I'm a lover of all things 'dog' (particularly the exploration of cross breeds - and just like to write about man's best friend.
When it comes to finding a dog that can be a happy and positive part of your family dynamic, knowing where to look can be tough. That’s why so many people tend to look at getting a Australian Shepherd Great Pyrenees mix. With their rich stock and their vibrant attitude towards life, it would be fair to say that this cross breed is a dog that many people would find just right for their familial needs.
How suitable, though, is this dog to you personally? Are you someone who would be a good fit for this particular mix of dog?
What is a Great Aussie Pyrenees?
The Australian Shepherd Great Pyrenees mix is a dog that is a cross of the Great Pyrenees and the Australian Shepherd. It’s a dog that has a rich background in various activities such as herding, making them very popular dogs for many people who are outdoors a lot. Also, the Great Pyrenees background ensures that this is a dog with a rich history in being a watchdog, making it a very popular choice for many a dog owner.
However, one of the many reasons why this dog has become a popular choice is that they happen to blend together the best of both breeds. When you want a dog that you know you can trust to get the job done to keep you safe, you should not have to look much further than this particular breed of dog.
What Do the Aussie Pyrenees Look Like?
Looks wise, they tend to be very strange looking dogs – at least at first. Normally, from a young age, they can contain a really unique blend of features and attributes from both parents. This can lead to a dog that is quite hard to judge in many ways. It might retain some of the physical attributes of one side, but as it ages it might begin to change a bit more to fit with the other parent. As such, you might find it hard to pick out one cross from another – they tend to look so different!
In terms of height and power, it’s important to note that this takes its genes from two big dogs. The Australian Shepherd could be anything from 18-23” in height. A Great Pyrenees, though, could be as large as 32” at the shoulder. They are also quite heavy dogs, with the Great Pyrenees weighing anything from 85-115lbs, with a Shepherd being 35-75lbs.
This leaves you with a very distinctive looking dog; the kind that often retains its own look, shape, and personality as it continues to age. That is why you should always be ready for a dog that can be quite a big, powerful number. In terms of caring for the dog, be prepared for a dog with a really interesting if messy coat. They tend to leave a fair amount of mess behind them, so just get used to that as you get this dog into the family home: they don’t mind leaving a fair amount of mess and muck around the place!
That is one of the many reasons why this kind of dog is one that you should be prepared to have plenty of grooming treatments carried out on; it’s the only way to keep them manageable at times!
Temperament & Personality
Mood-wise, the Australian Shepherd Great Pyrenees mix is a very interesting dog. One thing that you will have to do is look at the parents if you can. Since this is going to be a hybrid, they tend to take a happy mix of the attributes of both parents. As such, you should take the time to learn more about how it was bred, and what the dogs who raised it are like. This should give a small but significant idea about what kind of dog you might be about to bring into the family home!
The main reason why you should be looking at them in terms of their behaviour is their studious attitude. While they all have their own personalities, it’s rare for these cross types of dog to not to have that watchful, guard-dog like attitude that often comes from the Great Pyrenees side of their gene pool. They are big dogs, and they are bred to keep watch and to look after you – that is why they are here, really!
However, you will find that this is the kind of dog that, while it watches over you and guards you, it will be friendly and caring with other people. Kids especially. They tend to be dogs that do really well around you and the rest of the family: as a family dog, they want to feel as if they are included and a major part of all the fun that you have as a family.
If they seem to be acting out, they might be feeling left out of the events that you are all doing together. Try and keep that in mind: that this is a dog breed that loves to guard, but has to feel genuinely included to live its best life.
Feeding your Great Aussie
- Feeding a dog like this can be a bit of a nightmare at first, to be honest. While they might just eat about anything, the problem is that they tend to be really up for eating. And eating. And eating.
- This leads to massive weight build-up, which will only exasperate the health problems that we have listed for you to keep an eye on below.
- If you want to make sure that you have a mix that is going to be fresh and happy, then you have to make sure you manage portions for it.
- That may lead to more than a few tense moments between you both, especially if your dog is now used to being overfed.
- Do it now, though, and simply cut the cord – don’t let the problem prolong itself. Dogs need to be kept in good condition, and in the right weight range.
- Take your puppy mix to see a vet, and they can show you what kind of food – and how much food – you should be looking to feed your canine with per-portion.
Exercising & Fitness
- The Aussie Great Pyrenees mix is a dog breed that often needs a fair amount of exercise to keep it in a good mood. However, it’s more about the duration than the intensity of the workout.
- For example, it’s common for these cross type dogs to be able to go for a long walk that lasts many, many hours.
- This will keep their energy levels better balanced, and it will help you to avoid being left with a dog that has excess energy.
- They tend to get destructive and aggravated when they are having problems with using up all of that energy. If you take them for a walk, though, they can burn most of that off.
- In terms of exercise, going for a big and intense running sessions, playing sessions etc. are recommended but your dog will be just as happy going for a long walk with you as it will playing any games.
- Keep that in mind, as other breeds can become quite hard to control without intense exercise. While this needs a commitment to getting them out and about, they have a fraction of the fitness needs and demands of other dogs.
Sadly this is a breed of dog that is due to have some serious health issues in life if they are unlucky. While the major breeds that they are based on are not too dissimilar, there is enough variety to make life a bit uncomfortable for them. That is why you should probably look to find a dog that you can raise with relative comfort if you are not ready to shell out on dealing with various health issues such as:
- Eye issues and renal failure over time.
- Joint issues, including joint dysplasia.
- Allergic reactions to various foods and household products.
- Bloating and overeating, leading to huge weight gain.
Then you should not look to get a dog like this. These are all common conditions that these poor dogs can suffer from, and it will lead to a significant reduction in their quality of life. If you are not sur that you could handle such an issue with your dog, then you might wish to look for a less complicated breed.
If you can get used to the challenge of a Australian Shepherd Great Pyrenees mix, though, you should be able to get a dog in your life that really makes every day a bit more enjoyable. While they can be a challenge, they are often very much worth persevering with.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2019 Harry Sheen