Do you love dogs and want to find out more about the Pyrenees Shepherd? Or are you even thinking of getting yourself a dog like this? Then you are exactly right here.
By the end of the article, you will know if the Pyrenees Shepherd is right for you. In addition to the breed history, appearance and temperament of the Pyrenees Shepherd, it should be about what his breeding background is and how he can best be utilized.
The Pyrenean Shepherd Dog is one of the smallest herding dogs of all. He is slim, athletic and agile. Its fur is half-length or long and often looks like it has been tousled by the wind.
It can be of different colors. From tan and gray to blue-gray, slate blue, black or black and white, everything is included. According to the FCI, the Pyrenean Shepherd Dog belongs to Group 1 “Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs”, Section 1 “Sheepdogs”, Standard No. 141 to 138.
The breed was not artificially bred by human hands. Rather, it has evolved naturally over the years. It is the only internationally recognized dog breed that has two different breed standards.
Origin and Breed History
The Pyrenees Shepherd originally comes from France, more precisely from the mountainous region of the Pyrenees, where it used to herd sheep.
It is the oldest breed of herding dog in France, dating back at least to the 19th century. He became really known during the First World War when he was used as a messenger dog by the French army.
Even today, the Pyrenees Shepherd works in the rural regions of France as a shepherd dog, but primarily has the task of a companion and companion dog, rather than that of a herding dog.
The “Pyrenees Shepherd” breed became official in the year 1921 to 1925 through the creation of a general breed standard by Mr. Bernard Sénac-Lagrange.
Appearance of the Pyrenees Shepherd Dog
The appearance of this little Frenchman varies greatly from dog to dog, as the coat color may be different in this breed. The pure colors are preferred.
The Pyrenean Shepherd Dog is available as a long-haired and a short-haired dog. The long-haired Pyrenees Shepherd dog has fur close to the body and is shaggy, but has less undercoat.
The short-haired Pyrenean Shepherd Dog has significantly shorter hair and is more straight-haired. This variant is becoming more and more popular. The two variants also differ from one another in terms of stature.
The long-haired Pyrenees Sheepdog has a more triangular head, the muzzle is shorter. In addition, the shorthair is slightly larger. While the long hair has a height at the withers of 42 cm to 46 cm, a body size of up to 50 cm is aimed for with the short hair.
Both variants have triangular ears that are fine and end in a point. They are pendulous, flat, and very posable. His neck is well muscled and well set off from the shoulders. He has a strong bone structure, has dry muscles and is by no means clumsy.
The tail of the Pyrenean Sheepdog is well feathered but not particularly long. His gait should be light and springy. His movement is shortened in the walk, but free and powerful in the trot. This is also his preferred gait.
Character and essence
The following statement applies to both variants: The Pyrenean Shepherd Dog is a dog that has a maximum of energy with a minimum of size and weight.
So he is a spirited dog with a rogue on the back of his neck. You can already see this by the expression on his face. He observes his surroundings carefully, cunningly, and smartly. The clever, calm, but also curious eyes round off the sympathetic picture.
Despite being a friendly and alert dog, he behaves suspiciously towards strangers. The Pyrenean Shepherd Dog first waits before allowing closeness.
He would like to decide this for himself. He is devoted, affectionate and unconditionally in love with his family. At the same time it protects and guards children, house, yard and garden courageously and confidently.
Husbandry and Nutrition
The Pyrenean Shepherd Dog must be kept according to its breeding background. As loving, friendly and approachable as he is in the house, he is as active and adventurous as he is on walks.
This is due to the fact that he was originally supposed to protect herds and live with them. As a herding dog, he has a great urge to move around and needs mental exercise.
Since the Pyrenean Shepherd is a rather small dog, it doesn’t take up too much space in the house itself. Therefore it can also be kept in an apartment.
In this case, it is particularly important to ensure that he has sufficient opportunity to move around and let off steam. A house and a garden are best.
As a herding dog, he likes to have his family around him and always wants to be with him wherever he goes. He can stay alone for a limited period of time if this has been sufficiently practiced.
The Pyrenees Shepherd does not make any great demands on its diet. Of course, the food should be adjusted to the dog’s individual activity level, age, weight and possible diseases.
Dog food is offered as dry or wet food . You also have the opportunity to baref your dog .
Education and Care
Like any other dog, the Pyrenees Shepherd needs consistent but loving upbringing. He is a very intelligent dog who knows how to use his excess energy for other purposes if it is not trained and exercised.
This is not infrequently at the expense of furniture or other furnishings. What is particularly annoying with poor upbringing, however, is that he begins to dominate and feels obliged to protect his family and take the lead for them. This is fatal with a herding dog.
