About Golden Pyrenees
Our Golden Pyrenees puppies take the best out of their parents: a luscious appearance and wonderful character.
They’ll grow to be large dogs (up to 32 inches and 75-100 pounds), combining the traits of agility, obedience and strength.
The breed is great with families and behaves beautifully with children. Towards other dogs and pets they are friendly.
(Parents and puppies are raised with our horses, llamas, sheep, goats, dogs, cats... and of course children.)
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One of the most popular dogs in the world, the Golden Retriever was bred, as its name suggests, to retrieve game in the shooting field. The breed has adapted to so many roles that there is virtually nothing he doesn’t do, with the exception of being professional guard dog – a task for which his friendly temperament makes him quite unsuited. He has been a guide dog, a drug and explosives detecting dog, a tracker, an obedience competitor, in addition to the job he does so universally and well, simply being an energetic, fun-loving member of the family.
Easy to train to basic obedience or higher standards, rarely a choosy feeder, and with a thick coat that is reasonably easy to keep clean, it is no surprise that the breed has risen in popularity over the decades. He often has the largest entry at Championship Shows.
For many years there was confusion over the origin of the breed, but it is now generally accepted that it was the first Lord Tweedmouth who developed Golden Retrievers as a breed. ‘Yellow’ Retrievers had existed for many years in the Border Country between England and Scotland, and at first Goldens were registered and shown as Flatcoats being defined only by colour until 1913. They took their present name in 1920. (The breed became officially recognized by the AKC in 1925)
General Appearance: A symmetrical, powerful, active dog, sound and well put together, not clumsy nor long in the leg, displaying a kindly expression and possessing a personality that is eager, alert and self-confident. Primarily a hunting dog, he should be shown in hard working condition. Overall appearance, balance, gait and purpose to be given more emphasis than any of his component parts. Faults-Any departure from the described ideal shall be considered faulty to the degree to which it interferes with the breed’s purpose or is contrary to breed character.
Size, Proportion, Substance: Males 23 to 24 inches in height at withers; females 21½ to 22½ inches. Dogs up to one inch above or below standard size should be proportionately penalized. Deviation in height of more than one inch from the standard shall disqualify. Length from breastbone to point of buttocks slightly greater than height at withers in ratio of 12:11. Weight for dogs 65 to 75 pounds; bitches 55 to 65 pounds.
Head: Broad in skull, slightly arched laterally and longitudinally without prominence of frontal bones (forehead) or occipital bones. Stop well defined but not abrupt. Foreface deep and wide, nearly as long as skull. Muzzle straight in profile, blending smooth and strongly into skull; when viewed in profile or from above, slightly deeper and wider at stop than at tip. No heaviness in flews. Removal of whiskers is permitted but not preferred. Eyes friendly and intelligent in expression, medium large with dark, close-fitting rims, set well apart and reasonably deep in sockets. Color preferably dark brown; medium brown acceptable. Slant eyes and narrow, triangular eyes detract from correct expression and are to be faulted. No white or haw visible when looking straight ahead. Dogs showing evidence of functional abnormality of eyelids or eyelashes (such as, but not limited to, trichiasis, entropion, ectropion, or distichiasis) are to be excused from the ring. Ears rather short with front edge attached well behind and just above the eye and falling close to cheek. When pulled forward, tip of ear should just cover the eye. Low, hound-like ear set to be faulted. Nose black or brownish black, though fading to a lighter shade in cold weather not serious. Pink nose or one seriously lacking in pigmentation to be faulted. Teeth scissors bite, in which the outer side of the lower incisors touches the inner side of the upper incisors. Undershot or overshot bite is a disqualification. Misalignment of teeth (irregular placement of incisors) or a level bite (incisors meet each other edge to edge) is undesirable, but not to be confused with undershot or overshot. Full dentition. Obvious gaps are serious faults.
