One of our favorite photographs is more informative than we might think. One reason the Great Pyrenees is so effective as an LGD (Livestock Guardian Dog) is that s/he shares some common traits as the livestock they are entrusted to protect: They’re about the same size and color as sheep they guard, and they have a similar tendency to stick with the flock. A plus for the shepherd is how tractable this breed is around people, and how “responsible” it is when it “checks in” with its human caretaker.
Back in the day, it was completely acceptable for a Great Pyrenees to wander around a French village during the winter when the sheep is his or her care were penned in a farm yard, and when spring “sprung,” the dog would follow “their” sheep to the mountains. There, they typically roamed the mountains with their flocks, alert to danger.
Some new owners note that the breed isn’t the best listener, but experienced Pyr owners know this is a function of the independence the breed needed when making decisions on its own. That self-assured, strong-willed nature has been a characteristic of the breed for centuries, and shepherds relied on it.
You might enjoy this ten minute video of a working Pyr:
Image: This is actually a 16 inch square size white fabric panel used for quilt squares or pillows. Find it here