Pyrenean Shepherd

Named after its origin in France, the Pyrenean Shepherd is a mid-sized dog bred for herding livestock, particularly sheep. It is also known as Petit Berger, Labrit, Pyr Shep and Pyre Shep. The Pyrenean Shepherd is often linked with a similar but bigger dog called Great Pyreenes. The Pyreaean Shepherd is native to the Pyrenees Mountains, which are not only in southern France, but also stretch into northern Spain. The French (and, to a much lesser extent, the Spanish) have been breeding this dog since the Middle Ages as a herder of sheep. However, the dog wasn't well known outside the Pyrenees until the early 20th century, when thousands of them aided French troops during World War I. Many Pyr Sheps perished serving as couriers, escorts, and participants in search-and-rescue missions.

The Pyrenean Shepherd is notable for being the smallest French herding dog. The American Kennel Club recognizes two types of coats for the breed: Rough-Faced and Smooth-Faced. The Rough-Faced dogs have long hair on the face and body, and resemble terrier mixes. The Smooth-Faced ones are characterized by short and smooth face hair, double coat on the body, and tufts of hair on the back of the legs and tip of the tail. A few Pyr Sheps have hair of medium length on the face and a long, flat coat on the body. This variety is referred to as the Demi Long, and some people classify it under the “Long Coat” category alongside the Rough-Faced dogs. Pyre Sheps stand at 15 to 21 inches (38 to 53 cm), depending on coat and gender, although the Smooth-Faced ones tend to be taller. The dog breed weighs between 15 and 32 pounds (7 to 15 kg). Personality: Bred as a herding dog, the Pyrenean Shepherd is very energetic, with the tendency to be alert at all times and wary of people and animals less familiar to them. Frequent socialization can help neutralize the aforementioned traits. Also, due to their watchfulness and their ability to read their owners’ minds, Pyrenean Shepherds are very easy to train.

Pyrenean Shepherd image
Life Span
11 - 15 years
Other Names
Petit Berger, Labrit, Pyr Shep, Pyre Shep, Pyrenean Shepherd

Pyrenean Shepherd Build Information

Size
Medium

The Pyrenean Shepherd is notable for being the smallest French herding dog. The American Kennel Club recognizes two types of coats for the breed: Rough-Faced and Smooth-Faced. The Rough-Faced dogs have long hair on the face and body, and resemble terrier mixes. The Smooth-Faced ones are characterized by short and smooth face hair, double coat on the body, and tufts of hair on the back of the legs and tip of the tail.

A few Pyr Sheps have hair of medium length on the face and a long, flat coat on the body.

This variety is referred to as the Demi Long, and some people classify it under the “Long Coat” category alongside the Rough-Faced dogs. Pyre Sheps stand at 15 to 21 inches (38 to 53 cm), depending on coat and gender, although the Smooth-Faced ones tend to be taller. The dog breed weighs between 15 and 32 pounds (7 to 15 kg).

Behaviour and Personality

Kid Friendliness
Affection Level
Activity Level

Bred as a herding dog, the Pyrenean Shepherd is very energetic, with the tendency to be alert at all times and wary of people and animals less familiar to them. Frequent socialization can help neutralize the aforementioned traits. Also, due to their watchfulness and their ability to read their owners’ minds, Pyrenean Shepherds are very easy to train.

Appearance

Shedding
Little
Grooming
Low maintenance

The Smooth-Faced dogs do not need much grooming, if any, since they possess short-haired coats. On the other hand, the Rough-Faced or Demi Long ones require one or two brushings per week.

Breed's Talents and Facts

Training
Very easy to train
  • The Pyrenean Shepherd is known in France as the Berger des Pyrénées
  • The AKC recognized the breed in 2009
  • Pyrenean Shepherds were used as contract herders for the Western Range Association between the 1940s and early 1970s
  • The breed tends to live long and age gracefully; average life span is between 11 to 15 years

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Common Health Conditions in Pyrenean Shepherds

Generally, the Pyrenean Shepherd is a healthy dog, with no major or distinctive health problems. However, all adult dogs need to be checked for any presence or chances of developing eye problems, hip dysplasia, and elbow or hearing ailments.

Pyrenean Shepherd Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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