The Pyrenean Sheepdog is an old breed, which has remained in its place of origin. The breed can be traced back to the turn of the century and it was used by the French Army, during the 1914-1918 war, as a messenger dog, where it was almost wiped out.
Throughout centuries, transhumance herding has been the mainstay of the economy of the High Pyrenees and many Pyrenean Sheepdogs still herd sheep everyday in the Pyrenees Mountains.
In 1925 the breed gained recognition by the French Sheepdog Club. In 1988 the first Pyrenean Sheepdogs were registered in the UK with the Kennel Club and in 2007 Crufts first held classes for them.
They are a highly intelligent, hard working sheepdog, full of energy and stamina and very loyal to their masters. They are a unique little package and have a very inquisitive and mischievous expression and a very comical personality. They always look happy to see you, but are very wary of strangers. They should not be of a nervous or aggressive disposition.
They should be lean & racy, never carrying excess weight, allowing it to travel at great speed when working. “ Maximum energy, minimum size”.
All potential owners should gain as much information/knowledge as possible before purchasing a puppy. They require intense socialisation and a lot of exercise/stimulation, otherwise could “rule the roost”.
The coat is harsh & dense, resembling goats hair on its rear, head coat should never conceal the eyes and hair face should sweep back to create a “windswept” look. Moderate grooming required with no stripping or trimming.
General colours: - varying shades of fawn, dark to light grey, black, blue merle and brindle are permissible. Unmixed colours preferred, but large white areas or black & tan colours are undesirable.
Height: males should be between 16 – 19 inches and females between 15 – 18 inches.
The Pyrenean Sheepdog is a fairly healthy breed, although some of the ailments within the breed to look for are; PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus), Hip Dysplasia and Epilepsy, and less commonly, luxating patellas & PRA. You should always ensure that your potential puppy’s parents are thoroughly health tested, where applicable.