Icelandic Sheepdog vs Great Pyrenees - Breed Comparison

Great Pyrenees is originated from France but Icelandic Sheepdog is originated from Iceland. Great Pyrenees may grow 37 cm / 15 inches higher than Icelandic Sheepdog. Great Pyrenees may weigh 40 kg / 89 pounds more than Icelandic Sheepdog. Both Great Pyrenees and Icelandic Sheepdog has almost same life span. Great Pyrenees may have more litter size than Icelandic Sheepdog. Both Great Pyrenees and Icelandic Sheepdog requires Moderate Maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Working dogs
Working dogs
Origin:
France
Iceland
Height Male:
70 - 82 cm
27 - 33 inches
40 - 45 cm
15 - 18 inches
Height Female:
65 - 78 cm
25 - 31 inches
40 - 45 cm
15 - 18 inches
Weight Male:
48 - 54 kg
105 - 120 pounds
9 - 14 kg
19 - 31 pounds
Weight Female:
44 - 54 kg
97 - 120 pounds
9 - 14 kg
19 - 31 pounds
Life Span:
10 - 12 Years
12 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
7 - 12
4 - 8
Size:
Large
Medium
Other Names:
Pyrenean Mountain Dog
Iceland Dog, Icelandic Spitz
Colors Available:
cream, White, white with patches of light tan or grey
black, cream or chocolate., tan and white, Grey and white or tan and white
Coat:
Medium to long, coarse, straight or wavy
Short or long, straight or wavy
Shedding:
Moderate
Moderate, Seasonal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Grooming:
Moderate Maintenance
Moderate Maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
Yes

History

The Great Pyrenees could be from Spain or France because the dog hails from the Pyrenees Mountains, which spans both France and Spain.

The dog was used to defend flocks from predators but its lineage goes a long way back, thousands of years in fact. It is thought that they only arrived in Europe about 5,000 years ago. The dog was adopted into the court of Louis the XIV as a royal dog.

During the mid 1600s, the dog's numbers dwindled but the French developed kennel clubs where the dog could be bred and its numbers restored. It was in 1933 that the Great Pyrenees received American Kennel Club recognition.

There are quite a few different dog breeds that fall under the name of Spitz-type dogs, and in fact they have a number of similar characteristics, one of which is that they have some wolf-like features. They typically have the thick coat with undercoat and the erect, pointed ears and slanted eyes.

There is definitely a strong link between the Spitz type dogs and wild wolves. The tail too is feathery and can curl over the back of the dog.

The Icelandic Sheepdog, a native dog to Iceland, is a Spitz type dog which originates from the dogs brought to Iceland by the Vikings. The dogs have always been used to herd sheep, and they resemble dogs found in graves in Sweden and Denmark.

The dog at one time was facing extinction in the late 20th century, but in 1969, the Icelandic Dog Breeder Association was established to restore and preserve the breed. The Icelandic Sheepdog gained AKC recognition in June 2010.

Description

This is a beautiful dog, noticeable by the essentially white coat and his overall size, standing at 70 to 82cm and weighing between 40 to 54 kg.

The double coat is medium to long, coarse and straight or wavy and and it can be solid white, cream or white with patches of light tan or grey.

The nose is black, the eyes brown, the ears of medium length and floppy and the tail long and plumed.

Temperament:

The Great Pyrenees is an intelligent, strong willed dog with a mind of his own so he will be able to be trained and socialized successfully.

His huge size will require that he be trained because when he is indoors he can knock things over and he must be able to respond to you telling him to lie down.

As a large dog, he isn’t suited for tiny homes, as he requires lots of space even though he doesn’t require a lot of exercise. Not only that, he takes his watchdog duties seriously and he is inclined to bark a lot, and in a small place, you’ll be getting constant complaints from the neighbors.

When trained and socialized, your big dog is social, active and loving. He gets on well with children, the elderly and with pets in the home. He isn’t that overly active and will happily make himself at home on your couch and bed.

The Icelandic Sheepdog is a smallish to medium sized dog standing at 40 to 45cm in height and he can weigh anything between 9 and 14kg.

His double coat can be short or long, straight or wavy and in a mix of colors such as grey and white or tan and white, black, tan and white, cream or chocolate. Even though they come in a number of predominant colors, these colors are always accompanied by white markings.

He has a longish muzzle, much like the wolf, giving him an alert, foxy appearance. He has a muscular, rectangular body with strong, straight legs with dewclaws on both the front and hind legs.

Temperament:

Your social, energetic dog will require socialization and training which does him the world of good, turning him into a well-adjusted, obedient dog.

He is an intelligent dog, and training him won't be difficult as he is eager to please. These are social dogs which love being part of the family and they don't like being left outside day after day with little human intervention. He is a lively, confident breed, gentle and not at all aggressive.

Health Problems

Your Great Pyrenees is a big dog with an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years. His large size means you will need to look out for typical 'big dog' ailments such as hip dysplasia.

