Pyrenean Shepherd, originally said Berger des Pyrenées, he is French, and is the smallest, but most valuable, of the cattle-conducting dogs. His cute name is Shepherd and he deserves it all. The Pyrenean Shepherd was first studied by Dutrey du Rabastens in 1927, he owes his “mignonne” size to the area where he grew up. A mountainous region, that of the Pyrenees, with rough terrain that forced him to remain with an agile and adaptable physique. Today it is widespread not only there but throughout France and neighboring countries. There are two varieties of Pyrenean Shepherd, "Longhaired" and "shaved face".
Pyrenean Shepherd: origins
Born from a common strain with other dogs, the Pyrenean Shepherd it developed with its own characteristics because it remained on the French side of the Pyrenean mountain range. This made it different from its cousins, the "Gos d’Atura "or the" Catalan Shepherd ".
The breed has officially existed since 1914, the official recognition of the breed, definitive, even comes from Société Centrale Canine (SCC) of France in 1926, but the Pyrenean Shepherd he arrived in the mountains between Spain and France with his friend Mountain Dog, also from the Pyrenees, following the migrant populations from Asia. We are therefore centuries and centuries before 1914 when these civilizations chose to settle in the valleys of the Pyrenees.
During the many years of life in isolation among the valleys, the Pyrenean Shepherd lived close to the populations and in the meantime a massive and natural "Inbreeding”Among the dogs that led to the modification of the breed's physique. So many were born subraces from valley to valley, all then divided according to height, coat and color. There were long-haired or short-haired ones, but even in these two varieties, there were many different types.
Pyrenean Shepherd: general appearance
The Pyrenean Shepherd coma we said is the smallest guide dog in herds, so he has one medium-small size: at the withers the males range from 40 to 50 cm and the females slightly less. It is a dog with tense nerves, all instinct and nerve mass, maximum efficiency, maximum ability to react in a small body for the role it plays.
The head of the Pyrenean Shepherd she is quite petite and on the whole this dog has a center of gravity close to the ground which helps it to stay better in balance when moving even in inaccessible areas. The legs have narrow, thin and light soles, the eyes are brown with black lids, but it is the expression that immediately strikes: alive and attentive.
The snout of the Pyrenean Shepherd it is straight and a little short, the nose is undeniably black, the ears are rather short, the tail is well fringed, not too long, set rather low. Make a hook at its end.
We come to the hair of the Pyrenean Shepherd: it is fine and covers a skin with a mottled marble effect. Long or not long, the hair is always thick and never curled, at most slightly wavy, more abundant and more woolly on the rump and thighs.
The colors allowed by the breed standard of Pyrenean Shepherd, they are: more or less dark fawn, also with pieces of black and white fur on the chest and legs, more or less light gray, with white on the head, chest and legs. And then there is also the harlequin version in different shades. It exists but rare, the Pyrenean Shepherd with black or black coat with white markings.
Pyrenean Shepherd: character
The Pyrenean Shepherd he is a working dog, above all, and hard working, therefore he has all the character characteristics to be able to do it at his best. Above all, he has the rare but precious ability to face and resolve difficult situations. He is alert and courageous like few others, and his own Reaction times it's legendary.
As a companion dog it is good because it is also very cheerful and very nice, its appearance also attracts, especially children. It is a dog used to living outdoors, the Pyrenean Shepherd, but it also adapts very well to living at home or in an apartment with the family as long as you often bring it to let off steam outdoors.
Despite having an inexhaustible energy, this dog is not rebellious but rather shows one complete devotion towards his master, he is always loyal and consecrates himself to the work or task that is given to him. It always has an air sly and suspicious, is a little guy to be told: even if very attached to the family he remains a strong and stubborn character, distrustful of strangers.
Pyrenean Shepherd: puppies
Even as a puppy, the Pyrenean Shepherd it does not need a lot of care and attention, least of all in terms of aesthetics: just keep it clean and brush it periodically. If you educate him well immediately he can become good at Agility competitions and get excellent results because he is very receptive and intelligent. If you want to weaken his character so strong and lively, if it bothers him to be like this rustic, we must face this educational operation as a young man, with a firm hand and very very patient.
Pyrenean Shepherd: long-haired
One of the two versions of Pyrenean Shepherd is the long-haired one. It is not easy to understand when and how they occur, because from short-haired specimens can be born subjects with short hair and vice versa: we have to challenge fate, there is no bloodline made up of individuals who all belong to a single variety.
The Pyrenean Shepherd with short hair has short hair on the head, on the front of the legs, and semi-long on the rest of the body, in the long-haired version, however, the similarity is that with the goat hair and sheep's wool.
It can also happen that the mixing of the variants produces a Pyrenean Shepherd with locks or ropes called “cadenettes” or plates called “matelots” that cover the rump and thigh and sometimes the chest and lower limbs at the elbow.
Pyrenean Shepherd: price and spread
A puppy of Pyrenean Shepherd it can cost approx 900-1000 euros. Today it is an underestimated breed: although it is the smallest shepherd dog, it is not inferior to other types of breeds. Still, it's not widely used and desired, considering its true value. Nothing excludes that there may be a boom in the future that will also cause the price to soar. The Pyrenean Shepherd, on the other hand, it is healthy, rustic, long-lived and faithful.
As for diffusion, after a period of good success (1980-2000) then the number of specimens decreased and today it is frequent to find them in France and in some neighboring countries, for the rest the Pyrenean Shepherd it is almost to be considered a rare breed.
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