Siberian Husky vs Great Pyrenees: Complete Breed Showdown

Want to see how the husky vs Great Pyrenees compare?

You’re in the right place.

Huskies are much smaller than Great Pyrenees but require much more exercise. Both breeds are hard work in grooming and shedding, and they can also be pretty stubborn and independent at times.

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to comparing these two breeds, so stay tuned to learn more.

An infographic detailing the similarities and differences between the husky vs great pyrenees

Difference In Appearance

Before we dive into the main differences between the husky vs Great Pyrenees, it’s important to address the most obvious one first: their appearance.

A happy husky sat on a grass field wearing a metal leash

Huskies have a wolf-like appearance seen amongst many Spitz-type breeds, with pointed ears, curly tails, and thick coats.

A white Great Pyrenees sat in some snow

The Great Pyrenees, in contrast, are often compared to a giant teddy bear.

Great Pyrenees have a classic golden retriever-type look, with medium-sized eyes, large floppy ears, and a well-proportioned muzzle and nose.

More Differences Between The Husky vs Great Pyrenees

Now that the main difference is out of the way let’s look at the other notable differences between these breeds.


The Great Pyrenees has a significant size advantage over the husky in terms of both height and weight:

  • Great Pyrenees easily reach over 100 lbs in weight and 25 to 32 inches in height as per the AKC standard.
  • Huskies, on the other hand, only reach 35 to 60 lbs in weight and 20 to 23.5 lbs in height, meaning Great Pyrenees are roughly twice the weight on average of Huskies, if not more!

Huskies might have a slightly more intimidating presence with their wolf-like features, but the Great Pyrenees have a huge size advantage.


Great Pyrenees also win out in terms of brute strength, which should be no surprise.

They were bred to protect livestock and to move heavy equipment around through mountainous terrains, which was made easier by their powerful bodies.

Huskies are still quite strong as sled dogs and can pull a lot of weight, but they were used for carrying lighter loads over extremely long distances rather than heavy loads like the Great Pyrenees.

Guarding Instinct

The Great Pyrenees were bred as guard dogs, and they still have a strong guarding instinct to this day. They can become very protective of the family and alert you to intruders at any time of day.

Huskies are the opposite of guard dogs, despite what their appearance might lead you to believe.

Huskies are extremely friendly to everybody and are likelier to make friends with strangers than be suspicious of them. They might be good watchdogs, though, as they like to howl when they see anybody coming toward the home (mostly out of excitement).

Exercise Requirements & Energy Levels

Huskies have a much higher exercise requirement due to their background as sled dogs capable of pulling light loads over extremely long distances.

They need at least 2 hours of intense exercise each day and other mental stimulation to stay happy. Huskies are prone to being quite high-energy throughout the day, and it can be challenging to tire them out, even for active families.

Great Pyrenees only need around an hour of exercise per day and are much more relaxed when in the house and will snooze off or chill out for hours without any problems.

They’re often described as having a ‘laid back’ attitude, which couldn’t be more different to huskies.

Coat & Eye Colors

Huskies win out when it comes to coat and eye color variation.

Huskies can have various coat colors, from classic black and white to red and white, and others like agouti, full white, and many more.

They also have more variation in eye color, ranging from blue eyes to brown to bi-colored.

On the other hand, Great Pyrenees typically have a full white coat or a white coat with gray, badger, or tan markings. Their eyes are also usually dark brown.

Nocturnal Tendencies

As natural guardians of livestock, the Great Pyrenees are adapted to staying up at night and altering you to intruders.

Huskies obviously don’t display this type of behavior, but it’s very important to be aware of this as it can cause issues for some families.

Average Lifespan

As much larger dogs, it’s natural that the Great Pyrenees have a shorter average lifespan than the husky.

They will live for 10 to 12 years on average, while huskies live for 12 to 15 years. 10 to 12 is not bad for a breed that big, though!


Now the differences are out of the way, let’s explore the areas where huskies and Great Pyrenees are similar.

Independent And Stubborn

Huskies and Great Pyrenees share an independent, stubborn trait.

Huskies get this from their Spitz heritage, working quite independently to pull sleds and having a very stubborn personality.

Great Pyrenees are very independent by nature as they were used to guard livestock in very isolated parts of the world. They also have a stubborn streak to their personality.

Stubborn breeds like these are inherently very difficult to train, which is something to consider if you are a big fan of obedience training.

They’ll also enjoy time on their own every now and then, so don’t be surprised if they decide to spend some time outside alone, especially if the weather is nice and cold.

Shedding Levels

Thanks to their thick double coats, huskies and the Great Pyrenees both shed a lot.

A double coat means their fur has two layers: one short wooly undercoat that provides insulation and a longer guard layer that protects from dirt and debris.

Double-coated breeds naturally shed more often than single-coated breeds, and they also blow their coats roughly twice a year, which is where they transition into their summer coat and lose a lot of fur in the process.

Grooming Requirements

Double-coated breeds, unsurprisingly, need a lot of grooming, and the husky and Great Pyrenees are no exception to this rule.

Expect to groom them daily and multiple times per day if they are blowing coat. You’ll also want to sit down for more intense grooming sessions a few times per week to maintain their coats, and you can find full details of this process here.

Great With Children & Families

Huskies and Great Pyrenees make great family dogs and are very affectionate with all family members, including children.

Great Pyrenees can become more protective of the family, whereas huskies love spending time with everybody.

Early Socialization Needed

With both breeds, early socialization is needed.

Huskies need to spend time around other dogs and people from a young age so they can learn to contain their excitement and get used to being around others.

Great Pyrenees need to be socialized to get used to other people and dogs being in their personal space and close to their family members. This can help them learn when to be protective and when it isn’t needed.

Which Breed Is Best For You?

When it comes to choosing between the husky and Great Pyrenees, there are a couple of things to consider:

  • Activity Level – Huskies are much more active and need at least 2 hours of exercise per day. Is this something you can handle?
  • Size – Great Pyrenees are giant dogs and take up a lot of space; they’ll also need to eat a whole lot of food.
  • Personality – Both breeds can be stubborn and independent; do you have experience with these types of dogs?
  • Guarding Instinct – If you want a guard dog, the Great Pyrenees is the only option. Just remember they might wake you up during the night while they guard your house.

These are really the main points that separate these two breeds from a practical standpoint. Both are fantastic family dogs and very loyal; it depends on your circumstances and what kind of dog you’re looking for when choosing between them.

Want to read more husky breed comparisons? Check out some of our other recent husky comparisons below:

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About The Author

Caitlin is the owner and lead writer for The Malamute Mom. She has over 10 years of experience with Alaskan Malamutes and Huskies. She is currently working on getting her PhD in materials science but continues to write for The Malamute Mom in her spare time.

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