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

Let’s just call him the Pyr Shep…

The Pyrenean Shepherd Dog Breed hails from the Pyrenees Mountains of France. He is a smart looking dog and has a lot going for him.

Including the fact that…

He is cheerful and active and always eager to please. He is alert and watchful and makes for a very good watchdog. This breed of dog can be a very good companion to active singles or couples.

He is 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 or the Great Pyrenees Dog and the Pyrenean Mastiff.

Which is saying something….

Considering the fact that these guys are often compared to the Spanish Mastiff and the Anatolian Shepherd, but is more like a much smaller version of these big and powerful breeds.

Which can make him…

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.   You see, if you are a new dog owner, then you may want to consider a different dog breed than a Pyrenean Shepherd.

Why you ask?

Well, that because the Pyr Shep is a highly active, energetic breed, who is always moving, always wants your attention. He requires at least an hour’s worth of exercise every day; 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 originally 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 a very good 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 dog 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…

Breeding really does matter.  You see, it is very important that you buy a Pyrenean Shepherd puppy only from a reputable breeder, not from someone who runs one of those puppy mills. A good Pyrenean Shepherd breeder runs an ethical breeding program and can be trusted implicitly.

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 dog breeds 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, well that’s 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 all the way to Medieval writings, and well, when it comes to guessing what happened before then, well now you’re just “theorizing” with the best of them.

But one thing…

Is for sure is that whenever these guys did arrive to the Pyrenees Mountains, they arrived and “thrived” in one of the most rugged regions in Europe with thick forests and dangerous wildlife.

Which 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.

Eventually…

The Pyrenean Shepherd was taken to Australia in the 19th century, where he played a big role in the development of the famous Australian Shepherd.

But that’s not all…

You see, this breed also played a major role in the World Wars I and II, where he was used as 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 the 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 breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 2009.

Physical Characteristics of the Pyrenean Shepherd Dog Breed

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 strong and muscular, agile and athletic.

He has

…Almond-shaped eyes, cropped ears, docked tail and a short, black nose. The most noticeable thing about this dog is his long and heavy, coarse and wavy woolen coat. The coat is usually gray in color with white, yellow and grayish silver markings.

Grooming

…Is not easy with this dog. He sheds a lot, which is why you should brush his coat at least once every day. Give him a bath 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 an awfully 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.

The only real…

Issue with this dog is his suspicious nature, as discussed earlier. This can be set right by early socialization. You must be kind but firm with this dog, otherwise he can walk all over you – he can 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 is not so good with other kids. He is not all that friendly with cats and other dogs either.

 Health Problems

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

  • Patella Luxation
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Epilepsy

And while…

Many of these conditions may not be life threatening, they can certainly become quite expensive to deal with 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 right 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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