The Great Pyrenees and the Labrador Retriever’s designer pup is also known as the Pyrador, and it is this gorgeous designer dog that we are going to discuss. The Great Pyrenees Lab mix is a unique mix that’s become very popular over the last several years. If you are thinking about welcoming him into your family, by the end of this guide you’ll know exactly what this breed is all about and whether he is the one for you.
You might know this big guy by another name, such as the Lapyrenees, Labrenees or the Pyrelab, but whatever you know him as, he is a larger than life dog in both terms of size and personality. With one of his parents being the most popular dogs in America, and the other parent being a much rarer breed, you can be sure that you’ll be the talk of the neighbour with this new mix.
He is a fabulous combination of protectiveness and socialness and can be both playful and calm. He requires a lot of exercise and a large space to roam outside, but if this is something you can offer him then he might just be the designer breed for you. Wondering if he is the right mix for you and your family? Let’s find out!
In order to understand the Pyrador and what he might be like as a family pet you need to learn about both of his parents. Being a relatively new designer dog, it is more than likely that he will be a first-generation pup, or maybe a second generation, and this means that his appearance and temperament can still vary and be somewhat unpredictable.
For this reason, you need to be sure that you like all his genetic possibilities, and both parents! If there is a characteristic that you aren’t keen on then you need to consider getting another mix, but let’s take a closer look!
The Great Pyrenees is not one of the most popular pooches (simply because of his size!) but he is becoming increasingly popular hence why there are a lot more Great Pyrenees mixes about. Currently, the American Kennel Club (AKC) ranked this breed as the 66th most popular dog breed in America.
He is considered to be a giant dog breed who measures between 25 and 32 inches in height, and weighs 85 pounds and above, often exceeding 150 pounds. He is described as smart, patient and calm and makes a great family pooch with the right family and environment.
He is an ancient breed who is thought to have been taken to the mountains between France and Spain, known as the Pyrenees mountains, where he was used to protect his flock of sheep from wolves and other hungry beasts, and overtime he has become synonymous with the region. Despite his ability to be ferociously protective, he is super calm and gentle in the family home, and he is one of the original gentle giants in the canine kingdom. Unlike the Lab, the Great Pyrenees isn’t known for their intelligence.
The Labrador Retriever is much more well-known, and he currently holds the AKC’s number one spot as the most popular dog breed in America, which he has held for nearly three decades! This is no mean feat, so you can be sure for a little star-quality in your new designer pooch.
This guy was bred in the 19th Century in Newfoundland, Canada (no, not Labrador as commonly thought!) He was primarily bred to be a hunting dog, who worked on water collecting fish and small water animals for his hunting master. He is a large breed weighing between 55 and 80 pounds and measuring between 21 ½ to 24 ½ inches.
He is described as friendly, active and outgoing, and he needs a lot of intense exercise every day! Sure to keep you on your toes, he makes a great family pet just as long as you can spend a lot of your time with him.
Now you know a little about both of his parents, let’s take a closer look at what you can expect from the Great Pyrenees Lab mix. Typically when you have a mixed breed pup, you can expect that the merging of the two will produce a dog that pulls traits from both parents.
But most mixes do tend to inherit more traits from one parent over the other, so it makes designer dogs somewhat unpredictable. The good news is that the Pyrador has two parents that have a similar look and size, so it should be slightly more predictable there. You’ll find that temperament and some other traits are slightly different. Let’s jump in.
The Pyrador is bound to be protective of his family, having flock protection heritage. Whilst he may not need to protect you from wolves, he might not be the most welcoming to the delivery guy (which is why the training section of this article is important!) However, with family friends or those who come over regularly, he will warm up to them over time, eventually displaying a social and playful character.
His Pyrenees parent is a nocturnal pooch at heart, so you may find the Pyrador a little hard to settle down at bedtime, always on the lookout for intruders. However, with a little training and his Labrador influence he should easily settle. But, nonetheless, you can expect him to bark at the bats and the owls, and any strange humans in the early hours of the morning. This is great if you are after a watchdog!
With his family he will have plenty of canine cuddles to dish out, and this big fluffy boy will love a cuddle and belly scratch whenever he can get them. You’ll need a big sofa, or accept that he will be a heavy lapdog, either way, you’ll be warm for sure!
Similar to other labrador mixes, he will also be very energetic throughout the day and will love to play fetch with his humans. This is where you will see his Retriever parents’ fun side in action. Once you have worn him out though, if there is no one around to give him attention he’ll happily take himself off to his bed, or crate, and snooze for a few hours.
Size & Appearance
What you can be certain of when it comes to the Pyrador is that he will be a large sized dog. He will measure between 23 and 28 inches, from paw to shoulder, and he will weigh anywhere between 70 and 120 pounds.
His jowls are likely to be slightly droopy, with his muzzle a little square in shape with a big dark fleshy nose. His ears will be triangular and large, although they may flop down or stand erect. His tail will be thick and long, his large eyes brown or blue, and he will carry himself with pride.
Coat & Colors
His thick and fluffy double coat will definitely keep him warm even in the coldest of conditions, and he would happily live in a super cold climate. He will sport any color of either parent, which could mean white, cream, yellow, brown, or black. It is likely that he will take one solid color as opposed to a mixture, but you can never be fully sure with a crossbreed. More than likely due to both breeds having a lighter coat variant, your Pyrador is likely to have short or fluffy white fur.
Because both of his parents are working dogs from colder climates, you can be sure that his coat will shed heavily during shedding season, and moderately throughout the year, so if you don’t approve of dog hair then this guy is not the breed for you.
