Pyrenean Shepherd Dog

Pyrenean Shepherd Dog
Pyrenean Shepherd Dog pictures
Pyrenean Shepherd Dog suitability

In my own words


“Are you feeling a bit down today? Don’t worry, I’ll cheer you up in no time!”

Did you know that some people say I can read my master’s mind? How cool is that? It may seem that way but let me tell you a secret – it’s only because I’m really watchful. My kind are herders you see, we have to keep an eye out for straying sheep! It means that I seem to have eyes in the back of my head, I just know everything that’s going on! Pretty handy, don’t you think? It works well with the children, they move so fast that you need someone like me keeping an eye out for them. I make a great protector!

I love keeping busy, don’t you? I hate it when I have nothing to do. I get so bored sometimes... So I need something to keep my mind active. Maybe we could do some agility or flyball? Or do some obedience training, that’s really fun! I don’t mind what we do, as long as I’m with my master.

My ideal owner(s)



Families with older children


People who like country pursuits

What they say about me



Intelligent and eager to please


Loyal and devoted

Please read on, to find out more about me, and whether I will be someone you can be happy with for the next 14 years, or even longer!

Is this Pyrenean Shepherd Dog for you?

Test your knowledge about the Pyrenean Shepherd Dog

Information essential about the Pyrenean Shepherd Dog


Kennel Club Group:



Breed Group:




Medium: Weight 15 – 32 lb (7 – 15 kg)

Height Male 15.5 – 21.5” (39 – 53 cm) Female 15 – 20.5”  (38 – 52 cm)


Breed History:


Originating in France since at least medieval times, the Pyrenean Sheepdog has a long history of herding livestock, particularly sheep, in the south of France. It worked as an active herder together with the Great Pyrenees, another mountain dog which acted as the flock’s guardian. They have been bred for their excellent endurance and stamina and possess highly attuned, natural guarding instincts. After World War I this breed gained national recognition for its valiant work as company mascots, watchdogs, couriers and search and rescue dogs.


This breed is the smallest of the native French sheepdogs and is seen in two varieties: the rough faced and smooth faced. The smooth-faced Pyrenean Shepherd in its harlequin or blue merle colouration may have been one of the foundation breeds for the Australian Shepherd when sheep herders brought their sheepdogs to the American West when they flew to the United States as contract herders for the Western Range Association in the 1940s until the early 1970s.


It is not yet a well-known breed outside of its native France, but its size, intelligence, and attractive coat make it appealing. After one of its breed won the World Agility Championship for mid-sized dogs in 2003, it gained more attention as an intelligent performance dog for dog sports..



This breed is hard working and highly intelligent. They form a strong bond with their master and enjoy working closely with a clear defined aim. Due to their working history they have retained a sense of independence yet are constantly aware of their situation and ready to react. They have an expressive face and well-proportioned, lean, athletic body. They are built for speed and have great endurance as well as being brave and fearless. They are loyal, devoted and watchful and can be wary and suspicious of strangers so they make excellent guardians. They do well with dogs they have been raised with or know very well.



The Pyrenean Sheepdog was designed to be a working sheepdog and is full of the same energy that other herding dogs have. This is an adaptive breed and while a natural herder, is able to do all the jobs on the field. Its intelligence makes it ideal for other work and dog sports such as flyball, competitive obedience and agility. They are good with children and have a sense of protectorship over children they have been brought up with. They will attach themselves to one member of the family and dedicate themselves to that person, following them around the house to help with daily chores. They are very receptive to people’s moods and often seem able to read their master’s mind due to their watchful nature. They are extremely trainable. Their natural wariness combined with their herding instinct can lead to shyness or aggression in even the most friendly puppy if not properly managed. It is important to engage this breed in early socialisation to counter this trait.



The Pyrenean Sheepdog comes in two varieties, rough faced and smooth faced. The body is lithe and muscular, never fat. The head is of small proportion in comparison to the dog with a rather flat skull and a somewhat short, triangular muzzle. The face is expressive and intelligent, with dark eyes, except in the case of merles or slate grey coat colour. Traditionally the dog's ears are cropped. If natural, the Pyrenean Shepherd should have semi-prick or rose ears. Naturally prick ears are not correct for the breed, and may indicate an outcross. The body is long and lean, reflecting the athleticism of the dog and the legs are well-proportioned with lean, well-angulated, well-let-down hocks typical of a sure-footed mountain breed. The tail can be docked short, a natural bob-tail, or naturally long with a crook in the end, so long as its carried below the top-line at rest and in motion.



The rough faced is a double coat breed while the smooth faced is a single coat breed. In the rough faced variety the outer coat is long to demi-long, slightly wavy or flat. The texture is harsh and the undercoat is minimal and fine. The smooth faced muzzle is covered in fine, short hair that becomes somewhat longer on the head and ruff. The body hair is fine and soft. The coat of both varieties is water-proof.