This problem can cause your pet to be in pain and he can also become lame, battling to walk and play and battling to get up after lying down.

Also, look out for bone cancer with your pet and as mentioned previously, bloat, which is a life threatening disease where the stomach of the dog swells up.

Your pet will reach 12 to 14 years of age with good care and is regarded as a generally healthy dog breed. However, they can be prone to a few health conditions, and these include hip dysplasia and diabetes.

Diabetes:

Mercifully for your pet, diabetes is considered a manageable disorder. When your pet doesn’t produce insulin or can’t utilize it normally, his blood sugar levels rise, resulting in hyperglycemia.

If left untreated, your pet can land up with a host of complicated health problems. Diabetes can be classified as either Type 1 or Type II, with the more common form in dogs being Type 1.

Caring The Pet

Exercise:

Your Great Pyrenees isn't going to be a dog leaping around you demanding a game or walk like what you get from some energetic dogs. He certainly doesn't require strenuous exercise but will require a nice, brisk walk every day. Give him some ball or rope games too. He's territorial and likes large grounds to walk around and guard and this constant guarding is a good form of exercise too.

Grooming:

With two layers, the coat of the Great Pyrenees will need to be brushed twice a week to prevent burrs attaching to the fur and to prevent it from matting, It also gets rid of loose hair during shedding.

He tends to drool so it's handy keeping a damp cloth close by just to give his face area a wipe down. Your dog's ears will need to be cleaned with special ear-cleaning lotion and his nails will also need to be trimmed.

Socialization and Training:

Socialize your Great Pyrenees with other dogs and people from a young age. Without proper socialization, this breed can become territorial and possessive of his family, which could lead to aggression. He bonds with his family but tends to be wary of strangers.

Diet:

It is far better to feed your Great Pyrenees smaller meals throughout the day as opposed to 2 large meals a day. A large dog like him can develop bloat from gulping down a large amount of food too quickly.

If you feed your Great Pyrenees commercially manufactured food, make sure it is high in omega 3 and 6 to keep his thick white coat luxurious.

Your dog will need a dog food targeted at a large breed. Remember to include some raw meat as well as cooked chicken, vegetables and brown rice into his kibble and always ensure fresh, cool water is available.

Diet:

Feed your energetic Icelandic Sheepdog a diet which is appropriate for his age and activity level. Don't just feed him the best commercially manufactured dog food, but give him some cooked chicken, brown rice and vegetables mixed into his kibble as a tasty treat. Also, dogs are carnivores, so include some raw meat into his diet from time to time. Clean, cool water should always be available.

Grooming:

The Icelandic Sheepdog has a thick double coat, with the outer coat being longer and the hair being shiny and glossy. These dogs shed quite a bit with seasonal shedding too so twice-weekly brushing will be necessary to keep the fur free of loose hair. His nails should also be checked regularly and his teeth should be brushed a couple of times a week too.

Exercise:

Icelandic Sheepdogs are athletic, active dogs that require a lot of exercise to keep them in good physical shape.

He loves all kinds of games and outdoor activities, one of which will be going with you for a walk every day. He makes a wonderful companion for those people going on long hikes.

Characteristics

The Great Pyrenees is such a calm, independent, serious, well-mannered dog who loves to be around his human family and to please them. He is gentle and knows how to behave well around children, the elderly as well as with any pets in the home.

He makes a wonderful companion and although he loves indoor life as much as outdoor life, he is much happier settling into life in the country or the suburbs as opposed to life in the city and a tiny property.

Give your big white coated pet all the love he thrives on, and you'll enjoy a wonderful relationship with this large, amicable dog.

The Icelandic Sheepdog is such a good all-round family pet. He is alert, intelligent, social, playful, loyal, loving and brave.

He is friendly too, getting on well with children and any pets you have in the home. He is essentially a working dog, so you shouldn’t think of owning him as a pet if your lifestyle is centered around the TV and the couch for the best part of the day.

This is an energetic dog who wants lots of action during the day. He is a dog that badly wants to be part of the family and in exchange for looking after him well, he’ll promise to be an exceptional pet.

Comparison with other breeds

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  31. Icelandic Sheepdog vs French Bulldog - Breed Comparison
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  38. Icelandic Sheepdog vs Siberian Husky - Breed Comparison
  39. Icelandic Sheepdog vs Doberman Pinscher - Breed Comparison
  40. Icelandic Sheepdog vs American Bully - Breed Comparison
  41. Icelandic Sheepdog vs Abruzzenhund - Breed Comparison
  42. Icelandic Sheepdog vs Affenpinscher - Breed Comparison
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  44. Icelandic Sheepdog vs Aidi - Breed Comparison
  45. Icelandic Sheepdog vs Airedale Terrier - Breed Comparison
  46. Icelandic Sheepdog vs Akbash Dog - Breed Comparison
  47. Icelandic Sheepdog vs Akita - Breed Comparison
  48. Icelandic Sheepdog vs Africanis - Breed Comparison
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