Pyredoodles are an intentional cross between a standard Poodle and a Great Pyrenees. Poodles are highly intelligent, non-shedding, and generally healthy.
Great Pyrenees (also known as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog) are huge, majestic dogs. Known for their unconditional love for family, guardian instincts against intruders, and elegant thick white coats, Pyrenees are well-known as livestock protectors as well as wonderful family dogs. Great Pyrenees typically rank as being excellent family dogs; very friendly with their family and great with kids.
Why A Pyredoodle Instead of a Great Pyrenees?
Since Great Pyrenees are such outstanding dogs, why would Someone consider a Pyredoodle instead of a Great Pyrenees?
There are five main reasons many people consider a Pyredoodle a better fit for their family than a Purebred Pyrenees:
- Hypoallergenic: The Poodles' non-shedding coat is hypo-allergenic. Because the poodle coat is the dominant gene, many poodle crosses (often called doodles) get the non-shedding coat. This is particularly the case with thick coated dogs like the Great Pyrenees. Families who want an inside dog appreciate a low-to-non shedding coat that the Pyredoodle offers.
- Trainable: Great Pyrenees are not recommended for novice dog owners. Because of their stubborn streak, Pyrenees can be difficult to train. By contrast Poodles are extremely easy to train. They are the most frequently used dog in circus acts or on shows like America's Got Talent, because they are extremely intelligent, eager to please, and easy to train. Pyredoodles are much easier to house train and teach other basic training commands than a pure Great Pyrenees. Most Pyredoodle owners find their Pyredoodle puppy to be eager to please and pleasant to train.
- Healthy: The Great Pyrenees lifespan is usually 10-11 years. On average, doodles live 4-5 years longer than that. Hybrid vigor (the added strength by combining different breeds) causes doodles to typically be healthy. Because Poodles are far less likely to develop Gastric Torsion (bloat), hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, Addison's disease, or Entropian than Great Pyrenees, the Pyredoodle is much less likely to struggle with these health issues that are common in a purebed Pyrenees.
- Quieter: The Great Pyrenees are known for their incredible watch dog ability, which means that most of them bark--quite a bit. We intentionally cross the Great Pyrenees with very quiet poodles. Although most of the Pyredoodles will be good watch dogs, they typically bark a whole lot less than a 100% Pyrenees.
- Variety: By combining the Great Pyrenees with the Poodle, Pyredoodles can be bred in the typical white, the white/black badger look (with the mask), or other colors (poodles come in red, chocolate, apricot, and parti-colors). Pyredoodles can be bred with a variety of color combinations much greater than that of a purebred AKC Great Pyrenees.
Most families who have owned a Great Pyrenees have fallen in love with their devoted, affectionate, family protector. They've learned to live with their drawbacks, but in private conversation they might tell you that if only their beloved pet "didn't bark quite so much, wasn't quite so stubborn, didn't shed all that hair, and lived longer than 11 years they would be the PERFECT dog."
Our desire in breeding top quality Pyredoodles is to produce dogs that have many of the Great Pyrenees wonderful traits without necessarily having the drawbacks. With any mixed breed it's impossible to perfectly predict the outcome of the hybrid, but so far Pyredoodles have been met with enthusiastic response. Pyredoodle owners love their devoted, affectionate nature, low-to-non shedding coats, more quiet temperaments, and outstanding intuition.
Pyredoodles are perhaps the best of all doodles for being like a "nanny"--entirely devoted to children and small animals. Pyredoodles love to protect small things. They are one of the only doodle breeds that can function as a watch dog. Most doodles are just as likely to lick as intruder as to bark. Pyredoodles tend to be fine with "strangers" who are welcomed by the family, but anyone that is uninvited will be very suspect to a typical Pyredoodle.
Since Poodles love to stay close to home, a Pyredoodle is much less likely to wander than a purebred Great Pyrenees. However, we still recommend that all Pyredoodle owners to have a fence. Great Pyrenees can be wanderers. Pyrenees are believed to have descended from huge dogs that wandered the mountains of Asia thousands of years ago.
Great Pyrenees History
For generations, Pyrenees have been the world's most famous livestock protectors. It is deeply ingrained in the Pyrenees to protect the young, small, and helpless. They're the best friend of children and small animals. Pyrenees were accorded royalty status by becoming the famous guardians of French royalty for generations.
The best historical explanation for the connection between French royalty and the Great Pyrenees is that an eight year old son of King Louis XIV, met a Great Pyrenees while traveling to the Bareges. The young French prince instantly fell in love with this elegant giant dog that was so loving towards him and protective. The eight year old prince brought the Pyrenees back to live with him at the Louvre. Several aristocratic French families fell in love with the prince's Great Pyrenees and bought their own. A few decades later the Great Pyrenees had transformed from a country guard dog to the official French dog of royalty. Today the breed has been popularized by it's many appearances in movies and TV shows. Because of their devoted, affectionate nature, Great Pyrenees are used as therapy and service dogs. Because of their guardian instincts to care for their own, while protecting against enemies, many Pyrenees are still used as livestock guardians throughout the world today.
"Hypoallergenic Elegant Nanny dogs" is a great description of our Pyredoodles. They are gorgeous, majestic, head-turners. As large as the Newfiedoodle and Saint Berdoodle, Pyredoodles look more majestic, regal and statuesque than most other large dog breeds, which often are described as cuddly, or teddy bear like. Many people who own Pyredoodles talk about the head-turner nature of their dog. You'll be asked by people everywhere about your huge white, thick coated, straight-standing attentive, nanny dog.
Because of the independent nature of the Great Pyrenees, we typically do not recommend the Pyredoodle for a first time dog owner. We also like to point out to families that this is the only doodle we breed that has watch dog characteristics. Many families appreciate the watch dog nature of the Pyredoodle who sees itself as a protector of the family, but others desire a gentle giant Newfiedoodle who lumbers around the house and almost never barks--a dog who would roll over on its back when someone knocks on the door.
Men and women alike tend to love Pyredoodles. We've found that some doodles (i.e. mini Goldendoodles appeal to women) and others (i.e. black and chocolate standard Labradoodles have more of an appeal to men). The Pyredoodle has strong appeal to both men and women. Many men love the thought of a huge majestic guard dog, and women love the Pyredoodles' nanny nature, love for family, and gorgeous white coat. Like any dog, it's important to train the Pyredoodle at an early age, so that your majestic guardian is well trained from its earliest months.
Pyredoodles have great appeal to families who were considering a Sheepadoodle. We've been able to breed the black/white masked Pyredoodles, which bear a strong resemblance to Sheepadoodles (Sheepadoodles often are black coated with a white mask, whereas many of our Pyredoodles are white coated with a black mask). Old English Sheepdogs are originally herding dogs, similar to the livestock protection nature of the Pyredoodle. Pyredoodles tend to be a little larger than Sheepadoodles, calmer than Sheepadoodles, much less nippy as puppies, and much less likely to try to "herd" children. Many families that initially contact Crockett Doodles interested in a Sheepadoodle end up wanting a Pyredoodle instead after further research.