Neck, Topline, Body: Neck medium long, merging gradually into well laid back shoulders, giving sturdy, muscular appearance. No throatiness. Backline strong and level from withers to slightly sloping croup, whether standing or moving. Sloping backline, roach or sway back, flat or steep croup to be faulted. Body well balanced, short coupled, deep through the chest. Chest between forelegs at least as wide as a man’s closed hand including thumb, with well developed forechest. Brisket extends to elbow. Ribs long and well sprung but not barrel shaped, extending well towards hindquarters. Loin short, muscular, wide and deep, with very little tuck-up. Slab-sidedness, narrow chest, lack of depth in brisket, excessive tuck-up to be faulted. Tail well set on, thick and muscular at the base, following the natural line of the croup. Tail bones extend to, but not below, the point of hock. Carried with merry action, level or with some moderate upward curve; never curled over back nor between legs.
Forequarters: Muscular, well coordinated with hindquarters and capable of free movement. Shoulder blades long and well laid back with upper tips fairly close together at withers. Upper arms appear about the same length as the blades, setting the elbows back beneath the upper tip of the blades, close to the ribs without looseness. Legs, viewed from the front, straight with good bone, but not to the point of coarseness. Pasterns short and strong, sloping slightly with no suggestion of weakness. Dewclaws on forelegs may be removed, but are normally left on. Feet medium size, round, compact, and well knuckled, with thick pads. Excess hair may be trimmed to show natural size and contour. Splayed or hare feet to be faulted.
Hindquarters: Broad and strongly muscled. Profile of croup slopes slightly; the pelvic bone slopes at a slightly greater angle (approximately 30 degrees from horizontal). In a natural stance, the femur joins the pelvis at approximately a 90-degree angle; stifles well bent; hocks well let down with short, strong rear pasterns. Feet as in front. Legs straight when viewed from rear. Cow-hocks, spread hocks, and sickle hocks to be faulted.
Coat: Dense and water-repellent with good undercoat. Outer coat firm and resilient, neither coarse nor silky, lying close to body; may be straight or wavy. Untrimmed natural ruff; moderate feathering on back of forelegs and on underbody; heavier feathering on front of neck, back of thighs and underside of tail. Coat on head, paws, and front of legs is short and even. Excessive length, open coats, and limp, soft coats are very undesirable. Feet may be trimmed and stray hairs neatened, but the natural appearance of coat or outline should not be altered by cutting or clipping.
Color: Rich, lustrous golden of various shades. Feathering may be lighter than rest of coat. With the exception of graying or whitening of face or body due to age, any white marking, other than a few white hairs on the chest, should be penalized according to its extent. Allowable light shadings are not to be confused with white markings. Predominant body color which is either extremely pale or extremely dark is undesirable. Some latitude should be given to the light puppy whose coloring shows promise of deepening with maturity. Any noticeable area of black or other off-color hair is a serious fault.
Gait: When trotting, gait is free, smooth, powerful and well coordinated, showing good reach. Viewed from any position, legs turn neither in nor out, nor do feet cross or interfere with each other. As speed increases, feet tend to converge toward center line of balance. It is recommended that dogs be shown on a loose lead to reflect true gait.
Temperament: Friendly, reliable, and trustworthy. Quarrelsomeness or hostility towards other dogs or people in normal situations, or an unwarranted show of timidity or nervousness, is not in keeping with Golden Retriever character. Such actions should be penalized according to their significance.
Disqualifications: Deviation in height of more than one inch from standard either way. Undershot or overshot bite.
It is generally though that a Pyrenean must be all white, but whilst he is mainly white, it is quite permissible for him to have markings of badger (called blaireau), wolf-grey, or pale yellow. His black nose and eye rims make a striking contrast.
He is a substantial, impressive-looking dog, hardy and healthy. Once used as a guard dog, protecting flocks against wolves, he has a very gentle side to his nature and is affectionate and tolerant with children, making him a popular house pet. One of the largest breeds, he does not reach full maturity until he is three or four years old.
His thick, double coat needs grooming thoroughly at least once a week. He is not tremendously active; a short walk in town, or a long ramble in the country will suit him equally well.
