The size and demeanor of the Great Pyrenees can cause one to misunderstand this breed. This is a serious working dog that loves the outdoors. But, they are also wonderful family companion animals. When raised with them, they do very well with children and cats. Our indoor Pyrenees, Deb, is best friends with a cat who we got as a kitten around the same time that Deb was born.
Pyrenees have a very strong guarding instinct, making them an excellent guard dog. But, the Great Pyrenees should not be considered a vicious dog. They will defend and protect their territory (your property) and their herd (your family or livestock) very passionately and aggressively. But, they are also very gentle, patient, and affectionate. My children will cuddle on the ground with the Pyrenees that guard our livestock. Our indoor Pyrennes cuddles with our other indoor animals (including our pot bellied pig) and thinks she is a lapdog.
You might also assume that the cost of feeding this giant breed would require you to take a second mortgage on your house. But, the Great Pyrenees has a slower metabolism than most dogs which results in a need for less calories. In fact, of all the giant breeds, the Great Pyrenees requires the least daily caloric intake. I have heard that his food needs are equivalent to that of a Retriever.
Although Great Pyrenees are capable of sprinting at great speeds, the adult Pyrenees spends much of his time quietly observing. This is not an overly energetic breed that spends the day running the fence. If you see your Pyrenees running the fence, there is a reason. He is defending the area. We frequently will see our Pyrenees running back and forth in the paddock, looking toward the sky. Invariably, there is a large hawk in the sky threatening our chickens. Needless to say, we no longer lose chickens to hawks. Because they have been bred to be watchful guardians, rigorous exercise is not necessary. In fact, it can be harmful. Forcing more exercise upon your Pyrenees than he was bred to handle can result in injury to his hips and other joints.
In conclusion, the Great Pyrenees is a wonderful breed of dog that will offer your family and livestock years of companionship and protection. But, as with all breeds, it is important to understand the breed before making a decision to adopt them.
For information regarding the special training needs of Great Pyrenees, go the link Training Your Pyrenees.