Meet the Berger

The first thing people notice about the Berger des Pyrénées is it's beautiful face, concealing an individual character which enjoys life and has a strong sense of fun. They are highly intelligent, always active and with a lively movement; a Sheepdog with tremendous energy and stamina for its size – it is literally a condensed dog! These characteristics combine with its appearance to give it a mischievous, inquisitive expression which is totally unique.

It still has a strong herding instinct with an alert lively temperament but tends to be wary of strangers. You have to wait for introductions and until he is prepared to talk to you. Bitches are between 15 and 18 inches in height and dogs 16 and 19 inches. However, they are a light boned dog so they always give an impression of being small and agile. In France, the tails are docked and the ears have traditionally been cropped, in England the majority have full tails carried low and only carried high when they are excited. The hair on the face is unique in that it should be swept back to give the dog a windswept appearance. The eyes should not be covered in hair which will occur with a puppy or young dog but then sweeps back in later life. The ears should be small and set high on the head, fringed with long hair. It is these two attributes which give the dog its singular expression.

The coat is between 4” and 6” long and should be natural and not over groomed or trimmed, straight or slightly wavy with a texture between goat hair and sheep wool, only needing brushing once a week. The difference between the long-hair and semi-long hair is that the latter has little hair on its legs. The face rase (smooth face) has no long facial hair and less length of coat and is a bigger, stronger dog. The coat colour can be various shades of fawn with or without a black face mask, light to dark grey, blue merle, or brindle. Black or black and white coats are rare. White markings are allowed but large areas of white are frowned upon. The coat colour and appearance changes during the life of the dog.

Above all though, the Pyrenean Sheepdog’s life should be fun and the potential owner should have a good sense of humour!