Our ancestors did one of the greatest things for mankind by domesticating the dog. While the first domesticated dogs were still pretty wild and used mainly for working purposes, people began to see that they made excellent companions as well. What better way to live than with a pet that can guard your sheep and also snuggle with you at night?
The Anatolian Pyrenees is one of the best dogs for this purpose. The Anatolian Pyrenees is a mixture of the Anatolian Shepherd and the Great Pyrenees. Both parent breeds of this mixed dog are very old breeds and can be traced throughout history. As a favorite of the French courts, the Great Pyrenees served both as companions and guard dogs for the large estates. The Anatolian can be dated back as far as 6,000 years ago as a Turkish breed that is widely considered one of the original domestic dog breeds.
These two lovable giants were bred for their specific guarding and protective natures. It was only natural to combine the two to improve their health and bring desirable traits from both sides into one dog. The Anatolian Pyrenees is truly a gentle giant with a calm demeanor that will protect your family. Let’s find out if this mixed breed is right for you by looking at the top 10 facts, traits, and pictures.
|Best suited for||Experienced, moderate to active families|
|Temperament||Gentle, calm, loyal|
10 Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mix Facts & Traits
1. The Anatolian Pyrenees is a gentle giant
There are not many dog breeds that can claim the title of gentle giant but the Anatolian Pyrenees should be crowned the champion. These guys are naturally sweet and very calm, as they have to deal with unruly livestock herds. If a constantly mooing or baaing group of animals can’t ruffle their feathers, they’ll be right at home in an active, loud family home. Or, if you have a more quiet home, they’ll be happy to lounge around with you (after they’ve done their job, of course!)
They love children and are very tolerant of small grabby hands, as long as they’re socialized early. All dogs should be properly socialized to ensure they learn good behaviors and be sure to teach your children to ask if they can pet a dog beforehand!
2. They require plenty of mental as well as physical stimulation
Both parent breeds of this hybrid were bred for their protective natures. As guardians of livestock herds, they’ll need to be able to keep up with the herd, which even in our modern times, is still needed! These guys will require 30 minutes of exercise daily to keep them healthy and happy. It is also recommended that all fenced-in areas be at least 6 feet tall as they’re known for escaping.
Many people are not aware but our pets also need mental stimulation, much like we do! The Anatolian Pyrenees is a working breed and while they may appear to be daydreaming, they’re always watching. If they don’t have a herd of animals to watch, they can become bored which leads to destructive behaviors. You can play sniffing games and teach them new tricks, along with many other forms of mental stimulation to keep them happy.
3. Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees mixes eat a lot!
As a large breed dog, the Anatolian Pyrenees will consume 40-60 pounds of dog food a month! In order to maintain their muscles and support their large frames, these guys will need to be fed a larger amount of food than other dog breeds.
Be careful though, as this hybrid breed is prone to weight gain and can quickly become overweight. They also suffer from hip dysplasia, which can be brought on by excessive weight. Talk with your vet to figure out the right feeding schedule for your pet.
While we all love to treat our pets, almost all dogs are susceptible to obesity. Try to find healthy, high-protein treats for your pup to supplement regular meals. Once the weight is on, it’s very hard to get off!
4. The Anatolian Pyrenees is quite independent
This mix may not be the best for first-time owners. Both breeds were bred specifically for their ability to work independently and to be left alone with their herds. This means that if your pup is not interested in what you’re trying to train them or if they see something more interesting, they’ll ignore you.
This can be frustrating and will require patience. They’re an intelligent breed who can pick up commands quickly, but only if they want to. Your job is to make the training session as fun as possible, brief, and with lots of treats. An upside though is that this breed will occupy themselves, while still on guard duty, and can recognize danger without a command. Be firm and reward good behavior, and your Anatolian Pyrenees will be a mostly obedient, loyal companion.
