Great Pyrenees vs Pit Bull – A Detailed Comparison

Sometimes, two different dog breeds couldn’t look more differently at the first glance but still share some common traits.

If you compare Great Pyrenees vs Pit Bull, the differences in appearance are more than obvious.

The Great Pyr is much bigger, has long and lush fur, and unlike Pit Bull, is almost always white.

However, if you look beyond what’s on the outside, the two breeds do have a lot in common.

Both dogs are great guardians, extremely protective and devoted to their owners, and willing to put their lives on the line to keep their families safe from harm.

Below, I’ll take a deeper look at these two awesome breeds and explore their similarities and differences in more detail.

Attributes Great PyreneesAmerican Pit Bull Terrier
Good For First Time OwnersNoYes
Good Guard DogYesNo
Apartment FriendlyNoYes
Good Family DogYesYes
Barking And HowlingModerate To High Moderate
Height 25-32 inches (63-81 cm)17-21 inches (43-53 cm)
Average Life Expectancy10-12 Years12-16 Years


Great Pyrenees – Dog Breed Information

Hailing from the Pyrenees Mountains at the border of Spain and France, Great Pyrenees have a long history of working to help humans.

Originally developed to be shepherds, they have proven to be more versatile and were given various tasks in the household.

Their history in taking care of livestock helped them develop high alertness and protective instincts which helped them excel as watchdogs.

Due to their calm and friendly disposition, they also were used as family dogs which became one of their primary roles today.


The most notable thing about Great Pyrenees is their size.

One of the larger dog breeds, they feature a strong and muscular body covered with abundant fur which makes them look even bigger.

As they have origins in mountain areas, Pyrs have a thick double coat capable of protecting them even in extreme weather conditions.

The undercoat is very soft, dense, and water-resistant, while the topcoat is long and harsh.

The majority features pure white color, although occasionally grey, yellow, or tan patches are possible.

Pyrs have large heads with thick necks covered with extra thick fur.

Eyes are dark brown and feature a distinctive intelligent expression while the ears are medium-sized and floppy.

Males usually grow up to around 27-32 inches (69-81 cm) and weigh in the region of 105-120 pounds (48-54 kg).

Females’ height is 25-29 inches (63-74 cm). They weigh between 97 and 120 pounds (44-54 kg).


Even though they may seem frightening due to their size, the Great Pyrenees actually have a very calm and friendly character.

They’re very kind, affectionate, and well-behaved.

They love to be around humans and enjoy every moment spent with their families.

Pyrs are particularly careful with children, although their sheer size will require some precautions around younger kids.

Still, they need to be socialized and trained early.

Due to their independence and occasional stubbornness, less experienced owners may have some issues with training.

Protective interns of the Great Pyrenees are still very much alive and they won’t stop at anything to protect their families.

This, and their natural alertness and caution towards strangers are the reasons why they are among the most sought-after watchdogs.

Pyrs are not overly active, at least not on the level of some other herding breeds. They prefer to lie around, preserving their energy.

Pit Bull – Dog Breed Information

American Pit Bull Terrier by Stacy (CC BY 2.0)

Pit Bull is actually is not a breed, but a common name used for the American Pit Bull Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier,

The American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Bull Terrier.

However, most people use this term to refer to the American Pit Bull Terrier, so I’ll stick to that.

With roots in the United Kingdom, Pit Bull’s were developed from Bull and Terrier types of breeds.

They were initially developed to “bait” the bulls but quickly became all-around versatile farm dogs.


Pit Bull’s are well-built, powerful, and strong dogs. Relative to their size, they’re certainly one of the strongest dog breeds.

They have a muscular and stocky body with a low center of gravity but are very light on their feet.

The body of a Pit Bull is covered with a short-haired, smooth, and stiff coat.

They don’t shed a lot and are fairly easy to groom.

Pit Bull’s come in various colors – red, brown, blue, brindle, and black and white, among others.

They have a brick-like head carried upon a very muscular neck. The eyes are round and small. Ears can be cropped or uncropped.

Fully grown males are 18–21 inches (45–53 cm) high and weigh between 35-67 pounds (16-30 kg).

Females can grow around 17–20 inches (43–50 cm) and weigh 30-60 pounds (14-27 kg).


Pit Bull’s have a somewhat bad reputation of being too aggressive and dangerous. However, this is mostly due to disinformation and irresponsible owners.

In reality, they are very friendly, playful, and loving dogs.

They particularly love spending time with kids and are very patient, tolerant, and make for great playmates.

However, they usually don’t get along too well with other dogs.

In any case, early socialization and the firm hand of the owner are a must. This is necessary as they have some natural stubbornness.

This breed is extremely loyal, devoted, and always eager to please its owners. When properly trained, they’re very obedient and willing to perform any task given.

Pit Bull’s are also very protective of their owners. They are fearless and will defend the family with their life.

If you plan on getting a Pit Bull, be aware that they are very active and will need plenty of exercise.

Great Pyrenees vs Pit Bull – What’s the Difference?

Great PyreneesAmerican Pit Bull Terrier
American Pit Bull Terrier by Stacy (CC BY 2.0)

As is said, the difference in appearance between these two breeds is very obvious.

They are of different size, color, and build.

As Pit Bull’s are smaller, they’re more suitable for inside living and can adapt to spending their time in the apartment.

In addition, they shed less and due to mush shorter hair, are easier to groom.

Both breeds are not an ideal choice for first-time owners, but Pit Bull’s are somewhat easier to handle as they’re more obedient and not as stubborn and independent as Great Pyrenees.

Each of these breeds is great with children, but Pyrs also get along better with other animals.

If you’re an owner who’s active, then Pit Bull is probably a better choice as they’re more active and playful.

However, this also means that their exercise requirements are higher and will demand more of your time.


Great Pyrenees and Pit Bull are both fantastic breeds and will make a wonderful addition to your family.

You’ll hardly do better than these two if you’re looking for a friendly, loyal, and kind dog.

Which one is better for a certain owner mostly comes to the personal preference and your living situation.

The size of the Great Pyrenees is not something every household can handle and Pit Bull’s are more adaptable in their respect.

Whichever is closer to your heart, remember that these are very powerful and strong breeds with intensive protective instinct.

This means that they require a responsible, determined owner who can establish authority and be the leader in the dog’s eyes.

Authored By

Madeline Wright

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