When it comes to finding a dog that can be a happy and positive part of your family dynamic, knowing where to look can be tricky. This is why so many people tend to seek out a Great Pyrenees Australian Shepherd mix. With their rich stock and vibrant attitude towards life, it would be fair to say that this crossbreed is a dog that many people would find just right for their family needs.
How good, however, is this dog for you personally? Are you someone who would be a good fit for this particular mix of dogs?
What kind of dog is a Great Pyrenees Australian Shepherd mix?
The Great Pyrenean Australian Shepherd mix is a dog that is a crossbreed of the Great Pyrenean and the Australian Shepherd. It is a dog with a rich history in various activities such as herding, which makes them very popular dogs for many people who are outdoors a lot. Additionally, the Great Pyrenee's background ensures that this is a dog with a rich history as a guard dog, making it a very popular choice for many dog owners.
However, one of the many reasons this dog has become a popular choice is that it manages to blend the best of both breeds. When you want a dog that you know you can trust to do the job of keeping you safe, you shouldn't have to look much further than this particular breed of dog.
What is the Great Pyrenees Australian Shepherd mix look like?
Appearance-wise, they tend to be very odd-looking dogs – at least at first. Normally, from a young age, they can contain a truly unique blend of characteristics and attributes from both parents. He may retain some of the physical attributes of one side, but as he gets older he may begin to change a bit more to match the other parent. As such, you might find it difficult to tell one crossbreed from another – they tend to look so different!
In terms of size and power, it's important to note that this takes its genes from two big dogs. The Australian Shepherd could be anything between 18 and 23 inches tall. A Great Pyrenean, on the other hand, can measure up to 32 inches at the shoulder. They are also quite heavy dogs, with the Great Pyrenees weighing anything between 85-115lbs, with a Shepherd being 35-75lbs.
This leaves you with a very distinctive-looking dog; the kind that often retains its unique look, shape, and personality as it continues to age. This is why you should always be ready for a dog that can be quite a large and powerful number. When it comes to caring for the dog, be prepared for it to have a very interesting, even messy coat. They tend to leave quite a bit of dirt behind, so it takes some getting used to when you bring this dog into the family home: they don't mind leaving a lot of dirt and mud in the house!
This is one of the many reasons why this type of dog is one you should be prepared to have a lot of grooming treatments done on; it’s the only way to keep them manageable at times!
Temperament & Personality
Behaviourally, the Great Pyrenees Australian Shepherd mix is a very interesting dog. One thing you will need to do is watch the parents if you can. As this will be a hybrid, they tend to take on a happy blend of attributes from both parents. As such, you should take the time to learn more about how it was bred and the dogs that bred it. This should give you a meaningful idea of the type of dog you might be about to introduce into the family home!
The main reason you should care about them in terms of behavior is their studious attitude. While they all have their personalities, rarely, these types of crossbreed dogs don't have that watchful, watchdog attitude that often comes from the Great Pyrenees' side of their genetic heritage. They're big dogs, and they're bred to watch and take care of you – that's what they're here for!
However, you will find that this is the kind of dog who, while watching over you and guarding you, will be friendly and caring around other people. Especially with children. They are generally dogs that get along very well with you and the rest of the family: as a family dog, they want to feel that they are included and that they are an important part of all the pleasures you have in the family.
If they seem to be behaving excessively, they may feel left out of the events you all do together. Try to keep this in mind: this is a dog breed that loves to guard but needs to feel genuinely included to live its best life.
Feeding your Great Pyrenees Australian Shepherd mix
Feeding such a dog can be a bit of a nightmare at first, to be honest. While they could just eat just about anything, the problem is that they tend to be really on their feet to eat. And eat. And eat.
This leads to massive weight gain, which will only exacerbate the health issues we've listed for you to keep an eye out for below. If you want to make sure you have a mix that is going to be fresh and happy, then you need to make sure you manage the portions for it.
This can lead to more than a few tense moments between the two of you, especially if your dog is now used to being overfed. Do it now, though, and just cut the cord – don't let the problem drag on. Dogs should be kept in good condition and within the correct weight range.
Take your mixed pup to a vet, and they can show you what kind of food — and how much — you should be looking to feed your canine per serving.
Best Products for Australian Shepherd Mix
Exercise & Form
The Great Pyrenees Australian Shepherd mix is a dog breed that often needs a good dose of exercise to keep it in good spirits. However, it is more about the duration than the intensity of the workout.