Exercise & Living Conditions
With his European parent having the freedom to roam the Pyrenees mountain range, and his Labrador parent having access to the great waters of Newfoundland, you can expect that the Pyrador would appreciate a large outdoor space to roam in, play in, and just be. Because of his potential to be protective, his outdoor space needs to be reinforced with high fences, and not be a shared or communal space. His home should be large enough to accommodate his big size.
This guy will need around 60 minutes of exercise every day, and the intensity of his activities will depend on which parent he takes after most. If he is more like his Lab parent then he will need a mixture of activities that are more strenuous and interactive, whereas if he is more like his Pyrenees parent then he’ll prefer calmer exercise. Either way, 1 hour a day means he will need to be placed with an active family, no matter what the weather forecast is.
This guy will do well with other house-hold pets just as long as he is socialized well as a pup. He will also likely have an affinity for the smaller and younger members of the family, and you will find him sitting guard next to them as they play. Just be sure to supervise him with children around simply because of his size.
Having a protective streak, his training is imperative if you want him to be a well-balanced and polite family addition, so you need to invest time into his training regime from day dot.
One of the most important aspects of the Pyrador’s training is socialization. Without it he may treat every moving thing as a Wolf, so you have got to expose him to a variety of situations, with unfamiliar humans and animals of all shapes and sizes, both inside and outside of his home.
He also needs a pack leader that can be firm with him straight away, so that he understands his place in the pack and that he is not the boss. It is important for the whole family to be onboard with his training too.
Thankfully though, the Pyrador has intelligent and loyal parents, both of which are traits that make training much easier compared to a stubborn pooch. His Labrador parent is much more trainable, and loves snacks, so hopefully he will take after him. However, if he is more like his Pyrenees parent then he may not always be in the mood for a training session. Either way, consistency and persistence is key when it comes to training, as is the positive reinforcement method.
The Pyrador is a relatively healthy mixed breed, whose life expectancy is between 10 to 12 years. Being a mixed breed he could inherit the health concerns of either parents, so here are the most common known health concerns:
Hip & Elbow Dysplasia: This is caused by the abnormal formation of the hip and elbow joint, which could be inherited from either of his parents, or because he is such a big pooch it could also be triggered by rapid bone growth as a puppy. It can eventually lead to paralysis in later life, so it is important to see his parent’s hip scores and feed him the correct nutrition.
Eye conditions: He could inherit a variety of eye conditions such as late-onset Progressive Retinal Atrophy (which is a particular type of PRA in the Labrador breed), Cataracts or Entropion.
Patella Luxation: This is whereby the kneecap is dislocated from its normal position on the thigh bone.
The Pyrador is likely to eat around 3 cups of kibble every day, dependent on his size and energy levels. Being a large dog, it is important to feed him high-quality kibbles that are specifically designed for large breeds, as they contain the optimal ingredients to control bone growth. If your Pyrador is on the larger side, a food made for their Pyrenees parent will be best. Rapid bone growth can cause many health issues in large dogs and can increase the chances of Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, so all-breed kibbles should be avoided.
It is also important to monitor the amount of food that the Pyrador eats, because he will be somewhat of a food fanatic, especially if he inherits his Lab parent’s appetite. Obesity is also common in the Lab breed, and this needs to be avoided at all costs.
His thick double coat, with a dense undercoat and thick and fluffy top layer, means that you need to invest in a good set of grooming tools. A deshedding tool will be your best friend, and will keep your house, and your clothes, as hair-free as possible.
A bath once every 8 to 12 weeks will be plenty for the Pyrador, because his coat is dirt-resistant and relatively clean. Refrain from washing him more than this otherwise you risk damaging his natural coat oils.
Regular ear cleaning will also be required because of his large ears, so be sure to clean his ears twice a week to prevent infections or a buildup of wax which can be quite painful for him.
The cost of a Pyrador puppy from a reputable breeder will start from around $1,000, but can reach upwards of $1,500, dependent on his parentage, size and location. A larger pup from a state whereby there aren’t many breeders around will be more expensive compared to a smaller pup from a state whereby there is less demand.
As Family Pets
- The Pyrador is a large to giant dog breed.
- This mix will need plenty of indoor and outdoor space.
- The Great Pyrenees Lab mix will be a great watchdog.
- This mix can be protective of their family due to their genetics.
- You’ll want to invest in time to train your Great Pyrenees Lab mix.
- Their Lab parent means they will enjoy newcomers with proper intros.
- He is well suited to young families and multi-pet households.
- The Great Pyrenees Lab mix loves to look after their family.
- It is crucial to socialize him as a puppy to make sure he’s balanced.
- You’ll want to guarantee at least an hour per day of exercise.
Finding a Pyrador Breeder
The Pyrador is a relatively new designer dog, and as such you should expect to travel a little to find a reputable breeder that you are happy to work with. Begin your search for a Pyrador breeder online, and check out their website and online reviews before contacting them.
Whoever you choose, once you have made contact with them be sure to meet the breeders, pups and their parents in person, and request to see all health certificates and hip scores.
Rescues & Shelters
Why not head out to your local rescue center to see if there is a Pyrador up for adoption there, and if there isn’t, try contacting a few other local shelters before travelling to them. If you still struggle to find a Pyrador in a generic rescue center then be sure to check out dedicated breed rescue centers where he may be more likely to be found.
The Pyrador is a fantastic family dog who offers the best of both canine worlds, friendly and affectionate with his family, and a little protective too. As long as you can offer him space, time and training, the Great Pyrenees Lab mix will love you more than you can possibly imagine.