Great Pyrenees vs Saint Bernard

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:
8 to 10 years
Size:

Extra Large

Maintenance Level:

High

Shed Level:

High

Best For

Saint Bernards are best for larger homes with experienced pet parents. These gentle giants are kid- and pet-friendly but need a lot of focused training, nutrition and exercise in their first year.

Saint Bernard Temperament

Would you ever expect your personal bodyguard to be mistaken for a floofy teddy bear? Probably not, but you should. (Because: Safety first. And also because: Adorable.) Saint Bernards’ protective personalities and gentle, calm demeanor with a dash of playfulness are a natural fit for homes with older children, oth...

Would you ever expect your personal bodyguard to be mistaken for a floofy teddy bear? Probably not, but you should. (Because: Safety first. And also because: Adorable.) Saint Bernards’ protective personalities and gentle, calm demeanor with a dash of playfulness are a natural fit for homes with older children, other dogs and even friendly felines. They’ll also mesh with younger children, but littler kiddos will need extra supervision to ensure they can respect your pup’s boundaries.

A Saint Bernard dog doesn’t always comprehend just how big they are, which can cause some consternation and tears when playing with tipsy tots or unstable adults (or tipsy adults, for that matter). Training for both humans and the dog is a must to be sure nobody accidentally gets knocked over during backyard romps or in-home zoomies. Saints are friendly dogs (and they swear they didn’t mean to knock you down! They thought you were trying to start a game of tag!) and will stay that way with a loving home and positive reinforcement-based training. In general, Saints are not known to bite, but there have been reports of aggression in their senior years due to neurological conditions. Proper socialization for your Saint Bernard puppy before 20 to 24 weeks of age allows your outgoing pup to learn good manners and blossom as a beloved family pet.

If it looks like you’re going to do something fun, Saints will want to join you, no questions asked. They’re in the car before you can even find your keys, ready for a nature trail adventure or a Sunday drive through the country. Whatever their human is doing, they want to mirror the activity or supervise from a cozy spot next to your feet.

If you have a job you need doing, give it to a Saint, and they will be more than happy to check it off your To Do list. Saint Bernards are a working breed who love to help people. Give them a chore, like helping feed livestock on a farm or serving as a door greeter at your small business, and they’ll be happy campers. Saints are eager to please. You’ll know the Saint Bernard is in their element when they can’t stop the drool from flowing and their tail from wagging.

Saint Bernard 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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