As you would imagine when you hear a dog breed with “great” in its name, the Great Pyrenees is a giant dog breed.
Due to their size, these gentle giants are prone to crippling illnesses that are related to growth, which is why as an owner, you should make an effort to study the growth curve of this dog breed.
According to most kennel club data, male Great Pyrenees are bigger and heavier than females. A male Great Pyrenees usually weighs 100 to 160 pounds, while the females weigh around 85 to 115 pounds. Both varieties exceed 100 pounds, thus classifying them as a giant breed.
Aside from the weight, there are other things that you should consider in understanding the growth of the Great Pyrenees.
These include size, age, health status, and gender which I will be presenting to you as we go along in this guide. Buckle up as I discuss with you the growth curve of the Great Pyrenees.
Great Pyrenees Typical Growth Curve (Weight vs. Age)
Of course, everyone knows that the weight and size of any dog are directly associated with its age.
However, it would be a bit tricky to observe a developing Great Pyrenees puppy’s growth because they have several growth spurts. A growth curve chart would be handy if you are planning to own one.
|Age (Months)||Male Weight (lbs)||Female Weight (lbs)|
|3||37 – 40||28 – 30|
|4||48 – 50||37 – 40|
|5||59 – 63||44 – 51|
|6||69 – 73||53 – 60|
|7||77 – 81||59 – 63|
|8||83 – 88||63 – 67|
|9||88 – 92||68 – 70|
|10||94 – 99||71 – 73|
|11||99 – 103||73 – 76|
|12||102 – 109||75 – 78|
|13||103 – 110||78 – 82|
|14||105 – 115||80 – 85|
|15||107 – 119||81 – 89|
|>16||110 – 124||82 – 94|
If you haven’t realized yet how big this dog breed is, let me paint you a picture. A 3-month old Great Pyrenees puppy weighs heavier than the fully-grown Shiba Inu (16 – 24 pounds) and adult Dachshund (16 – 32 pounds)!
At What Age Do Great Pyrenees Stop Growing?
Just like with other giant dog breeds, Great Pyrenees become fully-grown at the age of 18 months on average. However, they could still gain weight after they reach this age. Usually, Great Pyrenees gain an additional 40 to 60 pounds before they turn two years old.
Nonetheless, you should not be careless in monitoring the weight of your Great Pyrenees just because they are natural “giants.”
Remember that sometimes, the thin line that separates obesity from being large is diagnosis. You should visit a veterinarian if you are unsure about the growth of your Great Pyrenees.
Length and Height of a Great Pyrenees
A fully-grown Great Pyrenees, either male or female, should already have reached their adult height at the age of 18 months.
The standard fully-grown height of the Great Pyrenees ranges from 27 to 32 inches for males and 25 to 29 inches for females according to American Kennel Club.
The height of a Great Pyrenees should be slightly less than its body’s length to create a balanced body composition.
AKC Standards state that this proportion creates a rectangular dog appearance. To be specific, the body length of this breed is 40.5 – 52.5 inches or 103 – 133 centimeters.
Obese and Overgrown Great Pyrenees
Obesity is not an exclusive illness for Great Pyrenees. The majority of other breeds are also prone to this threatening disease.
However, due to the natural large body-size of the Great Pyrenees, monitoring obesity and overgrowth is more challenging and difficult.
A dog develops obesity either because of genetics or owner-factor. Some dog breeds have higher risks of getting obese due to their genetic predisposition. But the major factor that contributes to the obesity of dogs is the negligence of the owner.
The nutrition and physical activeness of a dog play vital roles in maintaining a healthy weight and size. Thus, monitoring the type of food given is important especially for puppies.
Great Pyrenees need a balanced diet during their puppy age so they can grow holistically.
However, overfeeding doesn’t equate to “growing faster.” You may be doing your puppy more harm rather than helping them become healthy.
A lot of dogs become obese because of inactivity. Just like human beings, dogs who don’t exercise have a higher tendency to become unhealthy and obese.
What’s worse is that obesity can lead to more serious problems which could lessen your Great Pyrenees’s quality of life and life span.
Here are some of the serious diseases which could arise from obesity:
- Hip Dysplasia: This is a crippling disease that is very common for large dog breeds. This painful condition results from the deterioration of the hip joint due to continuous rubbing and grinding– instead of sliding– of the hip joint against the socket. Several factors contribute to the development of hip dysplasia but one of the most notable among them is overgrowth or obesity.
- Osteoarthritis: This disease could be the culprit for the loss of appetite and vigor of your Great Pyrenees. Dogs who have osteoarthritis find it hard to be active as moving causes pain to them. The swollen joints in the body grind every time they move.
- Diabetes Mellitus: This disease is a problem for every obese dog. Diabetes occurs when the body cannot regulate the sugar that flows into the bloodstream which causes damage to various systems in the body. Great Pyrenees with diabetes could show symptoms such as excessive thirstiness, increased urination, significant weight loss, and increased appetite.
- Decreased Stamina: Obese Great Pyrenees find it hard to be active due to their excessive weight. It would require extra effort to move their heavy body which causes them to lose energy faster and get tired easily.
