The Pyrenean Shepherd: A Complete Guide

When looking for your new dog, you will want to do as much research as possible to make it easier for you to decide on a breed that is right for you.

Even when it comes to choosing between pure and mixed dogs, you will have to put some thought into things. Today, we’ll look at the Pyrenean Shepherd.

The Pyrenean Shepherd is one of the older dog breeds in existence, and it has worked closely with the Great Pyrenees in guarding and guiding flocks of livestock, mainly sheep.

These dogs are used to handling challenging mountainous terrain. The Pyrenean Shepherd may not be a large dog, but it is a capable one.

While the Great Pyrenees was the guardian of the flock, the Pyrenean Shepherd was the breed that was assigned to guide the livestock around.

Over the course of this guide, I will be covering everything that a prospective owner should know about the Pyrenean Shepherd before deciding this is the right breed.

Pyrenean Shepherd Puppies – Before You Buy…

The Pyrenean Shepherd is a small-medium dog that has the instincts of a shepherd.

First off, there are things that you have to know about the puppies of a dog breed, including the Pyrenean Shepherd.

In this section, I’ll let you know how much you can expect to pay for these puppies, where you can typically find them, and a few relatively obscure facts about Pyrenean Shepherd pups.

What Price are Pyrenean Shepherd Puppies?

The Pyrenean Shepherd can be found for a reasonable enough price, though it will depend on a few factors that are often out of your control.

The coat, size, and lineage of your Pyrenean Shepherd will have the most significant effect on how much you can expect to pay for it.

Most of these puppies will sell for around 500 to 800 dollars, but again, this is dependent on where you are located and the dog itself.

In the northwestern US, for example, there is a large concentration of dog breeders, so you may be able to find these dogs on sale for a lower price yet.

How to Find Reputable Pyrenean Shepherd Breeders?

When you are looking for a new puppy, you will want to make sure that the breeders are on the up-and-up.

Dog breeding is a domain where people of low moral fiber stand to gain quite a bit of money if they are cruel enough to mistreat their animals, and there are plenty of people who are capable of it.

If you want to avoid supporting a puppy mill or some other disgusting form of canine exploitation, you should take it into your own hands to investigate.

Ask around in the community, pay visits to your breeder’s home, and read reviews for their business online to find out whether or not your Pyrenean Shepherd comes from a good home.

3 Little-Known Facts About Pyrenean Shepherd Puppies

  1.  Many people assume that Pyrenean Shepherd puppies are a mixed breed due to their oddly furry bodies but relative lack of fur on the legs and face. In fact, the Pyrenean Shepherd has a long and distinguished lineage that leads back to the time of Ancient Rome, making it a very old and pure breed of dog.
  2. There are two main varieties of Pyrenean Shepherds, but they may not be distinguishable when your dog is still a puppy. The first type is the smooth-faced variety that has substantially less fur around its face. The other type is the rough-faced Pyrenean Shepherd that has what resembles a beard of fur all over its face.
  3. The Pyrenean Shepherd gained its reputation as a heroic breed during the First World War. These dogs were used as couriers, watchdogs, as well as for search-and-rescue, with many wounded soldiers crediting the Pyrenean Shepherd as a life-saver.

Physical Traits of the Pyrenean Shepherd

The Pyrenean Shepherd has a long and distinguished lineage.

The Pyrenean Shepherd is a very recognizable dog breed thanks to its relatively thin body but its scruffy fur.

This breed has a few different coat types that are possible, with one of them having substantially more fur than the other. Fawn and brindles are most common when it comes to the coat’s color.

I’ve already addressed the differences between smooth-faced and rough-faced Pyrenean Shepherds, but in some cases, the differences will even extend to the entire coat.

Some Pyrenean Shepherds will have a surprisingly thin coat that is still highly effective at retaining heat in the winter.

While this dog breed is relatively small, it has a proportionate body that is both long and athletic, making it more capable than you would assume.

Another feature that is possible in a pure Pyrenean Shepherd is a black mask, which some (wrongly) attribute to impurity in the breed.

