Pyrenean Shepherd: Dog Breed Information

Country of origin: France
Shoulder height: 38 – 48 cm
Weight: 8 -12 kg
Age: 12 – 15 years
Color: beige, grey, harlequin, brindle, black
Use: working dog, companion dog

The Pyrenean Shepherd (Berger des Pyrénées) is a sheepdog that originated in the French Pyrenees. It is a spirited, courageous and intelligent dog who also has a lot of will of his own. As a classic herding dog, it needs a meaningful task, consistent training, and lots of outdoor exercises. This breed of dog is not suitable for couch potatoes.

Origin and history

The Pyrenean Shepherd comes from the French Pyrenees, where it was used for centuries to herd sheep in the high mountains. The first breed standard was not defined until the 1920s, and the first Pyrenean Shepherds came to Germany in the mid-1970s.

Two breeds developed over time, the long-haired and the short-haired Pyrenean Sheepdog, with the short-haired being mostly restricted to the face and head. Today, the Pyrenean Shepherd is a sporty family companion dog and is still a dedicated herding dog.


The Pyrenean Shepherd is a medium-sized, long-haired dog whose physique is optimized for herding work in the mountains. Strong but at the same time fast and agile, it is a good climber and has amazing jumping ability. The colors are varied: they are available in beige with different shades, harlequin, black, gray, or brindle.

The fur is made in such a way that it offers optimal protection against wind and weather. It is medium to long, dense, and smooth to slightly wavy with plenty of undercoats. The texture is something between goat hair and sheep’s wool. The top coat and undercoat can become matted into villi (the Cadenettes typical of the breed). The tail is hanging and long, and the ears are relatively short, triangular, and also hanging. The tail and ears were originally docked, which is now banned in almost all European countries. But there are still congenital bobtails.


The Pyrenean Shepherd is a courageous, intelligent, and spirited dog that – by its original herding duties – also acts very independently when necessary. He is lively but not nervous, willingly barks at times, is suspicious of strangers, and is alert.

It is docile and eager to learn, but needs consistent and loving training and, above all, workload. Because the smart, robust herding dog loves and needs exercise outdoors – no matter what the weather – and is not a couch potato. The Pyrenean Sheepdog can also be kept in a city if sport and outdoor play are not neglected. It is also a suitable partner for dog sports activities – such as agility or obedience.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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