Pyrenean Shepherd – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
From grooming to health needs - learn what Pyrenean Shepherd needs to keep him healthy. Read on.
Dog Breed Group:
Herding Dogs
15 to 21 inches tall at the shoulder
25 to 30 pounds
Life Span:
15 to 17 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

The Pyrenean Shepherd is a lively and mischievous dog of a maximum of 21 inches and 30 pounds.

This dog is the ultimate herder among dogs. In fact, this breed is descended from ancient sheepdogs of the Pyrenees mountains making them prone to hard-working time and conditions.

The Pyrenean Shepherd comes in ‘rough-faced and ‘smooth-faced’ coat varieties.

The Pyrenean Shepherd is an extremely active breed, often described as a ‘ball of fire,’ and as such, they are very intelligent and packed with enormous energy.

This dog will require your time when it comes to exercise and outdoor time. They are very wary of strangers, so early socialization and proper training are mandatory.

The Pyrenean Shepherd is among the most responsive of all breeds, so mastering basic commands and beyond should be an easy and fast process.

At least, that will be the case if you already have some experience as a dog owner. Without regular exercise and outdoor time, this breed will become destructive.

Quick Facts

Real name: Pyrenean Shepherd
Other names: Chien de Berger des Pyrénées, Berger des Pyrénées, Labrit, Labri, Pyrenees Sheepdog
Common Nicknames: Petit Berger (Little Shepherd)
Origin: France
Breed type: Herding Dogs
Weight: 25 to 30 pounds
Height: 15 to 21 inches tall at the shoulder
Lifespan: 15 to 17 years
Litter Size: 4 puppies
Color: Commonly fawn, grey brindle, black or blue
Coat: Long or semi-long and dense

Pyrenean Shepherd History

The Pyrenean Shepherd is among the most famous shepherd dogs alive. Rumor has it that this active dog is descended from native Pyrenean bears and foxes. This is more of a myth than reality because the history of this breed is still known to a certain extent.

No one knows for sure how exactly old the Pyrenean Shepherd is. However, it’s known that herding dogs have been used for thousands of years, making this breed old if not ancient.

It’s known that the Pyrenean Shepherd is one of the oldest breeds alive. One thing is for sure – where this breed was born.

The Pyrenees Mountains of France are the birthplace so these active runners. These little dogs were bred to assist people with everyday tasks including herding flocks.

Even today they are busy herding flocks. The Pyrenean Shepherd was the original dog of the Cro-Magnon people.

Sometime in the 19th century, Pyrenean Shepherds reached the United States.

They were brought to the States to herd flocks in the American West.

Some dog historians claim that Pyrenean Shepherds played a huge role in the development of the Australian Shepherd.

These little dogs were used during World War I when their primary duty was to deliver messages, guard, and help wounded soldiers.

Dog lovers across the States got fond of this breed during the 1970s and 1980s.

Imported from France, these small size dogs became popular in no time. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 2009.

Pyrenean Shepherd Physical Appearance

The Pyrenean Shepherd is a small size dog of rugged appearance. These dogs are rough-faced and come with long or medium-length hair that is commonly flat or slightly wavy.

The coat texture is always harsh, which actually adds to the overall rugged appearance. The hair on the face is short, while the rest of the body is covered with long hair.

This dog has an athletic and lean body that is built for speed and endurance. This breed comes in two varieties, smoot-faced and long-haired.

The biggest difference between these two types is seen in compact feet and bodies.

Overall, this breed has impressive stamina and covers around 20 miles per day.

The Pyrenean Shepherd may appear as rouged dog thanks to his coat, but that coat has a purpose.

The main purpose of Pyr’s coat is to keep the dog safe from extreme weather. Overall, this dog was bred to work, not for his appearance.

Pyrenean Shepherd Personality

Pyrenean Shepherds are active and intelligent dogs.

These qualities are great, but they also mean that this breed is a lot of work.

