The Pyrenean Sheepdog or Shepherd is a fairly recent import to the UK and has only been recognised by the Kennel Club since 1988 and remains a numerically small breed. He was bred to work flocks of sheep in the Pyrenees and working on the mountains meant that he had to be very agile, quick, courageous and with a remarkable amount of stamina for his smallish frame. His height at the withers is 15″ – 19″ but he is quite a lightweight at 8 – 15kg.
The Breed Standard describes the Pyrenean Sheepdog as being “wary of strangers”, which is not to suggest that he is temperamentally unsound, but that early socialisation is essential if he is to be a happy housedog. He is not a “look at me I’m very classy” type of dog but one who looks alert interested and on the watch for something to happen. The Pyrenean sheepdog is described as “Mischievous, enquiring” and anyone thinking of acquiring one of these bundles of energy should be sure that they can offer him the time and space he needs to exercise both his brain and body.
The Pyrenean Sheepdog coat is in two varieties; both have harsh, dense and flat or slightly wavy coat on the face, body and tail, and whilst the long variety has coated legs and feet the semi-long has only fringing on the front legs and short hair on the hocks, a distinct ruff and breechings. This variety is known as the Smooth Face.
Colours are various shades of fawn, with a little white on chest and feet, shades of grey with white, blue merle, slate blue or brindle, black or black and white. As with any long coat it takes some caring for, but it is not excessively heavy. Some owners encourage the coat to cord, whilst others prefer a brushed dog.