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Are Great Pyrenees Smart? Average Intelligence & Training Tips

Adam Mann

By Adam Mann

two great pyrenees dog in the garden

If you’re looking at getting and training a Great Pyrenees, one question you’re bound to have is: how smart are they exactly? The truth is that the Great Pyrenees is an extremely smart dog, but they also have a pretty bad stubborn streak. But just how smart are they, and how can you train them?


How Smart Is the Great Pyrenees?

According to the Coren Dog Intelligence Test, the Great Pyrenees ranks as the 64th most intelligent dog breed out there.1 This puts them in the middle of the list, but this really only tells you part of the story.

That’s because the Coren intelligence test measures a dog’s intelligence by seeing how fast they can learn a command. However, the Great Pyrenees knows what you want them to do, they’re just too stubborn to do it right away!

They’re extremely smart dogs, but they have a strong, independent, and stubborn streak that can make them a bit more challenging to own and train.

Great Pyrenees walking in dog show ring
Image Credit: KRNaturalPhoto, Shutterstock

Tips for Training Your Dog

While a Great Pyrenees is smart, they’re also stubborn. This means you’ll need to take the time to train them the right way if you want them to do what you want. With that in mind, we’ve highlighted eight great tips you can use to train your Great Pyrenees here:

1. Use Positive Reinforcement

While some people try to use negative reinforcement when training their pets, it’s incredibly important to stick solely to positive reinforcement. A Great Pyrenees might be stubborn, but they still crave your love and affection and want to please you.

By rewarding positive behavior and simply ignoring bad behavior, you can create long-lasting positive behaviors and form a great connection with your pup.

2. Stay Consistent

The Great Pyrenees is a stubborn dog, and the only way to overcome this stubbornness is with consistency. You need to have at least one training session each day, and it’s best to have the training session in the same location and at the same time so your dog knows what to expect.

Young woman petting one happy white great pyrenees dog outside at home porch of log cabin
Image Credit: Andriy Blokhin, Shutterstock

3. Use Rewards

While the Great Pyrenees loves attention and positive reinforcement, what they really love is a yummy treat! If you find the treat your dog loves the most, it is far more likely that your pup will give it their all while training.

4.  Keep Training Short

Dogs have short attention spans, and the Great Pyrenees is certainly no exception. The longest a training session should go is only about 15 minutes, and you should always end training sessions on a positive note so that they’ll want to come back and do it again.

happy white great pyrenees dog looking up at camera with open mouth and person owner petting touching head outside at home wooden porch
Image Credit: Andriy Blokhin, Shutterstock

5. Start Slow

You can’t train your dog to complete all sorts of complex tricks until you teach them the basics. Teach them to look at you when you say their name, a basic recall command, and to sit before moving on to more complex tricks.

6. Have Fun!

Your dog can pick up on your emotions, and if they see you’re having fun while training them, they’ll be far more likely to enjoy the experience and want to come back for more. However, if you’re upset or stubborn, they’ll want to avoid the training just as much as you do.

Great Pyrenees lying on the ground
Image Credit: jathomas, Pixabay

7. Use Hand Signals

Verbal commands are a great way to train your pet, but if you can add visual commands in addition to the verbal commands, it can be extremely beneficial. Not only can it make it easier to teach them the commands, but if they ever can’t hear you but can still see you, you’ll be able to have an obedient dog no matter what situation you’re in.

8. Get Help

If you’re trying all these tips and tricks and you still can’t train your Great Pyrenees, there’s nothing wrong with getting professional help. Dog trainers can help you get over the hump and train your pet to the level you’re hoping, although in the end, you’ll still need to put in some work.

great pyrenees dog with owner
Image Credit: Cody Hanson Photography, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

The Great Pyrenees is a loving and smart dog, but they certainly take a bit more work to train. Sure, they’re stubborn, but if you follow the tips and tricks we’ve highlighted for you, you can work through this stubbornness and really get to see the extremely smart dog that’s underneath all that bullheadedness.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Danita Delimont, Shutterstock

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