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The Great Pyredoodles: A Pawsome Mix of Great Pyrenees and Standard Poodle

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

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The Pyredoodle dog is a super-duper mix between the majestic Great Pyrenees and the elegant Standard Poodle. This makes Pyredoodles a unique blend of two awesome breeds. But if you’re looking for this giant designer breed, you can’t forget to research to make sure they fit your lifestyle.

One essential point to note is that Pyredoodles are prone to joint problems as they get older.. That’s why it’s important to take care of our Pyredoodle puppies by giving them lifelong mobility chew supplements. These special supplements contain ingredients that support healthy joints, making it easier for our fluffy buddies to chase balls, go for long walks, and have loads of fun throughout their lives.

To give you the low down on this unusual designer breed, we’ve consulted expert sources such as Pyredoodle Complete Owners Manual by George Hoppendale. By understanding where these dogs come from, their needs and general care, and what to expect, you can make the best decision before searching for Pyredoodle puppies for sale or breeders near you.

Pyredoodles can also be called:

  • Pyrepoo;
  • Pyreneespoo;
  • Great Pyredoodle;
  • Pyreneesedoodle; and
  • Great Pyrenees Poodle Mix or Designer Breed.

History And Origins Of The PyreDoodle

To understand the history of PyreDoodles, we need to briefly explore the roots of their parent breeds. 

Great Pyrenees Parent

The Great Pyrenees or Pyrenean Mountain Dog has a long history as a livestock guardian dog in the Pyrenees Mountains of France and Spain. They were bred to protect sheep from predators and are known for their bravery and loyalty. This makes them an ancient and independent breed with a strong urge to protect their family. They are working livestock guardians who do best with a flock of sheep to guard, but many today adapt as companion dogs. 

Due to their giant size, they are not extremely active dogs. But they are fierce guardians. Just see this video below. 

For most Pyrenees, an ideal home is a cold climate with livestock that allows them to work as guardians and protectors.

Standard Poodle Parent

On the other paw, the Standard Poodle originated in Germany and was initially bred as a water retriever. Poodles are famous for their intelligence, elegance, and hypoallergenic coats. Today Poodles are the second most intelligent breed in the world. They are energetic and best suited for active homes that have time for plenty of grooming and sporting activities such as agility.

Origins of Doodle Breeds

The rise of Doodle breeds (Poodle mix breeds), including PyreDoodles, is a more recent phenomenon. Studies show Doodles became popular due to their teddy-bear looks and hypoallergenic, low-shedding qualities, which made them desirable for families with allergies. 

Essentially, the craze started after Wally Conron bred a Labrador to a Poodle to create an allergy- friendly seeing eye dog. To help sell the puppies the extra puppies, he advertised them as “Labradoodles.” The name was so cute it quickly inspired the Doodle craze we have today. But Wally deeply regrets this.

However, the high demand for these mixed breeds led to unethical breeding practices by some individuals and puppy mills. This raises concerns about the welfare of the dogs involved. It’s important for potential owners to research and choose responsible breeders who prioritize the health and well-being of the parent dogs.

For this reason, we strongly recommend adopting a Pyredoodle, or thoroughly researching any Pyredoodle breeders before buying.

PyreDoodle Physical Characteristics

How Big Does A PyreDoodle Get?

 PyreDoodles can vary in size depending on the genes inherited from their parent breeds. Generally, they are considered a large-sized dog breed. The average height of a PyreDoodle ranges between 22 to 32 inches (56 to 81 cm) at the shoulder, and their weight can range from 50 to 100 pounds (23 to 45 kg). However, individual PyreDoodles may fall outside of this range.

What Does A PyreDoodle Look Like? 

PyreDoodles have a charming and unique appearance, reflecting a blend of their Great Pyrenees and Standard Poodle parents. They typically have a sturdy and well-proportioned body, with a graceful and athletic stance.

PyreDoodle Coat Types and Colors

The coat of a PyreDoodle can vary depending on the genes inherited from its parents. As both the Great Pyrenees and the Poodle have different coat types, the PyreDoodle can exhibit a range of coat variations. The most common coat types found in PyreDoodles are:

  1. Curly or Wavy Coat: This coat type resembles the Poodle’s curly or wavy fur, which is dense and can be either short or long in length. It is often low-shedding and considered hypoallergenic.
  2. Straight or Semi-Long Coat: Some PyreDoodles may have a straight or semi-long coat, similar to the Great Pyrenees parent. This type of coat is usually weather-resistant and requires regular brushing to prevent matting and tangling.

