Pyrenean Shepherd

  • Overview

    The Pyrenean Shepherd is an adaptable herder with an intuitive herding instinct and an intuitive sense about his owner's moods. These dogs should be of a very specific size, never smaller than 15 inches tall. Rough-coated dogs are slightly smaller than smooth-coated dogs, who can stand up to 21 ½ inches tall. Smooth-coated dogs should not stand taller than 18 ½ inches tall.

    Pyrenean Shepherds make incredibly interesting, devoted companions for owners who are willing to devote quite a bit of time to socializing, exercising and training their active little herder. They are surprisingly small, despite their determined, hard-working natures, and they will spend their lives attempting to please their masters.

  • Personality

    Pyrenean Shepherds are impish little dogs with a strong desire to work and an even stronger desire to please their masters. They love to play, and if they are not properly exercised or entertained they will quickly devise a mischievous game of their own.

    These dogs bond extremely closely to their owners and are almost blindly devoted to pleasing them. They have an intuitive sense about their owner's moods, and they often react accordingly. Pyrenean Shepherds will not be happy unless they feel involved in their owner's daily activities. They will often follow their owners around the house, attempting to help them with chores. Pyrenean Shepherds are incredibllly affectionate with their family, but they are naturally tentative and aloof around strangers. Because they so deeply trust their owners, they tend to follow their lead around new people and dogs. With consistent socialization and a positive example set by their owners, Pyrenean Shepherds can become very friendly towards everyone they meet.

  • Coat Care

    Dogs of the same litter are born with one of two coat varieties, either smooth-faced or rough-faced. Smooth-faced dogs have short, fine hairs around their muzzle and face. The hair is longer around the sides of the head, forming a small ruff around the face and neck. Smooth-faced dogs have light feathering along the legs, tail and belly. Rough-faced dogs have longer hair throughout the muzzle and face, with heavier furnishings that can be wooly or corded along the elbows and thighs. They have culottes along the back of their legs. Neither variety should ever have facial furnishings or beards. The faces can appear windblown or tousled. Pyrenean Shepherds are generally seen in shades of fawn, ranging from tan to light copper or dark charcoal gray to pearly gray.

Brushing

Pyrenean Shepherds can be left naturally scruffy. Some dogs' coats naturally form cords, which need to be split several times a year to make sure they stay comfortable and do not become overgrown or thick. Non-corded dogs need to be combed with a slicker brush or a metal comb about once a week to prevent mats and tangles, especially around the face and the foot pads.

Bathing

Pyrenean Shepherds should not be bathed frequently to prevent the coat from losing its natural texture and appearance.

Hair Clipping

Clipping or trimming your dog’s coat is far easier than you would ever imagine. With the right clipper, trimmer and scissors, it is simple to give your dog a haircut and save expensive trips to the groomer.

Dogs with double coats generally require regular trimming. It lessens the chances of matting, tangles and the infestation of fleas and other pests, thus reducing the risk of skin infections. There is no set timetable. Judgment should be made on an individual basis, depending on functionality and owner preference. There are a wide array of trimmers available that will make each snip a snap. It’s a good idea to take your dog for a short walk to calm him down before you groom him.  Thoroughly brush the coat to remove tangles and mats. Use trimmers to trim excess fur off the dog's body, choosing the appropriate clip attachment to achieve desired length. Start with the shoulders and progress towards the tail. Trim around the tail, paws, sanitary areas and chest, if needed. Groom the head and face last, being watchful for sudden movement. Trim with the flow of the fur, away from the eyes and nose.

Nails

Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Corgis, Alaskan Malamutes, Akitas and Collies have sensitive ears that  need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. If your dog is prone to developing tear stains around the eyes, clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes.

Teeth

Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.