Is the Great Pyrenees Australian Shepherd Mix a Great Family Dog?

🔄 Updated on November 18th, 2022

the-great-pyrenees-australian-shepherd-mix

Crossbreeding has become a common phenomenon over the last few years. Studies show hybrids make up half the dog population in households in Australia, 53% in the USA, and 31-33% in the UK and Germany.

The uniqueness of the resulting breeds, improved trainability, and lower risk of hereditary diseases, make hybrids choice pets. One such hybrid is the Great Pyrenees Australian Shepherd mix.

This mix is known for its vibrant attitude, love for the outdoors, and ability to blend in with kids and adults easily. If you’re thinking about adopting one, understanding other aspects like their appearance, weight, temperament, and personality is critical.

What Is a Great Pyrenees Australian Shepherd Mix?

The Great Pyrenees Australian Shepherd mix breed is, as the name suggests, a cross between the popular Australian Shepherd and the Great Pyrenees.

The Great Pyrenees has a rich history of being a watchdog, while the Australian Shepherd was used as a herding dog on farms, making them great for people who love the outdoors. 

The hybrid dog is also known by other names like the Aussie Pyrenees and the Great Aussie Pyrenees.

Great Pyrenees Aussie Mix: Origin and History

Since the Great Pyrenees Australian Shepherd mix is a relatively new designer breed, there isn’t much history about the dog. The best way to understand this dog breed is to learn about their individual histories.

History of the Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees originated from the gigantic white or flock guardian dogs of Asia Minor in 10,000 B.C. At the time, nomadic shepherds would bring their sheep to graze in the Pyrenees Mountains, and the Great Pyrenees joined them as flock-guarding dogs. 

The dog was a fantastic mountain shepherd dog and an excellent companion for families and the royals.

According to the 1407 French writings, the dogs were also used as guardians of the Chateau of Lourdes. Later the dog attained the Dauphin adopted royalty status at the court of King Louis XIV. 

The Great Pyrenees was referred to as the Royal Dog of France, making it the most sought-after dog by French royalty because of its exceptional eyesight and sense of smell.

Later Basque fishermen carried the dogs to Newfoundland as companions and guardians, where they mated with the Black Retriever to produce the Landseer. The breed’s migration continued to England, the UK, and other nations, and each country referred to the Great Pyrenees by different names.

In the UK and European regions, the dog was referred to as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, while in the United States, they were called the Great Pyrenees. In native France, they were known as Le Chien des Pyrenees or Le Chien de Montagne de Pyrenees.

In most of these nations, the Great Pyrenees hardly resembled the royal Pyrenees. In fact, in England, the breed lost its royalty and livestock-guarding status because there were many other breeds in the native mountain regions to guard livestock. However, it was these native Pyrenees that bred the modern Pyrenees breed.

The breed was transported in the 1930s to the US and recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1933. Americans hailed the Great Pyrenees for their intelligence, devotion, and sense of guardianship.

History of the Australian Shepherd

This breed’s roots originate from pastoral dogs, which were brought to herd Spanish flocks in the Northern American region in the 1500s. 

But many other theories explain the breed’s origin. It’s believed that the Australian Shepherd inherited some features from the Carea Leones, a mountain sheepdog. This inheritance is evident from Aussie’s merle coat and eye color.

Others believe that the Australian Shepherd breed has its ancestral roots in the Pyrenean Sheepdog and the Basque Shepherd Dog. At the same time, the modern Aussie is believed to have developed as a sheep-herding dog in the 19th century in California. 

The state had imported sheep and various herding dogs, including Collies from New Zealand and Australia.

The breed then spread to the western region of the United States, where ranchers used them to guard livestock and cattle. Aussies had since been working dogs until the mid-20th century when they were popularized by a rodeo performer called Jay Lister.

The first club (the Australian Shepherd Club of America) was then formed to promote the breed, which led to its recognition in 1979 by:

  • The Kennel Club
  • The United Kennel Club
  • The American Kennel Club

The Australian Shepherd has since participated in conformation shows and has been domesticated as a companion dog in many households.

The Great Pyrenees and Australian Shepherd Mix’s Appearance

The breed’s appearance may be challenging to predict because it depends on the parent breeds. Most mixed breeds take on the parents’ dominant genes, while others are visible when the dog is a grown adult. 

Most grown Great Pyrenees Australian Shepherd mix dogs develop sturdy, muscular frames with long-haired, thick coats.

They have a double coat that has varying colors of:

  • Cream 
  • White
  • Tan
  • Brindle

Their coats can also be a tri-color combination of all the above colors.

