Are Great Pyrenees Dogs Nocturnal? 6 Things To Consider!

Many people believe that Great Pyrenees dogs are nocturnal creatures because of their thick fur and love of the cold.

While it is true that these dogs are more active at night, they are not nocturnal. In fact, Great Pyrenees dogs can be quite active during the day as well.

Are Great Pyrenees Dogs Nocturnal?

They are a hearty breed that is adaptable to a variety of environments, and they love to explore their surroundings and run around in the open air.

Below we’ll explore six reasons why Great Pyrenees are active at night, as well as any concerns you should have as a current or potential Pyrenees parent.

Reason #1 – Sleeping Patterns

Despite their reputation, Great Pyrenees dogs actually have more of a “daylight” sleeping pattern. They do sleep a lot, but most of the time it’s comes in bursts of resting and napping both during the day and night.

Our Great Pyrenees often is active right at dusk for about two to three hours. She will then nap out in the yard for an hour or two before exploring again.

Great Pyrenees will sleep for up to 12 hours per day. Even though it may seem like they’re up all night, they take plenty of naps that you never see.

Reason #2 – Weather-Dependent Behavior

A Great Pyrenees behavior will vary depending on how hot the weather is during the day. Some months they will be more active than others during the day because the daytime temps are cooler.

During the hot summer months, their behavior during the day will change drastically.

It’s not uncommon for a Great Pyrenees to not want to go out at all during the hot months, preferring to rather spend the day in the shade or in a kiddie wading pool.

Our Great Pyrenees likes getting wet in the summer and we think of her like a big, fluffy towel. When she gets wet, she’s happy!

Reason #3 – Activity Levels

As we’ve covered, Great Pyrenees dogs are not as active at night as some people believe.

Some days, they may be awake more during the day and spend their time running, playing with their owners, and chewing on sticks and toys. On days like that, they will spend almost the entire night sleeping.

If you’d rather your Great Pyrenees sleep more at night, you need to keep them active during the day. This can be done by taking them on long walks, playing with them, or simply letting them loose.

Reason #4 – Adaptation and Breeding

Great Pyrenees dogs have adapted to become more nocturnal than most dogs because they were bred to be livestock guardian dogs. Most livestock predators, such as coyotes and raccoons, are nocturnal.

In order to protect and guard, they need to patrol and remain alert at nighttime. Chances are, even if your Pyrenees doesn’t have any chickens to protect, they came from working parents or grandparents and are likely to have the same guarding instincts.

We have goats and chickens for our Great Pyrenees to protect at night and she does a great job, for the most part!

Reason #5 – Barking

Another reason people may think Great Pyrenees dogs are nocturnal is that they tend to bark more at night. Barking is a natural dog behavior, but it can become a problem when the barking becomes excessive.

Great Pyrenees have very keen eyesight and will often bark at the slightest movement. If your Great Pyrenees is barking at everything that moves, and if that’s bothering you or your neighbors, you may want to take them inside or work on increasing their daytime activity levels.

Our Pyrenees barks A TON at night, but we live in a rural area on 12 acres. In a different setting in town, this would be something we’d have to work on.

Reason #6 – Hunting

One of the reasons people may think Great Pyrenees dogs are nocturnal is because they are known for hunting rabbits and other small animals. This stems back to their guarding instincts more so than true hunting.

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If they notice an animal that isn’t part of their “herd,” they are liable to catch and kill it. Some Pyrenees, like ours, will also gnaw on whatever they catch.

While Great Pyrenees dogs are not nocturnal, they are more active at night than most breeds. This makes them well-suited for working at night as guard dogs.

If you are considering a Great Pyrenees dog as a pet, be prepared for them to be just as active at night as they are during the day!

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