It is a self-confident but capable dog who wants to please his master and is cooperative. So that he does not feel compelled to take over the scepter, limits should be set from an early age and compliance should be consistently demanded.
In addition, the Pyrenees Shepherd Dog should be exposed to other dogs and children at an early age.
Neither the short hair nor the long hair require complicated grooming. You should brush it 1-2 times a week with a suitable dog brush and cut out matted areas.
These can easily form because the texture of the fur is quite rough. After every walk in the forest and meadows, it is advisable to check it for small knots, burdock or ticks.
This searching can become a daily ritual that you both look forward to and that bonds you together. By the way, you will also recognize changes in the skin or other possible symptoms of illness such as swellings or even tumors.
Health and Typical Diseases
The Pyrenean Shepherd Dog is a very robust breed and rarely gets sick. There is only a slightly increased likelihood of developing hip dysplasia (HD). This also applies to epilepsy.
To keep your dog healthy, it is important that you take the regularly scheduled vaccinations and veterinary visits seriously and that you do not overfeed or underfeed your dog.
Many dogs – regardless of their breed – occasionally suffer from diarrhea or, especially in old age, from osteoarthritis.
Life expectancy of the Pyrenees Shepherd Dog
Smaller breeds of dogs often have a longer life expectancy than larger dogs. The Pyrenees Shepherd is around 15 years old.
Buy Pyrenean Shepherd dog breed
Are you sure that a Pyrenees Shepherd should move in with you? Before you finally make this decision, read the following points carefully again:
Do you have enough time to look after a dog? Do you have enough financial means to pay for its purchase, food, veterinary visits, taxes, insurance and initial supplies?
Have you looked closely at the breed and know where challenges might await you? A dog cannot go everywhere. He will not be able to accompany you to your friend’s wedding, on vacation in Mallorca or to the notary. Do you have someone who can take care of him during this time?
Is your family behind the decision to buy a dog? A Pyrenees Shepherd loves to move. Are you ready to go out with him every day whatever the weather?
This breed of dog is around 15 years old. Are you able to be responsible for an animal for that long? It is always good to have someone who can help with difficulties. Do you know who to turn to in such a case?
Could you answer all of the questions with a clear “yes”? Great! Then the little Pyrenean Shepherd can move in with you soon. Take your time in choosing the breeder and choose them wisely. Read up on how you can recognize a reputable breeder.
As a rule, they have focused on one breed and do not impose a dog on you. Let them show you the parent animals. You can and should read more detailed information on the breeder’s choice on the Internet.
With any dog, it is crucial for what purpose it was bred. The Pyrenean Shepherd Dog is a herding dog that is very keen, and even has to be. Only then is he in the physical condition to cover great distances with the herds, to drive them and to protect them.
This must always be present to you. Most likely you don’t have a flock of sheep to protect. Therefore, you should do other physical exercise and not take it lightly. He is only satisfied if he gets plenty of exercise every day.
But it is not just physical activity that is important. The Pyrenean Sheepdog also wants to be cognitively fully utilized, because as a herding dog he is mentally challenged and works closely with the shepherd.
So you should consider starting a dog sport with him. Agility , for example, is suitable here . If you feel like doing it, are close to nature and are active, you will enjoy the Pyrenean Shepherd Dog.
FAQ on the Pyrenees Shepherd Dog
A Pyranean Shepherd Dog usually costs 800 to 1000 euros. Some breeders deviate upwards. In animal welfare, usually only a nominal fee has to be paid, the animals are then significantly cheaper.
The best known and most common type of Pyrenean Sheepdog has long, fluffy fur. However, there are also Pyrenees Sheepdogs with medium-length fur and short facial hair.
Pyrenees Shepherds are little charmers. In addition to their high intelligence and their preference for herding tasks, they are very loyal and loving towards their people. Overall, the Pyrenean Shepherd Dog is very friendly, but is mostly reserved towards strangers. He has a lot of energy and temperament and reliably guards the house and yard.
A Pyrenean Sheepdog can live up to 15 years.
Overall, the Pyrenees Shepherd is one of the more robust dog breeds. However, there is a slightly increased risk of hip dysplasia.
Adult Pyrenean Sheepdogs weigh about 15kg.
Adult Pyrenees shepherds reach a medium size. The shoulder height is around 48 cm.
Pyrenean Shepherds, while only medium-sized, have tons of energy. Long and regular walks are therefore a must. Dog sports are also great for using the fur noses to the full.
Since Pyrenees Shepherds are herding dogs and are passionate about guarding the house and yard, they have a tendency to yap.