Black Great Pyrenees

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It always amazes that there are many who ridicule the Black Great Pyrenees and ones who fancy they do not exist; and will vocalize and downgrade without even inquiring of the one who OWNS the animals. They try to deride them saying they are part newfie or part Border collie or some other "mutt" cross.  People say that a true pyr could not have black, but we are here to stand and share it does happen; and not hide it. 

First off this is an excerpt that was shared with me about The Great Pyr with the Black, many years ago, it is more than the Badger, or blaireau, or apricot, the mixture of brown, black, gray, apricot and white, is necessary to maintain the size and strength of this truly beautiful dog. 

Passage taken From “THE WORLD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF DOGS”
Edited by Ferelith Hamilton and Mr. Arthur F Jones
.

Color: The assumption that the pure bred Pyrenean must be white is erroneous. The permitted colors are all-white or mainly white with markings of badger, gray or varying shades of tan, mainly on the head, or at the root of the tail. Badger, or blaireau, as it is called, is an admixture of brown, black, gray and white hairs and is common in puppies, but generally fades on maturity. Patches of pure black are not admitted in the show ring, although black and white dogs sometimes appear in correctly color-bred litters. The desired jet black nose, lips and eye rims still cannot be maintained in successive generations of all-white dogs without breeding back to the colored mountain type. It is noticeable that not only pigment but increased size and vigor become apparent when color is introduced into the all-white strain, and in spite of the lack of scientific support for the fact, all-white breeding tends to produce progressively smaller Pyreneans. 

Standards: The first Pyrenean Standard to be generally accepted was laid down by the Reunion des Amateurs de Chiens Pyreneens, shortly after the First World War. When breeding began in  America in the early 1930's, the French Standard was translated and accepted as it stood, but in 1935 it was replaced by a new one which contained a significant number of omissions and alterations, one of which, to the detriment of the breed, lowered the minimum height by 2 cms. Another alteration included the head, with the shorter muzzle favored in  England and  America, but which is not acceptable in  France, where the longer foreface is considered correct. It was the American Standard which, a few years later, was adopted in its entirety by the Pyrenean Mountain Dog Club of Great Britain, apparently without further reference to the original French translation. Essentially, however, all the Standards call for a dog of great size (27" to 32" for dogs, 25" to 29" for bitches), strongly built, but with a certain elegance and a kindly disposition. He should have a thick double coat, with a fine white undercoat and a long, flat outer coat of a coarser hair. Black on nose and eye rims and an unbroken black mouth line are also necessary. In the all-white dog good pigment would ideally be linked with black pads, nails and palate. Double dew-claws on the hind legs are a distinguishing feature, and their removal constitutes disqualification in the show ring.

I know it is considered by some as not acceptable and something to be “ashamed”. We’ve been told of those that will put the puppies born with black down at whelping so as to not admit they were born; or even the stud or bitch that produced them, destroyed. These are sad tales that are shared with us. Sadly, goat or dog, cat or sheep, if it doesn’t conform to what has become the accepted "standard"; hide what you get, do not admit it, or you will be blackballed by one society or another. It was through a prejudiced mindset such as this against the black and white great pyrenees that they were almost wiped out; we have seen this in other animals, such as with the true Colored Angora. The color in the Angora was not accepted, so anything with color that was born in the angora, as anything with black born in a litter of pyrs, was put down at birth so as not to upset the "standard". But now, there are people getting COLOR from white to white breedings of Angoras, because they selected for the ones that carried color and realized the necessity of the color. Selective breeding is brining the color back in the Angora; and it is now not so unaccepted and color is even desired; so people are not hiding it anymore. But, the moral, the pure true colored angoras were almost wiped out; due to not conforming to a standard but for a few who refused to bow to it, a refusal to give to a prejudiced mindset, and it is making a comeback. The same can be true of the Beautiful Regal Black Great Pyrenees if people open their minds and don't spew the hatred.

A little history, if you know the Great Pyrenees, you know it is a French dog, and in the beginning over two decades, over 20 years ago, we had imported Great Pyrenees from an old and established kennel. As time went on the lady passed that owned the kennel. During the time of our relationship she passed valued information onto us that would continue to enhance and make us strive to learn and know more of this regal animal. It was from the wonderful woman who bred our two original girls and who Showed her dogs and Worked her dogs around the world that we learned our basics of Great Pyrenees and their original breed temperament and type.  It is also from her that we learned why we would later choose to Not purchase AKC dogs for Our Endeavor. Our current Great Pyrenees are, yes, not of AKC registry origins by our choice; we choose now to not place AKC Pyrenees within our lines, as there are things we learned about AKC Pyrenees that makes us feel this way; so our choice has been good strong working stock.  Our first two represented the Original Ideal of both American and French Great Pyrenees. From this we learned what to look for and what we were later to breed for. This is a French imported dog, so our decision was to stick to the French original old world style of Dog.

