The Great Pyrenees is a beautiful breed, originally bred as a guard and working dog over 10,000 years ago. They are classified as a giant breed, ranging from 25 inches to 32 inches in height and 36-54 kg in weight (with the males being on the larger side). At such a big size, it is only natural to question how they generally behave around kids. Are they safe in the company and presence of young children and are there any considerations to take into account? Here is what you must know.
So, are Great Pyrenees good with kids? Great Pyrenees are generally great with kids, they are gentle, affectionate, and loyal by nature. However, they can inadvertently harm a small child due to their large size and are not always so keen to play. It is, therefore, best for children to be trained to behave around this breed and monitored when in their company.
This recommendation is true of any larger dog; it’s not exclusive to this breed and instances are generally unintentional and also infrequent.
But it is something that does happen and something to be aware of.
So, even if your Great Pyrenees gets along great with kids, it’s always a good idea to never leave them unattended together.
The younger the child, the more important this is.
Equally important is ensuring your Great Pyrenees receive proper training and socialization from a young age.
This will help this dog know how to behave and naturally limit any potential situations where accidental harm could be done.
Let us now take a closer look at this breed and how they typically get on with children.
You’ll also learn some strategies about owning the Great Pyrenees and keeping them around children safely.
So be sure to read on!
Are Great Pyrenees Kid Friendly?
The Great Pyrenees is loyal to their family and wants to be close by their side, and that includes the kids. They are a serious breed and aren’t likely to want to play with your kids, but they will protect them.
The Great Pyrenees is very patient and gentle and makes a great family pet when they are socialized and trained properly.
It’s important as well that your children know how to act when around the dog.
This breed is not generally aggressive nor dangerous, they are affectionate and gentle in temperament, and are calm, laid back, and typically well-mannered.
They are known to be very trustworthy, but they can and will attempt to defend their family, including children if they perceive a threat.
Teaching Your Children How to Act Around Great Pyrenees
Children love dogs and their first instinct is to run up to them and want to pat them.
It’s important that you teach your children that they shouldn’t do this, especially with dogs they don’t know, and even with some dogs, they do know, like the Great Pyrenees.
Children should receive an introduction to proper behavior with dogs, and Great Pyrenees in particular.
You will probably need to teach them over a period of time as they won’t necessarily remember the next time they see a dog.
Until they can be reliable around dogs, you shouldn’t leave them unattended with any dog.
Kids can be loud and run around a lot and may want to engage your Great Pyrenees in their antics.
They need to learn that this breed isn’t as playful as some other breeds and that they can’t act this way around Great Pyrenees.
When children know how to act around Great Pyrenees, and the dog is trained to how to act around children, the two can have a wonderful relationship.
This breed makes a great family dog, especially if you are looking for a guard dog, or one that will at least alert you of any perceived threat.
There are some general rules when it comes to dogs that children should be taught.
They should be taught that not all dogs are the same and while some may be friendly, others can hurt them, and this is why we don’t rush up to dogs.
They should always ask an adult before petting a dog, to remain safe.
Some more safety tips that you should teach your children about dogs in general, and not just with regards to a Great Pyrenees are to not bother a dog while they are focused on something such as a toy or food of any sort, nor should they bother a dog who is sleeping.
Teach them to look for a dog’s body language and to listen for growling, or any other audio tell that they could be providing, telling the child that they are not happy.
Kids are kids and there is a good chance that they will forget so you will need to calmly remind them about the rules and why the rules exist.
Are Great Pyrenees Dangerous To Kids?
Great Pyrenees can be dangerous to kids when they are not trained or socialized properly, and when the kids aren’t taught how to act around the dog.
In any such event, it is almost always unintentional and happens as a by-product and result of something else.
They are never actively seeking to be aggressive or a threat to said child.
Great Pyrenees are giant dogs and can easily knock down children without even meaning to or realizing it.
They can also be destructive when bored and destroy the house, possibly injuring the kids in the process.
In most cases, a Great Pyrenees won’t be dangerous to kids as they are a very patient and loving breed and easily cohabitate with everyone in the family, including other four-legged members, in both the feline and canine families.
