The Pyrenean Shepherd originated in the Pyrenees Mountains in the south of France during medieval times. It was bred for the purpose of herding livestock, and generally worked in conjunction with the Great Pyrenees. The breed is the smallest of the French herding dogs, but is still little known, only gaining national recognition in its country of origin following World War I. The breed is not only an excellent herder but also an efficient courier, search and rescue dog, water dog, and company mascot. The breed may have been used in the creation of the Australian Shepherd.
The Pyrenean Shepherd stands 15 to 22 inches tall and weighs 15 to 32 pounds. The breed has a small head with a triangular muzzle, expressive eyes, and a flat skull. The ears of the breed can be cropped, semi-prick, or rose. It has an incredibly long, lean body. The Pyrenean Shepherd can have one of two types of coat: smooth-faced, or rough-faced. The rough-faced type of Pyrenean Shepherd has shaggy hair on its face and long, coarse hair over the rest of its body. It can be corded. The smooth-faced variety has a slight ruff around its neck and some feathering, but it has very tiny, short hairs around its muzzle. The breed is generally a fawn color, but it can also be brindle, gray, merle, or black, with or without a black mask.
The Pyrenean Shepherd is energetic and agile. It is small for a sheepdog, but has the same energy level as larger herding dogs. The breed loves to have a job, making it an excellent worker, herder, and sportsman. The breed is extremely dedicated to its owner, and can often be found following the owner closely and being watchful. It is a very trainable breed. It can be shy around people other than its owner, so it needs to be properly socialized at an early age.
The Pyrenean Shepherd is relatively low maintenance and manageable. It needs to be brushed and checked for knots only once weekly, significantly less than most long haired working breeds.