There are few other breeds that can compete with the Pyrenean Shepherd in terms of intelligence, endurance, and enthusiasm. Just two of these brilliant herders can handle a flock of a thousand sheep! But besides being excellent herders, these dogs are full of affection to share with their families.
This breed, while small in size, is big in heart and will love anyone who can provide him with plenty of work to exercise his body and mind. Read on to learn more about the Pyrenean Shepherd.
Description of the Pyrenean Shepherd
This breed is often called the Pyr Shep to save a few syllables. These great dogs have lively personalities and are quick to charm their families. But they tend to be wary of strangers and may take some time to warm up to those they don’t know.
Their herding blood gives them endless stamina and you will be hard-pressed to find a Pyrenean Shepherd that isn’t up for anything. These tireless dogs do very well in canine sports and, of course, herding! Their lean and muscled bodies are quick and agile over all types of terrain.
The Pyrenean Shepherd comes in two coat types: smooth-faced and rough-faced. The smooth has shorter hair that is a finer texture, and their muzzles are longer and more tapered. The rough has a coarser coat that is longer and tousled around their shorter muzzles. Both these types can be born in the same litter.
Both varieties can come in shades of fawn, and can have tones of black, grey, and white mixed in.
Life Expectancy and Size
Besides having stellar personalities, these dogs also have stellar lifespans, and often live well into their teens. Always work with a reputable breeder who screens his or her stock for potential genetic issues to ensure you get the healthiest puppy possible.
The Pyrenean Shepherd is a relatively small herder, and its cot type affects what size he will be. Roughs are 15 – 18.5 inches tall, smooths are 15.5 – 21 inches tall, and they weigh 15 – 30 pounds.
It is no surprise that these alert herders make excellent watchdogs. The Pyrenean Shepherd is attentive and protective of his family, always keeping a watchful eye out for strangers and trouble. You can expect a vigilant watchdog in your Pyr Shep.
The Pyrenean Shepherd is a great breed to train thanks to its enthusiasm, energy, and intelligence. Using this dog’s love of exercise is a great way to make training fun for both of you. Canine sports are perfect for doing this, as they work your dog’s mind and body.
Positive, rewards-based methods are also ideal for these dogs. Treats and games are both great ways to motivate your Pyr Shep. Consider clicker training for this breed as they respond well to this type of positive training.
Patience and consistency go a long way when it comes to training your Pyrenean Shepherd. They thrive on their relationship with you, so always come to sessions fresh and energetic. Never get frustrated with your dog. If you feel like things are starting to go down hill, take a step back to where they were last successful, and end your session there. Your dog wants to succeed and will, as long as you are patient and work within his ability level!
These herders are incredibly active, and are known for their speed and endurance. The Pyrenean Shepherd loves to zoom around, and you may find your carpets and lawn more worn than they were before. But these active pups are entertaining and great for those who love to get outside and move.
If you tend to be more sedentary, and prefer a TV-surfing buddy as opposed to a trail running buddy, you may find yourself in over your head with this breed. The Pyr Shep needs an active job to do and if he doesn’t have it, whether through herding, canine sports, or something similar, he will surely become miserable and destructive. Be ready to provide plenty of outlets for your dog’s boundless energy.
What Living with a Pyrenean Shepherd is Like
This is an active breed.
These family-loving pups are a great choice for those wanting an affectionate and active companion. They do well with kids, and can do well with other dogs they are raised with. Providing them with a job that requires lots of running around will make your dog even happier. While they love family time, they also love their duty, and won’t be satisfied without having something stimulating to do.
More sedentary families may find this breed a bit too active for their taste. They do love to snuggle but need lots of exercise first and won’t be happy without it.
Care of the Pyrenean Shepherd
The Pyrenean Shepherd is a loving and passionate companion who will do well in any home where he receives plenty of love and exercise.
The Pyrenean Shepherd is a hardy breed that does well in most climates. They are especially tolerant of colder climates. Just be sure to monitor them in extreme temperatures, as they may overheat or become too cold.
Used to working long days, the Pyrenean Shepherd still has a crazy drive for physical activity, and needs plenty of exercise everyday. These herders were bred to use movement to gather a flock, where many other herding dogs use eye contact, so it is understandable why this breed loves to move!
Herding, canine sports, long walks and runs, and backyard playtime are all great ways to get your dog moving. Activities that engage this breed both mentally and physical, like agility and rally, are especially effective.
Shedding and Grooming
Weekly brushing is enough to maintain both types of coat on the Pyrenean Shepherd. Mats and tangles are the biggest problem, so be extra vigilant if your dog has longer hair.
This breed sheds some, but not heavily.
Regularly trimming your dog’s nails and cleaning his ears are also important parts of good hygiene for your dog.
Ideal Home Environment
These lively dogs love a home with an active family. The Pyrenean Shepherd does best when he has plenty of people to love, and be loved by, and gets lots of exercise.
The Pyrenean Shepherd is a healthy breed that frequently goes on to live a long and full life. The most important thing to ensure a healthy dog is working with a reputable breeder who screens for issues like hip dysplasia, patellar subluxation, patent ductus arteriosis, epilepsy, and eye defects.
These dogs bond very closely with their family members and do not do well if left alone for long periods of time. Be sure you can spend plenty of quality time with your Pyrenean Shepherd every day.