• Pyrenean Sheepdogs in UK
  • Pyrenean Sheepdog Dog
  • Pyrenean Sheepdog
  • Pyrenean Sheepdogs
  • Pyrenean Sheepdog Pet in the UK
  • Pyrenean Sheepdog Dogs
  • Pyrenean Sheepdog Dog Breed
  • Pyrenean Sheepdog Breed information
  • Pyrenean Sheepdogs Pets in the UK
  • Pyrenean Sheepdog Breed
Size:
Grooming:
Exercise Level:
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Barking Level:
Good with Children:
Good with other pets:
Affectionate:
Protective:
Height: 39 - 47cm M | 39 - 47cm F
Weight: 7 - 15kg M | 7 - 15kg F
Life Expectancy: 15 - 17 Years

Looking for a Pyrenean Sheepdog?


Introduction

The Pyrenean Sheepdog, not to be confused with the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, is an ancient breed from the Pyrenean region of France. It is a rare breed outside its home country so obtaining a well-bred puppy in the UK can prove to be challenging. Although it is devoted to all its humans, it develops the strongest bond with one particular person, usually the one that makes the most effort in taking care of it.

Are you thinking of getting a Pyrenean Sheepdog? Here is a brief background of this alert and curious sheepdog.


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History

The Pyrenean Sheepdog, as the name suggests, came from the Pyrenean region of France. It is an ancient breed that was created as a hardy sheepdog that could endure challenging terrains and extreme weather. It was often paired with its cousin breed, the larger Pyrenean Mountain Dog, where the former herded the flock while the latter served as the guard dog against predators.

Pyrenean Sheepdogs were taken to the USA in the 19th century originally as sheepdogs but later on became messengers and trackers of injured soldiers during the First World War. The breed is also credited to be the ancestor of the Australian Shepherd. Although recognised by most international breed registries, it is not that popular outside France and Spain. It is registered with The Kennel Club under the Pastoral group.


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Appearance and Grooming

The Pyrenean Sheepdog is a medium dog with an average size of 38 to 50 centimetres and 31 to 55 pounds. It exudes both energy and mischief that make it charming. Its head is almost triangular when viewed from above and its body is slightly longer than it is tall but still well proportioned. It has almond to oval shaped eyes that are dark brown or blue, a black nose with wide-open nostrils, a strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite, and short triangular erect ears. It also has a strong long neck, and a lean, strong and muscular body.

When it comes to the coat, the Pyr Shep can have (1) a rough face, which is either long or moderately long and straight or wavy; or (2) a smooth face, which is moderately long with very little undercoat. Both coats are harsh, dense and flat. Those with long hairs may have natural cords. The dog’s hair on the rump and thighs are denser and woollier. Shorter coats have less fringing on the front legs and below the hocks. It comes in various colours such as different shades of fawn, black, brindle, grey, blue merle, black & white.

The extent of grooming your Pyr Shep will depend on the length and type of coat but obviously, a dog with a shorter and closer coat is easier to groom. A weekly brush will usually suffice but brushing becomes more frequent during shedding seasons (spring and autumn). On the other hand, cords need to be patiently separated to look clean and neat. Aside from coat care, other grooming aspects include regular ear cleaning, tooth brushing, and nail clipping. The skin should also be inspected for abnormal spots and fleas.


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Temperament and Intelligence

The Pyrenean Sheepdog is an alert, lively, mischievous, and inquisitive character. Although it loves all its human family members, it builds a super strong bond with only one person. It is not the best choice for first-time owners since it can prove to be a handful to some people especially those that are not used to active dogs. It wants nothing more than be busy and spend time outdoors. This breed is not for individuals with sedentary lifestyles.

Early socialisation and training are key for this intelligent and fast learner. This means that the Pyr Shep can also pick up some unpleasant habits. Owners need to be the alpha and be firm yet gentle in handling this dog since it does not respond well to harsh corrections. If the roles and rules are not set, the Pyrenean Sheepdog will become domineering and difficult to handle.

The Pyr Shep can be wary of strangers, although never aggressive. It is a great watchdog because it quickly alarms its owners of intruders. When it comes to children, it is loving and gentle. However, it can get boisterous and rough during playtime so adults need to be around to supervise. It gets on well with other pets including cats when they are raised together. A well-socialised Pyrenean Sheepdog also has no problem meeting new dogs but small animals and other people’s cats are a different story as it may be considered as prey.


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Nutrition and Feeding

A typical serving for an adult Pyrenean Sheepdog is 1.5 to 2.5 cups of excellent quality dry dog food per day. Always put into consideration your pet’s age, build, size, activity level, and metabolism when it comes to meal timings and amount. If you are unsure, you can always consult a veterinarian. Since it is prone to bloat, measure its food and avoid free-feeding.

 Calorie needs guide for a 40-pound adult Pyrenean Sheepdog per day:

  • Senior and less active: up to 990 calories daily
  • Typical adults: up to 1,100 calories daily
  • Physically active/working dogs: up to 1,200 calories daily

Active dogs like the Pyrenean Shepherd will thrive on a diet rich in animal protein and the right amounts of carbs and fats. Steer clear of cheap dog food brands as they usually include artificial colours and flavours that can be harmful to your canine. Also include Omega 3 and 6 for a healthy coat.


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Health and Exercise

The Pyrenean Sheepdog is generally healthy and is known to have a long lifespan of up 17 years. However, it can still develop predisposed illnesses, which are worth knowing for better chances of living out its lifetime. They are bloat, Epilepsy, Hip Dysplasia, Luxating Patellas, Patent Ductus Arteriosus, and heart disease.

This energetic medium dog needs at least 1 hour of exercise per day. If its exercise needs are not met, it can get bored and would find ways to amuse itself, which are usually destructive. Aside from outdoor walks and hikes, and free time at a fenced yard, include canine sports like agility and flyball into its day-to-day schedule.


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Cost of Ownership

If you are interested in caring for a Pyrenean Sheepdog, you would need to go on a waiting list as this breed is rare in the UK. The price for a well-bred pedigree puppy is at least £500. To ensure it stays healthy at whatever age, you will need to feed your dog high quality dog food and treats, which can set you back £30-£40 a month. You would also need to spend on dog accessories such as leads, collars, eating bowls, crates, beds, and toys. The combined initial cost for these things is estimated at £200.

Moreover, you need to consider paying for pet insurance to offset veterinary bills in case your dog suddenly falls ill or gets into an accident. Depending on where you live and your dog’s health and age, a time-limited cover can cost £21 a month while a lifetime one can cost up to £43 a month. Generally, insurance companies do not cover routine veterinary consultations, initial vaccinations, boosters, and neutering or spaying, so you may also have to spend an additional £900 annually for these services.

On average, the minimum cost to care for a Pyrenean Sheepdog is £60-£90 per month depending on your pet insurance premium. This estimate does not include the rates for other services such as walking and grooming.


Pyrenean Sheepdog Breed Highlights

  • The Pyrenean Sheepdog is an alert and devoted canine companion.
  • It thrives in a family that leads an active and outdoor lifestyle.
  • This breed requires a strong leader; hence, not recommended for novice owners.
  • The Pyr Shep has a potentially long lifespan of up to 17 years.
  • It is good watchdog because it is quick to alert owners of intruders.
Pyrenean Sheepdog

Are you sure the Pyrenean Sheepdog is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.

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Disclaimer:
The information, including measurements, prices and other estimates, on this page is provided for general reference purposes only.