|Country of origin:
|AKC FSS, CKC
|15 to 20 in tall; 25 to
|12 to 14 years
|Easy; needs a job
The Pyrenean Shepherd is a medium-small breed of dog native to the Pyrenees mountains in southern France and northern Spain, bred since at least medieval times for herding livestock, especially sheep. It worked as an active herder together with the Great Pyrenees, another mountain dog, which acted as the flock’s guardian.
The Berger des Pyrenees, as it is known in France, originates from the Pyrenees mountain regions. Thus placing their origin near north Spain and south France. Elsewhere they are known as Pyrenean Shepherds.
It is said the Pyr Shep was bred for the purpose of herding and dates back to the medieval times. Their main duty in life was herding and that’s where they were happiest for centuries. The people in the mountainous regions of Pyrenees make early claims of these dogs. They say that there was an appearance of a Pyrenean Shepherd as early as times associated with the Virgin Mary in the 1800s.
They ended up in North America by migration in the 19th century. They reached more popularity when they became couriers and watch dogs following the World War I era. Although they still have some recognition to gain outside of France and Spain, they did receive AKC recognition. In 2009, they became apart of the American Kennel Club.
Since these dogs are mountainous herding dogs, they tend to be full of energy and very active. They have a lot of adaptability to best fit the environment around them. They are courageous and independent as they have to be to stick with their flocks all day.
It’s a good thing they have a lot of energy because they love to exercise and be active. Their athletic nature helps them travel the fields and keep up with their masters’ chores all day.
They are affectionate and loving when it comes to their family. Sometimes though they tend to bond with one person and become strongly attached to them. They do not much care for strangers at first, but eventually they will warm up to them a bit.
The Pyr Shep is typically of medium size and not that large of a dog weighing anywhere from 15 to 32 lbs with little to no fat. This dog can actually be split into two variations of the breed because of differentiating qualities. The two different kinds are rough face and smooth face Pyrenean shepherds.
Rough face Pyrs have longer facial hair and covering their slobbery muzzle. They can be 15.5 inches to 18 inches tall.
Smooth face Pyrs measure out to be 15 to 21 inches. As opposed to their rough face counterparts, they have shorter hair on their muzzle and around their face.
Both forms can have a double coat with shades of gray or fawn. Sometimes they even have black masks as well but not always.
Pyr Sheps are easily trained due to their mindful natures. They tend to stick close to their owners and are sensitive to what they’re feeling at any given time. Their tendency to be watchful contributes ease to the training process.
They will require a great deal of socialization when they are puppies to avoid unwanted behaviors. If they are not exposed to other animals and situations, they may be shy or aggressive. To avoid such behavior, you can keep their mind stimulated and exercise them often. Teaching them helps a lot as well. They require this stimulation to avoid destruction when left bored and lonely. They are worker dogs and will need a great deal of exercise and space.
They only need a weekly brush to remove loose hair and debris that may collect in the fur. The smooth face Pyrs shed moderately but do not require much grooming. The rough face Pyrs will need to be brushed 1-2 times a week because of their longer hair. They do not need to be excessively bathed either. They are generally easy to maintain.
Displaying a good record of healthy dogs, the Pyrenean Shepherd is typically healthy on all ends. They can live up to 14 years and only displaying the typical dog issues you may find in adulthood. Some of these health problems include hip dysplasia and eye problems. Testing and proper vet care can avoid these issues later down the road.