berger des pyrenees breed information
common health issues
The Pyrenean Shepherd, or Berger des Pyrenees, originated in the Pyrenees Mountains of northern Spain and southern France in medieval times. He worked as a livestock and sheep herder for centuries before serving as a courier and search-and-rescue dog for French troops during World War I. It is believed that the first “Pyr Sheps”, as they’re called, came to North America in the 19th century, along with the sheep they tended. Today, there are several hundred Pyr Sheps registered in the United States, but he is still more popular in his native France.
Unlike the large Great Pyrenees (which comes from the same region of Europe), the Pyrenean Shepherd is a small-to-medium-sized dog, weighing between 15 and 32 lbs. His long coat can be one of two types – rough or smooth – and can range from tan to copper-colored, or from charcoal to light grey. He only needs weekly brushing to keep tangles at bay.
The Pyr Shep is extremely athletic and energetic, so he does best in a family that shares his affinity for exercise. He can excel at all sorts of work and dog sports, especially those involving a mind-stretching “job”, such as flyball, obedience, herding trials and agility. When he’s not busy running around, he is a devoted and protective family member, particularly with children. He can be shy with strangers, so socialization and training are important to begin from an early age.
Despite his boundless energy, the Pyrenean Shepherd is still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect his health – not to mention your family budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Pyrenean Shepherds are prone to include joint conditions such as elbow and hip dysplasia and patellar luxation; and eye conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Pyr Shep inherits his dad’s trick knee or his mom’s bad eyes, you’re covered.