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Pyrenean Shepherd

The Canine Chronicles Directory

Pyrenean Shepherd

The Pyrenean Shepherd (also known as the Berger de Pyrenees) is a lively and quick small to medium dog. The almond-shaped eyes should be dark brown and they have a black nose. Partial or completely blue eyes are acceptable only in merles. The ears can be either cropped or uncropped. They are rather short, wide at the base and set on the top of the head. The ears are normally cropped straight across and stand erect. The top of the skull slopes gently to the parallel muzzle with no marked stop. The muzzle is straight and is slightly shorter than the skull. This breed comes in two coat types: The Smooth-Faced and the Rough-Faced dog. The muzzle of the smooth-faced dog is slightly longer and more pointed than in the rough-faced dog. The hair on the smooth-faced dog is short with fine muzzle hair. The hair on the rough-faced dog has a wind-blown look and should never be trimmed. Although the hair is worn long over the eyes, the must be readily visible and not veiled by hair. The topline on both is firm and strong and the back is level. The tail may be docked, natural bob or naturally long. All are acceptable. The rough-faced coat has long or semi-long hair that is flat or slightly wavy. The coat comes in various shades of fawn, with or without a mixture of black hairs, grey merles of diverse tones, brindle and black. A little white is acceptable on the chest, head and feet but must not exceed 30% of the body surface.

Temperament The Pyrenean Shepherd is a very active dog and has an enormous amount of nervous energy. They are always on the alert, watchful, and ready for action. They are wary with strangers and are fearless. This breed can be a bit mischievous. The smooth-faced variety tends to be a little less nervous. The Pyrenean Shepherd requires an active and experienced dog owner. They are passionately attached to their owner to the complete exclusion of all others and are very sensitive to their owner's moods. This active breed insists upon being involved in all aspects of their owner's lives. They are very affectionate with members of their own family but are distrustful of strangers. They will accept children but are not tolerant of abuse, intentional or not. Early socialization and training are recommended. This breed needs a job to do. They may become frustrated and destructive if not given mental and physical exercise.
Height, Weight Smooth-faced Height: 15-22" ; Rough-faced Height: 15-19"
Weight: 18-35 lbs.
Health Problems Though this breed is usually a hardy breed, some are prone to epilepsy, hip dysplasia, luxating patellas and PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy).
Living Conditions The Berger de Pyrenees does best living in a rural home and with lots of time outdoors.
Exercise Their energetic nature calls for long walks or frequent runs.
Life Expectancy About 9-15 years
Grooming Though this breed has a long shaggy, coarse coat, minimum grooming is required.
Origin The Pyrenean Shepherd was developed as a herding dog in the Pyrenees Mountain valleys in France. It is believed to descend from the dogs kept by nomadic shepherds in the Pyrenees. It is traditionally worked together with the Great Pyrenees flock guardian dog. The Pyrenean Shepherd was used as a military dog during WWI. They were used to carry messages and search for the wounded. Today the breed is often called the Petit Berger, which means little shepherd. They are recognized by the FCI and the UKC and have recently been fully accepted into the AKC.
Group AKC and UKC Herding