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Pyrenean Shepherd Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

The Pyrenean Shepherd Dog Breed hails from the Pyrenees Mountains of France. He is a smart-looking dog with a lot going for him, including being cheerful, active, and always eager to please. He is alert and watchful and makes for an excellent watchdog. This dog breed can be a perfect companion to active singles or couples.

He’s also…

Only a medium-sized dog. He is much smaller than the other French herding breeds that he is compared to, such as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, the Great Pyrenees Dog, and the Pyrenean Mastiff.  This is saying something considering these guys are often compared to the Spanish Mastiff and the Anatolian Shepherd but are more like a much smaller version of these big and powerful breeds.

Which can make him…

You are ideally suited to smaller houses or apartments. He can live comfortably in a city like New York or Los Angeles, but the Pyrenean Shepherd is probably not the right first pet for someone who has never had a dog at home before.   If you are a new dog owner, you may want to consider a different dog breed than a Pyrenean Shepherd.

Could you please tell me why?

That is because the Pyr Shep is a highly active, energetic breed, always moving, and always wants your attention. He requires at least an hour’s worth of exercise daily; otherwise, he can get dreadfully bored and resort to destructive activities. Also, he is a little shy and naturally reserved before other people. He has a highly suspicious nature. After all, he was initially bred to be a Livestock Guardian, and his main job was to protect the sheep and cattle from predators such as foxes and wolves.

And while…

He is an excellent Guard Dog, no question about it. Unless you train and socialize him from the time he is only a puppy, he can do things like jumping on strangers.  The good news is he is one of those dogs that excel at training. He can be controlled by an owner who treats him firmly but fairly. This makes him an excellent second or third dog for an experienced dog owner.

He also does…

Very well in dog sports such as obedience, flyball, agility, tracking, and rally. With proper socialization, you can teach him to behave well around other people. But, like most dog breeds out there, adequate bedding does matter.  Buying a Pyrenean Shepherd puppy only from a reputable breeder, not someone who runs one of those puppy mills, is significant. A good Pyrenean Shepherd breeder runs an ethical breeding program and can be trusted implicitly.

You’ll be able to read on for more on the Pyrenean Shepherd Dog Breed.

Pyrenean Shepherd Fast Facts

Country of Origin: France

Original Purpose:  Herding

Height: 15 to 20.5 inches

Weight: 15 to 32 pounds

Dog Breed Classification:  Herding group

Life Span: 12 to 16 years

Origin of the Pyrenean Shepherd Dog Breed

It is believed that the Pyrenean Shepherd breed is one of the oldest dog breeds out there.  And like most “ancient” dog breeds, its exact origin remains somewhat of a mystery.  You see, what is known is that the Pyrenean Shepherd is from the Pyrenees Mountains of France.

Now how it got, there is a bit of a mystery.  Heck, it may even be possible that this dog was first brought to this region by the ancient Cro-Magnon people because dogs resembling the Pyrenean Shepherd date back to Medieval writings, and well, when it comes to guessing what happened before then, now you’re just “theorizing” with the best of them.

But one thing…

It is for sure that whenever these guys did arrive in the Pyrenees Mountains, they came and “thrived” in one of the most rugged regions in Europe with thick forests and dangerous wildlife. This is why, over the centuries, Farmers in the area have always embraced this breed, where owning a dog that can fend off threats and prove its worth around the farm is priceless.


The Pyrenean Shepherd was taken to Australia in the 19th century, where he played a significant role in developing the famous Australian Shepherd. But that’s not all you see; this breed also played an essential role in World Wars I and II, where he was a messenger dog carrying messages to soldiers in the thick of battle. This was a fearless dog who displayed tremendous courage under fire.

The Pyr Shep was brought to the United States after World War II but became well known here only in the 1970s and 80s. The Pyrenean Shepherd Club of America was founded in 1987. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the breed in 2009.

Physical Characteristics

The Pyrenean Shepherd is a medium-sized dog. The breed standard is about 15 to 20 inches tall and weighs 15 to 32 pounds. He has a rectangular body shape and a triangular head shape. He is solid and muscular, agile and athletic.

He has almond-shaped eyes, cropped ears, docked tail, and a short, black nose. This dog’s long, heavy, coarse, wavy woolen coat is The most noticeable thing. The coat is usually gray with white, yellow, and grayish-silver markings.


…Is not easy with this dog. He sheds a lot, so you should brush his coat at least once daily. Bath him every couple of weeks if you can. But he is not a high-maintenance dog by any means.

Personality and Temperament

The Pyr Shep remains in puppyhood for a long time, three years. He takes time to reach maturity and gets very attached to his human family. He is like a child in many respects.  As discussed earlier, the only real issue with this dog is his suspicious nature. This can be set right by early socialization. You must be kind but firm with this dog. Otherwise, he can walk all over you and be stubborn and manipulative.

One more thing…

He is great with your kids, who he has grown up with. He is protective of them and loves them more than anything. But he could be better with other kids. He is not all that friendly with cats and other dogs, either.

 Potential Health Problems

The Pyrenean Shepherd enjoys robust health and does not get sick all too often. He has an excellent life expectancy of 12 to 16 years. But even this ancient purebred dog breed can suffer from certain diseases such as…

And while…

Many of these conditions may not be life-threatening, but they can become quite expensive, particularly if they become recurring issues.  This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

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