The Pyrenean Shepherd Dog
The smallest of the hunting dogs, the Pyrenean Shepherd is a beautiful and charismatic dog that offers much to their owners. Hard workers, active and friendly, they truly are wonderful dogs.
Their origin starts in the Pyrenean Mountains. It is believed that they were established from local dogs who never left the mountains and finally became a breed of their own. Here in the mountains, they were known as Les Berger des Pyreneans. In 1893, M. Pierre Megnin told the National Society of Acclimatisation about the breed. In 1897, Count Henri de Bylandt gave the first, but rough, description of the breed.
This breed was relatively unheard of outside its native home. However, with the outbreak of the First World War, the Pyrenean Shepherd dog came into the spotlight. With their high intelligence, lively attitude and speed, the French army recruited them for messenger duties. During this period, many of these lovely dogs fell in battle.
The Pyrenean Shepherd dog was standardized in 1936 and became more popular. In the 1970’s and 80’s, they were brought into America. It is these dogs that became the foundation of the breed in this country.
The Pyrenean Shepherd is a beautiful dog. Small, lean and highly intelligent with a windswept coat, these dogs are full of energy. When you first set your eyes on him, you can see the athleticism in his body.
According to breed standards, the Pyrenean Shepherd dog’s head should be slightly triangular in appearance and flat on top. The side of the skull is slightly rounded and muzzles are shorter than the rest of the head.
Eyes are said to be the window to the soul and this is certainly the case with a Pyrenean Shepherd. Their eyes are highly expressive, almond shaped. Eyes should be dark brown but it is acceptable if one or both are blue or flecked blue in blue merle or slate coloured.
The Pyrenean Shepherd dog has powerfully strong teeth and should have a scissor bite. Their bodies are lean and strong with rather long necks. When looking at him, his forelegs are sinewy and straight, but when looking at him from the side, they slope gently.
The coats are absolutely lovely. Looking kind of windswept, it is long or medium to long. Flat or slightly wavy, they are quite wiry and harsh to the touch. Fawn is the most usual colour, in all different shades, with or without black tips. Some will have white on their feet and chests. Other colours include blue merle, slate blue, brindle, black or black and white.
These dogs can be a little wary of strangers but they should be OK as long as owners socialise them from an early age. Owners should be firm as the Pyrenean Shepherd dog needs a firm hand and constant exercise. They are extremely friendly and make wonderful pets and companions to the entire family.