As for coat colors, PyreDoodles can come in a variety of shades (although they are usually white). Common colors include:

  • White;
  • Cream;
  • Apricot;
  • Black;
  • Gray;
  • Brown;
  • Sable; and
  • Parti-colored (two or more distinct colors).

It’s important to note that individual PyreDoodles may have unique coat patterns and color combinations, making each one truly special and distinctive.

PyreDoodle Personality, Intelligence, and Trainability

When it comes to personality and intelligence, PyreDoodles are a fascinating mix of their parent breeds. They often inherit a great deal of intelligence from their Poodle parent, which makes them quick learners. However, it’s important to understand that the Great Pyrenees side of their heritage brings some independent traits into the mix.

Great Pyrenees dogs are known for their independent nature and the tendency to make decisions on their own. This can sometimes result in them ignoring commands during training sessions. While PyreDoodles are generally intelligent, their independent streak can make training a bit more challenging.

PyreDoodles are more alert and active compared to the Great Pyrenees, and they also possess protective instincts inherited from their Poodle parent. These instincts make them excellent watchdogs, always keeping an eye out for potential threats to their family.

To bring out the best in PyreDoodles, it’s essential to invest in early training and socialization. Starting training from a young age helps establish boundaries, reinforce obedience, and teach them proper behaviors. Positive reinforcement techniques, such as rewards and praise, work well with PyreDoodles, as they respond positively to encouragement and rewards.

Providing PyreDoodles with a job or purpose can greatly enhance their overall well-being and fulfillment. They enjoy having tasks to perform and thrive when given responsibilities. This can range from participating in dog sports, like agility or obedience, to working as therapy dogs or engaging in activities that challenge their intelligence.

Socialization is also crucial for PyreDoodles, as it helps them become well-rounded and confident dogs. Introducing them to various people, animals, and environments from an early age helps them feel comfortable and adaptable in different situations.

General Care of PyreDoodles

Dietary Needs

Proper nutrition is crucial for the overall health and well-being of PyreDoodles. It’s important to keep them at a healthy weight to avoid extra strain on their joints, as they can be prone to joint issues. Feeding a balanced, low-calorie diet is recommended to maintain a lean physique. 

Studies show that low calorie diets help reduce the risk of obesity and joint problems and even help large and giant dogs live longer. 

Additionally, feeding them twice a day, instead of one large meal, can help prevent bloating and other digestive issues. In cases where specific health conditions like liver shunts are present, special diets may be necessary, so it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian.

Exercise

PyreDoodles require regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy. Aim for around 45 minutes of low-impact activities each day, such as walking, swimming, or gentle hiking. These activities provide them with mental stimulation and help maintain their fitness. Research also shows that dogs who exercise for longer periods each day have less lameness.

However, it’s important to limit excessive running and jumping to avoid putting excessive strain on their joints, especially if they are prone to musculoskeletal issues.

Housing Needs

PyreDoodles are family dogs and thrive when they are part of the household. They enjoy being around their human companions and should not be kept isolated or alone. If they take after the Great Pyrenees side of their heritage, they may be more tolerant of colder climates and love the snow. 

However, they should have access to adequate shelter and a warm, comfortable space indoors. It’s important to provide them with plenty of space to move around and explore, both indoors and in a secure outdoor area. These are not dogs for small spaces or apartments.

Grooming Needs 

PyreDoodles have high-maintenance grooming requirements, especially if they have a longer or double coat. Daily brushing with a slicker brush helps prevent matting and keeps their coat in good condition. 

If they have a double coat, deshedding during shedding seasons may be necessary to control hair loss and prevent matting. Bathing can be done every two months or as needed to keep their coat clean and fresh. 

Regularly checking and cleaning their ears, trimming nails, and providing paw care with a paw balm if they spend a lot of time outside are important aspects of grooming. 

Dental care is also essential, and regular brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste or using a dental mouth rinse can help maintain good oral hygiene.

Health Concerns In The Pyredoodle

When it comes to health, the PyreDoodle, like any other dog, can inherit certain health issues from their parent breeds. Although they may benefit from “hybrid vigor” due to their mixed lineage, it’s essential to be aware of potential health concerns. Dr. Alex Gough’s book on Breed Predispositions provides valuable insights into specific conditions that PyreDoodles may be prone to. Let’s take a look at some of these health issues:

Heart Problems

 PyreDoodles have a higher likelihood of experiencing heart problems, including heart attacks or myocardial infarctions, as well as dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Regular check-ups with a veterinarian and a heart-healthy lifestyle can help manage these issues.

