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Great Pyrenees Temperament
page 3

(for me the standard is the one from FCI)It is of the utmost importance that nervousness or unprovoked aggression should be heavily penalised.

That is what the breed standard tells about the character of the Great Pyrenees. It is not much, but it is more than what is said in the standard of many other breeds.

One can wonder why those people who wrote the standards around the beginning of this century did not mention more about the temperaments of the breeds. Possibly they found it natural that dogs behaved as they did; and at that time it was difficult to imagine the manner in which dog breeding and showing would develop.Fortunately it seems that breeders and breeding clubs are becoming aware of the importance of and their responsibility to the temperament of the pure-bred dogs.Recently I obtained a draft for a review standard of the Leonberger. In this standard, a section about temperament was added, which stated:

"As family dog under the living condition we have today a Leonberger is a pleasant companion that one can bring with one everywhere without problems and it is extremely gentle towards children. It is neither shy nor aggressive. As a family dog it is an attractive, obedient and fearless companion in all situations of life."

The demands that are necessary for having a secure and stable nature are special:

  • Self-confidence and superior calmness.
  • Medium temperament (likes to play)
  • Readiness to be submissive<
  • Good ability to learn and rememberInsensitive towards noise

My first thought when I read it was "What a pleasant dog to live with" my second thought was "What a good idea to get this into the standard" and last I wondered how would this description fit on a Pyrenean.As it turns out, I felt that most of the description was applicable to the Pyreneans though some modifications are needed to give a true picture of the breed.One has to add:Very protective on his territory and very often with a barking habit. Only likes to play if nothing more interesting turns up Shows no submission and is not very inclined to obey orders Difficult to be let out without lead in most places Very stubborn Fences have to be very strong and high to keep a Pyrenean inside.Now I can hear you moan: It is not fair.

© U. Hock-Henschke