Living with the breed isn’t something that anyone can handle.

They may be small to medium, but these dogs are recommended only to experience dog owners. In fact, they will do their best in homes with members who have rich experience working with herding dogs.

Herding dogs, in general, need a lot of energy to burn and an intense workout and exercise are what’s mandatory to keep them happy and active. Otherwise, you may experience how it is to have an anxious dog.

It’s common for dogs to develop destructive behaviors when their needs arent meet.

As a herding pooch, the Pyrenean Shepherd will always be wary of strangers, and suspicious of almost everything.

This dog will attach to one person and he needs to be socialized properly to become a good canine citizen.

Pyrenean Shepherd Training

Pyrenean Shepherd is an intelligent dog.

As such, they will enjoy training sessions and mastering new tricks. Did you know that dogs are capable of teaching basic commands as of eight weeks of age?

This is why training should start as soon as you bring your Pyrenean Shepherd home. Training is what separates a dog from a good canine citizen.

To provide successful training, create training sessions that are:

  • Fun
  • Engaging
  • Short
  • Consistent
  • Packed with treats
  • Based on positive reinforcement training
  • Based on praise and reward

No dog should ever experience any harsh training method. If you feel like you need help training-wise, think about hiring a professional dog trainer.

Puppy classes are another option that can be beneficial for both you and your dog. It may be a bit pricey, but it will pay off in the long run.

Pyrenean Shepherd Exercise

Pyrenean Shepherds are herding dogs and as such, they have high exercise needs.

Herding dogs are superb runners within the canine world. They can easily spend hours herding flock, and they will still have more energy for fetch or cuddles.

To keep this breed satisfied mentally and physically-wise make sure that you provide a minimum of 90-minutes of exercise per day.

This is extra time for exercise, regular (toilet) walks shouldn’t be included in the exercise regime.

For extra running, you can think about dog sports, such as agility.

Pyrenean Shepherd Grooming

If you are not a fan of long grooming sessions, you will love Pyrenean Shepherd. This is a low-maintenance breed.

What does this mean in practice? It means that you should provide regular care and your Pyrenean Shepherd will be clean and neat.

Provide the following actions:

  • Brush him once to twice per week
  • Use the right grooming tools to groom your Pyrenean Shepherd the best way possible
  • Check his eyes daily for any sign of eye discharge
  • Check gums weekly
  • Bathe only when needed

Last but not least, make sure that provide food that promotes teeth health.

Pyrenean Shepherd Health

Pyrenean Shepherds are known as generally healthy dogs.

As long as you provide proper care, high-quality food, and regular veterinarian check-ups your Pyrenean Shepherd should reach his senior years without major problems.

These dogs are purebred and as such, they may be prone to certain health issues, such as hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and luxating patella.

Some of the minor conditions that you may see in this breed include:

  • Obesity
  • Allergies
  • Ear infections
  • Periodontal disease

All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, which is why regular check-ups are crucial.

Prevention is the key when it comes to having a healthy dog.

No dog is 100% healthy, no matter how great care you might provide. Still, if you want to be sure that your puppy is healthy, deal with responsible dog breeders only.

This way you will get medical documentation on the puppies, direct insults on how to care for your new pup, and what you can expect to see in this breed health-wise.

Finding a reputable breeder may take extra time, but it will be worth it.

Once you get your puppy and bring him home make sure that you take him to your veterinarian for a full check-up.

Keeping Your Pyr Shep Healthy

Once you get your Pyr Shep home you are directly responsible for this weight.

Obesity in dogs is on the rise across the States, and you don’t want your Pyr Shep to be part of this growing trend.

Serve high-quality food, provide enough exercise, and know feeding guidelines that your Fido can benefit from. The dog should always be fed based on his age, size, and activity levels.

All in all, these factors next to regular veterinarian check-ups and your Pyr Shep should reach his golden years without major health complications.

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