The Pyrenean Shepherd is seen in two coat varieties; the rough-faced (museau normal) and smooth-faced (face-rase), with minimal physical characteristics distinguishing the two. Both can be born within the same litter. The rough-faced variety has a long or semi-long coat covering the body and legs or a long-coat with slightly longer length. The coat patterning on his face should look as though he is always facing into the wind. Sometimes this coat will be of the texture to form "cadenettes" or naturally cord (click to view the process). The smooth-faced should have no traces of long hair on his face at all. The body coat is shorter with fringes on the back of the legs. Both varieties generally have double dew claws on their back legs (click on the link for more information about rear double dew claws). This anomaly is seen though out many of the French breeds. Their tails are usually docked and ears cropped, but that is a personal preference. A good natural ear should not appear any different than a cropped ear and a undocked tail should not unbalance the appearance of the dog by being carried too high. Averaging 42 cm tall (16-17”) at the shoulder, he is light of frame and should only weigh approximately 12 kilo. (25 pounds)
& Smooth-Faced Fawn Dogs pictured
Although some Pyr Sheps can do well when left alone during the day, I would not recommend it. Only an experienced dog owner willing to spend his limited evening hours socializing his young Pyr Shep should tackle this type of situation and the breed requires a good amount of physical exercise as well. They are a very high energy dog. If you enjoy the outdoors and have a spare hour each day to take a walk in the countryside the Pyrenean Shepherd is an ideal companion.
Their propensity for barking makes them good watch dogs, they are not guard dogs by nature and, if pressed, will usually run in the other direction. Nature has instilled a strong flight reflex which was needed for survival in the mountains. Their barking must be controlled by you or you will end up with a yappy dog! On the other hand, if someone or something runs away from them their herding instinct kicks in and they take chase. All these instincts need to be harnessed by you in a positive manner to mold the Pyr Shep into the wonderful family member they are capable of becoming. Obedience training is very important as is you gaining his respect, and a young dog should not be allowed to take matters into his own hands but be guided by your expertise.
Playful and impish
by nature, he gets along well
with children as
well as with other family pets, although he often sees the need to take
control and be a little bossy. Again, this stems from his background as
a herder. He needs to be kept busy and feel he has a job and purpose
which makes him a valuable asset to his owner. His world is focused on
his family and to be
left out is distressing for him. He excels in performance events such
obedience, agility trialing, tracking, truffle hunting, cani-cross,
etc. and is renowned for holding many working and performance titles in
and other countries.
Excellent article about the inheritance of Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: https://helda.helsinki.fi/bitstream/handle/10138/20742/breeding.pdf?sequence=3
Les Quatre Saisons du Berger - DVD
French with English subtitles - plays on PAL systems and most computers.
(This beautiful DVD should not be missed by anyone interested in the breed.)
Pyrenean Partners: Herding and Guarding Dogs in the French Pyrenees by Bryan Cummins (English)
Pyrenean Partners is not only a book of exceptional beauty, it is an important contribution to the growing field of ethnocynology — the study of dogs in their particular cultural contexts. The authors take us on a historical and photographic journey into the development and contemporary use of livestock protection dogs and herding dogs — in particular, the Great Pyrenees (Pyrenean Mountain Dog) and Pyrenean Shepherd — as they ply their ancient trades in the French Pyrenees today. Illustrated with magnificent full color photographs of the dogs at work and at rest, Pyrenean Partners examines the distinctly unique relationship each breed has with its owner and their crucial roles in the pastoral economy of the region. Excellent pictures of the Berger des Pyrenees doing his work in his homeland.
Available at Amazon.com or Chapters.ca
|| Le Berger des Pyrénées (French) by
Editions de Vecchi S.A., 20 rue de la Trémoille, 75008 Paris, France
||Le Berger des Pyrénées (French) by Joel
Editions de Vecchi, 20 rue de la Trémoille, 75008 Paris, France
||Le Berger des Pyrénées (French)
ATOUT CHIENS Editions
||Le Grand Livre des Chiens de Berger Français (French) by Dauvergne et Casteran, Edition DE VECCHI|
|| Französische Schäferhunde by Christian Janes
and Angelo Steccanella
(German) 108 pages about all French Herding Breeds.
30,00 DM, ISBN 3-275-01258-4
2018 CANADIAN KENNEL CLUB WRITTEN STANDARD FOR THE
ROUGH-FACED AND SMOOTH-FACED
BERGER DES PYRENEES/PYRENEAN SHEPHERD DOG
Berger Des Pyrenees (Pyrenean Shepherd Dog) Origin and Purpose ROUGH-FACED VARIETY Coming from humble beginnings as working farm dogs in the isolated farms of the French Pyrenees Mountains, it was practically unknown to the official dog scene until the early 20th century. Its type varies considerably from one valley to the next, its shape and coat can be very different, but its character and behaviour never vary. SMOOTH-FACED VARIETY This variety of Berger des Pyrenees was principally found in the foothills of the French Pyrenees Mountains where it was much appreciated by horse-dealers and cattle-drovers. The two varieties, Smooth-Faced and Rough-Faced (including both demi-long and long-haired coat types) are born in the same litters.
