Are Great Pyrenees Good Hiking Dogs?

Even though these regal dogs have a larger than life presence, they’re a gentle, confident, and affectionate breed. They used to assist shepherds, watching over and protecting their herd from predators.

Are Great Pyrenees good hiking dogs? Thanks to their mountain heritage, the Great Pyrenees makes an excellent hiking companion. These moderately active dogs have a protective and watchful nature, which is needed when exploring the great outdoors. If you do plan to take your dog on a hike, put him on a leash because they’re territorial and wanderers.

Sharing your living space with a Great Pyrenees requires patience, as it takes a lot of effort to train them. Be ready to do a lot of research to learn about them as hiking dogs as well as other characteristics that make them unique. Instead of searching the entire web to find more about them, we’ve saved you the trouble. You’ll find all you need right here. Towards the end of this, you’ll know if a Great Pyrenees will be joining you on a hike.

What Breed Group is the Great Pyrenees?

The Great Pyrenees has royal roots. Their white coat and striking appearance commanded attention and earned them their kingly status in France. However, farmers in France and Spain took notice and started using them as a flock-guarding dog. These powerful, courageous, brave, and wary dogs protected the flock on their own for days or weeks at a time.

Their white coat makes them great herding dogs, and camouflages them among sheep allowing them to take predators by surprise. For extra protection, farmers put heavy iron collars with spikes on them.

They are considered a big dog amongst dog breeds.

Are the Great Pyrenees Good Hiking Dogs?

The Great Pyrenees are good hiking dogs due to being raised to protect flocks of sheep from predators. They are used to being outdoors and walking miles. You’ll need to ensure they remain leashed in the outdoors, as they have a habit of going solo on walks.

Since they used to work without instructions, training them to listen to your commands will take time and effort. If you’re ready to put in the hours, you’ll get a dog that will protect you from any incoming threats you may encounter outdoors.

What Temperament or Characteristics Make These Dogs Suitable/Not Suitable for Hiking?

The Great Pyrenees is a combination of different characteristics that make them suitable for hiking.

They are confident, affectionate, gentle, patient, and tolerant of the people they know. Yet with unfamiliar people, their suspicious, territorial, and protective nature takes center stage.

When you take them out on a hike, expect them to be alert to their surroundings and the people you come across. But, don’t let their fearful and mistrustful nature become their dominating trait.

Train and socialize them before taking them hiking and expose them to different sounds, sights, and people. If you’re getting a puppy Great Pyrenees, it’ll be easier for you to train them.

How Far Can They Hike in a Day?

Most healthy dogs need at least 30 to 60 minutes of walking each day. The Great Pyrenees requires 20 to 40 minutes of walking each day.

Though there is no accurate estimate of how far they can hike, we do know that larger dogs like the Great Pyrenees cover more ground before tiring.

How much distance they can cover also depends on the weather, terrain, and incline. It’s said that dogs on a long leash tend to cover more ground than you would if walking alone.

What distance can a Great Pyrenees walk compared to you? If you walk 1 mile, your dog on a long leash will cover 1.5 to 2 miles, and, on a short leash, they’ll cover 1 mile.

When walking 2 miles, your dog on a long leash will cover 4.5 to 6 miles, and, on a short leash, they’ll cover 3 miles.

If you walk 5 miles, your dog on a long leash will cover 7.5 to 10 miles, and, on a short leash, they’ll cover 5 miles.

When you take your Great Pyrenees on a walk or a hike, you can estimate how far they walked based on how far you walked.

How Do They Handle Wildlife Which They May Encounter on a Hike?

Great Pyrenees have a high tendency to bark at people and animals they don’t know and come across. Their instinct to bark comes from their guarding background. They have a low, deep, and strong bark. If not trained to stop when told, expect your fellow campers to be disturbed when they start barking.

They are loud and vocal, barking at animals, and anything that moves, as they perceive it to be a threat. They have impressive sight and sound, detecting the slightest activity, even if it’s at a distance from them.

Are They Suitable to Hike and Camp With?

While you can take them hiking and camping, it’s better to go alone or with family and friends who understand your dog’s nature to bark. Even then, don’t test people’s patience, but train your Great Pyrenees to bark less and stop when told.

If you need your dog to carry something or pull a sled or a cart, they’ll be more than eager, as it gives them a sense of purpose. Socialize them early on with people and pets, so they won’t become aggressive and wary when hiking.