If you think that your Great Pyrenees is off of the growth curve chart, you should visit a veterinarian immediately to have it properly diagnosed. Remember that when it comes to health, we should never be late in intervening.
How to Tell If Your Great Pyrenees Is Overweight or Underweight?
It’s hard to identify overweight and underweight Great Pyrenees just by looking at them. Their natural large size could trick an untrained eye.
With these being said, I am dedicating this section to discuss the indicators that would help you determine if your Great Pyrenees exceeds the weighing scale, lacks nutrition, or just the right size.
Underweight Great Pyrenees
Some people think that being underweight is not a problem for big dogs. That isn’t true.
Although large dogs are more susceptible to obesity, that doesn’t mean they can’t become too skinny. The harm it brings to dogs is nothing less than the harm obesity has.
Underweight Great Pyrenees could be caused by various reasons including heredity, illness, and improper nutrition.
Dogs that are recovering from an illness could find it hard to gain weight similar to those who weren’t provided with enough nutrition. The kibbles you are buying might be affordable but the question is: is it healthy?
Just like with obesity, determining if your Great Pyrenees is underweight could prove to be difficult especially with their size and thick fur coat. So how would it be possible to know if a Great Pyrenees is underweight?
Here are some of the tips you can follow to determine if your Great Pyrenees is underweight:
- Do the touch method. If your Great Pyrenees is underweight, you will feel its ribs, spinal column, and hip bones just by slightly pressing against its coat. This is due to the loss of muscle mass and fat loss. You will also feel the tail bone of underweight Great Pyrenees protruding when you touch its base.
- Use the sight method. Observing the Great Pyrenees from its side, you should be able to see the severe abdominal tuck if it is underweight. From the top view, an underweight Great Pyrenees would show an hourglass body shape. Nonetheless, the sight method could prove to be less accurate than the other methods because of the thick fur that covers the Pyr’s body. If that is the case, you can do the next method.
- Apply the soak method. For other dog breeds that have a shorter and thinner coat, the sight method could be easily done– but that is not the case for Great Pyrenees. To solve the problem, the soak method is developed. It’s where you soak the fur of your Great Pyrenees to reduce its volume. This way, you’ll be able to observe the real figure of your Pyrenees using the sight method.
In summary, an underweight Great Pyrenees has a tucked stomach, visible skeletal traces, an hourglass body shape, and easily felt bones. Underweight dogs would also show a loss of interest in activities due to a lack of energy.
If you want to be sure if your Great Pyrenees is underweight, you should visit a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis. They have the knowledge and skills when it comes to evaluating the weight of your dog.
Ideal Weight Great Pyrenees
Determining whether your Great Pyrenees sits on the ideal weight range is easy.
First, you just need to identify the age and sex of your Great Pyrenees; second, weigh your Great Pyrenees; and lastly, look at the table I provided in this article and see if their weight corresponds to the data on the growth chart.
However, if you are still not satisfied even after weighing your Great Pyrenees, you can try doing the following physical observations to ease your worries:
- Using the touch method. If you touch the ribs and spinal cord of a healthy Great Pyrenees, you should be able to feel the fat layers on top of the bones. A Great Pyrenees with an ideal weight would have a balance of muscle and fat layer in its body. However, the layer of fat should not be too much in that it erases the traces of bones when you touch the ribs and spinal cord. The tailbone should also have a layer of fat surrounding it.
- Using the soak method. As mentioned earlier, the soak method is used for furry dog breeds. After soaking the fur of your Great Pyrenees to reduce the volume, you should be able to observe a slight tuck of the abdomen. The waist and body proportion should appear to be balanced and not hourglass-shaped or bulging out.
In achieving the ideal weight for our pet, proper nutrition and an active lifestyle are a must. You can consult your dog’s veterinarian regarding this, so you are guided in feeding them with commercially available kibbles.
Overweight Great Pyrenees
As large dogs, Great Pyrenees have a higher risk of developing obesity. This causes more serious health issues if not given the proper attention and care.
Using the following methods, here are the signs that an overweight Great Pyrenees shows:
- Using the touch method. Tracing the ribs and spinal cord would be difficult as thick layers of fat cover the bones. The tailbone can’t also be felt due to the excessive fat covering.
- Using the soak method. After the thick fur is flattened, you will have a better view of your dog’s figure. An overweight Great Pyrenees when seen from above appears to have a bulging abdomen. From the side view, you will see that the stomach is sagging especially when it moves. If this is the case, it means that your Great Pyrenees has too much fat in its body.
Prevention is always better than cure. If you have observed any of the abovementioned signs, you should seek a veterinarian’s advice immediately.
Overweight Great Pyrenees: How to Help Your Great Pyrenees Lose Weight?
Just like with humans, there are various ways on how dogs can lose the excess weight they have. Here are some proven tips on how you can help your dog shed some fats.
Proper Feeding Schedule
As much as you would not want your pups to starve, you should not also let them overfeed. Overfeeding is one of the many food-related factors that cause obesity. You should set a firm and consistent feeding schedule to condition your dog.
Yes, you are feeding your fur-baby right on time. But the question is, is it nutritious? A Great Pyrenees puppy should be fed with a “balanced” food to help its growth and development.
