Pyrenean Shepherds

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This is an active little breed that has been herding sheep in the Pyrenees for over 3000 years.

Pyrenean Shepherds are a delightful, Benji look-alike about the size of a Shetland Sheepdog, with an energy level closer to that of a Border Collie.

They are not only excellent and intent herders; they are magnificent canine athletes that excel in Agility and other dog sports. A bit shy around strangers, they are active and enthusiastic members of a busy family. Bright and mischievous, they require owners that can stay one step ahead of them.

They come in rough (pictured) and smooth faced, with medium length hair in shades of fawn or grey, including blue merle.


As the name implies, this breed comes from the Pyrenees Mountains. Small dog bones resembling them have been found in local Neolithic sub-fossil deposits. They have been part of the Pyrenean landscape since herding began there; and even in 6000 BC, herding was so well developed in the Pyrenees Mountains that the region was in danger of overgrazing. This breed has been around for a long, long time.

Some smooth faced blue merle Pyr Sheps came to the US in the late 19th century where they became a progenitor of the Australian Shepherd.

By the Numbers

Size: around 17 inches at the shoulder, light-boned with just enough flesh to cover the bones.
Coat Care: 6 – medium. They do best with a thorough brushing twice a week. 
Trainability: 10 – very high. This breed needs and demands a job. 
Energy level: 9. They are a high energy breed.
Good with Children: 8 – high. They are happy with energetic and busy children. Quiet kids might find them too intense. 
Noise level: medium – 6: They alert to intruders but are otherwise quiet.
Low Shedding/hypoallergenic: –7, medium to high They do shed and are not hypoallergenic. 

To get a better idea of what kind of breeder to look for, check out What Is a Responsible Breeder. And to make sure you have what it takes, check out:

What Makes a Responsible Pet Owner. To get more information or to find a puppy, contact the Pyrenean Shepherd Club of America.

Tell Us About YOUR Dog!

People come to About Small Dogs to find a good dog, one that matches their lifestyle, their family and what they yearn for.

The best people to explain the finer points of what a breed is like are the people who own and are owned by them.

If you own this breed, this means YOU. What is your dog like? What stories can you tell? What would you like to say to someone who is considering your breed? What is your dog's sterling qualities? How about some of his or her not so great characteristics? Tell us a bit about the ideal owner for your breed as well.

People become good dog owners because they are educated. You know your breed better than any others. Share what you know!

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