Pyrenean Sheepdog (Berger des Pyrénées)
This smart four-legged friend has it all. As a passionate herding dog, there is a great deal of energy in the shaggy coat. The shrewd Pyrenean Sheepdog - known as Berger des Pyrénées in French - loves two things above all: work and his family. Check out this breed profile to see if the charming Frenchman fits into your life.
The intelligent Pyrenean Sheepdog is known to be loyal to its owner. Nevertheless, this is a stubborn breed with a lot of energy. So this four-legged friend definitely needs an experienced owner who can consistently show him his limits. But if you can do that, the cooperation with this independent breed is all the more beautiful.
This bundle of energy likes to have fun with its owner. However, it is an active working dog that should not be kept without a clear task and intensive physical and mental exercise. If properly exercised, this dog is an exuberant companion. Nevertheless, the breed tends to bark, but without excessive yapping.
As a bright herding dog, the Pyrenean Sheepdog should in no case be kept in a kennel. He needs the connection to the family in the house. With proper exercise, the four-legged dog can also live in a family with children and enjoy time with the family. Towards strangers, the Pyrenean Sheepdog is suspicious and reserved.
The Berger des Pyrénées has a medium to long coat. This is dense and has a smooth to slightly wavy texture. It resembles goat hair or sheep wool in texture. Due to these characteristics of the coat, dogs of this breed often have villi or cords - so-called cadenettes - or even plates. These then cover the croup and thighs much like roof tiles. They may also occur on the chest and elbows. Its coat texture gives the smart four-legged dog a tousled look.
The Pyrenean Sheepdog comes in a wide variety of colors. The variety in fawn - a brown-yellowish color - exists in lighter and darker shades. Black hair may be covered and white patches occasionally exist on the chest and limbs. Gray also occurs in this breed with varying intensities. Often these specimens have white on the head, chest and limbs. There are also blue with black spotting, brindle coat, pure black or black with white spots. However, in the official breed standard, the pure colors are preferred.
The males of the medium-sized Pyrenean Sheepdog grow to about 42 to 48 cm. The somewhat smaller bitches usually reach 40 to 46 cm. However, a tolerance of 2 cm up and down is allowed in otherwise perfect specimens. The sweet bundles of energy reach a weight of 8 to 15 kg.
It should be noted that even in the official FCI directory of this breed there are two variants. The long-haired, shaggy variant is much better known. Its relative with smooth coat has much shorter hair, especially on the face. This variant of the breed is now also becoming increasingly popular.
The right food
As with all dogs, the diet of the Pyrenean Sheepdog should consist mostly of meat. The active herding dog needs protein-rich food to optimally support its lifestyle. Of course, carbohydrates and healthy fats should not be neglected.
There are no known specific intolerances in this breed, but they can occur occasionally in all dogs. Therefore, adapt the diet to your dog and carefully test whether he does not tolerate certain ingredients well.
High quality dog food does not contain any sugar or artificial additives such as flavor enhancers or colorings. Read the composition carefully to avoid feeding your dog unhealthy chemicals. Alternatively, you can make the food yourself at home. In this case, you should be particularly well informed so that your dog receives all the important nutrients.
Divide the daily amount of food into two to three meals. If your pet often gets treats or small snacks to nibble on throughout the day, you should pay attention to this and reduce the portion of the regular food somewhat. In this way you will prevent overweight, which is harmful for the health and especially for the joints of your dog.
The type and amount of food should be adapted to the age, size and activity of the dog. A puppy needs a particularly slow transition from the breeder's food to its own choice of food when it moves in. In its best years, the Pyrenean Shepherd is very active in sports and must be supplied with the necessary energy through the food. An old, less active dog must eat less, because his urge to move is reduced and digestion slows down with age.
With all dogs it is best to start already in puppy ageto practice the grooming routine on a regular basis. This way your dog can slowly get used to it and it will be much easier for you to perform the necessary grooming later on.
The Pyrenean Sheepdog should be brushed about once or twice a week. This prevents and also loosens matting, but without changing the natural, deliberately shaggy appearance of the fur nose.
Due to the rough structure, it happens more often that small twigs and other plant parts get stuck in the fur during walks. Ticks also like to take every opportunity to bite into your dog's skin. It is therefore recommended, check the coat after each round of the walk and remove all stowaways.
The hanging ears provide the best conditions for infections. For this reason, you should check them regularly and clean them with special ear cleaner for dogs. Also make sure that the claws of your pelt-nose do not become too long. If necessary, you should shorten them with claw scissors. If you are unsure, ask your vet to show you how to do it properly and safely. Especially with dark claws, be careful not to cut too far.
Check regularly that the fur does not obstruct the view of your dog or even grows into the eyes. If necessary, you should trim it. Our sweet four-legged friends also benefit from regular trimming of their Brushes teeth. There is extra toothpaste for dogs. You can use this with a small, soft toothbrush or a special attachment for the finger.
In addition to caring for the appearance must also pay attention to the breed characteristics. A Pyrenean Shepherd dog necessarily needs direct connection to his familyto be able to lead a happy life. The agile Frenchman is only properly cared for when also his for herding dogs typical urge to move and the intelligent little head to be exercised.
So, unless you have a flock of sheep ready to herd, you should be be on the road with your darling for several hours a day and additionally equip it with Brain teaser employ. Dog sports like agility can be a nice outlet for his extraordinary energy. Some dogs of this breed also become Jobs like avalanche guard dogs trained.
The Pyrenean Shepherd Dog also needs the typical basic equipment of any dog. These include items such as bowls, leashes, sleeping places, harness and collar. For routine care you need special ear cleaner for dogs, claw scissors, dog toothpaste and a toothbrush for dogs. For coat care, a comb and brush are suitable for loosening knots and tangles.
Being a very athletic dog, the Pyrenean Shepherd Dog also lends itself to Toys that you can take with you on walks or use in the garden. But be sure to also consider a colorful selection of brainteasers and sniffing tasksso that your dog is also mentally exercised. Only in this way can this sweet herding dog become a balanced companion.
Origin & History
The breeding of the Pyrenean Sheepdog began with the primary goal of creating particularly hard-working dogs for the French shepherds in the Pyrenees. The herding dogs should be persistent, healthy and agile. In breeding, emphasis was placed mainly on the character of the dogs. Their appearance was of little importance in the beginning.
The Pyrenean Sheepdog is considered a oldest shepherd dog in France. It developed silently for many centuries and only gained notoriety in official cynology at the beginning of the 20th century. At that time, Mr. Bernard Sénac-Lagrange wrote the first official breed standard from 1921 to 1925. On 28.01.1955 the breed was officially recognized by the FCI. The variant of the breed with short fur on the face was already recognized by the FCI two days earlier, on 26.01.1955.