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Pyrenean Sheepdog

Pyrenean Sheepdog

Lean and athletic with a somewhat windswept long or semi-long coat, the Pyrenean Sheepdog is one of the smallest sheepdog breeds. Under the coat, which comes in fawn, grey, blue merle, slate blue or brindle, black or black and white, is a medium-sized dog with a strong, racy frame, sharp eyes and intelligent expression.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for experienced owners
  • Some training required
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys walking one to two hours a day
  • Medium dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Very vocal dog
  • Guard dog. Barks and alerts
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Key Facts

Lifespan: 15-17 years
Weight: Between 7-15kg
Height: 40-48cm for males, and 38-46 for females
Colours: Fawn, grey, blue merle, slate blue or brindle, black, or black and white
Size: Medium
Kennel Club Groups: Pastoral


Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 2/5
Tolerates being alone: 1/5
Likes other pets: 2/5
Energy level: 4/5
Grooming needs: 2/5
Shedding: 3/5


The Pyrenean Sheepdog is an extremely quick-witted, sharp-minded and intelligent little dog. Built to endure harsh weather and steep, rough terrain, they also have the brains to control large numbers of potentially panicky and argumentative sheep who outweigh them by as much as 50kg. As such, while physically small, this is both physically and mentally a tough dog.
Loyal and responsive to their owners, they are suspicious of strangers and strongly motivated to watch for movement, herd and bark to alert to danger.

History and Origins

Country of Origin: France

This is one of France’s oldest breeds as the Pyrenean Sheepdog or Berger des Pyrenees dates back to the 19th Century. Used for herding and moving large flocks of sheep around the mountainous French Pyrenees, they came to the attention of rest of the world during the First World War, when they were used as nimble and swift messenger dogs by the French army.
They can still be found working as a sheepdog in rural France today, though more often they have found a home as companion dogs. The first breed standard was published in 1926 in France, but the breed is still relatively new to the UK with the breed club not being formed until 1992.

Health and Common Concerns 

Exercise Needs

Space Requirements

Nutrition and Feeding

Grooming Pyrenean Sheepdogs


Best Family Dog Breeds

Did You Know?

There is another variety of Pyrenean Sheepdog, the Pyrenean Sheepdog (Smooth-faced) which has been known and recognised in France for the same length of time the Pyrenean Sheepdog has – these are due to be recognised by the UK Kennel Club in 2021.

In rural France this breed was traditionally subjected to ear-cropping. This has been illegal in the UK since around the 1820’s but was only out-lawed in France in 2010.

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