The Anatolian Pyrenees: Is this unique crossbreed of giant guardians for you?

The Anatolian Pyrenees is a crossbreed between two livestock guardians, the Anatolian Shepherd and the Great Pyrenees. The Great Pyrenees even holds the noble title of The Royal Dog of France.

These beloved parent breeds gave birth to stellar guard dogs for the herd and family alike. The Anatolian Pyrenees is a masterful mix of protective and affectionate, but are they right for you?

a patient Anatolian Pyrenees sitting on a hard wood floor
Meet Koda, an Anatolian Pyrenees with white mane – Image source

Origins of the Anatolian Pyrenees

The origins of the Anatolian Shepherd Great Pyrenees mix is shrouded in mystery, so not much is known about how they first came to be, but their name is a simple combination of the parent breeds.

Gentle giants bred as working dogs, the Anatolian Pyrenees was born with a purpose, but the American Kennel Club (AKC) does not recognize them. To get the truest sense of this cross, you’ll want to know the parent breeds.

The Anatolian Shepherd

A seriously standing Anatolian Shepherd
An Anatolian Shepherd Dog standing on Grass

The Anatolian Shepherd dog goes back almost 6000 years, with its origins stemming from Turkey’s Anatolia peninsula.

This region has both intense heat and cold depending on the time of year, but it also showed the diversity of this purebred.

Anatolian Shepards are big dogs with an independent nature that made them superior livestock guardian dogs (LGD).

Even with their ancient origins, they didn’t arrive in the United States until just before World War II as part of a secret project to find the best working dogs for American farms.

This project died with the start of the war, and it wasn’t until the 1950s that farmers in America started importing them again.

Then, in 1970, Lieutenant Robert Ballard bred two Anatolian Shepherds he attained in Turkey, giving the U.S. their first litter.

The Anatolian Shepherd Dog Club of America was formed that same year. However, the AKC didn’t recognize the breed until 1996.

This large dog has a medium energy level, but its independent nature can make them hard to train.

Anatolian Shepherds act on instinct, and it’s recommended that they do not receive protection or guard dog training as it will heighten aggressiveness.

These purebred dogs have innate instincts that already make them perfect livestock guardians with a low prey drive.

The Anatolian Shepherd is loyal and protective to the animals and people it was raised with, and that bond is strong. They may be standoffish with strangers, but they are calm and collected unless they sense a threat.

Obedience training can be challenging but beneficial for this large to giant breed, and they aren’t the best dog for a first-time owner.

The Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees standing in greeny grass
A portrait of a Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees, or Pyr, is an ancient, large to giant sized working breed that started as far back as 3000 B.C. in Central Asia and Siberia before reaching the Pyrenees Mountains.

Their size, agility, and unique double coat made them excellent guardians of the herd.

In the 17th century, these large dogs moved out of the mountains and into the hearts of French nobility, which is when they received the moniker of the Royal Dog of France.

The Great Pyrenees found its way to the United States in 1824, but the AKC took over 100 years before recognizing the breed in 1933.

These stoic guard dogs conserve their energy and act independently in the best interest of the herd. A characteristic that can make them stubborn and tough to train.

However, they are a medium energy breed that does not require as much exercise as you may assume for their size.

Loyal to their families, the Great Pyrenees is a gentle giant that does well with kids and other animals. They can be reserved around strangers, but caution is an innate trait.

They are natural protectors, and though they may bark a lot to keep you informed, their heart is in the right place.

The Look of the Anatolian Pyrenees

A smiling Anatolian Pyrenees sitting on rocks
Meet Smokey, an Anatolian Pyrenees loving the outdoors – Image source

The Anatolian Pyrenees is such a rare crossbreed that their general appearance is not definitive. Both parent breeds share many characteristics, but the final look of your pooch can vary.

Your designer dog will feature a long, rectangular body with a well-proportioned head. They should feature medium muzzles and drop ears.

Their bodies will be muscular with sturdy legs to support their frames. With both parents being giant breeds, your Anatolian Pyrenees will also be an immense doggo.

The Size of Your Giant

The Anatolian Pyrenees are mixed breed dogs with an imposing and stoic presence.

They may not get as big as Great Dane’s, but their giant size plays into their original purpose as guardians of the herd. You may be surprised at just how big these pups can get.

Anatolian Pyrenees: Male Female
Height: 29-32 inches
Weight: 80-140 pounds 80-120 pounds

Those are some impeccable stats for an elegant giant. With a pooch that size, even a gentle one, they’ll need more space than an apartment can generally provide. Large dogs need a similarly large area to roam.

Your Guardian’s Coat

Their coat can take on various characteristics of the parent breeds. Your Anatolian Pyrenees can feature a double coat like their Pyr parent, which has long hair over a shorter undercoat.