Hereditary Thrombopathy

This condition refers to a blood clotting disorder that can affect PyreDoodles. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms and work closely with a veterinarian to monitor and manage this condition.

Musculoskeletal Issues

PyreDoodles may be susceptible to various musculoskeletal problems, such as chondrodysplasia (abnormal bone growth), osteochondrosis (cartilage and bone development disorder in the shoulder), hip dysplasia (abnormal hip joint formation), panosteitis (inflammation of the long bones), and patella luxation (dislocated kneecap). Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and joint health supplements can help support their bone and joint health.

Eye Problems

PyreDoodles may be prone to certain eye conditions, including multifocal retinopathy (abnormalities in the retina), progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and cataracts. Regular eye examinations by a veterinary ophthalmologist are crucial to detect and manage these issues.

Pyometra

Pyometra is a serious infection of the uterus that can affect female PyreDoodles. Spaying is a recommended preventive measure to eliminate the risk of this potentially life-threatening condition. See our article on if you can spay a dog in heat

Laryngeal Paralysis

This condition affects the movement of the vocal cords, leading to difficulty breathing. It is more common in older PyreDoodles. Surgery may be required in severe cases to improve breathing function.

Skin Problems and Other Disorders

PyreDoodles can be prone to skin problems, including allergies and sebaceous adenitis (inflammation of the sebaceous glands). Additionally, they may also be at risk of:

  • Liver shunts, Addison’s disease; 
  • Bloat; 
  • Stomach cancer; 
  • Epilepsy; 
  • Cryptorchidism (undescended testicles); and 
  • Kidney disease. 

Regular veterinary care and a healthy lifestyle can help manage and prevent these issues.

Do PyreDoodles Get Along with Children? 

Yes, PyreDoodles generally get along well with children. They are known for their friendly and gentle nature, making them great playmates and companions for kids. However, as with any dog, it’s important to supervise interactions between PyreDoodles and children to ensure mutual respect and safety.

Do PyreDoodles Get Along with Other Animals? 

PyreDoodles can get along with other animals when properly socialized. Early socialization and gradual introductions to other animals, such as dogs and cats, can help foster positive relationships. Each PyreDoodle’s temperament and individual experiences may also influence their compatibility with other animals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are PyreDoodles aggressive? 

PyreDoodles are not typically aggressive. However, their behavior can vary depending on individual temperament and socialization experiences and they can have a strong defense drive. Proper training and socialization are key in raising a well-behaved and friendly PyreDoodle.

How long do PyreDoodles live? 

On average, PyreDoodles have a lifespan of around 10 to 12 years. However, with proper care, nutrition, and regular veterinary check-ups, some PyreDoodles may live even longer.

Are PyreDoodles hypoallergenic? 

While PyreDoodles may have low-shedding coats inherited from the Poodle parent, they are not completely hypoallergenic. Allergies can still be triggered by pet dander and other allergens. However, individuals with allergies may have fewer reactions to low-shedding PyreDoodles compared to breeds that shed more.

Do PyreDoodles shed? 

Most PyreDoodles do shed somewhat, although typically less than the Great Pyrenees parent. The amount of shedding can vary among individuals, with some PyreDoodles shedding minimally if they inherit the Poodle single coat, while others may shed more noticeably. Regular grooming and brushing can help manage shedding.

Why does my PyreDoodle shed so much? 

If your PyreDoodle is shedding excessively, it could be due to the inheritance of the double coat from the Great Pyrenees parent. Double-coated breeds tend to shed more as part of their natural coat growth and renewal process. Regular grooming and brushing can help minimize shedding.

Are PyreDoodles good dogs? 

PyreDoodles are generally known to be good dogs. They are often described as loyal, affectionate, and friendly companions. However, it’s important to remember that individual personalities and temperaments can vary. Proper training, socialization, and care are essential in raising a well-behaved PyreDoodle.

Final Thoughts

PyreDoodles are truly special and lovable dogs. They possess a unique mix of traits from their Great Pyrenees and Standard Poodle parents, making them intelligent, loyal, and friendly companions. While they may have certain health considerations and grooming needs, with proper care, training, and socialization, PyreDoodles can bring joy, love, and endless tail wags to their families.

Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe

Author

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.