People without even inquiring or looking for information, will try to discount our Great Pyrs, due to having the black and French style, by saying things like “those are NOT Purebred Great Pyrenees..... Their heads are clearly not Great Pyrenees heads.....They are.... Definitely mixed with something...."  Yet, we KNOW breed character, we choose to not breed “AMERICAN” but “FRENCH” character. We WILL NOT breed for American head or build. AKC – The AMERICAN Kennel Club also prefers the AMERICANIZED head and build. We do not, we prefer the French head. The thing with the pyr, is that it is the driest mouth (or was) of the large breeds. The French Head is tighter lipped, more refined, think of a French Poodle, some can be pretty extreme; then you take what gets to be extreme in the American head, it can be very blocky. You will hear people say they like the dryer mouthed Great Pyrenees, what even they don't realize is they are referring to the French style. You can find picture after picture of old French Pyrenees, of the old true style that have the EXACT head as mine, exact build as mine. People try to say that our dogs do not fit the “American” standard to justify the black is not true Great Pyrenees. Plain and simply. the Great Pyrenees is not an American breed, it is a French Breed with certain old breed characteristics! 

Have we seen registered black great pyrs? Yes! With Pedigrees? YES! Have we also been told of those who hide and destroy the offspring of such dogs? Sadly, yes to that also. There are those that say, "IF IT IS there, we would have seen it!" No, not with the stigma attached to it, the hate that the black and white dogs bring out in people; people see that, and withdraw in fear; hiding what they have. This is not the first animal this has happened with, nor will it be the last. Different, scares people, and they react emotionally, in anger and fear....it can be emotional to deal with, but we made the decision not to hide them, so until people open their minds and eyes, and stop the judgmental demeanors, we will be here for those who wish to share but are too afraid to openly. 

Our lines we have been working with for the past decades years. We have bred the black in ADDITION to the white, brown badger and wolf greys; we do not hide what they are. First and foremost is working ability, structure, soundness, longevity, but we have been blessed to have the color also. We don't hide it, or pretend to be ashamed of it. If you wish to see pictures of a few different styles of the pyr, type in Pyrenean Mountain Dog in an image search engine. You will see from the very refined head to the “American” blocky head. America calls them Great Pyrenees, but in other countries they are still referred to as Pyrenean Mountain Dogs or Montagne des Pyrénées which is Great Pyrenees in French,  do a search and translate the page on search engines around the world. On just a simple search we  found sites where they are showing off their Pyrs; their Patous, Grand pyrénéens, Pyrenean Mountain Dogs that are from white to Badger, or blaireau, or apricot to, yes even the black and white. 

If you do honest research on the LGD breeds, you will find the breeds were created in a strain of mountains and valleys, that were traveled by Nomads and Gypsies. As they traveled, many locals bred their dogs to the dogs of the nomands, and most LGD breeds have a common ancestry from these dogs; but, depending on what area across the continent, what they needed the LGD breed to do, what kind of predator they had, the typical 4 legged predator or 2 legged predator, the wolf or bear, the coyote or bird of prey; or man. They would breed for those characteristics, for the climate, for even the color or size preference. With the development of the LGD; as the breed was developing, look to the area that the Great Pyrenees came from. The Great Pyrenees mountains, between France, and Spain. On one side they created the Pyrenean Mountain Dog on the other the the Pyrenean mastiff; similar ancestry to the dogs, the only thing separating the people that developed the Great Pyrenees or Pyrenean Montanan Dog and the Pyrenean Mastiff, the crest of a mountain range that the nomads passed over. It also makes you wonder, if that crest kept the shepherds of the area from trading bloodlines. That is just a pause for thought. These are the lines the Pyrenean Mountain Dog comes from, to say that black is in no way shape or form part of the breed, takes all it’s history out of the equation. Look at the just the Landseer, the Pyrenean mastiff, or find other breeds who came form the same region as the Great Pyrenees. You will see the color is there in the LGD lines from those regions; so it is not out of thought that it IS truly part of the Pyrenean Mountain Dog. Selective breeding can enhance the black and white, as selective breeding has sought to breed out the black and white. 

We are grateful for our pyrs and I thank you for the interest in them.

The Black and White Great Pyrenees is a site to behold and we are privileged to have it as part of my breeding program.

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