Great Pyrenees is a very old breed believed to originate in Central
Asia or Siberia and followed the Aryan migration into Europe.
They have been used for hundreds of years by shepherds, including those
of the Basque people, who inhabit parts of the region in and around the
Pyrenees Mountains of southern France and northern Spain. In addition
to its association with the peasant shepherd, the Great Pyrenees was
also cherished by the nobility and appointed French court dog in the
17th century. Throughout history the Great Pyrenees has left its mark
not only as a livestock guardian dog but also as rescue dogs, mountain
dogs, pack dogs, dogs of war, cart and sled dogs, guard dogs, and the
loving family pet.
They are related to several other large white European livestock
guardian dogs (LGD), including the Italian Maremma Sheepdog, Kuvasz
(Hungary), Akbash Dog (Turkey) and Polish Tatra or Polski Owczarek
Podhalański. They were also used in creating the Newfoundland and St.
Bernard breeds. The AKC officially recognized the Great Pyrenees in
The Bernese Mountain dog originated in the Swiss mountains. Many 18th
century paintings show dogs that look like a Bernese type dog. The breed
was named for the Canton of Bern in Switzerland.
They were working dogs particularly good at draft work, pulling carts
to market. They also were used to drive dairy cattle, to watch over the
farm and as companions to the farmers making them and all around farm
By the end of the 19th century many other working dogs were being
imported to Switzerland, which brought the numbers of the Bernese down
as workers began to use other types of dogs. An effort was made by a
group of people including Professor Albert Heim and Franz Schertenleib
to preserve the breed. They went around finding what remaining dogs they
could in order to stabilize the Bernese.
Today the breed makes a wonderful companion and they still to this day
enjoy whatever draft work you can give them. The breed’s talents are
tracking, herding, watch, guarding, search and rescue, carting and
The AKC officially recognized the Bernese Mountain Dog in 1937.
breed was established in 1846 in Leonberg, Germany, in the region of
Wurttemberg by the German breeder Heinrich Essing from a crossing of the
Newfoundland, St. Bernard, and the Great Pyrenees. Heinrich Essing's
goal was to create a breed that would closely resemble the look of a
Leonbergers have been owned by many royal families including Napoleon
II of France, Empress Elizabeth of Austria, the Prince of Wales, Emperor
Napoleon II, Bismarck and Italian King Umberto.
In the nineteenth century many Leonbergers were imported to Russia.
Like many breeds, the world wars almost brought it to extinction. By the
end of World War II, only a few dogs remained. In 1945, several Germans
gathered some of the few remaining Leonbergers and re-established the
Today the Leonberger has regained his popularity in Europe. The
official standard was set in 1949. The first Leonberger was imported to
the United States in 1971. This versatile breed has been successful for
guarding livestock, search and rescue, obedience, water rescue, tracking
and as a family companion
The Leonberger received American Kennel Club recognition as a member of the Working Group on January 1, 2010
at Duffy Fainting Goat Farm we breed AKC Great Pyrenees, Great
leonees(7/8 Pyrenees 1/8 Leonberger) and Great Bernese
(50% Pyrenees/50% Bernese.) If you are interested in
any of our puppies in the future please give us a call.