Overview of Great Pyrenees Labrador Mix
Take the gentle and loving nature of a Labrador Retriever, and blend it with the protective and robust personality of a Great Pyrenees. What you will get is a Pyrador—a loving companion who can also be an excellent watchdog. Labrenees, Lapyrenees, and Pyrelab are other common names of this breed.
This crossbreed is relatively new, and its date of origin is unknown. Due to its designer status, Pyrador is not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), even though both of its parents are members of the club. However, the Dog Registry of America Inc. (DRA) has listed Pyrador as a designer dog breed.
These dogs are bred to be companions but also have hunting instincts. So they are best suited for families that can dedicate enough time for socialization and long, daily walks. Here are the basic characteristics of this breed at a glance:
As we’ve said, Pyrador is the result of breeding Labrador Retrievers with the Great Pyrenees. Understanding the history of Pyrador’s parents will help us get a sense of where this unique mix comes from.
The Labrador Retriever came about in Newfoundland, Canada, in the 16th century. It was trained to swim in icy waters and retrieve fishes. It is a friendly hunting dog that has been the most popular breed in the United States for the last 27 years. AKC registered it as a member of the sporting group in 1917.
The Great Pyrenees is an ancient dog breed with evidence suggesting it to be as old as 5000 years. As its name suggests, this dog came about in the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain. It is a big, strong dog used for guarding purposes. Its primary job was to protect its owner’s sheep from predators like wolves and bears. The AKC registered it under the working group in 1933.
Friendly with children
This breed is generally friendly with children and other family members. But these dogs are also large and can be very enthusiastic like Labrador. Proper training will help them be gentle with kids, but you’ll need to supervise all their interactions with smaller children.
Energy and sociability
If a Pyrador takes after its parent Labrador, he’ll have lots of energy and will love to play fetch. As Labs are very social, he will probably have a hard time dealing with solitude. As a result, he may get depressed and even destructive when left alone. You will need to give him a lot of playtime and exercise.
Territorial and protective
On the other hand, if he’s more like a Great Pyrenees, he’ll show very territorial behavior toward outsiders. He’ll be very alert and protective of his family and fellow pets. You may find him difficult to settle down at bedtime since the Pyrenees is a nocturnal breed by nature.
Like any first-generation crossbreed, Pyrador’s exact temperament cannot be predicted. Usually, however, you should expect to get an intelligent, playful, and friendly dog that’s more suspicious toward strangers than the Labrador. Early training and positive socialization are crucial when owning a Pyrador.
Although Pyradors can look like anything between the Great Pyrenees and the Labrador, a few things are certain regarding their appearance.
Pyradors are large-sized dogs, with a height of 23 to 29 inches (58 to 74 cm), from paw to shoulder. Depending on gender, their weight can vary from 70 to 100 pounds (32 to 45 kg). Male Pyradors are a bit heavier in weight and larger in size than their female counterparts.
Pyradors’ skull is slightly broad and shaped like a wedge. The muzzle is wide and deep, and they have a dark, fleshy nose that may be black or brown. Their medium-sized eyes can be of any shade of brown or hazel. The ears are triangular and slightly long for most dogs, but some may have shorter ears like the Great Pyrenees. The ears usually flop down to their cheekbones. Lastly, their tails are long and thick.
Both Labradors and Great Pyrenees used to work tirelessly in freezing environments, so their mix is bound to love winter.
All Pyradors have a thick and fluffy double coat that protects them even in the coldest of climates. The coat texture is straight, and the length can vary from medium to long.
Dogs favoring Labradors will have a greater ability to repel water. In contrast, those that take more after the Great Pyrenees will have a longer, denser coat.
Their color is left up to chance, which means they may sport any shade of cream, white, black, yellow, gray, or brown. Odds are they will take one solid color rather than a mixture, but black spots on white and vice versa are also common.
Labradors and Great Pyrenees are both low-maintenance dogs, and the same goes for Pyradors. Their coat needs no special grooming.
Importance of brushing early and often
All you have to do is brush the coat weekly and bathe them occasionally, and that will keep their skin healthy. Remember that their skin is soft, so you better groom your dog as soon as possible if you feel that something’s not right.
It’s a good idea to start brushing your Pyrador when it’s a puppy so that it can get used to brushing. You may also brush them a couple of times per week to make sure the coat stays shiny and healthy. However, they should not be bathed too often because doing so will lead to a loss of natural oils and irritation.
Pyradors will shed heavily during the shedding season, which is twice a year. This is because both of their parents are working dogs from colder environments. You may even have to brush them two times a day in the shedding season. They also shed moderately throughout the year, thanks to their massive size. All in all, Pyradors are not for you if you disapprove of dog hair.
Ear cleaning is essential
In addition, you’ll also have to clean their ears 2-3 times per week to avoid any infections. Their mouth and nails should be checked weekly, and their teeth should be brushed and nails clipped if necessary.
Both Labradors and Great Pyrenees originally had the freedom to roam around. The former swam in the waters of Newfoundland, while the latter had access to the Pyrenees mountain range. So we can safely assume that Pyradors will appreciate a large indoor and outdoor space to roam and play in.
Avoid small living spaces
Just like their parents, Pyradors are not suited for apartments; they do best in homes. They thrive in houses with a spacious backyard. You’ll have to make sure the backyard is properly fenced-in to keep them from wandering off. Their hunting instincts may lead them to follow prey or chase off an intruder.
Best suited for owners with an active lifestyle
Pyradors are best suited for families that can dedicate the time and attention they need. If you have an active lifestyle and enjoy being outside, they can be an excellent companion. As we’ve discussed, they’re friendly toward children and other family members. You may even spot them sitting guard beside kids and watching them play. However, they can be extremely protective of their family, so you’ll need to be careful with them around strangers.
