Also known as the Berger des Pyrenees, Petit Berger, Pyrenees Sheepdog, and simply the Pyr Shep, the Pyrenean Shepherd is an energetic and intelligent breed. But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you? This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.
The origin of the Pyrenean Shepherd can be traced all the way back to 6000 B.C. Enthusiasts believe this breed to have played a role in the creation of such breeds as the Australian Shepherd, though this has never been proven scientifically or otherwise.
Throughout its history, the Pyrenean Shepherd has been most commonly used for herding, watch, search and rescue, and most recently as a company mascot, proving both its superior ability to work and unmatched charm.
Breeder of Great Pyrenees, Mary Crane, imported several Pyrenean Shepherds into the United States during the 1930’s. The Pyrenean Shepherd Club of America was established in 1987, and the breed gained full American Kennel Club recognition on January 1, 2009.
Today, while the Pyrenean Shepherd has attained an underground popularity as both a working and companion dog, the breed remains rather rare outside of Europe.
Best known for its intelligence and ability to read its owner’s moods, the Pyrenean Shepherd thrives on strong and dependable human relationships. This breed is known to attach itself completely to one person more so than an entire family. These dogs are very bright, adapt well to most any situation or environment, and are easily trainable. As a pet, the Pyrenean Shepherd is extremely loyal, obedient, loving, and affectionate.
Due to its need for human relationships and eagerness to please and impress its owner, the Pyrenean Shepherd generally responds well to basic training and commands. This intelligent breed has the ability to learn to perform most any task its trainer is willing to take the time to teach.
Establishing immediate trust and respect is key to successfully training the Pyrenean Shepherd. These dogs respond best to a stern yet gentle approach by a confident and strong trainer.
Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed
There are many benefits to owning a Pyrenean Shepherd, such as its surprisingly no hassle, low maintenance coat. This breed is very bright and capable of learning to perform many impressive tricks and tasks. When properly socialized from a young age, the Pyrenean Shepherd gets along well with small children and other pets, often making friends quickly. These dogs are very alert and make an excellent watch dog, announcing the arrival of guests and unwanted visitors. The Pyrenean Shepherd is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate, making an amazing family pet and companion alike.
Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a Pyrenean Shepherd. This small breed requires large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so. A Pyrenean Shepherd not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.
The Pyrenean Shepherd has a strong instinct to herd and will occasionally indulge in a good chase. When on the run, this breed can be rather quick, and may pose a threat to other animals, neighborhood pets, and small woodland creatures. The Pyrenean Shepherd must be leashed or properly secured at all times when outdoors.
Like many companion breeds, the Pyrenean Shepherd is known to suffer from separation anxiety. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed who travel frequently, have full time work, or are away from the home on a daily basis are advised to begin researching another breed. During an attack of separation anxiety, the Pyrenean Shepherd will act out of nervous destruction and may destroy property, chew, bark, whine, and ignore housebreaking training.
As previously mentioned, the Pyrenean Shepherd remains rather rare outside of Europe and can prove difficult to obtain. Individuals wishing to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.
Common Health Concerns
While the Pyrenean Shepherd is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: entropian – folding inward of the eye lid, ectropian – folding outward of the eye lid, cryptorchidism – the failure of one or both testicles to fully descend, and bloat.
Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a Pyrenean Shepherd? Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.