The breed comes from the Pyrenean mountain range in France, where he is known as the Grand Pyrénée. They have guarded flocks in France for centuries and dogs of the type pre-date even the Bronze Age (1800-1000 BC) but are said to have been ‘discovered’ by the French nobility before the Revolution and could be found in the great châteaux. Louis XIV named the breed the Royal Dog of France. As recently as the Second World War, Pyreneans carried messages and packs for French troops. (The breed became officially recognized by the AKC in 1933)
General Appearance: The Great Pyrenees dog conveys the distinct impression of elegance and unsurpassed beauty combined with great overall size and majesty. He has a white or principally white coat that may contain markings of badger, gray, or varying shades of tan. He possesses a keen intelligence and a kindly, while regal, expression. Exhibiting a unique elegance of bearing and movement, his soundness and coordination show unmistakably the purpose for which he has been bred, the strenuous work of guarding the flocks in all kinds of weather on the steep mountain slopes of the Pyrenees.
Size, Proportion, Substance: Size - The height at the withers ranges from 27 to 32 inches for dogs and from 25 to 29 inches for bitches. A 27 inch dog weighs about 100 pounds and a 25 inch bitch weighs about 85 pounds. Weight is in proportion to the overall size and structure. Proportion - The Great Pyrenees is a balanced dog with the height measured at the withers being somewhat less than the length of the body measured from the point of the shoulder to the rearmost projection of the upper thigh (buttocks). These proportions create a somewhat rectangular dog, slightly longer than it is tall. Front and rear angulation are balanced. Substance - The Great Pyrenees is a dog of medium substance whose coat deceives those who do not feel the bone and muscle. Commensurate with his size and impression of elegance there is sufficient bone and muscle to provide a balance with the frame. Faults – Size - Dogs and bitches under minimum size or over maximum size. Substance - Dogs too heavily boned or too lightly boned to be in balance with their frame.
Head: Correct head and expression are essential to the breed. The head is not heavy in proportion to the size of the dog. It is wedge shaped with a slightly rounded crown. Expression - The expression is elegant, intelligent and contemplative. Eyes - Medium sized, almond shaped, set slightly obliquely, rich dark brown. Eyelids are close fitting with black rims. Ears - Small to medium in size, V-shaped with rounded tips, set on at eye level, normally carried low, flat, and close to the head. There is a characteristic meeting of the hair of the upper and lower face which forms a line from the outer corner of the eye to the base of the ear. Skull and Muzzle - The muzzle is approximately equal in length to the back skull. The width and length of the skull are approximately equal. The muzzle blends smoothly with the skull. The cheeks are flat. There is sufficient fill under the eyes. A slight furrow exists between the eyes. There is no apparent stop. The boney eyebrow ridges are only slightly developed. Lips are tight fitting with the upper lip just covering the lower lip. There is a strong lower jaw. The nose and lips are black. Teeth - A scissor bite is preferred, but a level bite is acceptable. It is not unusual to see dropped (receding) lower central incisor teeth. Faults - Too heavy head (St. Bernard or Newfoundland-like). Too narrow or small skull. Foxy appearance. Presence of an apparent stop. Missing pigmentation on nose, eye rims, or lips. Eyelids round, triangular, loose or small. Overshot, undershot, wry mouth.
Neck, Topline, Body: Neck - Strongly muscled and of medium length, with minimal dewlap. Topline - The backline is level. Body - The chest is moderately broad. The rib cage is well sprung, oval in shape, and of sufficient depth to reach the elbows. Back and loin are broad and strongly coupled with some tuck-up. The croup is gently sloping with the tail set on just below the level of the back. Tail - The tailbones are of sufficient length to reach the hock. The tail is well plumed, carried low in repose and may be carried over the back, "making the wheel," when aroused. When present, a "shepherd's crook" at the end of the tail accentuates the plume. When gaiting, the tail may be carried either over the back or low. Both carriages are equally correct. Fault - Barrel ribs.
