Are you physically able to handle a very large dog?
Basically gentle, they are strong, and during the phases of puppyhood can be a real challenge.
Does dog hair around the house bother you?
If so, forget the Pyrenees. While with routine grooming they are not much different than any other breed, they do shed and there are white hairs in Pyr homes and on Pyr people.
A Pyr needs love and attention on a daily basis. Are you and your family able to provide this?
A lonesome Pyr is a bored dog, and a bored dog can become destructive.
Are you looking for an independant dog?
Great Pyrenees are at heart guard dogs and members of the great family of livestock guardian dogs. As such, they share with them certain strong characteristics. Pyrs were bred to be left alone with the sheep up in the mountain valleys. They are a guard dog by instinct, not by training. Their basic personality is different from most breeds, since most breeds were bred to take commands from people, while Pyrs were bred to work on their own.
A Great Pyrenees is an intelligent, sometimes willful animal. They have minds of their own and are not easily obedience-trained. Things that you consider important may not be the same things your Pyrenees considers important. Many are almost cat-like, in their independence.
If you require a dog who will be a great "off-leash" companion for your outdoor activities, if you want a dog who will follow your every command, or if you want a competition obedience dog, the Pyrenees is probably not for you.
Do you have room for a Pyr?
They are large and must be confined in a well-fenced area, or they will exercise their powerful instinct to establish and patrol a large territory. When out of the fence they must be kept on lead at all times.
Are your neighbours noise sensitive?
Like all livestock guardian breeds, Great Pyrenees are barkers, especially at night. The amount of barking varies from individual to individual, but the instinct is there and in some cases can cause major problems. Most Great Pyrenees in urban or suburban settings must be kept indoors at night.
Your friends love to drop by without prior notice?
The Great Pyrenees is a guard dog and as such cannot be expected to welcome uninvited intrusions onto your property. They will accept anyone whom you invite into your home. They are not "attack" dogs, but can be very intimidating to the surprised visitor. It is an owner's obligation to maintain a Great Pyrenees so that his guarding instincts can be exercised in a responsible way.
Free translation of a publication of the Great Pyrenees Club of America.