Berger des Pyrenees

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30-45 lbs
15-19"
French Pyrenees Mountains
PyShep

The Berger des Pyrenees is considered to be the smallest French herding breed and he does not reach full maturity until he is about three years old. He comes in two distinct looks: smooth face and rough faced. He also comes in coat lengths: demi-long and long. He is very energetic and expects you to give him the attention he feels he deserves. He is also very intelligent and can have behavioral issues if he is not given enough exercise or mental stimulation. The Berger des Pyrenees is not the right dog for an inexperienced dog owner. He does require extensive training and plenty of exercise.

Purpose
Herding livestock
Date of Origin
6000 BC
Ancestry
Shepherd

Berger des Pyrenees Health

Average Size
Height: 16-20 inches Weight: 44-55 lbs
Height: 15-19 inches Weight: 30-45 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus
Minor Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Occasional Tests
  • OFA
  • CERF
  • Eye Examination
  • Full Physical Examination

Berger des Pyrenees Breed History

The Berger des Pyrenees originated in the Pyrenees Mountains of Southern France.  The Berger des Pyrenees was developed by ranchers and farmers to work closely with the Great Pyrenees, a livestock guardian dog who guarded the herd against predators. There are several myths surrounding this interesting herding breed. These myths include that the Berger des Pyrenees descended from Pyrenean foxes and bears, and that he is the original dog of the Cro-Magnon people who painted the caves at Lascaux. There have been bones of small dogs found in the Neolithic sub-fossil deposits that date back to 6000 BC. During World War I, the Berger des Pyrenees was taken from his homeland to aid in the war effort. He was used to seek out the wounded soldiers, deliver messages and act as a guard dog. The Berger des Pyrenees has grown in popularity throughout Europe due to his work during World War I. The Berger des Pyrenees came into the Americas in the 19th century with shepherds who migrated to find work herding flocks. Some believe the Berger des Pyrenees played a role in developing the Australian Shepherd, which is a popular herding breed developed in the United States. He became popular in the United States in the 1970s and 1980s. Many breeders in the United States began importing the Berger des Pyrenees from France to use in their breeding programs.

Berger des Pyrenees Breed Appearance

The Berger des Pyrenees is a very lively dog with an intense personality. He has an inquisitive expression that shows his intelligence and his willingness to please. He is light boned without being fine boned or fragile in appearance. The Berger des Pyrenees is an excellent herder and does great in dog sports such as agility, dock diving, herding trials, obedience and rally. He is naturally suspicious of strangers and does need to be socialized beginning at a young age. The Berger des Pyrenees comes in two different coat types: demi-long and long-haired. He also comes in two different varieties: rough face and smooth faced. Both coat types and varieties can be born in the same litter. His coat quality is more important than the amount of coat that he carries. Both the demi-long or long coat types are flat or can have a slight wave. The demi-long Berger des Pyrenees will have culottes on the rump but the long haired Berger des Pyrenees will have a heavier coat with a lot of feathering, his hair may even cord as it grows. His coat is harsh with a minimal undercoat.

Eye Color Possibilities
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
Black
White
Brindle
Blue
Gray
Fawn
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Berger des Pyrenees Breed Maintenance

The Berger des Pyrenees has two distinct looks: smooth faced or rough faced. The rough faced obviously has a furrier face, although his eyes should never be hidden by the hair on his face. Both the smooth faced and rough faced Berger des Pyrenees come in two varieties: demi-long or long haired. No matter what variety or type, the Berger des Pyrenees has a harsh coat that does not mat easily and it does not shed much. As the long haired variety matures, his coat may naturally cord. The amount of grooming required does depend on the variety or coat type. The smooth faced and demi-long needs to be thoroughly brushed only a few times a month. He can be brushed more often to remove any loose hairs or dirt. The rough faced and long haired need to be brushed at least once a week to prevent mats from forming and to keep their coat conditioned. A coat that is corded does require special care and cleaning.

Brushes for Berger des Pyrenees
Dematter
Comb
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Berger des Pyrenees Temperament

The Berger des Pyrenees has great endurance and does require a lot of exercise. He is very active and intelligent, so leaving him in the backyard to entertain himself will cause headaches for his family. He can become vocal and destructive. He would greatly benefit from activities that make him think and burn off some of his energy, such as training for and participating in dog sports. He does have a high herding instinct and will try to herd cars, bicycles, people and other animals. It is good to keep an eye on him when he is playing with children as he could try to herd them by nipping at their legs and feet. A sturdy fence is recommended to keep him from trying to herd traffic on the street. Because he is a herding breed, he is a great guard dog and will sound the alarm when anything unfamiliar comes near his home or property.

Berger des Pyrenees Owner Experiences

12 Months
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
The Pyrenean Shepherd was designed to be a sheepdog, and as such is full of the same sort of energy that other herding dogs have, but in a surprisingly[opinion] small package. This adaptive dog wants to, and can, do all the jobs on the field, and is a natural herder. A dog that needs a job, its cleverness makes it ideal for other work and dog sports such as flyball, competitive obedience, and agility. This dog is good with, and protective of, children with whom they were brought up.[citation needed]
4 weeks ago
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