The Pyrenean Shepherd is a small herding dog who can run pretty dang fast. The breed is named after the Pyrenees Mountains from which they come.
Their heads are triangular, and their eyes are almond-shaped and a dark shade of brown with black rims. Merle-coated dogs may have eyes in shades of blue.
The Smooth-Faced appears more like an Australian Shepherd, while the Rough-Faced is a bit like a Briard. Rough-Faced dogs have long bodies, while Smooth-Faced ones appear more square.
The coat of the Rough-Faced variety can be demi-long or long, with little undercoat. The Smooth-Faced variety has short, soft, smooth hairs around the muzzle and slightly longer hair elsewhere. Both coats come in fawn, gray, and brindle.
Ideal Human Companion
- Active singles and families
- Those with time to train this dog and keep up with commands
- Those looking for low-maintenance grooming
- Those who don’t mind practical jokes played on them once in awhile
This is a dog for active singles or families who don’t mind their Pyrenean Shepherd poking its nose into everything that is going on.
They are engaged, interactive, playful dogs, though the foremost thing on their minds is work. You and your dog will both benefit from some sort of organized sport, or work such as agility or herding trials.
This behavior can be modified to a certain extent, but it’s likely your dog will maintain some of this instinct.
This is a hearty breed in general, but Pyrenean Shepherds can have trouble with slipped kneecaps, hip dysplasia, and retinal atrophy.
There are 2 coat types within the longer coat variety. The demi coat features medium-length hair on the face and a flat body coat. The rough coat has long hair all over. Coat colors include black, black and white, blue merle, brindle, brindle merle, fawn, fawn merle, gray and slate gray.
They were imported into the United States in the 19th century, along with Pyrenean flocks of sheep.
The Pyrenean Shepherd Club of America was formed in 1987, and the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 2009.
Since Pyrenean Shepherds can cover 25 miles per day while navigating sheep on their own, their temperament traits of intelligence, courage and independence make them ideal for the job. They can be prone to mischief but are versatile and adapt to new situations fairly easily.
HIGH: Enclosed or secure areas are ideal for exercising Pyrenean Shepherds because they are very fast and can have high prey drives. They have exceptional stamina and are very energetic, so rigorous daily exercise coupled with mental stimulation (games, obedience, tasks) is necessary. Apartment living can work for this breed with an active family.
The Pyrenean Shepherd came to North America in the 19th century to be used as herders. They made names for themselves by serving alongside soldiers during World War I as guard dogs, couriers, and search-and-rescue assistants.
Pyrenean Shepherd advocates established the breed standards in the 1970s. The breed was recognized by the AKC in 2009. Today, this is a companion dog and a working dog who particularly excels at search and rescue work.