Breed Information Centre

Pyrenean Mountain Dog


Illustration of Pyrenean Mountain Dog

One of the tallest of the pastoral breeds, the Pyrenean was guarding flocks in the Pyrenees from the Middle Ages. Gentle and elegant, he found favour in the Royal Courts and palaces of the nobility. Louis XIV named him the Royal Dog of France. A calm and gentle worker, the Pyrenean was used as a messenger dog and as a pack dog by the French Army in World War II. It has also been suggested that the Pyrenean was used as a smuggler to carry large packs of forbidden goods from one side of the Pyrenees to the other, taking paths which were inaccessible to humans and so avoiding the Customs’ checkpoints.

The Pastoral Breed Group

The Pastoral Group consists of herding dogs that are associated with working cattle, sheep, reindeer and other cloven footed animals.

Usually this type of dog has a weatherproof double coat to protect it from the elements when working in severe conditions. Breeds such as the Collie family, Old English Sheepdogs and Samoyeds who have been herding reindeer for centuries are but a few included in this group.

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