Did you know?
The Berger des Pyrenees excel at agility. One of these speedy sheepdogs won the World Agility Championship in 2003.
Berger des Pyrenees
Dogs don’t rationalize. They don’t hold anything against a person. They don’t see the outside of a human but the inside of a human. – Cesar Millan
A native of France, the Berger des Pyrenees is known in the English-speaking world as the Pyrenean Shepherd Dog or the Pyrenean Sheepdog.
It seems the Berger des Pyrenees has been a part of the landscape of;the Pyrenees Mountains since before history was written. Legend has it that they are descended from the local Pyrenean bears and foxes. It is even said that this breed was the one sitting next to its Cro-Magnon masters while they painted the caves at Lascaux 25,000 years ago!
The constant companions of shepherds in the mountains, the Pyrenean Shepherd Dog’s job was then what it remains today, to herd the sheep in the High Pyrenees Mountains.
These dogs, as so many others, did service in the World Wars where their intelligence, speed, and cunning proved invaluable in search and rescue and courier service.
The Pyrenean Shepherd Dog stands up to 48 cm (18 inches) tall at the shoulder. There are two different coat types. The rough-faced dog’s coat is long or medium long and wavy, fairly dense, but is shorter on the face and does not cover the eyes. The smooth-faced dog, as his name suggests has short fur on his face and a shorter but still dense coat. Both varieties of dogs may be born in the same litter. Shades of fawn are the most common and may appear with or without a black mask. Shades of gray are also seen as is blue merle colouration. Weekly brushing and checking for burrs and matts is important.
Photos displayed courtesy of Margaret Byron, Diablotin Kennel, British Columbia
Berger des Pyrenees dogs are born to be shepherds and are most likely to attach themselves to one person in the family. They are loyal and dedicated to their owners, with an instinctive desire to do a job that may have them herding whatever is around or just following you around the house. These dogs are good with children if they have been raised with and socialized to them.
This is a lively breed, with lots of energy who is always on the alert with a watchful expression. Their natural wariness, watch dog qualities, and instinctive ability to take charge requires frequent socialization from early puppyhood to combat any tendency to become overly shy or aggressive.
Highly intelligent and intuitive, their watchfulness makes it seem that they can read their masters’ minds! These are great qualities for obedience training which will be a good outlet for their high desire for work. Dog sports such as flyball, competitive obedience, and agility are other great outlets.