To conclude, if you’re thinking about getting a Pyrador, make sure you can accommodate for his massive size. Imagine how miserable the dog would feel in a closed apartment where he can barely even jog.
Labradors are incredibly active and athletic, but Great Pyrenees are calmer and more patient. Depending on which breed they favor, a Great Pyrenees Labrador mix may require lots of strenuous and interactive exercise, or they may be more content with more relaxed activities.
Outdoor time is a must
In any case, you’ll have to devote an hour daily, including long walks and vigorous playtime. This 60-minute exercise is most effective when it is broken down into smaller chunks throughout the day.
Swimming and water sports are excellent for Pyradors. They love it because it comes naturally to them and causes no stress to the bones and joints. Water activities improve their cardiovascular system and reduce their chances of developing elbow and hip dysplasia in the future.
As we’ve discussed, Pyradors who favor Labradors can get destructive and hyperactive. Proper daily exercise will maintain their health and prevent boredom-induced behavior like damaging goods in the house.
Early training and socialization are critical for Pyradors. Without socialization, they can quickly become dangerous due to their protective and hunting instincts. You will need to expose them to unfamiliar animals, humans, and places, both inside and outside the house.
Labradors are eager to please and love snacks, so if a Pyrador takes after him, training him will be a breeze. However, if he inherits the Great Pyrenees’ strong will and independence, he may be a tough nut to crack sometimes. Consistency and persistence are the keys to training success. Let the light of positive reinforcement guide your path, and you shall have success training your fluffy puppy.
A convenient professional training option
If a Pyrador happens to be your first pet, it would be best to hire a professional trainer to handle the training aspect for you this time. Again, it is highly recommended that you start socializing and training your puppy at a very young age. The same rule applies to all large dog breeds as they tend to become a burden on the family because of their size.
Pyradors have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years. They are generally healthy, and their medical bills won’t burn a hole in your pocket. With that said, they may sometimes acquire diseases from either parent, especially if the breeder is not cautious. Knowing what to look out for can help you prevent these genetic deformities in these dogs: So here are the major health concerns of Pyradors:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia: They are caused by non-uniform growth of the hip and elbow joint. Pyradors can inherit it from their parents, or it may occur due to rapid bone growth as a puppy. It affects the dog’s walking ability and may even lead to paralysis later in life.
- Eye diseases: Pyradors can suffer from various eye issues such as retinal dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Entropion, Ectropion, or Cataract. These diseases are mostly hereditary.
- Bloat: The medical term for bloat is gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV). It happens when a dog’s stomach is filled with fluid, food, or gas, making it expand. Bloat can have severe consequences like loss of blood flow to the dog’s heart, a harder time breathing, or a tear in the stomach wall. Larger dog breeds like Pyrador are more prone to bloat than others.
Pyradors are large dogs with high energy levels, so they also have a higher dietary requirement.
They will probably need around three cups of high-quality kibble every day. As we’ve discussed, rapid bone growth can cause hip and elbow dysplasia in Pyradors. So it is crucial to feed them high-quality dog food that is specifically designed for large breeds. This is because large-breed kibbles contain ideal ingredients to control bone growth.
Labradors are known to be voracious eaters, and if your Pyrador takes after his Lab parent, he’ll be a food fanatic. So you must keep an eye on the amount of food he eats. Feeding them little and often is the safest option, which means you may have to feed them at least three times a day.
Free feeding is a no-no
Avoid leaving any food in the bowl for free eating. Don’t give a Pyrador puppy too much high-energy and high-calcium food because it can cause orthopedic diseases. Consult your veterinarian for the best diet for your Pyrador.
Lastly, remember that Pyradors are more prone to obesity than other breeds. Overweight dogs attract a host of diseases and joint problems. So you must give them enough time after eating to digest their food properly before any physical exercise. Always strive for moderation, whether it’s with their diet or their physical activity.
Finding a Pyrador Puppy
The cost of Pyrador puppies can vary significantly from breeder to breeder. They’ll cost just as much as a purebred dog, if not more. The pricing may start from $500 but can quickly go up to $1000 or even $1500, depending on size, demand, and location. Pyrador is a relatively new breed, so you may have to travel a bit to find a reputable breeder.
Meet breeders beforehand
When buying a Pyrador (or any puppy for that matter), make sure to meet the breeder, the entire litter, and their parents in-person. You can also request health certificates and hip scores to make sure you’re getting a healthy puppy.
Rescuing a Great Pyrenees Labrador mix
Another option is to visit a nearby animal shelter. Adoption is the best way to welcome a dog into your home. Since rescue centers usually have dogs of all breeds, you may or may not find a Pyrador right away in a shelter. However, if you look for it, I’m sure you’ll be able to find a Pyrador available for adoption.
An excellent resource to begin your search is the state-wise list of dedicated breed rescue centers by the Great Pyrenees Rescue Club of America. Petfinder.com also has thousands of dogs waiting to be rescued. You can filter them by breed, size, location, and life stage. For example, this link will list all large-sized, mixed breed dogs in their puppy stage across the United States.
The Great Pyrenees Labrador Mix is a large designer dog that’s increasing in popularity. The breed inherits physical and behavioral traits from both parents and is usually friendly, playful, intelligent, and protective by nature. It’s an overall healthy dog, with some possibility of genetic disorders.
This breed is best suited for active families with kids as it is full of energy and needs plenty of exercise. It would be best to have a large, fenced backyard for the dog to roam and play in. Lastly, you must begin Pyrador’s socialization and obedience training at a very young age.
About THE AUTHOR
Mark is the founder of Everything Labradors and a husband and father of 3. He enjoys spending time with his family, including his dog Molly, a Labrador/Golden Retriever mix. He’s a big fan of the outdoors and loves to travel to new places.Read more about Mark Brunson