The coat typically comes in shades of fawn either with or without black mask and overlay. The coat can also come in brindle and various shades of grey. Less commonly the coat can be merle of various kinds (blue merle, brindle merle, fawn merle) and black. All colours allow for some white at the head, chest and feet but solid colours are preferred



This breed is sensitive and independent but willing to please. They require early and ongoing socialisation and obedience training. They do not respond to harsh or heavy-handed methods. Training should be done with firmness, fairness, patience, and consistency.



This breed requires weekly brushing to keep the coat free of matting and tangles. The nails, ears and teeth must be checked regularly.



The lifespan of a healthy individual is between 10 and 14 years. If you buy from a reputable, responsible breeder, health problems should not occur.  There is no known major conditions to be aware of in this breed although as with all energetic breeds, try to limit exercise as a puppy to avoid aggravating any muscular or joint complaints. The Pyrenean Shepherd breed is prone to such health issues as Hip Dysplasia, Patella Luxation, PRA, and Epilepsy.



This hardy breed requires little special attention but they do need space and stimulation to keep them happy. They require an excessive physical and mental exercise and are not recommended for apartment or urban living. They do best in a rural setting where they have a job to do and ample room to roam, work and play. They enjoy dog sports such as agility, flyball and competitive obedience.

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Advice on choosing your breed »

Find an animal shelter or rescue home where a Pyrenean Shepherd Dog is waiting for a new home »


The following grid gives a fast track review which covers all breeds. You can apply it to help you decide if a Pyrenean Sheepdog is suitable for you, the environment where you live, your personality and your lifestyle. On the grid, 1= strongly disagree, and 5= strongly agree. For example, if you are looking for a dog that likes to hiking, look down the list under Activities, and you will see that Pyreneans love running and jogging, scoring 5. You might like to save or print off this section and keep it for reference while you check some other breeds before making your final choice.

Be the first to rate this breed »

Noahs Breed Rating | Community Breed Rating

Good jogging companion5/5
Good walking companion5/5
Likes water/swimming5/5
Likes learning new tricks5/5
Likes to hunt5/5
Likes to fetch5/5
Good gundog/retriever5/5
Barks a lot3/5
Gets easily jealous1/5
Friendly with strangers3/5
Expensive to insure1/5
Expensive to feed1/5
Happy to sleep outside1/5
Prefers countryside5/5
Suits urban environment1/5
Prefers temperate climate5/5
Prefers hot climate4/5
Prefers cold climate5/5
Moults a lot4/5
Requires lots of grooming4/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly3/5
Ideal for singles5/5
Ideal for couples with no children5/5
Ideal for family with children4/5
Good watch dog5/5
Good guard dog5/5
Good with other pets4/5
Good with other dogs4/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs1/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs2/5
Requires lots of exercise5/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners5/5
Good for experienced owners5/5
Good recall5/5
Easy to train5/5
Good jogging companion__c_joggingcompanion__/5
Good walking companion__c_walkingcompanion__/5
Likes water/swimming__c_likeswater__/5
Likes learning new tricks__c_likesnewtricks__/5
Likes to hunt__c_likestohunt__/5
Likes to fetch__c_likestofetch__/5
Good gundog/retriever__c_gundog__/5
Barks a lot__c_barksalot__/5
Gets easily jealous__c_jealouseasy__/5
Friendly with strangers__c_friendlystrangers__/5
Expensive to insure__c_expensiveinsurance__/5
Expensive to feed__c_expensivefood__/5
Happy to sleep outside__c_sleepoutside__/5
Prefers countryside__c_countryliving__/5
Suits urban environment__c_urbanliving__/5
Prefers temperate climate__c_temperateclimate__/5
Prefers hot climate__c_hotclimate__/5
Prefers cold climate__c_coldclimate__/5
Moults a lot__c_moultsalot__/5
Requires lots of grooming__c_lotsgrooming__/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly__c_olderpeople__/5
Ideal for singles__c_singles__/5
Ideal for couples with no children__c_couplenochildren__/5
Ideal for family with children__c_familychildren__/5
Good watch dog__c_watchdog__/5
Good guard dog__c_guarddog__/5
Good with other pets__c_otherpets__/5
Good with other dogs__c_otherdogs__/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs__c_leftalone4hrs__/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs__c_leftalone2hrs__/5
Requires lots of exercise__c_lotsexercise__/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners__c_firstowner__/5
Good for experienced owners__c_experienceowner__/5
Good recall__c_goodrecall__/5
Easy to train__c_easytrain__/5

*PLEASE NOTE: All our breed profiles are general, and all dogs are individuals. Always talk to the breeders and meet the owners you are buying from. Try to meet the dog and its parents if it is a puppy in their home environment.

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