The Pyredoodle is a newer hybrid or designer dog breed – a mix between a Great Pyrenees and a standard Poodle. As a companion canine, the Pyredoodle has a lot to offer the right individual or family!
If you have come here because you are seeking information about the Pyredoodle dog, read on now to learn everything you need to know about this unique hybrid dog breed!
Purebred dogs and designer dogs – the controversy & the science
If you are a dog lover but not a dog breeder or a canine biologist, you may be blissfully unaware that not everyone is a fan of “designer” or hybrid dog breeds.
Many purebred breeders feel that cross breeding two different purebred dogs together dilutes the pure breed lines they have worked so hard to preserve.
Conversely, many canine biologists feel that crossbreeding is a positive action to strengthen the health of purebred dogs, many of which have limited gene pools that can cause severe health issues.
This premise, called “hybrid vigor,” states that introducing greater genetic diversity into a limited gene pool will strengthen the breed’s overall health and lessen the likelihood of future genetic-based health issues.
Dog owners, for the most part, just want to bring home a healthy pup to share their lives with.
While we may opt for a purebred dog breed if there are certain traits or characteristics we especially love about that breed, there is also a reason the mutt remains one of the most beloved types of pet dogs in the world!
The Pyredoodle – a Great Pyrenees standard Poodle mix
The Pyredoodle is a hybrid dog that is created (manmade) when a breeder crosses a Great Pyrenees purebred dog with a standard Poodle purebred dog.
Here, there are different levels of crosses. At the most general level, the first generation, or F1, cross is a litter of puppies that comes from a crossing of the Great Pyrenees with the standard Poodle.
The second generation, or F1B, cross is a litter of puppies that comes from a crossing of a Pyredoodle with either a Great Pyrenees or a standard Poodle.
The third generation and later, or F2, F3, F4, etc, cross is a litter of puppies that comes from a crossing of two Pyredoodle parents.
Early vs Late Generation
In the earliest generations (F1 and F1B), since it is impossible to predict in advance which genetic traits a puppy will inherit from either purebred dog parent.
This is where you will see the most variation between puppies even within a single litter.
The later the generation (F2 or later), the more control the breeder may exert over the appearance, personality, traits, health issues, coat type, and other important characteristics of the resulting puppies.
If you have your heart set on acquiring a Pyredoodle with certain specific traits, you may fare better seeking a breeder that specializes in later generation (F2 or later) Pyredoodle puppies.
Origins of the Great Pyrenees
The Great Pyrenees, or Pyrenean Mountain Dog, is a calm, beautiful, large dog breed that first arose in the area of the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain.
The climate in the Pyrenees Mountains is quite cold, especially in winter, and this dog’s beautiful thick fur coat speaks to generations of outdoor work guarding sheep and other livestock from fearsome predators, including wolves and bears!
This dog’s native name is Le Grande Chien des Montagnes, or “the big dog of the mountains.”
This is a truly ancient dog breed.
Canine biologists have dated remains of this breed all the way back to the Bronze Age (beginning in 1800 B.C.).
Origins of the Poodle
The modern Poodle is bred in three sizes: toy, miniature, and standard.
However, the standard Poodle represents the original Poodle purebred dog breed, and the Pyredoodle is the result of a cross between the Great Pyrenees dog and the standard Poodle dog.
The Poodle is a French dog breed, but in their native country, the Poodle isn’t called the Poodle.
Rather, their name is “Caniche,” or “duck dog.” And “Poodle” in French is “pudelin,” which stands for “splashing in water.”
This name refers to this water-loving dog’s working job of retrieving downed ducks from lakes and rivers for hunters. This dog breed dates back at least 400 years.
What Is the Great Pyrenees Poodle mix like?
The Pyredoodle has been described as “the best hits” of the Great Pyrenees dog and the standard Poodle dog.
Of course, you will find greater stability in puppy traits with later generations of Pyredoodles, as mentioned in an earlier section here.
Size, Height & Weight of a Pyrenees Poodle mix dog
Fully grown, a Great Pyrenees dog can easily top 100 pounds, although 85 to 100 pounds represents the range.
