New Westminster Breed 2010: The Pyrenean Shepherd

February 9th, 2010 by Dan

The third and final addition to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show for 2010 is the Pyrenean Shepherd. While this member of the Herding Group is quite rare outside of his native France, there he is known as an invaluable guardian of his family and flock.

Pyr Shep Snow

Photo by thomaskoeblitz

History:
The Pyrenean Shepherd has been depicted in art since Medieval times. These dogs have roamed the Pyrenees Mountains for thousands of years. Many members of this breed served their country during World War I alongside French Troops. These dogs served as guards, scouts, messengers and search and rescue canines.

While this breed is very well known in France, they remain rare in North America.

Stats:

The Pyrenean Shepherd is a compact, medium-small breed weighing between 15-32 lbs. There are 2 distinct varieties – Rough-faced and Smooth-faced. The Rough-faced members of the breed are a bit shorter than their Smooth “siblings.”

Rough-faced Pyr Shep

Photo by R4hvin_

This breed is highly intelligent and trainable, always wanting to be with their family. However, they do have a natural suspicion towards strangers, thus careful, early socialization is not something that can be compromised. Pyrenean Shepherds generally get along with other dogs within their households, but may be aloof to canines that they meet on the street.

If you’re looking for a companion to compete in any of the dog sports – the Pyrenean Shepherd is an active dog that can preform any task he is taught.

Pyr Shep Tongue

Photo by manymuddypaws

Pyrenean Shepherd Facts:
* The Pyrenean Shepherd is also known as the Berger des Pyrénées ( ber-JAE day pyr-ray-NAE), however fanciers of the breed often refer to them simply as “Pyr Sheps.”

* A Pyrenean Shepherd named “Simply the Best” won the World Agility Championship for midsized dogs in 2003.

* The coat of the Pyr Shep may form cords over his hindquarters and front legs.





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