The Pyrenean Shepherd has a lively, cheerful disposition that is dominated by his love of herding. He is courageous, mischievous, quick-witted, vivacious, enthusiastic, tenacious, smart, sensitive, sure-footed and brave to the point of being fearless. Although small in stature, it is said, that pound for pound, the Pyrenean Shepherd has few equals in the herding and guarding of livestock. The Pyr Shep tends to become passionately attached to his owners, to the complete exclusion of others. He is astonishingly sensitive to his owners’ moods and mood changes. Pyrenean Shepherds are loyal and devoted to their human family members, both adults and children alike. They can become protective, if their people are threatened. These dogs make enthusiastic, affectionate companions for active people. They insist upon being involved in all of the day's activities, whatever and wherever they may be. Pyreneans are naturally tentative and wary around strangers. They require consistent socialization, starting in early puppyhood and continuing throughout their lives, to become comfortable and trustworthy around unfamiliar people and other companion animals.
The Pyrenean Shepherd has an enormous amount of natural energy. Fanciers of the breed proclaim that “this little dog never stops,” and that it is almost impossible to tire out. These dogs thrive on working and having a job to do. They are always on alert and ready for action. Pyrenean Shepherds need regular, vigorous exercise – and lots of it – to keep them physically and mentally fit. They have great stamina and can cover upwards of 30 miles in a single day while working with their shepherd owners. If sheep are not around to be herded, owners of this breed must find other outlets for their dog’s enthusiasm, energy and tireless drive. They are superb athletes that excel at obedience, agility, utility, herding and other competitive dog sports. Unfortunately, without regular exercise, Pyrenean Shepherds can become bored, noisy, unhappy and potentially destructive.
Pyrenean Shepherds need no training to perform their regular job. Their herding instincts are so deeply ingrained that from the very youngest age, these dogs know how to manage flocks of sheep, even without the example of an older dog. As far as learning other tasks or skills, Pyrenean Shepherds are quick studies. They are sensitive, smart and eager to please, which makes training them a delight. Positive training methods get the best results with this breed, as they do with most other breeds. Pyrenean Shepherds should be well-socialized from early puppyhood to counteract their natural wariness around strangers and unfamiliar animals. This will give them the best chance to become as easygoing and adaptable as possible.
The Pyrenean Shepherd is an alert, watchful breed. It makes a wonderful watchdog and normally will bark several times at any unfamiliar sounds. They love to eat and have terrific appetites, which is a good thing given their high energy and caloric requirements. These are not forward, outgoing, pushy or overly boisterous dogs, nor are they especially cuddly. However, they also are not nervous, clingy, yappy or easily stressed. Pyrenean Shepherds are instinctively reserved around unfamiliar people and animals. They may need a little coaxing to come out of their shells in new situations.