The Pyrenean Sheepdog (also known as Pyrenean Shepherd) is a medium sized working dog originally bred to herd flocks in its native France. It has an alert, lean and racy outline with an energetic appearance. It features a triangular head with a short-haired muzzle that tapers evenly to a pigmented nose with no stop. It has long hairs on the face and cheeks. The almond-shaped eyes can be dark brown or blue or flecked with blue with black eye rims. It has short, highly set ears with the bottom part erect while the top portion hangs forward or to the side; a complete scissor bite and a rather long and muscular neck. The front legs are lean and straight with the shoulder showing the prominent withers, while the hindquarters features well muscled thighs. The oval feet are lean and flat cushioned by dark pads with hairs in between. The docked tail is low set and well covered with hair. The coat of the Pyrenean Sheepdog can be long to semi-long, fairly harsh in texture and can either be flat or slightly wavy. Coat colours include various shades of fawn, light to dark grey, blue merle, slate blue or brindle, black, or black and white.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The Pyrenean Sheepdog is one of the oldest French breeds and has tendered the pastures of the Pyrenees mountains in southern France for many centuries. Fossil records show that sheep and goat herding were so well develop in this region as early as 6,000 B.C. where skeletal remains of small dogs similar to the bone structure of the modern Pyrenean sheepdog were found in sub-fossil deposits. These dogs are well-adapted to the high altitude weather and provided constant companionship to herders. The first written references to this breed dates back from the 1700s describing the transhumance herding that this breed is well-adapted to. The Pyrenean sheepdog guides the flock from the foothills seeking greener pastures higher and higher up the mountains as summer wears on. During the autumn, the flock are again guided down to the lowlands to over-winter. In all these travels, the Pyrenean sheepdog worked side by side with the Pyrenean Mountain dog (Great Pyrenees) which guarded the flock. In the early Modern period, the breed was depicted in many paintings, engravings and lithographs. After World War I, the breed gained popularity in France for its courageous deed as a war messenger, search and rescue dog, watch dog and mascot. Although still relatively unknown outside of France, the Pyrenean sheepdog is slowly gaining more attention as a gifted sporting dog.
The Pyrenean sheepdog packs a lot of energy for its size, being bred as a working dog. It is well adaptable to changing conditions and always willing to do chores. It is very loyal and affectionate to its master with a keen desire to please. It is very clever, ever watchful and wary of strangers, characters that makes it highly trainable and an excellent candidate for a watchdog.
Because it has a high sense of intelligence and a keen herding instinct, socialization at an early age is required for the Pyrenean Sheepdog to be able to raise a breed that is free from timidity or aggressiveness.
Surprisingly, the coat that seems to require a lot of maintenance does not need plenty of attention. The coat has the proper texture that is fairly easy to maintain and stays very clean and tangle-free on its own. Brushing the coat with a firm bristle brush a few times a week is sufficient grooming to keep the coat in excellent form, especially the long-haired variety where the coat may cord if not properly maintained.
The Pyrenean Sheepdog is a very healthy breed with a life span of 10 to 13 years, although a well-maintained pet may get to live beyond 13 years. However, like all breed of dogs, there are certain genetic disorders that have been known to affect the breed including canine hip dysplasia which can cause debilitating orthopaedic disease of the hip, canine epilepsy, characterized by recurrent seizures and progressive retinal atrophy or PRA which involves the gradual deterioration of the retina that culminates into blindness. Be sure to get your puppy from a responsible and reputable breeder and that its parents have clear health records including hip x-rays and eye tests.
This breed needs plenty of physical activity and exercise. Running off lead in a secured and safe area is recommended. It is well-suited for an apartment life provided that it is given the right amount of exercise.
It is generally good with children, although it may tend to herd small children. Working in a natural environment with other dog breeds has made the Pyrenean sheepdog an excellent companion with other dogs and will do equally well with other household animals.