Owning a Great Pyrenees – 6 Things You Need To Know

There’s still a lot more for you to learn about the Great Pyrenees. Here are some interesting facts about the Great Pyrenees:

Fossilized Breed

Shepherds around 3,000 B.C. brought the Great Pyrenees to the Pyrenees Mountains. Fossils of the breed found in the area, dated between 1800 B.C. and 1000 B.C. It is believed the Great Pyrenees evolved from white mountain dogs of Asia Minor over 11,000 years ago.

Naturally Nocturnal

Since the Great Pyrenees’ aim was to protect sheep from predators, they’re naturally nocturnal. This is the reason they bark more at night. This makes them excellent guard dogs, protecting you and your property. Since they’re nocturnal, expect them to sleep during the day and stay awake at night.

World War II Veteran

The Great Pyrenees had the task of carrying artillery during World War II. They used to cross the Pyrenees Mountains located between France and Spain.

Gave Life to the St. Bernard

If it weren’t for the Great Pyrenees, the St. Bernard dog would’ve been gone a long time ago. There was a time when the St. Bernard was dying out from accidents and natural causes. To revive the dying breed, they used the Great Pyrenees’ bloodline to bring them back.

Came to the United States as a Gift

In 1824, Marquis de Lafayette brought a pair of Great Pyrenees from France to the United States. He gave these to his friend J.K. Skinner, an author who penned a book titled, “The Dog and The Sportsman.” However, they are not the only two famous people associated with the dog.

Queen Victoria owned several dog breeds, one of them being the Great Pyrenees. Another sign of them being royal is that they were used as guard dogs to protect France’s castles. There’s evidence of them protecting the castles in France, dating back to 1407. King Louis XIV declared them as the Royal Dog of France, which added to their rising popularity.

Sneaky Thieves

Most Great Pyrenees are expert thieves. They will sneak food off the table or look through the trash when you turn your back. Their impressive stealth assists them in this.

What Are The Great Pyrenees Sleeping Habits?

On average, the Great Pyrenees needs more than 14 hours of sleep each day. Most tend to sleep more during the day versus night, as they’re nocturnal. If you don’t want them to bark most of the night, you can give them a sleep routine.

Even then, there’s a good chance that they’ll bark at night, but know they’re only doing their job to protect you. However, you can train them to bark less so your neighbors don’t get annoyed.

Want to Know More?

Check out the video below.

Related Questions

Do the Great Pyrenees Need Another Dog as a Companion?

No, they don’t, as by nature, they’re independent dogs. If you plan to introduce the Great Pyrenees to the other pets in your house, you need to train and socialize them. Since they tend to bark at other animals, you must familiarize them with other pets before having one join your family.

What is the Great Pyrenees Temperament?

The Great Pyrenees is fearless, patient, affectionate, strong-willed, gentle, confident, serious, and brave. Even with all these qualities, they’re great with children. If they need to protect their family from a threat, they’ll not hesitate to do so.

Why is the Great Pyrenees Lab Mix Popular?

The Great Pyrenees Lab Mix is a popular breed to get for several reasons. Nicknamed the Pyrador, they are a loyal and intelligent crossbreed. Both the Lab and the Great Pyrenees have a few common personality traits. Hence, breeding them together gives you a family-friendly and playful dog.

The crossbreed’s coat can either resemble the Great Pyrenees’ coat or the Lab’s coat. Their coat may be black, yellow, or chocolate like the Lab or off-white or white with gray, tan, badger, or reddish-brown marks like the Great Pyrenees. They can weigh up to 80 pounds and grow up to be 25 inches tall.

Since they’ll have a double coat, which may be thick like the Great Pyrenees’ coat or short like the Lab, they are big shedders. This is because the Great Pyrenees sheds its entire undercoat, and the Lab also sheds heavily. You’ll need to groom their coat at least once every week.

They can get a mixture of characteristics from both parents or be more like one parent than the other. For instance, the Great Pyrenees lab mix may be slightly protective like the Great Pyrenees, but have the Lab’s hunting instincts.

In short, with the Great Pyrenees Lab Mix, you get the best of both worlds. If you don’t mind the extra grooming and want them to inherit different traits from each parent, you can consider getting the Great Pyrenees Lab Mix.


Michelle loves enjoying the outdoors with her dogs. She grew in a big house near the beach with German Shepherds. Nowadays, Michelle has down-sized her dogs to poodles, proving small dogs can enjoy the outdoors too! Her dogs enjoy playing fetch, swimming, and long walks. Michelle and her dogs enjoy escaping the city limits to hike, camp, and swim.

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