The Pyrenean Shepherd, or “Pyr Shep”, is an energetic herding dog that hails from the mountains in southern France and northern Spain. How the Pyrenees mountains got their name is (maybe) rooted in Greek mythology. In Greek mythology, Pyrene was a princess who gave her name to the Pyrenees mountains when Hercules buried her there.
Herding dogs like the Pyrenean Shepherd are intelligent and energetic. When not herding sheep, it is great for other work or competitive sports such as obedience and agility.
Pyrenean Shepherds descended from ancient herding dogs used by shepherds of the Pyrenees for who knows how long. It worked together with another AKC-recognized herding dog breed that originated from this same area is the Great Pyrenees.
These two breeds work together very well together. The much larger (85 to 160 pounds) Great Pyrenees (Pyr) would protect the flock from predators such as wolves, while the smaller (15 to 30 pounds) Pyrenean Shepherd (Pyr Shep) would herd the flock.
Together they can control a huge flock of sheep. These two Pyrenean Sheepdogs can control flocks of up to 1,00 sheep.
What Do Pyrenean Shepherds Look Like?
Pyrenean Shepherds come in two coat varieties and rough or smooth-faced. Both varieties are recognized by the AKC, but the smooth-faced is not yet recognized by the Kennel Club. They are small to medium size ranging from about 15 to 20 inches tall at the withers and weighing between 15 to 30 pounds.
The Pyr Shepherd’s coat can be several different colors including black, brindle, gray, white, fawn, and merle. They have a scruffy appearance owing to their double coat, a softer undercoat and a harsher outer coat. They shed quite a lot and should be brushed at least weekly.
Pyrenean Shepherds Are Good Family Dogs
The Pyrenean Shepherd is a good family dog who becomes attached to every family member. Pyrenean will follow you everywhere and try to help you do any chores you are working on. They are good with children that they have grown up with.
They are a rather small dog weighing between 15 to 30 pounds. It has an above-average life span and can live to the late teens. You should consider the Pyrenean Shepherd, an energetic herding dog when choosing a family pet. You could compare it to the Border Collie.
It is not yet a particularly popular breed in the United States. It ranks 181 out of the 197 breeds recognized by the AKC.