The Breed History

Originally from Siberia or Central Asia, it is thought that this breed entered Europe at least 1000 years BC. The ancient Asiatic mastiff-type is believed to be the primary ancestor. Common lineage may trace to Kuvasz, Kuvac, or Turkish Karabash dogs. As an aside, it is reported that this breed, and/or the Pyrenean Mastiff, when crossed with black English Retrievers may have given rise to the Newfoundland breed. The first formal breed standard was drawn up in 1927. Great Pyrenees were first registered with AKC in 1933. The Pyrenean Mastiff is a much larger breed, though it likely arose from similar ancestors. At one point, the Great Pyrenean dog was close to extinction. They are named after the mountain range in which much of the breed development took place.