenean Dog Fanciers ( Réunion des Amateurs de Chiens Pyrénées – R.A.C.P.), at the instigation of Mr Bernard Sénac-Lagrange, registered the official standard with the SCC (Société Centrale Canine, French K.C.) the current standard is still very close to the standard worked out in 1923, only a few clarifying amendments having been made.
UKC
The Great Pyrenees descended from the ancient Tibetan Mastiff and, more recently, from their descendants, the Mollossian Hounds brought to Spain by the Romans. They became established in the Pyrenees Mountains on the France-Spain border, where they were bred true-to-form in virtual isolation for about 1,000 years. The Great Pyrenees has been used for centuries as a watchdog in its native land. This is in addition to its original function as a flock guard dog. The Great Pyrenees was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1949.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
Dog of great size, imposing and strongly built, but not without a certain elegance.
KC
A powerful and imposing dog with a certain elegance. Great size, strongly built but not cumbersome. Well balanced and of noble bearing.
UKC
The Great Pyrenees is a breed of immense size, great majesty, keen intelligence, kindly expression, unsurpassed beauty and a certain elegance. It is strong yet agile.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

:
FCI

The widest part of the skull is equal to its length.
The muzzle is slightly Shorter than the skull.
The length of the body from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttock is slightly greater than the height of the dog at the withers.
The depth of the chest is equal to, or slightly less than, half the height at the withers.
KC
A natural guard dog protecting shepherd and sheep.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
Used on its own to guarantee the protection of flocks from attacks by predators, its selection depended on its aptitude for guarding and dissuading as much as on its attachment to the flock. The resulting main qualities are strength and agility, allied to gentleness and attachment to those it is protecting. This protecting dog has a propensity for independence and a sense of initiative which demand a certain degree of authority from its owner.
KC
Quietly confident. Nervousness and unprovoked aggression highly undesirable.
UKC
The Great Pyrenees has historically been left on its own to protect the flocks; therefore it is a breed with a propensity for independence and a sense of authority. The breed has an innate gentleness, and grows very attached to those it is protecting.

HEAD

:
FCI
Not too large in comparison with the size of the dog. Its sides are fairly flat.
KC
Strong head without coarseness, not too large in relation to size of dog. Skull curved when viewed from front and sides. Breadth at widest point about equal to length from occiput to stop. Head as viewed from above forms a blunt ‘v’ shape, well filled in below the eyes. Sides nearly flat and of good depth. No obvious stop or excessively protruding eyebrows ridges; only a slight furrow, so that skull and muzzle are joined by a gentle slope. Strong muzzle, medium length, slight taper near tip. Black nose and eye rims. Liver or pink pigmentation highly undesirable.
UKC
The head is not too large in comparison to the overall size of the dog. It is fairly flat on the sides.

CRANIAL REGION

:

Skull

:
FCI
The widest part of the skull is equal to its length. It is slightly rounded due to the sagittal crest being perceptible to the touch. Because the occipital protuberance is apparent, the back of the skull has on ogival shape. Superciliary ridges are not pronounced. The median furrow is scarcely perceptible to the touch between the eyes.
UKC
At its widest point, which is between the ears, the width of the skull equals its length. The skull is slightly rounded, with an apparent occipital protuberance. The forehead is not pronounced, and the median furrow between the eyes is barely perceptible. The stop is a gentle slope.

Stop

:
FCI
Gentle slope.

FACIAL REGION

:

Nose

:
FCI
Totally black.
UKC
Always completely black in color.

Muzzle

:
FCI
Broad, slightly shorter than the skull, narrowing progressively towards the tip. Seen from above it forms a blunt “V”. Well filled below the eyes.
KC
Complete dentition, healthy, strong and even. Scissor bite correct, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws, but pincer bite tolerated. Two central lower incisors may be set a little deeper than others. Close-fitting lips, upper just covering lower. Roof of mouth and lips black or heavily marked with black.
UKC
Broad and well filled below the eyes, the muzzle tapers gently from stop to tip, forming a blunt wedge when viewed from above. It is slightly shorter in length than the skull. The lips cover the line of the lower jaw without looseness.

Lips

:
FCI
Not very droopy, just enough to cover the lower jaw. Black or heavily marked with black, as is the palate.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
Complete dentition with healthy, white teeth. Scissors bite (upper incisors overlapping lower incisors without losing contact). Pincer bite tolerated as are the two lower pincers tipping forward.
UKC
The Great Pyrenees has a full compliment of strong, white teeth that meet in a scissors bite. An even bite is tolerated as are the two middle bottom incisors being slightly out of line.

Eyes

:
FCI
Rather small, almond-shaped, set slightly obliquely, with intelligent and contemplative expression, of amber-brown colour. Eyelids never loose. Gentle, dreamy look.
KC
Almond-shaped, dark amber-brown. Close-fitting eyelids set somewhat obliquely, bordered with black. Drooping lower eyelids undesirable. Intelligent and contemplative expression.
UKC
Rather small and almond shaped, set slightly obliquely, and amber-brown in color. Expression is intelligent, contemplative and gentle.