5. You’ll have to groom them regularly
Due to their heritage, the Great Pyrenees has a thick, warm coat to withstand the cold mountain temperatures. An Anatolian’s coat is shorter, but your pup will most likely gain the warm coat from their Pyrenees parent. Though naturally unlikely to tangle, your pup’s coat will need a weekly brushing. Be sure to check for any visiting bugs in their coats, as this breed spends a lot of time outside.
You’ll also need to check their ears more frequently, as dogs who spend time outdoors are more likely to build up wax and other debris. As most large breeds are droolers, you can expect a bit of drool from your Anatolian Shepherd. This is completely normal and should only cause concern when it becomes excessive.
6. This is a hardy breed
Many mixed breeds are very healthy and hardy, but this is not always the case. Some mixed breeds inherit the worst from both parents and are susceptible to the diseases that both parent breeds are susceptible to. Luckily, the Anatolian Pyrenees is very hardy and typically has very good health.
Bred to work in cold and hot temperatures, in high altitudes, and against predators, both parent breeds have become quite hardy.
You’ll need to watch for hip dysplasia, a common injury in large breeds, and can be brought on by excessive weight, too much exercise as a pup, and poor health. Always watch for any limping or lameness in their legs and contact your vet to prevent future bills and pain for your pet.
7. Females vs Males
In this mix, the female tends to be more dominant than the male and strong-willed. It is not recommended to have two females, as they’ll fight for dominance. This is a common occurrence with all dog breeds and it’s suggested to have one of each gender.
This is not to dissuade you from owning a female Anatolian Pyrenees, as both genders are quite pleasant! An informed owner is a responsible owner and no one wants to see their beloved pets fight.
8. They thrive when they have a job to do
Both parent breeds for the Anatolian Pyrenees are working-type dogs. While some dog breeds are perfect for apartment living, these guys will require room to roam. Even if it’s into the backyard garden where they can patrol the perimeter, they’ll need plenty of outdoor time.
This hybrid would work best for families who own farms, lots of land, or even a small flock of chickens. Your pup will be most happy when they have a flock or herd to look over. While you’ll see them lying down a lot, they’re on constant alert and will perceive danger before you do.
9. Should they be guard dogs?
This may be an odd question to ask, but as we’ve discussed they’re excellent guard dogs. But there’s an important distinction to make about what they guard. The Anatolian Pyrenees will guard their animal livestock with their natural herding instincts and your family, as you’re a part of their herd.
These are not dogs that should receive guard dog training as it can make them aggressive, due to their independent natures and tendency to react before you give a command. While they do not have a naturally aggressive nature towards humans, unless they see you as a threat, guard dog training could make them more suspicious than they already are. They’ll have plenty of guard dog abilities inherited naturally.
10. They will bark a lot
A herding dog’s natural reaction to threats is to issue a warning bark and then consistent barking to warn the threat off. It is only natural that they’ll bark at the sign of danger in your home or even perceived threats. This makes them not the greatest fits for apartments or close-quarter living with neighbors. But be assured they’re not barking to annoy you, but rather to protect you from danger!
Final words: Is the Anatolian Pyrenees right for you?
The Anatolian Pyrenees is a large breed hybrid mix gaining in popularity. As both parent breeds have enjoyed their time in the spotlight for being a gentle giant breeds, this mix will be sure to steal the limelight.
They’ll need an active family that is able to take them for daily walks and provide mental stimulation. They’ll do best on a farm or homestead where they can have livestock to look over. Once they’ve put the animals away for the night, they’ll happily follow you into the house for snacks and relaxation.
Be aware that the Anatolian Pyrenees is not recommended for first-time owners due to their highly independent natures and stubborn personalities. These puppies will need obedience training from day one and an owner with plenty of patience. But they’ll reward you with life-long loyalty and affection.
A gentle giant capable of scaring off wolves, this hybrid will guard your livestock fiercely. Even if you do not have a herd for them to guard, providing them with a space that they can patrol will make them happy as well. If you’re looking for a large-breed dog that is extremely calm and loyal, check out the Anatolian Pyrenees!
If this mixed breed is not quite what you’re looking for, you might be interested in checking out some other Anatolian Shepherd mixes instead!
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