How intelligent are the Great Pyrenees? – Pets Guide

The Great Pyrenees is a breed of large-sized dogs that come from the Pyrenees mountains shared between France and Spain. 

They were bred to herd flocks and to guard the livestock and family of their owners, hence they are very protective and obedient by nature. But how smart are the Great Pyrenees? And how quick they are at learning new things? And how easy is it to train them? This all will be discussed in this article.

The great Pyrenees are smart dogs not because of their inherited intelligence but also because they have a bigger potential for adaptive intelligence.

Is Great Pyrenees Smart? Traits That Make Them Smart And How To Make Them Smarter

Natural Intelligence

Great Pyrs are naturally gifted dogs when it comes to instinctive intelligence and smartness. 

This is because Pyrs were raised to herd flocks, an errand that demands focus, smartness, and decision-making from dogs. Hence, they developed their frontal cortices for this task and are now one of the most intelligent dog breeds out there.

Dogtime rates their intelligence 4/5.

Adaptive Intelligence

Not all dog breeds are equally smart and not every dog within a breed is as smart as the rest, but dogs do have the potential to become better at things that need mental faculties.

The great Pyrenees is good at adaptive intelligence and can work with their brains when needed to come up with ingenious ideas for chores.

Reception To Training With a Dog Collar

With great intelligence comes great stubbornness, Great Pyrenees are not so receptive to training and offer much resistance. Dogtime has scored them in trainability as 1/5. This is what I believe as I had a Great Pyrenees puppy and it was super hard to train. Then my trainer suggested me some dog training collars and it helped me train my 6-month-old puppy the way I wanted. 

You have to be patient while training them as it will take a lot of time and effort for simple behavior training that other dogs learn faster. 

Do not rush into things as this will have negative impacts on their personality and may lead to anxiety issues. Also, be careful with reprimands, Pyrs are quite sensitive and take things to heart, losing confidence.

How To Keep Great Pyrenees Entertained?

As mentioned above, Great Pyrenees are receptive to mental exercises and these help them develop their brains, especially during puppyhood. So you can use these in addition to physical activities.

You can use dog puzzles that are fun to play with and also stimulate their minds. Such puzzles are basically toys that have food in them and by solving the puzzle the dog gets the treat. This is a smart use of the positive reinforcement technique.

Also, obstacles are good at mentally and physically stimulating the dog. You need to put a reward at the end of the obstacle course to motivate your pooch.

Similarly, Search Games are also fun and mentally stimulating. You introduce your pooch to a food item and then hide it somewhere around the house. Your dog will try and find the item which also will be the reward. As your dog gets good at it, gradually increase the difficulty level and change the rewards to keep it interesting.

You can also involve your pet in group puzzles where multiple dogs try to solve the same puzzles as mentioned above together for rewards. This builds teammate spirit along with mental stimulation.

Kid Friendly

Smart dogs are often great with kids as they know the nuances of dealing with them. Dogs as large as Pyrs who are not smart enough often hurt kids unintentionally as they are not able to control their movements around them. 

The great Pyrenees have a very high prey drive, yet they control their instincts around kids and thus remain calm and relaxed. They are quite playful and entertain kids when in their company. 

Do The Great Pyrenees Socialize Easily With Other Dogs?

Great Pyrs are good with other dogs, they are able to adjust themselves to a shared living and show great compatibility. Dogtime rates their dog-friendliness at 4/5.

Being smart means they can understand the emotional cues thrown at them and respond in the most appropriate manner. They do not try to attack or dominate their fellow pets, they are quite playful and provide good company to other pets.

Does Breeding Affect Great Pyrenees’ Smartness?

Breeding allows humans to select and refine particular traits in dogs over time that are more suited to their needs, be they smelling, digging, or running. Some traits are easily transmitted to offspring while others see only a fragment being passed on, depending on the number of genes involved.

Similarly, another trait that humans have enhanced in breeds like the Great Pyrenees is smartness. Intelligence is a mixture of nature and nurture, where nurture is how you train your dog to enhance its mental capabilities, and nature is the genes it inherits from its ancestors.

By training dogs through mental exercises one can increase the level of brain development to notable extents and by choosing those breeds with better intelligence to procreate, one can pass these changes over to the next generations. 

However, some dogs within a breed are more responsive to these interventions than others.

So, breeding does affect a Great Pyr’s smartness but is not the sole factor in determining that, all other factors like how you train them and how they respond to training also have important roles to play.


Naina Anuman

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