One of the more interesting breed crosses is the Pyredoodle, a mix between the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, or Great Pyrenees, and the Poodle.
As diverse as the two parent breeds are in characteristics such as appearance or temperament, the cross will not reliably turn out any one dog with a predetermined admixture of the two. Offspring can equally take after both parents, one more than the other, or seem nothing like one parent breed at all.
The Great Pyrenees is a large, white-coated mountain dog that originated in France, and was used by Basque people in herding and guarding their livestock in the Pyrenees region between France and Spain. Noted for its calm, self-assured manner and encompassing protectiveness over its charges, the Pyrenees is considered part of the family and provides a quiet and gentle companionship when not at work.
The Poodle, of French/German origin, is a small- to medium-sized dog instantly recognizable the world over because of its curly coat and the various eye-catching clips it can sport in shows. Too, the miniature or toy variations of the breed have become somewhat stylish pets, adopted only by those with enough time, patience or money to have them regularly and professionally groomed.
The Pyredoodle can take after the Great Pyrenees and show a predominantly white coat, with only minimal markings in tan, gray or brown. A full face mask is possible, but improbable, given that it does not often appear in the parent breed. If the Poodle coat shows, colors will be more varied, and will range in shade per color, as well. Most Poodles are solidly colored, as well, in black, white, brown, silver, gray, red, or apricot. Patterns such as brindle, parti, mismark and tuxedo may show. The last three describe patterns of markings in one color combined with a ground of white.
The Great Pyrenees has a double coat, effectively shielding it from adverse weather in its duty as livestock guard. A longer overcoat with straight or slightly wavy hair covers a shorter, woolly undercoat. The Poodle, on the other hand, has only a single dense coat that is very low-shedding, curly and rough to the touch.
The Pyredoodle can be a large, affectionate family dog that will like being the center of human attention, as well as lounging around the house and in effect just being "one of the family." Intelligent and trainable, the Pyredoodle will be patient enough with children and will treat them as its charges. Not highly aggressive, the Pyredoodle will nevertheless sound an alarm bark for strangers in what it considers its territory. Other dogs and animals, sufficiently socialized and introduced, can coexist peaceably with this dog under one roof.
The coat can require regular grooming, especially if shedding is observed to be more than average. Brushing will also help weed out shed hairs that are caught in the curls and may form snarls or mats if unattended. Bathing more than once a month will be unnecessary.
Pyredoodles will benefit from early training and socialization. While not noted to be a stubborn breed, the Pyredoodle's natural assertiveness could mean that the trainer has to establish leadership, and yet remain gentle with commands. Destructive behavior normally only arises when the dog is left often to its own devices. Tricks can be taught, with a little patience and lots of small rewards.
The Pyredoodle can get used to lazing around; they should be consistently taken out for exercise, especially if they tend towards heaviness. They do not require a large living space, but will appreciate wide spaces to play in regularly. Up to an hour of walking or jogging each day can fulfill their exercise requirements.