General Appearance Dog displaying a maximum of excitable energy in a minimum of size and weight.
Temperament A courageous and resourceful little dog showing initiative and total devotion to its master. It is headstrong by nature and firm control is usually needed to channel its energy and bring out the best of its intelligence liveliness. His always alert expression, cunning and wary looks, together with great liveliness are giving this dog a personal stamp that is not to be compared with any other. Sometimes wary of strangers.
Size ROUGH-FACED VARIETY Height at withers : Males - 42- 48 cm. (16.5” -19 in.) Females - 40 - 46 cm. (15.5” – 18 in.) A tolerance of + or - 2 cm (1”) is allowed for perfectly typed specimens. SMOOTH-FACED VARIETY Height at withers : Males - 40-54 cm. (15.5” – 21 in.) Females - 40-52 cm. (15.5” – 20.5 in.)
Coat & Colour
The body hair is long, or demi-long, but always dense, almost flat or slightly wavy, thicker and more wooly on the croup and the upper thighs, the texture somewhere between goat’s hair and sheep’s wool. In some dogs the mixture of coarse and woolly hair can produce sorts of strands or cords called “cadenettes” found on the chest and the forelegs at elbow level; and sometimes matted or felted hair called “matelotes” which overlap like tiles on the hindquarters. The muzzle has shorter and less dense hair. On the end of the muzzle, and sometimes along the whole muzzle, it is laid flat and naturally grows from front to back. On the sides as well as on the cheeks, the hair is longer and brushed up in a “blown back look” from front to back. Eyes must be clearly visible and not covered by hair.
On the body the hair is demi-long or less than demi-long. It reaches its longest length on the neck and withers (6-7 cm) and on the median line of the back (4-5 cm). Slight feathering on the front legs and “culottes” or breeches on the hind end. On the muzzle and skull the hair is short and fine, hence the name “smooth-face”.
Fawn, lighter or darker, sometimes overlaid with black hairs. Gray, lighter or darker. Brindle, lighter or darker. Black. Blue merle, fawn merle and brindle merle. Sometimes with white markings on the head, chest and limbs. Solid colours are preferred.
Skull: The head is triangular in shape. Overall the skull is moderately developed but remains the dominating part of the head. Almost flat with a slightly marked furrow, nicely rounded on the sides. The occipital bone should be little pronounced. The muzzle to blend gently and in a slight slope with the skull. Stop not visible. On the whole, the head should remind one of the brown bear. Stop: Scarcely discernible.
Nose: Black. Muzzle: should be straight, shorter than the length of the skull with skull remaining the dominating part of the head. The muzzle narrow without exaggeration and wedge shaped. The lips
should not be very fleshy and cover the lower jaw without any hint of a flew. The mucous membranes of the lips and palate to be black or heavily marked with black. Eyes: The very expressive eyes should be surrounded by thin eye lids and black rims. They are well-opened, almond-shaped, of dark brown colour, neither protruding nor deep set. Merle dogs and slate gray dogs are allowed a blue eye or eyes showing a partial depigmentation of the iris (these features being almost always typical with this colour).
Muzzle is slightly shorter than the length of the skull and appears noticeably shorter because of the longer hair on the face.
Muzzle is longer than that of the Rough-Faced Variety and this is emphasized by the distinctive smooth face.
Jaws/Teeth: Complete dentition. Large canines. Scissor bite (upper incisors covering lower incisors without loss of contact). Pincer bite (edge to edge) is tolerated. Ears: Both cropped and uncropped are equally acceptable. Natural uncropped ears are short, triangular, fine, wide at the base and ending in a point. The uncropped ear will stand semi-erect with the top third or half falling forward, or falling to the side in the case of a rose ear. An uncropped ear which stands upright is undesirable. The cropped ear has the top third of the ear removed, cut straight across, and standing erect. Ideally the ears should be symmetrical and very mobile.
Rather long, fairly well muscled, blending nicely with the shoulders.
Forelegs: upright, lean, sinewy, well-fringed. Upper Arm: Oblique and moderately long. Forearm: Straight. Carpus (carpal joint): Noticeable wrist joint. Metacarpus (pasterns): Slightly oblique seen from the side. Dewclaws: Single dewclaws.
• Shoulder: is rather long and angulation moderately oblique. The points of the shoulder blades project over the line of the back.
• Foreleg lean and covered in long or demi-long hair.
• Feet fairly flat, of a definite oval shape. Dark pads. Small hard nails covered by hair which is also found under the foot, between the pads.
