The Pyrenean Mountain Dog (The Great Pyrenees)

Who we are

The great diffusion that the Pyrenean Mountain Dog is experiencing in recent years, reversing a destiny that seemed sealed for a dog that, at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, saw its own extinction close, has very distinct reasons. , if not diametrically opposed.

On the one hand, the successful French television series of 1965, which followed the inspiring narrative work of Cécile Aubry, “Belle et Sébastien”, helped to raise interest across the Alps for a breed which, at the end of the First World War, was reduced to a few dozen specimens. A media success that spread throughout the world in the 1980s, following the Japanese animated series that always had Aubry’s novel as its subject, and then reached its peak with the series of French feature films that began in 2013.

On the other hand, the return of the wolf to the Alps, also following a protection policy by the European Union, meant that shepherds acquired dogs capable of facing the predator and, at the same time, being able to be identified in the dark thanks to a clear coat. And what better candidate than the Pyrenean Mountain Dog?

Impossible then not to mention the most important contribution, the one that arrived starting from 1923, when the “Réunion des Amateurs de Chiens Pyrénéens” (R.A.C.P.) came to life, with the intent, fully successful, of safeguarding the breed and getting to draw up the first official standard.

It is immediately evident that, in a context of diffusion of the breed due to such different reasons, knowledge about these dogs can be equivocal. We will find the so-called “purists” of guardian dogs, according to whom the breed was born as a dog to protect flocks, and this must be understood, without any nuances. At the same time, the vision of those who could be defined as “romantics” is increasingly gaining ground, i.e. those who, precisely on the wave of feelings transmitted by the mass media, want to see this enormous white dog as a teddy bear to cuddle, and which for this reason will hardly create problems.

The truth? Well, here we are at the meaning of this site. The truth is neither on one side nor on the other. Because the dog, the first animal domesticated by man, by its nature is highly suitable to undergo the physical and character mutations that we humans want to give them; but unfortunately, especially in the last few decades, even with very bad results which have seen the animal transform into a stupendous exhibition subject, but sometimes with serious physical-skeletal deficiencies. Despite this, it still remains misleading to be intransigent with respect to one or the other vision that one wants to adopt towards this breed. At the same time, we believe it is impossible to ignore a good knowledge of a unique dog breed, with a history behind it which, over the centuries, has forged its temper and appearance.

As lovers of this extraordinary breed, we believe it is right to try to retrace the history of the Pyrenean Mountain Dog as far as the documentation allows us, and hypothesize its “prehistory” (understood as an undocumented historical period in a direct key from man) to try to give as clear a vision as possible, also relying on some important studies done on race, in order to get to know it in addition to the clichés we are now used to.

The site, through its e-mail channel, will be happy to receive your comments and suggestions on what is reported here, and possibly correct or integrate the parts that it will be deemed to require revision.

Finally, it should be noted that this site does not want to provide space to advertise breeding or litters. The aim is not intended to be of a commercial nature, in order to guarantee a vision that is completely detached from any partisan economic interest.

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