The smallest of the French herding dogs, the Pyrenean is no more than 22 inches (56 cm) at the withers, with males between 15 1/2 to 22 inches (39-56 cm), and females between 15 to 20 inches (38-51 cm). The weight is between 15-32 lbs (7-15 kg), aiming for lithe and muscular, never fat.
The head is of small proportions in comparison to the dog, with a rather flat skull, and a somewhat short, triangular muzzle. The face is expressive and intelligent, with dark eyes, except in the case of merles or slate gray coat colour. In France and North America, the general choice for the dog's ears is cropped, otherwise, the Pyrenean Shepherd should have semi-prick or rose ears. Naturally prick ears are not correct for the breed, and may indicate an outcross.
The body is long and lean, and should reflect the natural energetic athleticism of the dog. The legs are well proportioned, with lean, well-angulated, well-let-down hocks typical of a sure-footed mountain breed. The tail can be docked short, a natural bob-tail, or naturally long with a crook in the end, so long as its carried below the topline at rest and in motion.
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 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.
Pyreneans are "one-man" dogs, attached and dedicated to their owners, with a desire to follow them around the house to help with daily chores. They sense every mood and often seem to be able to read their masters' minds, as they are constantly watchful. Because of this, they are extremely trainable.
Their natural wariness, while valuable in a herding dog that may need to alert their shepherd of strange animals or people, combined with their herding bossiness, can lead to shyness or aggression in even the most friendly puppy if not properly managed. Frequent socialization from a very young age can help counter this trait.
It is not yet a well-known breed outside of its native France, but its size, intelligence, and attractive coat make it appealing. After one of its breed won the World Agility Championship for midsized dogs in 2003, it gained more attention as an intelligent performance dog for dog sports.
300,000 hail the conquering hero; SMOOTH-FACED and smiling, Goran Ivanisevic partied the night away after his epic Wimbledon triumph.
Jul 11, 2001; conquering hero In between drinking champagne and eating pizza and pasta with friends and family members, the tireless champion...