• Shoulder: Angulations are more open in the Smooth-faced variety.
• Forelegs covered in short hair with a light fringe of hair on the back of the legs, and breeches on the back of the hind legs.
• Feet are tighter and more arched than that of the Rough-faced variety.
The bone structure is strong without heaviness, muscle is lean. Skin: Should be thin, often spotted with pigment, whatever the colour of the coat. Topline: Well-supported. Withers: Prominent. Loin: Short and slightly arched. Croup: Rather short and sloping. Chest: Moderately developed and reaching to the elbow. The ribs are slightly sprung. Flank: Not very deep.
• Back: Rather long and strong. Length of body is noticeably longer than its height.
• Loins: Short, slightly arched but appears more arched because coat is often thicker on hindquarters and croup.
• Back: Well sustained. Shorter in body length than that of the Rough-faced. Almost square in appearance.
• Loin: Short with less of an arch than the Rough-faced variety.
Well developed, muscled but short upper thigh. Hocks lean, low set, Metatarsus (Rear pastern): Perpendicular to the ground or very slightly oblique from back to front. Dewclaws: Single or double dewclaws are acceptable on the hind legs, as is their absence.
Hind Feet: Dark pads. Small hard nails covered by hair which is also found under the foot and between the pads. Hind foot attachment to metatarsus is sometimes slightly askew (toes out slightly). This unique adaptive feature for working on steep mountainous terrain is especially common with dogs born and reared in the mountains.
• Rather closed angulation.
• Upper Thigh: Not very long, moderately oblique, strong, well- defined muscle.
• Stifle (knee): Well-angulated and parallel to the body.
• Lower Thigh: Rather long and oblique.
• Hocks: Lean, set low, well angulated. Hocks are sometimes a little close mainly in dogs born and bred in the mountains.
• Feet fairly flat, of a definite oval shape.
• Rather open angulation.
• Upper Thigh: Not very long, slightly oblique.
• Stifle (knee): Moderately angulated and parallel to the body.
• Hocks: Lean, set higher than the Rough-faced variety. Hocks are sometimes a little close, mainly in dogs born and bred in the mountains.
• Feet are tighter and more arched than that of the Rough-faced variety.
A naturally long tail, or a natural bob-tail, or a docked tail are all equally acceptable. A naturally long tail is well fringed and not very long. It should follow the line of the croup and should not be curled on the top of the back. Set on rather low with a hook at the tip.
Because of his overall construction the Berger des Pyrénées displays a rather restricted pace. Ambling is not penalized but it should be considered that this is foremost a gait used by dogs while working with sheep in order to keep up with their reactions, or in the evening when they are getting tired after a full day’s work. Ambling is therefore not justified in the show ring. The Berger des Pyrénées moves mostly at a trot. The latter should be clean and strong. At a slow trot the head is carried somewhat high, at a fast outreaching trot the head is level with the topline. The feet should never be lifted much off the ground. All the movements to be fluid, close to the ground. A correct gait that is pleasing to the eye is the result of good shoulder and rear angulations.
Because of its construction the Smooth-faced variety has a shorter stride than the Rough-faced variety.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effet upon the health and welfare of the dog. The faults and disqualifications are the same for the Rough-faced and the Smooth-faced variety except for those describing coat and proportions.
• General Appearance: Coarse appearance, lack of liveliness, loaded in muscles, common expression, unsound movement, short or mincing gait.
• Head: Skull pointed and oblong in shape; head too short, too long, or too narrow. Marked Stop. Muzzle square, too long or rectangular shaped. Hair exaggeratedly developed, especially when falling over the eyes. Lack of pigment.
• Eyes: Eyes too small, too round, too light; lack of expression. Unpigmented eyelids.
• Ears: Set too low and badly carried.
• Neck: Badly set on, coarse, weak, short or too long.
• Shoulders: Shoulders too straight or too short.
• Body: Coarseness, straight topline. Too short in length in the Rough-Faced variety. Too long in length in the Smooth-Faced variety.
• Forequarters: Double dewclaws. Unsoundness.
• Hindquarters: Straight hocks; joints lacking in springiness.
• Feet: Too heavy coated feet showing an unsightly underpart. Fleshy toes. Cat-feet. Long and light coloured nails. Insufficiently coated feet.
• Tail: Bad tail carriage or missing hook.
• Coat: Excessive growth of hair on the head, especially if it is covering the eyes. Hair too abundant on muzzle creating a moustache and without a “blown back look”. Open and tight curls.
• Colour: White covering more than one third of the coat. Black with tan points.
• Any size above or under the limits set by the present standard.
• Nose of any colour other than black.
• Blue eyes with any coat other than a merle.
• Over and undershot bite mouths.
• Naturally upright standing ears.
N.B. Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.