For example, it is common for these cross-type dogs to be able to take a long walk that lasts many, many hours. This will keep their energy levels better balanced, and it will help you avoid ending up with a dog that has excess energy.
They tend to become destructive and aggravated when they have problems expending all that energy. If you take them for a walk, however, they can burn off most of that energy.
In terms of exercise, it is recommended to do big and intense sessions of running, playing, etc. but your dog will be just as happy taking a long walk with you as they are playing any game.
Keep this in mind, as other breeds can become quite difficult to control without intense exercise. Although it takes a commitment to get them out and about, they have a fraction of the fitness needs and demands of other dogs.
Unfortunately, this is a breed of dog that is bound to have some serious health issues in life if they are unlucky. While the main races they're based on aren't too dissimilar, there's enough variety to make life a bit uncomfortable for them. That's why you should probably look to find a dog that you can raise with relative comfort if you're not willing to shell out to deal with various health issues such as:
Eye problems and kidney failure over time.
Joint problems, including joint dysplasia.
Bloating and overeating
Then you should not seek to obtain such a dog. These are all common conditions that these poor dogs can suffer from, and will lead to a significant reduction in their quality of life. If you are not sure that you can handle such a problem with your dog, then you should look for a less complicated breed.
If you can get used to the challenge of a Great Pyrenees Australian Shepherd mix, however, you should be able to get a dog into your life that truly makes every day a little more enjoyable. Although they can be a challenge, they are often really worth persevering with.
This article is not intended to substitute for the diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice of a veterinary medical professional.
Parent Breeds of The Great Pyrenees Australian Shepherd mix
The Great Pyrenees Dog in brief
The Pyrenean Mountain Dog was bred to be left alone in isolated hills or mountains to protect flocks of sheep, which explains its relatively independent nature.
|Weight||100 to 110 lbs||85 to 100 lbs.|
|Exercise need||20 to 40 minutes per day||20 to 40 minutes per day|
|Life expectancy||10 to 12 years||10 to 12 years|
|Tendency to Dig:||Low||Low|
|Utilities:||Sheep keeper||Sheep keeper|
|Coat :||Mid-length,double coat, straight, provided||Mid-length,double coat, straight, provided|
|Color:||White with gray markings, "badger hair", russet brown, white with tan markings||White with gray markings, "badger hair", russet brown, white with tan markings|
|AKC Classification:||Working Dogs||Working Dogs|
|UKC Classification:||Guard Dogs||Guard Dogs|
The Pyrenean mountain is a muscular dog, of imposing size, with a double coat. The outer coat is long, coarse, straight, or slightly wavy; as for the undercoat, it is fine, soft, and well supplied. The dress comes in various colors: white, white with pale yellow spots, fire, or gray. The ears, triangular in shape, fall flat against the head. The bushy tail forms a plume; it is long and goes down at least to the point of the hock.
The Pyrenean Mountain stands 27 to 32 in. at the shoulder, for the male, and weighs at least 100 lbs (45 kg). As for the female, its height varies between 25 and 29 in, and its weight is at least 85 lb (38 kg).
The Pyrenean Mountain is a calm, serious, and well-behaved dog; he is known for his loyalty to his family, especially to well-behaved children. He is generally trustworthy, affectionate, and gentle, but if necessary, he will not hesitate to protect his family and his territory.
The Pyrenean mountain was developed to be left alone in isolated hills or mountains to protect flocks of sheep, which explains its relatively independent character. Due to their independence, they can be more difficult to train than other dog breeds. Faithful to its watchdog instinct, the Pyrenean mountain has a strong tendency to bark.
As is the case with many large dogs, the Pyrenean Mountain takes a long time to mature, almost two years.
The Pyrenees mountain makes a wonderful companion for someone who lives in the suburbs or a rural area and leads a fairly quiet life. This dog likes to enjoy quiet times in the house and has a well-established routine.
Due to its guard dog instincts, the Pyrenean Mountain has a strong need to be socialized. To temper any protective attitude that could be excessive, it is necessary to put him in contact with as many people, places, and situations as possible, especially when he is young. At the time of training, patience is essential: indeed, the mountain of the Pyrenees tends to be independent and even stubborn. This dog should not be expected to win obedience trials, even if trained.
In terms of maintenance, this dog requires care that is not excessive. It must be brushed regularly so that its double coat maintains its beautiful appearance, but it is necessary to expect a very pronounced molt once a year. As the outer coat does not feel, its maintenance is relatively easy.
