6 Dog Breeds Most Similar to Great Pyrenees

Kuvasz resting in the snow in winter.
© vagabond54/Shutterstock.com

Written by Jaydee Williams

Published: January 1, 2024

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Great Pyrenees dogs were bred as livestock guardians for European farmers, specifically in the Pyrenees Mountains. They’re kind, loyal, and quick to sense danger or upcoming threats. These personality traits usually make great Pyrenees pups a good choice for families. They are very smart dogs, but they can be stubborn in terms of training. 

If you like the great Pyrenees traits but aren’t sure if the breed is right for you, consider these 6 dog breeds that are most similar to great Pyrenees.

Newfoundland

Young girl with huge dog breed Newfoundland

If you want a protective pup, you can count on a

Newfoundland

to keep an eye on things.

©kozorog/iStock via Getty Images

Newfoundlands are large dogs that were first bred in Canada for water rescue. Like great Pyrenees, they have a sweet and friendly temperament most of the time, earning them the nickname of “gentle giants” by many. They are a very loyal breed and often form strong bonds with their owners and family. 

Newfoundlands usually grow to around 150 pounds and 26-28 inches tall. They have thick coats like great Pyrenees, but their coats are a bit shorter. They are more social than great Pyrenees, usually reacting well to strangers. Newfoundlands are known for their love and protectiveness for children, making them great family pets. 

On the other hand, Newfoundlands shed and drool much more than great Pyrenees, which can be too much for some owners.

Saint Bernard

Saint bernard

These large dogs tend to prefer a colder climate.

©Rita_Kochmarjova/Shutterstock.com

Saint Bernards are a beloved large breed, often seen in movies and pop culture. Like great Pyrenees, they were bred as guardian dogs and eventually became popular as pets. They are most famous for rescuing travelers who got lost in the Swiss Alps. Like Newfoundlands, this breed is known for getting along well with children. 

If you think great Pyrenees are big, you won’t believe how large Saint Bernards can grow. While 150 pounds is average, some dogs reach up to 180 or more. They average from 25.5 to 27.5 inches tall.

Like great Pyrenees, Saint Bernards are very responsive to training because of their intelligence. However, Saint Bernards are usually a bit more patient than great Pyrenees. A few things to keep in mind are that Saint Bernards drool and shed quite a lot, and they can be energetic as puppies. However, they grow into loving, sweet dogs that will be extremely dedicated to their families.

Anatolian Shepherd

anatolian shepherd vs kangal

Amatolian shepherds love their families deeply, but can be cautious of new people.

©CharlitoCZ/Shutterstock.com

These loveable giants are pretty similar to great Pyrenees in terms of temperament. They’re protective, loyal, and intelligent, and can be wary of strangers. Anatolian shepherds were originally bred as livestock guardians, so they share many personality traits with great Pyrenees. 

Anatolian shepherds are also large dogs, weighing on average 100-150 pounds and reaching 27 to 29 inches tall. They’re known for their bravery, and many Anatolian shepherds will leap into battle with a predator much larger than themselves to defend their family or flock.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Large Bernese Mountain Dog lying on the grass in the park, panting.

It’s hard not to love those warm brown eyes and soft, fluffy coat!

©Kriste Sorokaite/iStock via Getty Images

If you want a cuddly and loveable companion with similar traits to a great Pyrenees, a Bernese mountain dog might be for you. While you’ll have to put in a lot of work upfront in terms of consistent training, it will highly pay off in the end with a loving, well-behaved dog. 

Like great Pyrenees, Bernese mountain dogs are working dogs, although instead of guarding, they specialize in driving cattle and pulling carts and other loads. In fact, Bernese mountain dogs are one of the strongest dog breeds. They’re able to haul 10 times their weight, or around 1,000 pounds. Bernese mountain dogs grow to around 100 pounds and 23 to 28 inches tall.

Leonberger

Biggest Dog Breeds: Leonberger

If you want a dog that’s nearly as large as a

lion

, you’ll love a Leonberger.

©Peter Josto/Shutterstock.com

Leonberger dogs take their name from the city of Leonberg, Germany. They were first bred by the town’s counselor, who wanted a dog that looked similar to a lion (for the town’s crest). Take one look at a Leonberger today, and ‘lion’ isn’t too far off. The 100 to 170-pound beasts reach up to 31 inches tall, making them one of the largest breeds on the planet. 

When it comes to personality, Leonbergers are actually pretty tame. They do well with children and are usually friendly towards guests and strangers. One thing to note is that Leonberger dogs usually don’t do well with other dogs of the same sex. They also have a few drawbacks in terms of shedding and drooling, and it’s worth noting that these dogs prefer to live in a cold climate.

Kuvasz

Kuvasv laying in the grass with tongue out

Kuvaszok are similar in appearance to great Pyrenees because of their thick white coats.

©La Su/Shutterstock.com

Out of all the others on our list, the Kuvasz probably looks the most like great Pyrenees, but it isn’t exactly the same personality-wise. Like great Pyrenees, Kuvaszok are guardian dogs bred to protect a flock. Instead of Europe, these thick-furred pups originate from Hungary and are thought to be first bred in Siberia. 

Kuvaszok weigh around 115 pounds and reach 26 to 30 inches tall. Like great Pyrenees, they are extremely intelligent but have even more of a stubborn streak. Kuvaszok are very loyal, but tend to be wary of strangers. With this breed, early socialization is key for bringing out their more positive characteristics. 

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About the Author

Jaydee Williams is a writer at AZ Animals where her primary focus is on gardening, mammals, and travel. She has over 5 years of experience in writing and researching and holds a Master's Degree in English from the American College of Education, which she earned in 2019. A central Florida native, Jaydee loves being on the water, playing music, and petting her cat, Beans.

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