American Kennel Club
Pyrenees Club of America
Euzkalzale Great Pyrenees Pyrpacker
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Glory Be! at 8 weeks old with Becky Graves.
Euzkalzale Glory Be!
went on to achieve a Hall of Fame award from
GPCA for production.
Two 4-week old Male Pyrenees Pups
-photo by M Cristillo
Great Pyrenees Breeder since
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History of the Great Pyrenees
Historically, their heads were likened to bears. Their
kind demeanors gentle until provoked; a breed that was developed
centuries ago by Basque shepherds to go out on their own to guard
their personal flocks of sheep while the men slept by their campfires.
Most active at dawn and dusk when predators are most likely to attack,
it was not unusual to see a pyrenees wrapped around a new-born lamb
to warm it or to stand at the edge of the herd, barking defiantly,
daring any predator to come closer to its charges. The great dogs
continuous low deep barking signaled all was well to the Basque
shepherds as they rested.
| Pyr Drawing © 1984 Barnhart
The Great Pyrenees comes from the Pyrenees Mountains
located in Europe in the area bordering between France and Spain
where the Basque shepards use these unique working dogs.
These ancient, majestic and intelligent dogs also
had great beauty which did not go unseen by the local french royals
who brought them to court in the 1600s where their quiet regal bearing
and protective devotion was much appreciated.
In France, Bernard Senac-Lagrange, founded the original
Pyrenees Club at the turn of the century. He felt that overall the
unique expression of the dogs was what set them apart from other
breeds: "Only the true breed possesses this bewitching, almost
indefinable expression in the eyes, both distant and caressing,
contemplative and just a little sad. As you look in these eyes,
the immense moral value of the breed pierces your soul."
Great Pyrenees Introduction to the American Kennel
Mary Crane is credited with introducing the breed to the American
Kennel Club and saved many from being destroyed during WWII by bringing
as many pyrs as she could to the USA during that time. Her devotion
proved as strong as any pyrs as she continued to serve the breedís
best interest by judging and taking part in education well into
her later years. The breed has been blessed with others who have
followed her lead, helping to maintain this unique breedís beautiful
characteristics throughout this century and on into the future.
[This original article on the breed appears in the June 1, 1932
issue of The American Kennel Gazette Vol. 49, No. 6.]
"To once own a Great Pyrenees is to want one always."
-Mary W. Crane
[Excerpts from The Complete Great Pyrenees by Paul D. Strang and James
1st ed. 2nd printing, 1978, Howell Book Hours Incorporated.]