The Pyrenean Shepherd is a medium-sized fine-boned dog known for its enthusiastic, affectionate, and energetic nature. It is characterized by a triangular head with expressive almond-shaped eyes, long and well-supported body, slightly rounded ribs, and docked or full tails. It comes in two types – smooth-faced and rough-faced, both of which can be found in the same litter.
Pyrenean Shepherd Pictures
|Alternative Names||Berger des Pyrenees, Labrit, Petit Berger, Pyr Shep, Pyrenees Sheepdog, Pastor de los Pirineos|
|Coat||Rough-faced: long/medium length, slightly wavy/flat, harsh
Smooth-faced: short, fine, soft
|Color||Black, gray, white, brindle, blue, tan, copper|
|Weight||Female: 30-45 lbs
Male: 45-55 lbs
|Height||Rough-faced: 15-18.5 in
Smooth-faced: 15-21 in
|Temperament||Mischievous, intelligent, alert, devoted|
|Good with Children||Yes|
|Country Originated in||France and Spain|
|Competitive Registration/ Qualification Information||AKC, DRA, ACA, NAPR, FCI, UKC|
Video: Pyrenean Shepherd Dog Agility Training
Some suggest that the Pyr Sheps were bred by the ancient Cro-Magnon people to herd livestock in the Pyrenees Mountains long before the Roman conquests of Gaul and Hispania. Other theories imply that the Pyrenean Shepherds originated after the Suebi and Vandals crossed the Pyrenees to establish their kingdoms in Gaul and Iberian Peninsula.
During the First World War, thousands of Pyr Sheps were used as war dogs for finding and rescuing injured soldiers, as well as for accompanying the guards. As a result, many gave their lives while doing their service. In order to preserve the breed, the Reunion des Amateurs des Chiens Pyrenees was set up after the war.
While these dogs arrived in North America during the 19th century, the Pyrenean Shepherd Club of America was established in 1987 for the protection and preservation of the breed.
Temperament and Behavior
This dog can be a real joy to own for those who have the time and patience to dedicate to their pet. Originally developed to be a sheep herder, the Pyrenean Shepherd shows great devotion, always willing to please its master. Its world revolves around its family, so when left out, its behavior and character are not at its’ best.
Playful and fun-loving by nature, the Pyrenees Sheepdog is friendly with children and other family pets though it can be a little possessive or bossy at times. Always vigilant and aware of its surroundings, it tends to be suspicious of strangers, hence making a great watchdog.
Since these are high energy dogs, they need lots of daily activities. Apart from taking your Pyrenean Shepherd outdoors on long walks, you can stimulate their mind with a challenging sport such as agility and flyball. They also love participating in fun activities like disc dog, dock diving, rally, freestyle dancing, and obedience.
Being an average shedder, the Petit Bergers need moderate maintenance. Both the long-haired and smooth-faced varieties should be brushed two to three times a week to prevent the formation of mats behind the elbows, ears, and belly. Make sure that you check their paws often. Trim the hair that grows long between the pads on their paws.
The Pyr Sheps are healthy and sturdy, although they are occasionally affected by some genetic conditions like epilepsy, patellar luxation, progressive retinal atrophy, choroidal hypoplasia, and hip dysplasia.
Training a Pyrenees Sheepdog is easy because of its smartness and willingness to comply with the commands of the master.
Socialization: Keeping their herding bossiness and natural wariness of strangers in mind, you should start socializing your Pyr Shep dog from its puppyhood.
Clicker Training: When teaching your dog to obey commands, you can use a clicker along with food rewards. Thus, your pet’s inherent desire to obtain a treat can be used without having to scold or punish.
A well-balanced diet containing 1.5-2 cups of dry kibble per day is needed for your Pyr Shep’s health and well-being.
- La Brise Sun Bear, a male Pyrenees Sheepdog, was recognized as the BIS (Best In Show) by the AKC on 24th January 2015.