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» French Standard

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

Great Pyrenees French Standard

 Standard en Francais

Great Pyrenees French Standard (Fédération Cynologique Internationale)
Classification: Group 2, Section 2.2 Mastiff Type, Mountain dogs.
Use: Livestock protection dog

This page represents an English translation of the official FCI Great Pyrenees Standard. You may visit here for the official version in French.

General Appearance

That of a dog of great size, imposing and strongly built, but not lacking a certain elegance.
Faults: General appearance giving an impression of heaviness, without distinction (refinement) or indicating a likeness to the St.Bernard, the Newfoundland or the Leonberger. Fat dog, soft, lethargic, or on the contrary of dangerous appearance.

Size & Weight

Males 70 to 80 cm, Females : 65 to 72 cm. A tolerance of 2 cm over size is admitted in subjects of perfect type.

Males about 60 kg. Females about 45 kg.


Not too heavy in comparison with the size. The sides of the head are rather flat; the skull slightly rounded; the occipital protuberance being apparent, the skull in its rear part has an oval shape. The width of the skull in its maximum part is noticeably equal to its length. It comes down gently to the wide muzzle, of good length, narrower at its extremity. The very slightly droopy lips cover just the lower jaw; they are black or strongly marked with black as well as the palate. The nose is entirely black.
Faults: Head too heavy; skull too developed; bulging forehead; pronounced stop; insufficient pigmentation of the mucous membranes; lips too droopy; head of rectangular shape.
Disqualifying Faults: Nose of any other colour than absolutely black.


Rather small, with an intelligent and contemplative expression, of amber brown colour. They are set in tight eyelids, bordered with black and set slightly oblique. The expression is soft and dreamy.
Faults: Round eyes, too light or prominent; drooping eyelids; vicious or wild looking expression. Lack of pigmentation around the eyes.
Disqualifying Faults: Pink on the eyelids.

Placed at eye level; rather small; of triangular shape and rounded at their tips; they fall flat against the head; carried a little higher when the dog is alert.
Faults: Ears too long, too broad, twisted, folded, set too high.

Strong, quite short, with only slightly developed dewlaps.
Faults: Thin, a little long, dewlaps too pronounced.

Dentition must be complete, the teeth sound and white. The incisors of the upper jaw cover those of the lower jaw, without ever losing contact. Pincer bite is allowed.
Disqualifying Faults: Undershot or overshot mouth.


The chest is not too let down, but broad and deep. The ribs are slightly rounded. The back is of good length, broad and firm. The croup is slightly slanting with hip bones rather prominent. The flank is hardly let down.
Faults: Saddle back or arched, dipping forward in front. Belly tucked up (whippety).


Moderately oblique. Withers broad and muscled.

The forequarters are straight, strong and well feathered. The feathering (fringes) is also on the hindquarters, longer and thicker. The thighs are fleshy, but not very let down. The hocks are broad, lean and moderately angled. Both hind legs have double and well constituted dew claws.
Faults: Straight hock. Legs turning in or out.
Disqualifying Faults: Absence of dew claws; single or atrophied double dew claw on hind legs.

Not very long, compact, with slightly arched toes.
Faults: Feet too long and flat.

Rather long, bushy and forming a plume; carried low when at rest, with its tip forming preferably a hook; it curls above the back in a tight circle (making the wheel "arroundera" following the expression of the Pyrenean mountain people) when the dog is alert.
Faults: Tail sparsely furnished or carried badly; tail too short or too long, without feathering; not forming the wheel when in action, or doing it continually even when at rest.


Really dense, flat; rather long and supple, longer on the tail and around the neck where it can be slightly wavy. The hair of the "culotte", finer and more woolly, is very dense.
Faults: Hair short or curly. Absence of undercoat.


White, or white with grey (or badger hair colouring) or pale yellow or wolf colour or orange patches on the head, the ears and at the root of the tail. The badger colouring patches are the most appreciated. Some dogs have a few patches on the body.
Faults: Colours other than those indicated above and which would denote cross breeding.
Disqualifying Faults: Patches of black hair down to the root.


In spite of its size, the Pyrenean Mountain Dog has a very free movement, never appearing heavy, quite on the contrary very elegant; his angulations allow him sustained gaits.

General Faults

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.


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Standard Publication : March 13, 2001.

Next: Great Pyrenees Grooming

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