How Big is a Full-Grown Pyrenean Shepherd?

The Pyrenean Shepherd is the smallest dog that is used to herd livestock in the French-Italian area, where the breeds need to be able to handle the mountainous terrain.

This breed’s relatively low weight helps them exert less ground pressure, making it easier for them to get through packed snow without sinking.

Most Pyrenean Shepherds will weigh between 15 and 34 pounds, making them smaller than they look.

These dogs are usually between 16 and 22 inches tall, though their fur may end up adding an inch or so to their height, at least in the rough-faced variety.

What is the Life Expectancy of the Pyrenean Shepherd?

When you consider the small size of the Pyrenean Shepherd, it becomes evident that this is a breed that has a long lifespan.

In fact, the Pyrenean Shepherd lives for about as long as the smallest dog breeds, even though it tends to be larger on average than most of those dogs.

Most of the time, Pyrenean Shepherds will live between 15 and 17 years, though it is not unheard of to have one make it all the way to 18.

As long as your Pyrenean Shepherd faces no serious health conditions over the course of its life, it will be able to live one that is long and fulfilling.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Pyrenean Shepherd

Some Pyrenean Shepherds can have a surprisingly thin coat.

One of the most common characteristics of this dog breed is an endless reserve of energy.

The Pyrenean Shepherd will always be willing to play with you or go outside for a run, even as they grow older.

Puppies, on the other hand, are a different matter altogether, and they will be bouncing off of your walls.

Other than being naturally protective and willing to work, these dogs are quite intelligent, a trait which is necessary for Shepherds.

Keep in mind that these dogs were raised as herders, so they will be willing to chase you around the house. This aspect tends to make these dogs less suitable around children.

The Pyrenean Shepherd will need to be trained if you would like to restrain some of their more common impulses, like barking at the sudden movement.

If trained correctly, you will find that the Pyrenean Shepherd can make for an excellent show dog, though that will take quite a bit of effort.

The Pyrenean Shepherd’s Diet

When deciding on your Pyrenean Shepherd’s diet, you will have to choose between canned or dry dog food, and you will find that you are (surprisingly) better off opting for dry.

In addition to being more affordable, there are special types of dry food that are made specifically for highly energetic breeds like the Pyrenean Shepherd.

Since these dogs spend a lot of time running around excitedly and playing with members of the household, they will need to consume more food than a typical dog of this size.

Keep in mind that the Pyrenean Shepherd can be found in a range of sizes, from small to medium.

This means that you should likely consult your vet before deciding on the ideal feeding schedule and amount for your dog.

How Much Exercise Does the Pyrenean Shepherd Need?

As I have mentioned before, the Pyrenean Shepherd is one of the most energetic dogs that you will find in this size range.

You will have to be prepared to take out a dog of this type far more often than other small to medium breeds.

I would recommend taking out your dog for anywhere between 6 and 11 miles of exercise per week, though this will depend on a few factors.

First off, the size of your dog will determine how much exercise it needs. Your Pyrenean Shepherd’s diet will also affect how often the dog needs to be taken out for a run.

Pyrenean Shepherd Health and Conditions

The Pyrenean Shepherd is a relatively healthy dog breed, even for one that is pure.

The few issues that you can expect this breed to suffer from are often common to many other types of dogs, both small and large.

Serious Issues:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Epileptic Seizures

Minor Issues:

My Final Thoughts on the Pyrenean Shepherd

If you are looking for a small-medium dog that still has the instincts of a shepherd, few options will be able to match the Pyrenean Shepherd.

I hope that this guide has been able to inform you sufficiently about this dog breed, and I wish you luck in finding the ideal pet.

 

Image sources: 1, 2, 3

OVERALL SUMMARY

5
Cost to Buy
8.5
Cuteness Level
8
Family Safety
8
Friendliness
5.5
Health Concerns
8.5
Life Span
4
Exercise Required
5
Food Required
OVERALL RATING 6.6 / 10

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