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The Pyrenean Shepherd, also referred to as Petit Berger or simply Pyr Shep, is a breed of small to medium-sized dog that originated in France. It belongs to the herding breed family which is remarkable for their incomparable ability to control the movement of other animals. Pyrenean Shepherds have been bred to herd sheep and other livestock. Their coat has two variants: the “Demi Long” which comes in a long, flat body coat, and a medium-length facial hair, and the “Rough Face” which comes in long hair on both face and body. Coat colors typically include fawn, merle, gray, black, brindle, and black with some white markings.
Height and Weight
Rough-faced or long-haired Pyres normally stand a height of 15 to 18 ½ in at the withers, while the Demi Long or smooth-faced Pyres are a bit larger with a usual height of 15 to 21 in. Normal weight is about 20 lbs, though average-sized members of the line could vary from 15 to 30 lbs weight.
Pyr Sheps, in general, are very intelligent dogs that commonly require a lot of regular mental and physical stimulation. Like most sheepdogs, they are also very enegetic, and adaptable. The breed is known for being clever; capable of excelling at various dog sports such as obedience, agility, and flyball. Having been bred to become guard dogs, they have the propensity to bark at almost anything especially those of which that seem to impose potential danger. Consequently, owners have to teach these dogs which is acceptable barking and which is not. Early socialization is also necessary to accustom these Pyr Sheps with people, sights, and noises. The breed requires an experienced handler who can give ample time at the same time show patience to train and develop them into well-adjusted canines.
Pyrenean Shepherds are not demanding when it comes coat care. Their coat only needs to be brushed every several weeks. Trimming is not advisable for show purposes. The hair of rough-faced Pyre variant will start to cord in place if brushing has not been done.
Pyr Sheps are generally a healthy breed. As a matter of fact, some can live even in their late teens. Nevertheless, like any other canine, the breed is also susceptible to a few health issues. These include hip dysplasia, luxating patella, epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy, and PDA.
Members of the Pyrenean Shepherd are basically adaptable to almost any living environment. It is the amount of physical and mental exercise provided that really becomes an issue. Lack of adequate exercise makes the breed quite destructive. Additionally, Pyr Sheps love to be with people so locking them up in a kennel or even leaving them outside for an extended period of time is not recommended.