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Pyrenean Shepherd
PyreneanShepSmooth wb.jpg
Smooth-faced Pyrenean Shepherd
Other names Berger des Pyrénées
Petit Berger
Pyrenees Sheepdog
Nicknames Pyr Shep
Country of origin France/Spain

The Pyrenean Shepherd is a medium-small breed of dog. It comes from the South of France, in the Pyrenees Mountains. The Pyrenean Shepherd is a herding dog. The breed in the northern part of the mountains, where the climate is colder, was originally long-haired and all white. In the Basque area of Spain, the smaller breed of the dog was primarily used to protect the sheep from bear and wolf attacks.


Pyrenean Sheepdog
Pyrenean Sheepdog.

They may have been a companion of Cro-Magnon man. Pictographs of a similar looking dog were found at Lascaux. They are an ancient and intelligent breed and the Phrenean Shepherd is one of the oldest existing dog breeds. They have been used since the middle ages to help with livestock.

The breed became popular for a time with French royalty. This is when the son of XIV was in Barèges, France and became fond of a Pyrenees. He took it back to live with him in Louvre in Paris.

In the 1880s, Queen Victoria owned one of the great white dogs. It was at that time that the British Kennel Club recognized the Pyrenean Mountain Dog as a breed. In the 1930s two puppies were brought to Needham, Massachusetts and bred which helped to save the species. The Pyrenean Shepherds were used to carry packs during World War I.


The Pyrenean Shepherd has many different looks. The breed is either smooth-faced or rough-faced. One type, common today, is said to look like a cross between a Collie and a teddy bear.

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