Are Great Pyrenees Puppies Hard to Train?

There are many dog breeds and thus dog puppies that you can adopt. Big and small, covered with thick fur or hairless, super chill or excited as a kid on Christmas eve, your choice of puppies is vast and varied.

One trait many people look for when they adopt a dog is intelligence. The thinking is that the more intelligent they are, the easier it will be to train a puppy to go potty outside, sit, stay, and all the other commands it needs to learn.

I was thinking about this recently when I was at my local dog park with my pooch, enjoying an afternoon of fun and sun. There were a variety of dog breeds there, as always, and some were more well-behaved than others. 

One pet parent was there with a dog you don’t often see in the U.S., a Pyrenean Mountain Dog, aka Great Pyrenees. One of the bigger dog breeds, Great Pyrenees pups are gorgeous, with thick, whitish coats and massive heads. (They can grow to 125 pounds and 32 inches tall!)

As I watched this majestic dog run around and have fun, a question I’ve heard several times came to mind; are Great Pyrenees puppies hard to train?

The answer is that, yes, Great Pyrenees puppies can be hard to train. The reason why is that they’re highly intelligent dogs and can think on their own quite nicely, thank you. For that reason, they need an owner who is very consistent with their training, has a strong will, and does an excellent job socializing them.

In other words, their independent streak can make a Great Pyrenees puppy rather difficult to train, especially for a first-time pet parent. Unlike many dog breeds, they aren’t the type to show unquestioning obedience. (Some joke that “come” is the only command a Pyr will listen to from their owners.)

Now that you know that it’s not so easy to train a Great Pyrenees puppy, I’m sure you have other questions about the breed. Are Great Pyrenees puppies calm, for example, and are they a good starter dog? For the answer to these and several other excellent questions, read on.

Are Great Pyrenees Calm Puppies?

Yes, Pyr puppies and adult dogs are among the calmest breeds of dogs you can find. They are also incredibly gentle and affectionate and, for that reason, do well with families that have young children. They can be very patient with kids and tolerate their often annoying behavior.

One thing to keep in mind is that Great Pyrenees adult dogs can be very protective of their families, especially around strange and unfamiliar people and other dogs.  

For that reason, training your Great Pyrenees puppy is essential and making sure they’re properly socialized. Training will help to reduce and also control their instinct to be overprotective.

Is a Great Pyrenees Puppy a Good Starter Dog?

The answer to this question depends on several factors. The first, and probably most important, is the time and energy you can put into training your Pyr puppy.

Here’s the thing; this breed of dog has a very well-earned reputation for being willful and even stubborn. Pyrs are incredibly intelligent and like to make decisions on their own.

That’s why you need a lot of time and energy because your Pyr will more than likely ignore you the first few times you try to teach them something new and do it their way instead.

But, if you’re willing to put in the time it takes to train your Pyr puppy, yes, they can be a good starter dog. They’re great with children, calm, patient, and fiercely protective of their families.

Experts recommend you start training your Pyr as early as possible and use an overabundance of kindness, patience, and, above all, consistency. 

Are Great Pyrenees Puppies Aggressive?

No, Great Pyrenees puppies are not inherently aggressive, and, even better, they’re not typically the type of dogs that misbehave. However, as I mentioned earlier, they are stubborn as a bull and take more time to train than many other dog breeds.

Most veterinarians will tell you that Pyrs are one of the most challenging puppies to train because of their willfulness, intelligence, and a long history of being bred to think on their feet. Aggressive? Only towards wolves and wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Can You Train a Great Pyrenees Not to Bark?

The thing about a Pyr is that barking, for them more than many dog breeds, is highly instinctual and an innate behavior that has been bred into them over the millennia. 

Remember, Pyrs were bred to be livestock guard dogs and so, in the event of a bad situation, would bark up a storm. For that reason, Pyr pups and adult dogs will bark at practically anything.

Keeping your Pyr inside at night will most likely be necessary if you live in a high-density area with many neighbors. Their bark is incredibly loud and incessant, which most neighbors won’t find amusing.

All of that being said, yes, you can train a Great Pyrenees puppy not to bark. Here’s how;

  1. Figure out their favorite treat or reward.
  2. Ensure they understand and obey basic commands, including “sit” and “down.”
  3. Identify why they are barking and acknowledge it with your Pyr in tow.
  4. When they begin to bark, use the reward, and basic commands, to distract them.
  5. If they are very distracted, leash your Pyr and gently pull them away from whatever they are barking at.
  6. As with all of your Pyr training, be consistent. It’s the best way to get results. 

At What Age do Great Pyrenees Start Guarding?

One of the main reasons a great Pyrenees puppy is difficult to train is that they’ve been bred to be guard dogs for thousands of years.  However, this is not always a bad thing because, due to that breeding, they make fantastic guard dogs.

Typically, a Pyr puppy will start showing guarding behavior at around six or seven months. Remember, they’re not attack dogs but guard dogs. It’s incredibly rare for a Pyr to attack anyone or any other animal. Typically, they will only do so as a last resort to protect their family.

Do Great Pyrenees Puppies Like to Chew?

Goodness, yes, Pyr pups like to chew! To ensure they don’t chew anything you don’t want them to chew, you need to provide them with plenty of durable rubber chew toys. 

Pyr puppies and dogs are also massive, with huge skulls and powerful jaws. You need to purchase the biggest, strongest toys you can get. If not, they will easily chew through them in a few days, if not hours. (Kong toys and nylabones are the best.)

Can a Great Pyrenees Be a House Dog?

Bred to be guard dogs, Pyrs are primarily outside dogs and love being out in the sun, rain, fog; you name it. However, if you raise them primarily indoors, they can be good house dogs.

However, I don’t recommend adopting a Pyr if you live in a small apartment. It’s unfair to the dog and, with all the parking they will likely do, unfair to your neighbors also.

Final Thoughts

Are Great Pyrenees puppies hard to train? Dog experts and veterinarians would say that yes, they are, but with patience, love, and persistence, they will make a wonderful and loving pet and an excellent guard dog.

It’s essential you remember that a Great Pyrenees puppy will be willful, stubborn, and highly intelligent. They aren’t used to being told what to do and were bred to think for themselves as they guarded flocks of sheep at night. They also have a massive instinct to bark and, without proper training, will bark at almost everything.

I hope today’s blog about training Great Pyrenees puppies has been informative, helpful, and answered all of your questions.  Please see my other blogs if you want to learn more about adopting, raising, and taking care of a puppy. I do my best to pack them with real-world information to help you be an excellent pet parent.