Ears

:
FCI
Set on level with the eye, fairly small, triangular in shape and rounded at the tip. They fall flat against the head and are carried slightly raised when the dog is alert.
KC
Fairly small, triangular, rounded tips. Root level with eyes. Normally lie flat against head, may be slightly raised when alert.
UKC
Fairly small, triangular in shape, rounded at the tips and set on a line with the outer corner of the eye. They are carried flat against the head, slightly raised when the dog is at attention.

NECK

:
FCI
Strong, relatively short, with very little dewlap
KC
Strong, fairly short. Little or no dewlap.
UKC
Strong, relatively short, and free from dewlap.

BODY

:
FCI
The length of the body from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttock is slightly greater than the height of the dog at the withers. The distance between the sternum and the ground is approximately half the height at the withers, never less.
KC
Broad chest reaching just below elbows; sides slightly rounded ribcage extended well to rear. Good length back, broad, muscular, straight, level. Dogs usually have more pronounced waist than bitches, giving greater curve to lower body.
UKC
The length of the body, from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttocks, is slightly greater than the height at the withers. The chest at its deepest point is approximately, but never more than, one-half the height at the withers. The chest reaches to, but does not fall below, the level of the elbows. The back is strong and level. The loin is of moderate length and the croup is gently sloping with fairly prominent haunches. The ribs are slightly rounded and there is very little tuck up.

Topline

:
FCI
Well-supported.

Withers

:
FCI
Broad.

Back

:
FCI
Of good length and strong.

Loin

:
FCI
Of moderate length.

Croup

:
FCI
Slightly oblique with fairly prominent haunches.

Chest

:
FCI
Not too low, but broad and long. Let down as far as the elbow but not lower. Its height is equal to or slightly less than half the height of the dog at the withers. The ribs are slightly rounded.

Flank

:
FCI
Scarcely pronounced.

TAIL

:
FCI
It reaches at least as far as the point of the hock. It is bushy and forms a plume. Carried low in repose with its tip forming a hook for preference. When the dog is alert, the tail rises towards the back, forming a strong circle with only the tip touching the loins (making the wheel “arroundera” to quote the expression used by the people of the Pyrenees).
KC
Thick at root, tapering gradually towards tip, preferably slightly curled; reaching below hocks, thickly coated with fairly long hair forming attractive plume. Carried low in repose, with tip turned slightly to one side. Tail rises as dog becomes interested: curled high above back in a circle if fully alert.
UKC
Long, reaching at least to the hock joint. Carried low in repose with its tip preferably forming a hook. When the dog is alert, the tail rises and is carried in a ‘wheel’, with only the tip touching the back.

LIMBS

:

FOREQUARTERS

:
FCI
Upright, strong.
KC
Powerful shoulders lying close to body. Medium angulation between shoulder blade and upper arm. Forelegs straight, strongly boned, well muscled. Elbows not too close to chest, nor too far off, giving adequate width of stance and free-striding movement. Pasterns flexible without weakness.
UKC
The shoulder blades and upper arms are fairly long and well muscled. They form a moderate angle.

Shoulder

:
FCI
Moderately oblique.

Upper Arm

:
FCI
Well muscled and moderately long.

FORELEGS

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UKC
Straight and strong, with slightly oblique pasterns. Single or double dewclaws may be found on the front legs.

Forearm

:
FCI
Straight, strong and well-fringed.

Carpus (wrist)

:
FCI
The wrist is in line with the forearm.

Pastern

:
FCI
Slightly oglique.

FEET

:
KC
Short and compact, toes slightly arched, strong nails.
UKC
Compact, with slightly arched toes.

Forefeet

:
FCI
Not long, compact, with slightly arched toes.

Hind feet

:
FCI
As Forefeet.

HINDQUARTERS

:
FCI
The hind legs have long, more abundant fringes than the forelegs. Seen from behind, they are perpendicular to the ground.
KC
Broad muscular loins, fairly prominent haunches, slightly sloping rump, topline curving smoothly into tail. Strong well muscled thighs tapering to strong hocks. Stifle and hock of medium angulation seen from side. Strongly made double dewclaws on each hindleg; lack of this identifying characteristic totally undesirable. The hindfeet may turn out slightly but legs themselves must be straight.
UKC
The angulation of the pelvis and the femur matches that of the forequarter.

Thigh

:
FCI
Well muscled, not very long and moderately oblique, well-defined muscle.

Stifle

:
FCI
Moderately angulated and parallel to the body.

HIND LEGS

:
UKC
The thighs are well muscled and of moderate length. There is moderate angulation at both the stifle and the hock. There are double dewclaws on both rear legs.

Lower thigh

:
FCI
Of moderate length, strong.

Hock

:
FCI
Broad, lean, moderately angulated.

