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» UK Standard

Introduction  | Characteristics  | Standard  | Grooming  | Feeding  | Training  | HealthFinding your Pyr

Great Pyrenees UK Standard

British Pyrenean Mountain Dog Standard (The Kennel Club)
TKC Group: Pastoral Group

General Appearance

Great size, substance and power; looking immensely strong and well balanced. A certain elegance imparted by attractive coat and correct head.


A natural guard dog protecting shepherd and sheep.


Quietly confident. Nervousness and unprovoked aggression highly undesirable.

Head and Skull

Strong head without coarseness, not too heavy in relation to size of dog. Top, as seen from front and side, definitely curved to give domed effect. Breadth at widest point about equal to length from occipital to stop. Sides nearly flat and of good depth. No obvious stop, only slight furrow, so that skull and muzzle are joined by gentle slope. Strong muzzle, medium length, slight taper near tip. Nose black. Head seen from above has form of a blunt V, well filled in below eyes.


Almond-shaped, dark amber-brown. Close-fitting eyelids set somewhat obliquely, bordered with black. Drooping lower eyelids undesirable. Intelligent and contemplative expression.


Fairly small, triangular, rounded tips. Root level with eyes. Normally lie flat against head, may be slightly raised when alert.


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.


Fairly short, thick, muscular. Some dewlap permitted.


Powerful shoulders lying close to body. Medium angulation between shoulder blade and upper arm. Forelegs straight, heavily 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.


Broad chest reaching just below elbows; sides slightly rounded rib cage 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.


Broad muscular loins, fairly prominent haunches, slightly sloping rump, topline curving smoothly into tail. Very strong heavily muscled thighs tapering gradually to strong hocks. Stifle and hock of medium angulation seen from side. Strongly made double dew claws on each hind leg; lack of this identifying characteristic totally undesirable. The hind feet may turn out slightly but legs themselves must be straight.


Short and compact, toes slightly arched, strong nails.


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 when fully alert.


Unhurried, steady and smooth, as if driven by powerful hindquarters, well within its capacity, yet able to produce bursts of speed. Tends to pace at slow speeds.


Profuse undercoat of very fine hairs; outer coat longer, coarser-textured, thick and straight or slightly wavy, never curly or fuzzy. 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.


(a) Mainly white with patches of badger, wolf-grey or pale yellow, or (b) White. (a) and (b) are of equal merit. The colour patches may be on the head, ears or base of tail and a few permissible on body. Black patches going right down to the roots highly undesirable. Black nose and eye rims; liver or pink pigmentation highly undesirable.


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.


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.

Official The Kennel Club standard of the Pyrenean Mountain Dog. Effective September 1, 2000

Next: Great Pyrenees Grooming

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