Fossil remains of dogs similar to the Pyrenean mountain have been found in Bronze Age remains that date to the period from 1800 to 1000 BC. For hundreds of years, the Pyrenean mountain has accompanied the shepherds in the isolated mountains of the Pyrenees which separate Spain and France.
Since medieval times, the beauty, elegance, and character of this majestic dog are no longer a secret. According to the Great Pyrenees Club of America, a bas-relief sculpture representing the Pyrenees mountain adorns the northern gate giving access to the Cité de Carcassone, in France; its execution dates back to the 12th century. Two hundred years later, French writings describe the work of the great mountain dog which consisted of assisting the guards in ensuring the protection of the Château de Lourdes. In 1675, the Pyrenees mountain aroused the admiration of the French Court and received the distinction of Royal Dog of France, conferred by King Louis XIV, which caused a real craze for this dog. This craze could be compared to the popularity acquired by the Dalmatians following Disney's film "101 Dalmatians". Subsequently, the popularity of the Pyrenees mountain was no longer limited to the French nobility; thus, in the 19th century, Queen Victoria of England had a Pyrenean mountain as a pet.
Until recently, the mountains of the Pyrenees were used to pull small carts and deliver milk in Belgium and northern France. He was also used as a sled dog, pack dog, and family companion. Even today, the Pyrenean mountain is considered an excellent herdsman.
Active but easy-going, the Australian Shepherd loves to play with children and generally gets along well with other pets.
The Australian Shepherd is an amazing family companion. Likewise, he excels as a herding dog, police dog, and in obedience competitions.
|Weight||50 to 65 lbs||40 to 55 lbs|
|Exercise need||40 minutes per day||40 minutes per day|
|Life expectancy||12 to 14 years||12 to 14 years|
|Tendency to Dig:||Low||Low|
|Coat :||Mid-length, double coat, straight||Mid-length, double coat, straight|
|Color:||Black, red, blue merle, red merle; to each of these colors can be added the color fire and white||Black, red, blue merle, red merle; to each of these colors can be added the color fire and white|
|AKC Classification:||Herding Dogs||Herding Dogs|
|UKC Classification:||Herding Dogs||Herding Dogs|
The Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized, solidly built dog with a low center of gravity.
It stands around 18-23 in. tall and weighs around 40-60 lbs (18-27 kg). In general, the male is larger and heavier than the female. It has an approximate life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.
Its profuse coat of medium length is straight or slightly wavy. He has a dewlap on the back of his legs and a generous mane around his neck. The coat can be blue or red merle or red or black tricolor, with white and/or tan markings. In general, the tail is naturally short; it happens that it is cut if it exceeds four inches.
Active but easy-going, the Australian Shepherd loves to play with children and generally gets along well with other pets. He is considered a very intelligent and easy-to-train dog. It is also known to be particularly eager to please its owner.
True to his herding instincts, the Australian Shepherd jealously defends his family and his territory and warns his owner if strangers approach. On the other hand, he is not considered aggressive.
The Australian Shepherd, especially the lines of the breed that are used for work, are active dogs that need to be kept busy. Left alone and locked up, he is unhappy and can behave destructively. The countryside represents the ideal environment for this dog. Its owner must at the very least provide a large fenced yard and devote time to it.
It tends to molt moderately. Weekly brushing with a bristle brush and occasional bathing, if needed, will keep the coat looking good and help prevent coat matting.
The origin of the Australian Shepherd varies considerably depending on the historical source consulted. According to one of the theories advanced, this dog would have been exclusively developed in the United States to work on the ranches. It could have ancestors a shepherd dog originating from the Spanish and French Basque country, which accompanied the merino sheep introduced in the United States at the beginning of the colony. A cross with the collie could also have been made. It derives its name solely from its association with the Basque Shepherd, which arrived in the United States from Australia in the 19th century.
In addition to herding, the Australian Shepherd is used as a police and drug-sniffing dog and competes in obedience trials. It is also an excellent companion for the family. He was recently admitted to the AKC Sheepdog group; some breeders worry that the recognition given by the AKC places too much emphasis on appearance at the expense of ability. The Australian Shepherd Club of America was the main registry for the Australian Shepherd before certification by the AKC and remains an important player for this breed.
The Pyrenean Mountain Dog makes an excellent family companion that leads a quiet life. Although calm, devoted, and well-behaved, this dog tends to be independent and stubborn. His master will therefore have to be patient when training.