As for the facial features, they have a medium snout, floppy ears, and blue eyes if the Aussie’s gene is dominant. Some dogs develop one blue eye and one black eye.

Australian Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mix: Size and Weight

Since the Australian Shepherd and the Great Pyrenees have large bodies, the resulting mixed breed is likely to develop one too. Great Pyrenees often weigh 85-115 pounds, and their shoulders can be as large as 32 inches at the shoulder.

Australian Shepherds weigh 35-75 pounds and have an overall height of 25-32 inches. As a result, the Aussie Pyrenees weigh 50-110 pounds with heights of 18-23 inches. 

Full-grown Great Pyrenees Australian Shepherd mix breeds attain their full adult size when 18-24 months old, but they may continue to gain weight and develop large muscles. Male Aussie Pyrenees often appear larger than females.

Great Pyrenees Aussie Mix: Temperament and Personality

The Aussie Great Pyrenees mix’s temperament and personality largely depends on their parents. Both breeds were reared as herding dogs due to their trustworthy nature, intelligence, loyalty, and protective traits.

The Great Pyrenees are remarkably calm, patient, composed, and gentle with kids and adults. Since they were left alone to guard sheep in mountain valleys, they are pretty independent, making them a little challenging to train.

Similarly, Australian Shepherds were reared as herding dogs. This background makes them protective of their loved ones, which can feel standoffish to strangers. However, early socialization keeps them well-rounded and sociable.

The resulting Great Pyrenees mixed with Australian Shepherd is also protective, intelligent, loyal, and affectionate. Their protective nature makes them excellent guard dogs who do well around people and animals they know.

You shouldn’t leave this breed alone for extended periods. They get bored easily, which can result in destructive behavior. Since they’re protective, they will also want to feel included in the family’s activities. 

The Great Pyrenees Australian Shepherd Mix’s Feeding Requirements

The Great Pyrenees Australian Shepherd is exceptionally active, leading to a big appetite. A good rule of thumb is to feed them four times a day when young and three times when they reach four to nine months. After nine months, 2-3 cups of high-quality dry food twice a day should suffice.

However, these feeding portions may vary by:

  • Weight
  • Size
  • Age
  • Medical history

Remember, this breed is susceptible to obesity, so overfeeding them may lead to this condition and exacerbate common health concerns like elbow and hip dysplasia.

Consulting a vet may help you determine the dog’s nutritional requirements and the best dog food brands. 

Australian Shepherd and Great Pyrenees Mix: Lifespan and Health Issues

The dog breed has a long lifespan of 10-15 years but is prone to many health conditions. Some inherited health problems include the following:

Cancer

The Great Pyrenees Australian Shepherd mix is prone to various cancers, including bone cancer. Early detection, surgical removal, and chemotherapy may help save the dog’s life.

Bloating

This issue is one condition that Aussies experience in their lifetime, especially if they have larger frames. It’s essential to take the dog to a vet as soon as you suspect bloating.

Allergies

The dog may develop allergies to certain foods and items like dog shampoos, bedding, chemicals, and flea powders.

Hip Dysplasia

Aussies are often prone to this condition, increasing the risk of the mixed breed developing hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a condition that leads to a misalignment of the hip joint. The femur hardly fits into the hip joint’s pelvic socket, causing pain and lameness on the dog’s rear leg(s).

Elbow Dysplasia

Aussies are likely to pass on this condition too. It’s caused by differences in the growth rates of the three bones making up a dog’s elbow. The dog develops joint laxity, which leads to pain and lameness.

Cataracts

This eye condition causes a dog’s eye(s) to become cloudy. Cataracts affect older dogs and can be surgically removed to improve vision.

How To Take Care of Your Pyrenees Australian Shepherd Mix

With proper care, the Australian Shepherd and Great Pyrenees mix can live a healthy life with few or no illnesses. Their needs vary by age and size, but the bottom line is exercising, training early, and good grooming.

Exercise Requirements

The Aussie Pyrenees are high-energy dogs that need rigorous exercise and frequent walks to keep their spirits up. Although the activity level varies by age and size, the duration of the activity is more important.

Long walks and hikes are more effective at burning off their abundant energy than short walks. Other activities, such as swimming and playing fetch, are also fantastic for this breed. 

For mental stimulation, incorporate puzzle toys and socialization. Remember, controlling the Aussie Pyrenees mix can be challenging without early training.

Grooming

This dog breed sheds excessively, but you can limit the shedding by frequently brushing their coats. Aim to groom them two to three times a week.

Since the coat is thicker, you may need a slicker brush and an undercoat rake to dislodge the loose fur in the undercoat. A deshedding brush is also necessary during the shedding season. Nail clipping and brushing teeth are also essential in dog grooming.