They can have a shorter coat like their Shepherd side that could feature excess hair around the legs, eyes, and tail, but some Anatolian Shepherds can have longer coats.

Coat Colors

The Anatolian Pyrenees may end up with coat colors from either parent. The Pyr tends to have white or cream-colored fur, while their Shepherd parent features colors like fawn or white with possible combinations.

Coat Markings

When it comes to distinctive coat markings, your Anatolian Pyrenees may sport some. These markings will likely come from the Shepherd parent. A brindle coat or black mask are both possible features they may have.

A Giant’s Temperament

Much like their parents, the Anatolian Pyrenees can have differing temperaments while sharing many quality traits.

Their unique sensibilities are not suited for first-time dog owners, but they can still be good dogs for a family pet.

You should socialize and train them early, which will aid their behavior around kids, strangers, and other pets.

Don’t let that dissuade you, though, as these designer dogs are loyal protectors that can be affectionate with family. This protective nature also goes for other pets, too, as the Anatolian Pyrenees wants to protect its pack.

Your Anatolian Pyrenees may also be a bit stubborn when you try to train them, but that’s just their intelligent mind wondering why they need to do all the things you’re asking.

Obedience and potty training can take some patience, but in the long run, it’ll strengthen your bond. They’ll also respond best to training that makes them feel useful while utilizing their skillset.

The Anatolian Pyrenees is independently minded and suited to make their own decisions, making them a bit less prone to separation anxiety.

However, if they get cooped up, these big dogs will be more likely to act out from anxiety. Make sure they have room to roam.

Is the Anatolian Pyrenees aggressive?

The Anatolian Shepherd has an innate protective nature that can make them more aggressive than the dulcet Pyr. The Great Pyrenees also has this protective instinct, but they have a more mellow disposition.

If your pooch favors their Shepherd parent, they can be more aggressive, but training will help keep this in check.

These doggos like to conserve their energy, and they use caution before deciding to act. They will assess the situation before ever becoming aggressive.

If they show aggressiveness, it’s because they feel as though the situation calls for it. This cautiousness can make them wary of new animals and people.

Caring for a Big Boy

Your Anatolian Pyrenees can be a high maintenance dog. These big dogs will need plenty of exercise and food to maintain their build. Also, if their coat favors the Great Pyrenees, they could require more grooming.

Many factors can contribute to the overall care of your Anatolian Pyrenees, but they are adaptable dogs. They can handle the cold better than heat, but they function best in moderate climates.

Exercising a Giant

Your Anatolian Pyrenees will need a decent dose of daily activity, but it may not be as much as you would assume from their size.

These pups conserve their energy for when they feel it is needed, but they will still want to get out and about. You’ll want to make sure they are getting about an hour of exercise each day.

A big Anatolian Pyrenees carrying a stick
Meet Cleo, an Anatolian Pyrenees walking on the river carrying a stick – Image source

They’ll love to take walks, but they may enjoy a big yard to roam even more. It will be your responsibility to ensure that your yard has high fences if you let them off-leash.

These big boys can clear a small fence, and they are powerful animals, but they’ll love their time in the yard.

They will also thrive with a job to do every day. If you have a farm or other animals to protect, these doggos will love to take part.

Your pup will feel useful, and it will strengthen their bond with you. They thrive with mental and physical stimulation.

Grooming Your Buddy

No matter the parent your pup takes after, certain things will always be true. Your Anatolian Pyrenees will need their teeth brushed every few days with a bath every month or two.

You’ll also want to clip their nails once a month.

Some differences may emerge when grooming your pup’s coat. If your dog has a longer Pyr coat, you will need to brush them daily to keep tangles out of their fur.

If they have a shorter coat like the Anatolian Shepherd, you may only need to brush them every few days. They may also have extra hair on their legs, tail, or around their eyes that need regular trimming.

No matter the coat, these dogs are constant shedders and, therefore, are not hypoallergenic.

A Big Diet

A full-grown Anatolian Pyrenees can consume about three cups of food a day, and they may only eat what they need to the point that they leave food in the bowl.

You’ll also want to feed them high-quality dog food designed for large to giant sized breeds. Your pup will need quality nutrients to keep their large frames in good shape.

You’ll want to space their meals out to two or three times a day and be sure to monitor their activity to avoid obesity.

A Healthy Giant

A majestic Anatolian Pyrenees standing on a mountain
Meet Charlie, an Anatolian Pyrenees sitting bravely on a mountain – Image source

Giant dog breeds can be predisposed to specific health problems, but the good news about your unique crossbreed is that they will have a lesser risk of these concerns.

With proper healthcare, your Anatolian Pyrenees can live an average of 12-15 years.

