The Pyrenean Shepherd is also known by its French name, Berger des Pyrénées (pronounced ber-JAE day pyr-ray-NAE). Fanciers of the breed in North America often shorten their name to “Pyr Shep”.
This little French breed developed in virtual isolation in the rugged High Pyrenees Mountains of France. They were, and still are, used by the shepherds there to herd sheep; working with their traditional working partners, the Great Pyrenees, who guard the sheep. Together they aid the shepherd in his everyday workings with his herd of sheep or other livestock. Although small in stature and weight, it is said, “pound for pound, he has few equals in both herding or guarding”.
A small, sinewy, lean, lively dog whose sparkling personality and quicksilver intelligence are reflected in the vibrant expression of his unique triangular head and windswept face. A superb athlete, his beautiful, flowing gait “shaves the earth.” Uncoiffed, light- boned and built as a horizontal rectangle, his high energy and intelligent, cunning, mischievous attitude show that he is always on alert, suspicious, ready for action. An ardent herder of all kinds of livestock, his vigilant attitude and great vivacity of movement give this little dog a highly singular gait and appearance, characteristic of no other breed. The Pyr Shep is naturally distrustful of strangers, but when well-socialized from a young age, he or she has a very lively, cheerful disposition. The two varieties, Smooth-Faced and Rough-Faced (including both demi- long and long-haired coat types) are born in the same litters.