Training

Since the breed’s ancestors were herding dogs, the Aussie Pyrenees is likely to be very independent and unwavering. Their demeanor can make training challenging, especially when the dog is older. 

Early training is necessary to prevent negative behavior and help the dog socialize with family, strangers, and other dogs.

Also, positive reinforcement techniques like praises and treats are effective when training the dog. You may hire a trainer or take your dog to puppy classes to ensure they’re learning the right behaviors.

The Cost of a Great Pyrenees Aussie Mix

If you’re planning to keep a Great Pyrenees Aussie, it’s essential to identify the best place to buy one and the cost. Adopting one from a rescue center may be cheaper, but if you’re big on purchasing a pup from a breeder, you may spend $800-$4,000.

The price varies by their unique colors, pedigree, breeder’s reputation, and special markings. The cost of some essential items also increases the final price. These items include the following:

  • Food and water bowls
  • Grooming items
  • Food and treats
  • Crate or bed
  • Initial vet visit
  • Toys
  • Vaccines and shots
  • Microchip
  • Dog license
  • Deworming, tick, and flea medication

The additional expenses can range from $650-$2,445, besides the cost of owning the dog. Also, it’s essential to check with the breeder if the pup has all the health clearances. Typically, the clearances prove that the dog has been tested for specific conditions.

For the Aussie Pyrenees, the pup must possess clearance from the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals (OFA) for hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia and the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) to certify their eyes are healthy.

Where To Adopt Great Pyrenees Australian Shepherd Mix Puppies

You must identify a breeder who deals in this mixed breed. A little research is necessary as it helps you find a good and reputable breeder. It’s also an excellent way to identify puppy mills known for selling sick pups for a quick buck. Here are some worthy mentions:

Infinity Pups: The breeder sells crossbreed puppies countrywide. It has a website that helps you identify your ideal mixed-breed puppy and organize an interview with a breeder.

Greenfield Puppies: The breeder has an online store that displays and sells purebreds and hybrid puppies, including the Great Pyrenees Shepherd mix.

Lancaster Puppies: This puppy marketplace showcases mixed-breed puppies from a range of legit breeders. You’ll likely find an Aussie Pyrenees mix.

Owning an Australian Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mix

Owning a Pyrenees Australian Shepherd mix has its advantages and disadvantages.

Pros

Here are some pros:

  • High level of intelligence
  • Great for active families
  • Extremely loyal, social, and affectionate
  • Can get along well with kids, adults, and other dogs

Cons

Here are some drawbacks of this breed:

  • Their thick double coats shed excessively
  • Can grow rebellious and stubborn if not socialized early
  • Can grow extremely big

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions regarding the Great Pyrenees Australian Shepherd Mix.

Does the Great Pyrenees Australian Shepherd mix shed?

The Aussie Pyrenees’ shed is average to high-shedding. That’s because their parent breeds have a thick double coat-long top coat and thick undercoat. The Australian Shepherd has a coat that sheds moderately year-round, and the Great Pyrenees sheds during spring.

Does the Great Aussie Pyrenees bark a lot?

The Great Pyrenees are known to bark a lot, and if your pup has its dominant gene, the pooch is likely to bark a lot. Since both dog breeds were used as guard dogs, they tend to be naturally loud. Proper training may help manage excessive barking.

How does the Australian Shepherd Great Pyrenees mix relate with kids?

The breed is loving and affectionate with kids. Their gentle and calm nature also makes it easy for them to work with kids.

What is the ideal living environment for the Great Pyrenees Aussie mix?

This dog breed thrives in cool climates due to its thick fur. However, if living in a warm region, you may need to keep them indoors near air conditioning to keep them safe and comfortable.

Is the Great Pyrenees Mixed with Australian Shepherd Mix hypoallergenic?

This dog breed isn’t hypoallergenic. Its thick double coat sheds excessively and can trigger allergic reactions.

Final Thoughts

The Great Pyrenees Australian Shepherd mix is excellent for families looking for a strong-protector dog. They know how to take care of other animals and are great companions for kids and adults. 

Their affectionate nature makes it easy to get along with everyone. However, you must prepare for the grooming responsibilities and look out for any conditions they may have inherited from their parents.

Jennifer Grucci | Dog Breeds Expert
Jennifer Grucci | Dog Breeds Expert
Our talented copy editor Jennifer ensures all doggie info published on our site is accurate, clear, and perfectly suited for pet parents of all experience levels. When not reading and writing about dogs, Jennifer enjoys playing with her own pets at home.