Possible Health Concerns:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Demodectic Mange
  • Patella Luxation
  • Entropion
  • Ectropion
  • Bloat
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Pavo
  • Ear Infections
  • Cancer
  • Anesthesia Sensitivity

This list may seem like a lot to be concerned about, but there are tests and screenings that your veterinarian can regularly do to help keep your pup in the best shape possible.

Possible Tests/Screenings:

  • Eye Exams
  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia tests
  • Skin Scraping
  • X-rays
  • Hearing Tests
  • Neuronal Degeneration (NDG) test

The Price of Your Pup

An adorable Anatolian Pyrenees puppy sitting and enjoying the fall leaves
Meet Kamaji, a happy Anatolian Pyrenees puppy – Image source

Tracking down an Anatolian Pyrenees pup can be challenging as the mix is relatively rare. If you manage to find one, you’ll likely spend between $300-$1000 on a single puppy.

You’ll also want to find a reputable breeder. Do your research and avoid the poor conditions that are prominent at puppy farms.

Other costs at the outset could raise your initial investment. Spaying or neutering, microchipping, food, toys, and care products can all add a few hundred dollars.

You should also keep in mind the annual costs associated with vet visits and food, as bigger dogs incur higher costs.

Breeding the Big Boys

The Anatolian Pyrenees is a rare crossbreed, and if you’re on the hunt for one, your best bet is to look into breeders who specifically work with Anatolian Shepherd or Great Pyrenees puppies.

Rosasharn Farm has spent years breeding livestock guardian dogs. They started with Maremma pups, and now they offer Anatolian Shepherds, Great Pyrenees, and crossbreeds. Check out their list of available dogs here.

A Giant’s Rescue

I say you should be a hero to a pup in need any chance you get. If you’re looking to adopt an Anatolian Pyrenees pooch, I recommend focusing your search on rescues that specialize in helping the parent breeds.

The National Anatolian Shepherd Rescue Network has dogs available all over the country. The Great Pyrenees Rescue Society also offers a list of dogs available for adoption.

The Bluebonnet Animal Rescue Network dedicates itself to rescuing livestock guardians like the Great Pyrenees, the Akbash, and the Anatolian Shepherd.

Other Great Pyrenees and Anatolian Shepherd Mixes

Has this crossbreed enraptured you? Maybe you’re interested in checking out other hybrids that utilize the Great Pyrenees or the Anatolian Shepherd? Well, we’ve found a few that may just interest you.

Great Pyrenees Mixes:

Golden Pyrenees: The Golden Retriever and Great Pyrenees crossbreed is a large dog that features a lovable, loyal personality.

A lovely Golden Pyrenees sitting on a field
Meet Auryn, a Golden Retriever and Great Pyrenees mix enjoying the walk – Image source

Great Pyrenees German Shepherd Mix: The crossbreed of the German Shepherd and Great Pyrenees dog, which makes for a protective giant.

A Great Pyrenees GSD mix puppy on a backyard
Meet Molly, a Great Pyrenees German Shepherd mix puppy – Image source

Great Pyrenees Lab Mix: The fluffy cross of the Great Pyrenees and the Labrador Retriever.

A beautiful Great Pyrenees Lab wearing a bandana
Meet Sydney, a Great Pyrenees Labrador Retriever mix – Image source

Anatolian Shepherd Mixes:

Anatolian Shepherd Husky Mix: A rare crossbreeding of the Anatolian Shepherd and Siberian Husky.

A happy Anatolian Shepherd Husky mix sitting
Meet Bella, a happy Anatolian Shepherd Siberian Husky mix – Image source

Anatolian Shepherd Lab Mix: A crossbreed featuring the Anatolian Shepherd and the Labrador Retriever.

An Anatolian Shepherd Lab sitting on the ground
An Anatolian Shepherd Labrador Retriever mix being curious – Image source

Is the Anatolian Pyrenees for you?

A Anatolian Pyrenees sitting and wearing a bandana
Meet Gigi, an Anatolian Pyrenees loving the day-out – Image source

The Anatolian Pyrenees is not an excellent choice for a first-time owner as their large size and needs may be more than you realize.

They will need plenty of room and food which you need to be ready to handle. If you can’t get proper socialization or training for your pup, you may want to rethink this cross.

If you have space, you’ll find a loyal and protective companion. They’ll love to spend time with you and roam your yard. They have big hearts, and they’ll be good to you and your family in exchange for the same.

If you’re looking for smaller dogs with similar abilities, breeds like the Border Collie or even a Pitbull may be more your speed. Seriously, Pitbulls are loyal guardians that can also work as a herding breed.

Further Reading: Similar Breeds to the Anatolian Pyrenees

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