The Pyrenean Sheepdog
(Le Bérger de Pyrénées)
Long and semi-longhaired
Interpreted from the official French Standard of the FCI
In consultation with M. Pécoult President of the RAPC
(la Réunion des Amateurs de Chiens Pyrénéens)
Submitted to the Kennel Club by Mrs.B. Judson

General appearance:

A small long or semi-longhaired Sheepdog with tremendous energy and stamina for its size.


Highly intelligent, always active with a great liveliness of movement. Shows a strong herding instinct.  These characteristics combine with the Pyrenean Sheepdog's mischievous, inquisitive expression to give a unique overall appearance.


Alert, lively, wary of strangers.

Head and skull:

In general the head is triangular with the length of the skull being 3/5ths of the whole. The length of the skull equals its width at its widest point. The skull is almost flat on top with a central furrow. Occiput is not too pronounced and the sides of the skull are slightly rounded. The skull joins the muzzle with a gentle slope between the eyes. Viewed in profile the top of the muzzle is flat and is in a parallel plane with the skull. The muzzle tapers evenly to the nostrils with rounded sides and is well filled in below the eyes. The upper lips, which are not thick, cover the lower jaws and do not show any flews. The lips and palate are black, or strongly marked with black. The nose is black.


Expressive, wide open, almond shaped not round, set in thin black eye rims. They must neither bulge nor be sunken. Generally the colour should be dark brown, but in blue merle or slate blue dogs one or both eyes may be blue or flecked with blue.


The ears should be fairly short, moderately wide at the base and placed neither too close to the top of the head nor too far apart. The bottom half of the ear should be erect and mobile. Ideally the top half, or third, should be sensitive in use and hang forward or to the side when alert and laid back in repose.

N.B. In France the ears are generally cropped so it will take some time to establish the correct natural ear.


Strong canines, and the set of teeth should be complete and close preferably in a scissor bite, i.e. the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square in the jaw. Level or pincer bite is tolerated.


Rather long, well muscled and well set off from the shoulders.


The forequarters are lean, sinewy and straight when seen from the front and have single dewclaws. From the side the pasterns are slightly sloping and flexible without weakness. The shoulders are well laid back and fairly long with the shoulder blade joining the upper arm at an angle of approximately 90 degrees. The tops of the shoulders are clearly higher than the line of the back.


The framework is lean, the back is strong with the ribcage extending well to the rear. The ribs are slightly rounded. Chest should not be too broad and should extend to the elbow. The loins are strong and slightly arched. They are emphasised as the coat is often thicker on the rear end of the dog.


Croup is short and sloping obliquely to the set of the tail. The thighs are strong and well muscled. The upper thigh is shorter than the second thigh which is long and well developed. Well angulated at the stifle. Hocks are lean, set low and well angulated, sometimes rather close.  The hind legs may have single or double dewclaws.


Narrow, rather flat and oval.  Dark pads and hard dark toenails.  Well furred between the pads.


The natural tail is low set, the bone reaching to the hock with a crook at the end. It is well covered with hair. The tail should never be carried higher than the level of the back. N,B. Some dogs are bom with a short tail or a stump. In France the tail is usually docked close to the body to give a rounded rear end. Dogs with or without a tail should be judged on equal merit.


A trot which is smooth, free and vigorous, feet not raised high, the pads almost scrape the floor. At a slow trot the head is held high but at a fast trot the head is carried in a line with the back.  When walking the stride is fairly short.  Pacing should not be penalised. The correct effortless gait is a result of the balance between shoulder and rear end angulation.


The coat is long or semi-long. It is almost straight or slightly wavy, more dense and woolly on the rump and thighs. Its texture is between that of goat-hair and sheep-wool. The hair on top of the muzzle should be fairly short; it is longer on the sides and under the chin but must not give the impression of a moustache or beard. Like the hair on the skull, cheeks and sides it grows away from the face to give a wind-swept effect. The eyes must show and must not be covered with hair. The ears are fringed with long hair. In the long-haired variety the coat extends down the legs and covers the toenails.  The semi-longhaired has shorter hair on the front legs with fringing and short hair from the hock joint to the feet on the hind-legs.  The coat should be natural, not over groomed or trimmed.


Various shades of fawn, with or without black hairs. Sometimes a little white on the chest and feet.  Light to dark grey, often with white on head, chest and legs. Blue merle, slate blue or brindle. Black or black and white coats are rare. Coats of unmixed colours are preferred. Large areas of white or a predominance of white or black and tan coats are undesirable.


Dogs 40cm - 48cm (16 -19ins)
Bitches 38cm- 46cm (15 - 18ins)
A tolerance of two cms (approximately 1/2 inch) above the maximum height is tolerated in subjects of perfect type.


Any departure from the foregoing points should be regarded as a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

© copyright Carabrae 2002