Rear pastern

:
FCI
The hind legs cach have double well-formed dewclaws. The front legs sometimes have single or double dewclaws.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
The movement of the Pyrenean Mountain Dog is powerful and free, it is never ponderous, the movement is extended rather than fast, and not without a certain suppleness and elegance. The angulation of the dogs permits an unflagging gait.
KC
Very free, unflagging and never ponderous. Unhurried, driven by powerful hindquarters. Moving well within its capacity, yet able to produce bursts of speed. Tends to pace at slow speeds.
UKC
Powerful and free, extended rather than fast and showing a certain suppleness and elegance.

SKIN

:
FCI
Thick and supple, often showing patches of pigmentation over the whole body.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI
Well-furnished, flat, quite long and supple, rather crisp on the shoulders and back, longer on the tail and around the neck where it can be slightly wavy. The trouser hair, finer and woollier, is very thick. The undercoat is also thick.
KC
Profuse undercoat of very fine hairs; outer coat longer, coarser textured, thick, lying flat and straight or slightly wavy. Longer towards tail and forming mane round neck and shoulders. Forelegs fringed. Long, very dense woollier hair on rear of thighs giving pantaloon effect. Bitches tend to be smoother coated than dogs and have less developed mane
UKC
Dense and double, topcoat fairly long and flat and with a crisp feel around the shoulders and back. The hair is longer on the tail and on the neck, where it might be slightly wavy. The trouser hair, which is fine and wooly, is very thick.

COLOUR

:
FCI
White or white with patches appearing grey (badger or wolf) or pale yellow or orange (arrouye) on the head, ears, base of the tail and sometimes on the body. The most appreciated are badger grey patches.
KC
(a) White. (b) White with patches of badger, wolf-grey, paler shades of lemon, orange or tan. The colour patches may be on the head, ears or base of the tail and few permissible on the body. Other colours undesirable. Black patches going right down to the roots highly undesirable.
UKC
Solid white, or white with color patches that are either grey (badger or wolf), pale yellow or orange (shades of tan). The patches appear on the head, ears, base of tail and sometimes on the body.

SIZE

:
KC
Minimum shoulder height: dogs: 70 cms (27½ ins); bitches: 65 cms (25½ ins). Most will considerably exceed this, great size is essential provided type and character are retained. Minimum weight: dogs: 50 kgs (110 lbs); bitches: 40 kgs (88 lbs); these weights apply only to specimens of minimum height, taller ones should be heavier. Weight always in proportion to height, giving a powerful dog of great strength, but excess weight due to fat undesirable.

Height at withers

:
FCI

Males from 70 cm to 80 cm.
Females from 65 cm to 75 cm.
A tolerance of + 2 cm is allowed for perfectly typed specimens.
UKC
Height range for males is 27.5 inches to 31.5 inches. For females it is 25.5 inches to 29.5 inches.

FAULTS

:
FCI

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
General appearance giving the impression of heaviness, without distinction. Flat, flabby, sluggish dog.
  • Head: Too heavy, rectangular in shape. Skull too broad, bulging forehead. Stop too pronounced or non-existent. Lips too pendulous forming flews. Insufficient pigmentation on the nose; eye-rims and lips.
  • Eyes: Round, light, deep-set or prominent, too large or too small, set too close together or too far apart. Third eyelid visible. Hard expression.
  • Ears: Broad, long, curled, folded, carried too far back, set high.
  • Neck: Slender, a little long or on the contrary, too short, giving the impression that the head is sunk into the shoulders. Too much dewlap.
  • Body: Sway or roach-backed dipping, whippety or drooping belly.
  • Chest: Too broad or too narrow, slab-sided or, on the contrary, barrel-chested.
  • Tail: Not enough furnishing or carried badly, too short or too long, without a plume, not “making the wheel” in action, or making it continuously, even in repose.
  • Forequarters: Turning out or turning in. Too open a scapulo-humeral angle.
  • Hindquarters: Turning out or in. Hock too straight or too angulated.
  • Feet: Long or splayed.
  • Coat: Short or curly, silky, soft or lack of undercoat.
KC
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.
UKC
Height: Over or under the preferred size ranges.

SERIOUS FAULTS

:
UKC
Eyes: Flesh colored eye rims. Yellow eyes.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
FCI

  • Behaviour / Temperament: Aggressive or overly shy.
  • Nose: Not completely black.
  • Jaws: Over or undershot, or any malformation of the jaws.
  • Eyes: Flesh colour on the eye-rims. Yellow eyes.
  • Dewclaws: No dewclaws or single dewclaw or atrophied double dewclaws on hind feet.
  • Colour: Any colour not specified in the standard.
  • Size: Outside the limits. Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
UKC

Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Albinism. Overshot or undershot bite. Nose not completely black. Lack of double dewclaws on the rear legs. Any color other than those specified.
Teeth: Overshot or undershot bite.
Nose: Nose not completely black.
Hind Legs: Lack of double dewclaws on the rear legs.
Color: Any color other than those specified.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.