Great Pyrenees vs German Shepherd

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
10 to 12 years
Size:

Extra Large

Maintenance Level:

High

Shed Level:

Very High

Best For

Great Pyrenees are best for experienced pup parents who are willing to devote time to training and don't fear copious amounts of shedding. They're great with kids, need lots of land to roam and prefer...

Great Pyrenees are best for experienced pup parents who are willing to devote time to training and don't fear copious amounts of shedding. They're great with kids, need lots of land to roam and prefer cooler locales.

Great Pyrenees Temperament

The Great Pyrenees’ temperament exudes patience and affection. Aggression and biting aren’t hallmarks of the breed (even though they do have a powerful bite force). Instead, a Great Pyrenees dog is generally very friendly and well-suited to family life. Letting your Great Pyrenees play with kids is more tha...

The Great Pyrenees’ temperament exudes patience and affection. Aggression and biting aren’t hallmarks of the breed (even though they do have a powerful bite force). Instead, a Great Pyrenees dog is generally very friendly and well-suited to family life. Letting your Great Pyrenees play with kids is more than acceptable as long as the children aren’t too rough and rowdy. And as a former livestock guardian, a Pyr has a background of close contact with various farm animals, which means raising a Great Pyrenees with other dogs and even cats in the home is quite possible.

However, because this dog was bred as a flock guardian, the breed can be strong-willed, so early socialization and training are important. Even though the Great Pyr is known to be a gentle pet, they can be protective of their families if necessary.

Their characteristics also include a high level of competency thanks to their years of service as guard dogs atop snowy mountains. Neither cold weather nor extreme boredom phase a Pyr—this pup is quite used to the slow pace of watching over sheep for hours at a time.

Luckily for dog lovers, these serene Great Pyrenees traits transfer nicely to a quiet home life (maybe watching some reality TV or hunkering down with a good novel?). Of course, getting outside is part of the plan with dogs, so pet parents who can offer moderate exercise will please both the Great Pyrenees’ personality and physicality.

Great Pyrenees Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
12 to 14 years
Size:

Large

Maintenance Level:

High

Shed Level:

Very High

Best For

German Shepherds are best for active households and experienced pet parents who are ready to train this highly-active pup.

German Shepherd Temperament

Born guardians, the German Shepherd’s best trait is their intense, unwavering loyalty to their families. (There’s a reason they make some of the best police dogs.) The fearless breed has also been known to put themselves in harm’s way before they let a family member get hur...

Born guardians, the German Shepherd’s best trait is their intense, unwavering loyalty to their families. (There’s a reason they make some of the best police dogs.) The fearless breed has also been known to put themselves in harm’s way before they let a family member get hurt.

Not surprisingly, friendliness is not the German Shepherd dog breed’s strong suit. They can be aloof, and you definitely have to earn their trust. Naturally wary of strangers, a German Shepherd will default to “guard dog mode” if they believe their family is in danger.

Early social interactions with kids, babies and other animals is also important if you want your German Shepherd to be well-behaved around guests. With the proper education, this easy-to-train pup can be a great family dog.

German Shepherds are born talkers. They will bark when they’re bored, and they’ll bark to alert you if something isn’t quite right. But training and exercise can help curb a lippy pup and keep their barking to when you need it the most.

These dogs are incredibly smart, and they are at their best when they have a job to do, whether working as a police or military dog, doing tracking or search and rescue, serving as a guide dog or at home practicing scent work or solving puzzles for a treat. And when they’re with their family, German Shepherds will let their silly side show as they flip their toys in the air and roll around on their backs.

German Shepherd Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents
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