Forequarters: Shoulders - The shoulders are well laid back, well muscled, and lie close to the body. The upper arm meets the shoulder blade at approximately a right angle. The upper arm angles backward from the point of the shoulder to the elbow and is never perpendicular to the ground. The length of the shoulder blade and the upper arm is approximately equal. The height from the ground to the elbow appears approximately equal to the height from the elbow to the withers. Forelegs - The legs are of sufficient bone and muscle to provide a balance with the frame. The elbows are close to the body and point directly to the rear when standing and gaiting. The forelegs, when viewed from the side, are located directly under the withers and are straight and vertical to the ground. The elbows, when viewed from the front, are set in a straight line from the point of shoulder to the wrist. Front pasterns are strong and flexible. Each foreleg carries a single dewclaw. Front Feet - Rounded, close-cupped, well padded, toes well arched.
Hindquarters: The angulation of the hindquarters is similar in degree to that of the forequarters. Thighs - Strongly muscular upper thighs extend from the pelvis at right angles. The upper thigh is the same length as the lower thigh, creating moderate stifle joint angulation when viewed in profile. The rear pastern (metatarsus) is of medium length and perpendicular to the ground as the dog stands naturally. This produces a moderate degree of angulation in the hock joint, when viewed from the side. The hindquarters from the hip to the rear pastern are straight and parallel, as viewed from the rear. The rear legs are of sufficient bone and muscle to provide a balance with the frame. Double dewclaws are located on each rear leg. Rear Feet - The rear feet have a structural tendency to toe out slightly. This breed characteristic is not to be confused with cow-hocks. The rear feet, like the forefeet, are rounded, close-cupped, well padded with toes well arched. Fault - Absence of double dewclaws on each rear leg.
Coat: The weather resistant double coat consists of a long, flat, thick, outer coat of coarse hair, straight or slightly undulating, and lying over a dense, fine, woolly undercoat. The coat is more profuse about the neck and shoulders where it forms a ruff or mane which is more pronounced in males. Longer hair on the tail forms a plume. There is feathering along the back of the front legs and along the back of the thighs, giving a "pantaloon" effect. The hair on the face and ears is shorter and of finer texture. Correctness of coat is more important than abundance of coat. Faults - Curly coat. Stand-off coat (Samoyed type).
Color: White or white with markings of gray, badger, reddish brown, or varying shades of tan. Markings of varying size may appear on the ears, head (including a full face mask), tail, and as a few body spots. The undercoat may be white or shaded. All of the above described colorings and locations are characteristic of the breed and equally correct. Fault - Outer coat markings covering more than one third of the body.
Gait: The Great Pyrenees moves smoothly and elegantly, true and straight ahead, exhibiting both power and agility. The stride is well balanced with good reach and strong drive. The legs tend to move toward the center line as speed increases. Ease and efficiency of movement are more important than speed.
Temperament: Character and temperament are of utmost importance. In nature, the Great Pyrenees is confident, gentle, and affectionate. While territorial and protective of his flock or family when necessary, his general demeanor is one of quiet composure, both patient and tolerant. He is strong willed, independent and somewhat reserved, yet attentive, fearless and loyal to his charges both human and animal.
Although the Great Pyrenees may appear reserved in the show ring, any sign of excessive shyness, nervousness, or aggression to humans is unacceptable and must be considered an extremely serious fault.
Note: A spay/neuter agreement is required with all adoptions.
GPA Registered Golden Pyrenees have exactly 50% AKC Golden Retriever and 50% Great Pyrenees in their pedigree. For first generation Golden Pyrenees, both parents are AKC dogs (essentially an F1 Hybrid). All other generations (F2 - Fx) are Purebred (Golden Pyrenees / Golden Pyrenees), but still 50/50 AKC Retriever/Pyrenees in their genetic makeup. For second generation all 4 grandparents are AKC dogs, for third generation all 8 great grandparents are AKC dogs, etc.. Golden Pyrenees as a distinct breed are not currently recognized by the AKC (as Golden Retrievers - 1925 and Great Pyrenees - 1933 once were not), but we are moving towards that goal. The GPA International Registry has been established to diligently record and assist in the development of the Golden Pyrenees breed.