The Pyrenean Mountain Dog- A Brief Description

 The Pyrenean Mountain Dog (Chien de montagne des Pyrénées), affectionately called Patou by the French, is a French dog breed recognized by the FCI. He was originally bred to guard herds of cattle in the French Pyrenees, left to his own devices. It is from this task that the appearance and character of the Pyrenean Mountain Dog derives: an imposing physique coupled with irrepressible strength and lightning-quick reactions. A calm, balanced character with absolute loyalty to his family (herd), which he vehemently protects. Patous are considered to be extremely fond of children.


The protective instinct is a prominent feature of these dogs. All these characteristics make Pyrenean Mountain Dogs perfect family dogs; Because of his size, protective instinct and insistence on independent decision-making combine to create the biggest problems with this breed. It is often written that a Pyrenean mountain dog belongs only in the hands of an experienced dog owner. I do not share this opinion. On the contrary!

If an experienced dog owner tries to train a Patou in the same way as dogs of any other non-herd dog breed, he will inevitably fail.

He is not a "will to please" and will not obey blindly.

Therefore, it is important that the future owner intensively informs himself about this breed and its peculiarities.



Pyrenean mountain dog pack relaxing


History of the breed

 According to current knowledge, it is true for all breeds that there is only one geographical origin. The latest study has refuted an earlier research finding that the modern dog emerged from two independent domestication processes. The study suggests that all of today's dogs share a common origin and emerged from a unique domestication process of wolves 20,000 to 40,000 years ago.


However, the exact geographical origin of the domestic dogs could not be clarified conclusively so far.

The exact history of the origin of the Pyrenean Mountain Dogs is also not known. However, bone remains have been found that date back to the Bronze Age and correspond to this type of breed.

There are different theories about the ancestry of the Patous, which are more or less probable.

Shepherds, and nomads have not left written records about their animals. Sources about their ancestry are rare. Therefore, one helps oneself with logical conclusions.


One theory is that the Pyrenean Mountain Dog is descended from the Tibetan guard dog.

It is assumed that in Tibet with the domestication of the yak guard dogs were used and bred. This is at least questionable, because yaks are very well able to defend themselves and therefore do not depend on the protection of guard dogs. Also, there is only conjecture about the domestication of the yaks; cave paintings in


Mongolia suggest that this date is just under 2000 years before our era.

However, the first sheep probably already existed in Mesepotania 8,000 years before our era. If one were to assume that the Do- khyi theory is correct, the early shepherds would have managed without guard dogs for a good 6,000 years. Which is rather unlikely. Certainly, they would have developed other methods of herd protection.


Another theory is that the guard dogs are descended from the Molossians.

Against it speaks that basically it is doubted that these dogs existed at all in the province of Molotia and if they did, that it is much more probable that these fighting dogs for war descended from the guard dogs and not vice versa...