AKC Dog Breeds: Pyrenean Shepherd

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Herding Group
Height: 15-21 inches Weight:  15-30 pounds  
various shades of fawn from tan to copper, with or without a mixture of black hairs

The Pyrenean Shepherd is a small, sinewy, lean, lively dog whose sparkling personality and quicksilver intelligence are reflected in the vibrant expression of his unique triangular head and windswept face. A superb athlete, his beautiful, flowing gait "shaves the earth." Originating in France, the Pyrenean Shepherd was utilized for herding livestock; particularly sheep. After World War I this breed garnered national recognition in their native country for their valiant work as company mascots, watchdogs, couriers, and search and rescue dogs. Pyrenean Shepherd's are considered to be rare outside of France and are difficult to obtain.

General Appearance

The Pyrenean Shepherd breed is the smallest of the French herding dogs. They possess an intelligent and expressive face. The Pyrenean Shepherd is well-proportioned, energetic, lean, and athletic. They are built for speed, have great endurance, are brave and fearless. The Pyrenean Shepherd presents in two varieties: Rough Faced and Smooth Faced. The Rough Faced is a double coat breed. The outer coat is long to demi-long, slightly wavy, or flat. The texture is harsh. The undercoat is minimal and fine. The Smooth Faced is a single coat breed. The muzzle is covered with fine, short hair and becomes somewhat longer on the head and ruff. The body hair is fine and soft. The coats of both varieties are water-proof. Uncoiffed, light-boned and built as a horizontal rectangle, his high energy and intelligent, cunning, mischievous attitude show that he is always on alert, suspicious, ready for action. An ardent herder of all kinds of livestock, his vigilant attitude and great vivacity of movement give this little dog a highly singular gait and appearance, characteristic of no other breed.  The two varieties, Smooth-Faced and Rough-Faced (including both demi-long and long-haired coat types) are born in the same litters.


The Pyrenean Shepherd  is a versatile herder to his very soul and has the intelligent initiative to adapt to all manner of changing circumstances in order to fulfill the human shepherd's every need with unequalable prowess. The powerful herding instinct is so strong in him that from the very youngest age he knows how to manage the flock even without the example of an older dog. He is dominated by his love for his work. He has the tendency to become passionately attached to his owner to the complete exclusion of all others and is astonishingly sensitive to his owner's moods. As a companion, he is very active and enthusiastic and insists upon being involved in the day's activities whatever they may be. He is very affectionate with the members of his immediate family, but is distrustful of strangers. The Pyrenean Shepherd is not recommended for homes with children or for inexperienced dog owners. Pyrenean Shepherd's are wary and suspicious of strangers and make excellent guardians. They do well with dogs they have been raised with or properly introduced to.

Regular brushing of the long double coat will keep it in good condition, but extra care is needed when the dog is shedding its dense undercoat. The outer coat does not mat, so care is relatively easy. Bathe or dry shampoo only when necessary. These dogs shed heavily once a year..

Health Problems and Life Expectancy

The Pyrenean Shepherd is generally robust and healthy. They are Prone to hip dysplasia. and can develop skin problems in very hot weather. The life expectancy for the Pyrenean Shepherd is around twelve to fourteen years.

Activity Level
The Pyrenean Shepherd requires an inordinate amount of physical exercise and mental stimulation. They are not recommended for city or apartment living. The Pyrenean Shepherd does best in a rural setting where they have a job to do and ample room to roam, work, and play. They enjoy such dog sports as agility, flyball, and competitive obedience.


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Pyrenean Shepherd profile on dog encyclopedia
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