Training Your Great Pyrenees For Kids
All dogs should really receive training when they are young, but it is imperative that you get your Great Pyrenees into training as early as possible – regardless of age.
Training and socialization are so important for your Great Pyrenees as they can easily have behavioral issues without them.
Like many intelligent dog breeds, Great Pyrenees can be hard to train as their intelligence can come across as stubbornness, with them wanting to do things their way and now how you’re telling them.
So, you’ll need to be patient when you’re training your Great Pyrenees, but the good news is that because they are intelligent, they will catch on.
When it comes to training, it’s not just the dog that needs to be trained. One aspect of training that many people miss is that the owners need to be trained as well.
They need to know how to control their dog, show their dog that they’re in charge, and teach the dog between acceptable and unacceptable behavior.
The earlier you get your Great Pyrenees signed up for training and socialization the better off your dog, and your family will be. It’s important that dogs be socialized with both humans and other dogs.
Things To Consider When Owning A Great Pyrenees And Having Kids
One of the first things to consider when owning a Great Pyrenees and having kids is to never leave them alone with each other, without someone keeping an eye on them.
This isn’t to say that the Great Pyrenees is going to attack the child, just that a small child can get hurt inadvertently by the 160-pound dog.
Kids love to run around and play, and the Great Pyrenees is not a breed that feels the same way, so you will need to ensure your children know not to run around, trying to egg the dog on, getting them to play.
The Great Pyrenees makes an excellent guard dog and will take their job seriously, so they’ll be on guard while around the kids, making sure there are no threats to them. They will bark as soon as they sense a perceived threat in the vicinity.
While the Great Pyrenees may not be playful pups, they aren’t called Gentle Giants for no reason.
One good idea, if possible, is to meet the parents of your Great Pyrenees before taking them home, to see the temperament of Mom and Dad.
If the parents are rather chilled out, then there’s a good chance your puppy will be the same. Find out how the parents get along with children, if possible.
If you can’t meet your Great Pyrenees parents or are getting an older dog, you should test them around children before bringing them home.
Keep an eye on the Great Pyrenees while around the children to see if there are any warning signs.
As much as you may like the dog, you may have to make the tough decision not to bring them into the household.
- Hotovy, Erin (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 151 Pages - 10/10/2019 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)
The Great Pyrenees was originally bred to be a working and guard dog. They take their jobs seriously, even to this day when kept as family companions.
This serious breed generally gets along well with anyone and everyone in the household; they are extremely loyal and will most often want to be close by.
While they make a great guard dog, Great Pyrenees are not good as outside dogs, they do much better when they can be right by the side of their family.
But remember, they are just as on guard inside as they are outside and will let you know whenever anyone approaches the house.
This breed is huge, ranging from 25 inches to 32 inches in height and 36-54 kg in weight.
Due to their size, they have the capability of hurting kids, without even realizing it.
They can get along great with kids, but they need to be trained and socialized properly to optimize your chances of everyone being able to co-habitat.
It is equally important that the children know how to act around the Great Pyrenees.
Without proper training and socialization, there can be some unwanted behaviors in your Great Pyrenees.
These can be exasperated when your to do are left alone for long periods of time or they become bored.
Excessive barking and destructive behavior, leading to destroying your house, are just a couple of the unacceptable behaviors you can expect to see.
If you are thinking about getting a Great Pyrenees and you have children, fear not, they can co-exist peacefully, without any issues as the breed is not outwardly vicious towards children.
You also don’t need to worry if you have other dogs or cats in the house, the Great Pyrenees can get along with everyone in the household.
Great Pyrenees are not considered the best breed for first-time owners. This is because of their willful and somewhat stubborn nature; making them more challenging to train. That being said, if you research sufficiently into the breed, learn to recognize and accept their traits, and be willing to invest in sufficient and consistent training and socialization, they are an excellent breed to own with many positive traits and tendencies.
Wondering what other dog breeds are good with kids? Check out my guides below:
- Are Shih Tzus Good With Kids?
- Are Basset Hounds Good With Kids?
- Are Akitas Good With Kids?
- Are Schnauzers Good With Kids?
- Are Chow Chows Good With Kids?
- Are Greyhounds Good With Kids?
- Are Pitbulls Good With Kids?
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.