I hope you are not one of those people who just pick random dog food, pay, then feed it to their pups. You should create the habit of checking the nutritional content of the food you let your dog eat.
If your Great Pyrenees is overweight, you should switch to weight management kibbles. Choose a dog food that contains high protein for muscle building and brands which are low in calorie and fat.
Encourage Your Great Pyrenees to be Active
Exercising is a proven way of reducing excess body weight. You should encourage your dog to be physically active by taking it on a walk or by playing with it. Training is also a good way to shed some weight.
Underweight Great Pyrenees: How to Help Your Great Pyrenees Gain Weight?
Gaining weight mainly relies on proper nutrition and feeding. An underweight dog is as vulnerable as an obese one. Here are the simple tips you can follow to increase the weight of your dog.
Manage Your Dog’s Diet
Underweight dogs need a high-quality dog food that is rich in protein, calories, and fat. These are what the body needs to gain muscles and build stronger immunity.
Feeding your underweight Great Pyrenees with a lot of food doesn’t equate to gaining a healthy weight. You should focus on the content rather than the amount of food.
Although underweight dogs need more food, you should still be consistent with the feeding time of your dog so they won’t make it a habit to ask for food whenever they want– especially when they already have the ideal weight.
Visit a Vet
Sometimes, being underweight is caused by an underlying illness. Dogs with illnesses lose appetite and become inactive which leads to significant body mass loss.
You should have your Great Pyrenees examined by a vet if you noticed drastic changes in their weight.
Tips for Weighing and Measuring Your Great Pyrenees
Curious about how you can measure your Great Pyrenees? Here are the easy steps you can take at home!
Tips on Weighing
Weighing the Great Pyrenees could be a bit challenging. Usually, there is a specific weighing scale used for large dogs that veterinary clinics use.
This tip which I am about to tell you is applicable for Great Pyrenees puppies and adult Pyrenees whose weights are still manageable to be carried by the owner or anyone.
- Weigh yourself on the weighing scale.
- Weigh yourself while carrying your Great Pyrenees.
- Subtract your weight to the weight you accumulated when you were carrying your Great Pyrenees.
You can watch this video for a demonstration on how to weigh your Great Pyrenees:
Tips on Measuring
Get your measuring tape and prepare your dog! Here are the basic measurements you should get:
- Neck: This is the measurement of the circumference of your dog’s neck. From the collar base, you pull the tape around your dog’s neck. It should be fit but not tight.
- Height: In measuring the height of your Great Pyr, you start from the tip of the shoulder blade that is called wither going to the tip of the feet.
- Chest Girth: This is the widest part of the chest. The tape measure is pulled around the chest to measure the chest girth of a dog.
- Body Length: The length of the body is measured from the base of the neck where the collar sits extending to the base of the tailbone.
Here is a video demonstration of how to measure your Great Pyrenees:
Commonly Asked Questions
Can You Weigh Your Great Pyrenees on a Human Scale?
With the weighing tip I provided earlier, weighing a Great Pyrenees puppy would be easy. If you have someone in your household who is a heavy-lifter, even weighing an adult Great Pyrenees would be possible.
Nonetheless, if all of your family members are way smaller than your Great Pyrenees, then it would be a challenge to do it. Just watch this funny video on how this fur mom struggled while trying hard to weigh her Great Pyrenees!
How to Determine Your Great Pyrenees Ideal Weight?
The ideal weight of a Great Pyrenees is related to its age and sex. Using the growth curve chart I provided in this article, it would be easy for you to determine the ideal weight of your Great Pyrenees in relation to its sex and age.
However, you should note that fully grown Great Pyrenees tend to gain weight even after 18 months, which is their mature age.
A fully grown male Great Pyrenees could have a weight range of 100 to 160 pounds while the female Great Pyrenees can be around 85 to 115 pounds.
At What Age Is a Great Pyrenees No Longer a Puppy?
At the age of 18 months, a Great Pyrenees puppy stops growing and is already considered a mature adult dog. However, most Great Pyrenees still gain weight even they no longer a puppy.
Does Neutering or Spaying Affect the Growth and Development of a Great Pyrenees?
Neutering or spaying your Great Pyrenees before they mature can cause harm to their development and growth.
A study has found out that large dogs that were prematurely neutered have a higher risk of developing joint problems.
When dogs that are not mature yet are neutered or spayed, they tend to grow taller (not in a good way) than they should be.
Neutering and spaying, when done properly, can help your dog avoid reproductive-related diseases.
However, if done improperly, your dog will have a higher risk of acquiring various cancers such as hyperthyroidism, urinary tract cancer, hemangiosarcoma, and obesity.
Monitoring the growth of your Great Pyrenees is essential if you want them to live a long and happy life. The growth rate of your pet can tell if your Great Pyrenees is healthy or not.
In ensuring the proper growth of our pets, we should dedicate our attention and care to improving their nutrition and physical activities.
Although this might mean that we would need to spend the extra money and spare more time to monitor them, I am sure that all four parents would never hesitate. Nonetheless, as parents, we only want what’s best for our children.