Great Pyrenees owners need to keep in mind the traditional role that Pyrenees were bred to fulfill: that of flock guardian. Pyrenees roamed the mountains with their flocks, and had to be alert to danger. Intelligence, independence, and physical toughness were prized. Flock guardians also needed to be still most of the time (so as not to spook the sheep) while being able to explode into quick action in defense of their charges. While each dog is an individual, these common breed traits have implications for trainers.

With patience and a gentle touch, Great Pyrenees can be trained to compete in many different venues.  Great Pyrenees are very intelligent dogs, but they become bored very quickly.  So, owners should keep training sessions short - no more than a few minutes a piece, and avoid drilling a task or exercise.


Even if you don't recognize it by name, you have probably seen an agility competition. Designed to demonstrate a dog's willingness to work with his handler in a variety of situations, agility is an athletic event that requires conditioning, concentration, training, and teamwork. Dogs and handlers must negotiate an obstacle course while racing against the clock. Agility is a great form of exercise for both dog and handler, and a fun way to bond. And you don't have to compete to enjoy agility. Taking an agility class offers many other benefits. But many people start the sport just for fun, only to get bitten by the agility bug and become lifelong competitors!

For more information on Agility, visit the American Kennel Club website.

Barn Hunt

Barn Hunt is the new and quickly growing dog sport catching fire across the country! Barn Hunt is based on the traditional roles of many breeds in ridding farms, barns, crop storage areas, and homes of destructive vermin. Some breeds were specifically created to fill this role, and for many of those breeds, Barn Hunt provides their first true opportunity for responsible breeders to test proper working traits in their dogs. Barn Hunt is also open to any dog of any breed or mix who wishes to play the game and can fit through an 18" wide by bale-height tall tunnel. Barn Hunt has titles, levels of increasing difficulty, and championships. Barn Hunt is an independent sport, but titles are recognized by both the American Kennel Club (AKC) and United Kennel Club (UKC).

For more information on Barn Hunt, visit the Barn Hunt Association website.

Coursing Ability Test

The Coursing Ability Test (CAT) is an introductory event fashioned after the sport of lure coursing. It tests a dog’s basic coursing instinct or hunting-by-sight ability. The dog chases an artificial lure, and the test is a non-competitive pass/fail event with dogs run one at a time. To pass the test, a dog running alone must pursue a lure, completing the course with enthusiasm and without interruption within a given time. Most dogs will happily go after the lure! The CAT provides a lively and healthy activity attractive to many dog owners.

For more information on the Coursing Ability Test, visit the American Kennel Club website.


The Great Pyrenees Club of America Draft test is a series of exercises designed to develop and demonstrate the natural and inherent abilities of purebred Great Pyrenees in a working capacity involving hauling.  Judges assess the ability to perform the assigned tasks and the dogs’ willingness and smoothness of performance. A dog that effectively completes the task within a reasonable time period and without physical assistance should be scored as passed if it has performed willingly.

 For more information on Draft, visit the Great Pyrenees Club of America website.


Obedience trials showcase dogs that have been trained and conditioned to behave well at home, in public places, and in the presence of other dogs. Obedience trials allow exhibitors and their dogs to enjoy companionship and competition as they proudly earn titles.

For more information on the Obedience, visit the American Kennel Club website.


Rally is a companion sport to Obedience. It too requires teamwork between dog and handler along with performance skills similar to obedience. Rally provides an excellent introduction to AKC events for new dogs and handlers, and can provide a challenging opportunity for competitors in other events to strengthen their skills. All dogs are eligible to compete in rally.

For more information on the Rally, visit the American Kennel Club website.


Dogs have a very keen sense of smell—100,000 times stronger than humans! That’s why dogs are often used to find lost people and animals, drugs, avalanche and disaster victims, and even to detect cancer and oncoming seizures. AKC Tracking is a canine sport that demonstrates a dog’s natural ability to recognize and follow a scent, and is the foundation of canine search and rescue work. In tracking the dog is completely in charge, because only he knows how to use his nose to find and follow the track. For many, the greatest pleasure of tracking are the hours spent outside, training and interacting with their dogs.

For more information on the Rally, visit the American Kennel Club website.