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Berger des Pyrénées (Pyrenean Shepherd)

Among the smallest of the herding breeds and numbering among the smallest of serious working dogs, the Pyrenean Shepherd is poised in a moment that could make or break the breed as we know it.  First you have the breeders who from honest desire to improve the future of their breed will seek to increase its overall population and second you have a public, completely charmed by the appearance and attitude of the exceptional Pyrenean Shepherds that they meet that want to add the little dog to their homes.  Sounds ideal except that despite this dog's diminutive charm and attitude, it is a serious working dog with drives and energy that few suburban and urban households could accomodate.  The result could be alot of dissatisfied puppy buyers who return or abandon a series of Pyrenean Shepherds of varying ages to shelters or their breeders.  These dogs will suffer from their inadequate rearing with behavioral issues and problems.  All because the homes that reared them were ill-equipped (in resources of time and knowledge) for the task at hand.  The other path is that the breeders of the Pyrenean Shepherd might recognize the treasure they have and that treasure is not made more valuable by increasing the quantity but rather by increasing the quality.  The caretakers of the breed will be the ones to ultimately determine which path this breed is on.

By Breed Name
By Breed Name
General Information
Group(s): Herding Height: 15-19 inches
Weight: 25 - 35 pounds Longevity: midteens
Colors: fawn to gray with minimal white acceptable, black and other colors uncommon Coat type: dense with slight wave, either long or semi-long
Recognized Registries: AKC, FCI, NCA, CKC, UKC, The Kennel Club
Overall Appearance: Piquant and with an alert energy that can be skittishness, the Berger des Pyrenees is unique as a small dog with uncommon working ability. Her exceptional coat and elegant conformation create an extraordinarily attractive outline that draws many fanciers.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: high
General Nature: alert, highly active, inquisitive, sensitive
  with Children: can be good but generally there are better choices
  with other pets: varies, not always reliable with smaller animals
  with dogs: generally good
Socialization requirements: high; without proper support they can be skittish and shy
Ideal home characteristics: One that appreciates the exceptional potential of this dog and the real work required to help develop that.
Temperament Notes: Alert with a tendency toward low confidence and skittishness, intelligent with a tendency toward boredom, active with a tendency toward nervousness
Training requirement: fairly high, socialization (heavy!), basic manners and some ongoing interest
Trainer notes: Like several of the herding breeds that can still herald their working roots, the Berger des Pyrenees, despite its coquettish appearance is not well suited as the typical companion to the duel career household.  Requiring a job of their own, they will create one (like being destructive, excessive barking, aggressive toward strange people and animals, etc.) if left to their own devices excessively.
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: Ancient, referenced as far back as the beginning of transhumance herding around 6000 BC
Country of Origin: France
Original Function: herding
History: Ancient, referenced as far back as the beginning of transhumance herding around 6000 BC
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard:
Health Notes: hip dysplasia, epilepsy, PRA
Health Testing: CERF, OFA
Questions to ask Breeder:  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!


  • How long have you had Pyrenean Shepherd?
  • Why do you have Pyrenean Shepherd (show, performance, hunting, etc.)?
  • What do you consider to be the most important single characteristic of a Pyrenean Shepherd?
  • What health issues have you seen in the breed?
  • What criteria do you set for your breeding stock?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • How often do you have puppies?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • At what age do you sent your pups to their homes?
  • How would you describe the ideal Pyrenean Shepherd?
  • How would you describe the ideal Pyrenean Shepherd home?
  • Are your puppies whelped in your home?
  • What advice would you offer someone in raising and training a Pyrenean Shepherd?
  • Web Sites: No reference found for an organized Pyrenean Shepherd Rescue in North America
    Other Resources
    Breed standard: Standard for the Berger des Pyrenees with the Canadian Kennel Club

    Breeder Ethics: Code of Ethics for the Pyrenean Shepherd Club of America

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