Adult males are more likely to weigh 100+ pounds.
These dogs generally stand 27 to 32 inches tall.
An adult standard Poodle can weigh 40 to 70 pounds, with adult males outweighing females by about 10 pounds on average. Adult standard Poodles can stand 10 to 15 inches tall.
From this mix of genetic attributes, you can estimate that a full grown Pyredoodle dog may weigh anywhere from 40 to 100+ pounds and stand anywhere from 10 to 32 inches tall!
Here, meeting each parent dog personally will give you a better sense of the adult weight and height of your puppy.
Appearance, Coat & Grooming for a Great Pyrenees Poodle dog
One of the most beloved traits of the standard Poodle is this dog breed’s purportedly “hypoallergenic” coat.
While biologically speaking there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog breed, it is true that the Poodle’s thick, wiry, curly coat doesn’t really shed.
This is because the coat catches shed hairs before they can fall to the ground,
The Great Pyrenees dog, on the other hand, has a thick, dense, double layer coat that sheds regularly, and can shed profusely when the seasons change.
Some Great Pyrenees owners call this twice-annual big shed the “snowstorm.”
With earlier generations of Pyredoodles, all bets are off as far as whether your puppy will inherit the high-shedding, thick, long coat of the Great Pyrenees or the curly, wiry, non-shedding coat of the Poodle.
In either case, you will need to brush and groom your puppy regularly and may want to invest in professional grooming to ease your workload and keep the coat and skin in the healthiest condition.
Personality & Temperament of a Great Pyrenees mixed with Poodle dog
The Pyredoodle overall is known to be a loving, friendly, affectionate, and social pup who thrives when spending time with “his” people in an active lifestyle.
Some people call Pyredoodles the “nannies” of the canine world for their devotion to herding and protecting “their” charges!
Health Issues of Pyredoodle dogs
Pyredoodle dogs may inherit genetic health sensitivities from one or both parent dogs. For this reason, it is important to verify parent dogs have been pre-tested for all known health issues that may impact their breed.
Health Testing for Pyredoodle dogs
The Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) recommends testing Great Pyrenees dogs for hip dysplasia and patellar luxation.
Optional recommended tests include cardiac, thyroid, elbow dysplasia, hearing, eye issues, and bleeding disorders.
CHIC recommends testing standard Poodles for hip dysplasia and eye issues. Optional recommended tests include thyroid, skin, and heart issues.
Socialization & Training Needs for a Pyredoodle
The Pyredoodle is a mix of two very intelligent, independent and driven parent dogs. It will be very important to start socialization and training early and keep at it, using only positive training methods and lots of rewards as motivation.
Is the Pyredoodle a good family dog?
Pyredoodles can be great family dogs.
Both parent dogs tend to be excellent watch dogs. Both are highly intelligent with strong guarding and protective instincts towards “their” people.
Both will be warm and loving with family and naturally reserved with strangers.
Most importantly, while the watchdog trait is strong in both purebred parent dogs, neither dog is aggressive and both are smart enough to be readily trainable.
How to Pick Great Pyrenees Poodle mix puppies
Great Pyrenees Poodle puppies are going to be very cute – this is something you can count on.
For this reason, it is important to do all your research before you begin contacting breeders and visiting available litters of Pyredoodle puppies!
The healthiest Pyrenees Poodle puppies will come from reputable and responsible Pyredoodle breeders who place the health of their puppies above all else, including appearance attributes.
Responsible Pyredoodle breeders should ensure that their parent dogs are always pre-screened and tested for any known purebred genetic health issues prior to breeding to ensure preventable health concerns are not passed on to future litters of Pyredoodle puppies.
Should I get a Pyredoodle dog?
For the right individual or family, a Pyredoodle hybrid dog can make a wonderful family pet and canine companion!
References and Further Reading
- Lee, K., “Breed Information/Health,” Great Pyrenees Club of America, 2018.
- Burge, S., “Health Concerns,” Poodle Club of America, 2016.,