Let's talk Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherds

Lesser celebrity status has its benefits: Those who know the Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherd are eager to brag about the dog’s inimitable nature. This sprightly breed’s standout trait is an inordinate need for speed, which makes them top finishers in agility competitions. They come in two coat varieties – long-haired as well as the smooth-faced – but both have a great zest for life and a cooperative manner. An ancient breed, the Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherd has moved well into the modern age with their characteristic brand of enthusiasm and intensity.

Official name: Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherd

Other names: Pyrénées Sheepdog, Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Sheepdog, Labrit, Labri, Little Shepherd

Origins: France

Drooling tendencies Very low Warm weather? Medium
Shedding level Medium Suited to apartment living? Low
*Energy level (low,high,moderate)*: High Family?* High
Compatibility with other pets Medium *Can stay alone? Low

*We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches.
Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.
Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed’s specifics should be taken as an indication.
For a happy, healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socialising your pet as well as covering their basic welfare, social and behavioural needs.
Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.
Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.

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Smooth Faced Pyreneean Shepherd
41 - 55 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
10 - 15 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
41 - 52 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
10 - 15 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight


 Baby age:  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age:  2 to 10 months
 Adult age:  10 months to 8 years
 Mature age:  8 to 12 years
 Senior age:  From 12 years


Get to know the Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherd

All you need to know about the breed

Energetic but with an affectionate side, the Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherd is a traditional herding breed with practically unparalleled vigour.

The breed has a sister variety – the Long-Haired Pyrenean Shepherd – with medium-length hair that can be slightly wavy or flat and coarse in texture. This variety of the breed has short and fine hair on their face that’s longer on the sides where it forms a ruff. With their bedhead tresses, wide-eyed expression, and somewhat large paws, this dog has a jovial look that’s hard to match.

And let’s talk energy: The Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherd has it in spades. It comes from deep within, really revealing itself in the show ring, where the Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherd competes in tracking, dog dance, agility, flyball, or herdsmanship. What they lack in high intelligence, the breed makes up for in canine cleverness. They’re able to work through many sticky situations with ease, thanks to centuries as a herder where the breed’s boldness ensured their popularity with owners.

The Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherd does enjoy their human companions tremendously but they can be wary of strangers until they get to know them. They will then warm right up. The Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherd is great (and gentle) with children, once trained, with whom they’ll want to play for hours on end.


2 facts about Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherds

1. Raising their voice

As a lively breed, and one who has traditionally been used for herding animals, the Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherd developed their voice to alert shepherds. Today’s Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherd can still be inclined to bark—at times a bit too much. Train them from a young age so their baying will be kept … at bay.

2. Eat and run

Highly active dogs are bound to burn calories—and the Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherd is one of them. The breed is, frankly, known for their hearty appetite and then their tendency to put on weight if they’re not careful. Even though they may gaze at you with those puppy dog eyes, make sure to keep to regular portions and take treats only from their daily portion.


History of the breed

The Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherd is said to be among the oldest of the French shepherds, but they’re shrouded in myth such that their origin is somewhat unknown. What is for sure: The breed has existed for thousands of years as a companion to the Pyrenean shepherds who engaged in transhumance herding high in France’s Pyrénées Mountains—the practice of nomadic shepherds and their faithful dogs moving livestock between fixed seasonal pastures. The herding – key to the animal’s well-being – is still practised today, with the Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherd alongside.

With a very focused job and a region that thrived from it, the Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherd has survived, due in large part to a lack of genetic defects. During World War I, many of these dogs were used by, and gave their lives for, the French military as couriers, and search-and-rescue dogs. Despite their dwindled numbers, the breed has bounced back today.

The Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherd was accepted for registration in 2001 by the American Kennel Club.


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherds

1. Ears

Ears set wide at base, triangular and pointed.

2. Body

Robust and deep-muscled body with very deep chest.

3. Coat

Smooth, somewhat woolly and profuse coat.


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherd
Smooth Faced Pyreneean Shepherd


Caring for your Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherd

Grooming, training and exercise tips

The Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherd breed comes in both long-haired and smooth-faced varieties, the former with medium-length, coarse hair and the latter with short, fine hair. Both varieties are easily cared for with weekly brushing and a bath only as needed. Clean those ears and eyes regularly as well as nail pads that could harbour debris. Brush your dog’s teeth as often as possible to prevent plaque and tartar.
Potential owners of the Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherd should know that this breed’s need for exercise is immense. They require physical stimulation and the mental kick that comes with it. The dog has incredibly high energy and their ability to fly like the wind has made them ideal for canine sports.
The Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherd will take to training well but watch that their alpha tendencies (the trait of any great sheep mover) don’t kick in. Starting them on obedience training early in puppyhood will make for the best behaviour, and very firm (but never mean) commands are the ones this dog is likely to respond to.


All about Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherds

As a rustic breed, the Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherd is contentedly found outside in one activity or another. They are highly playful and have an inordinate amount of energy. However, their demands are few—they'll just want you to play alongside them. The dog’s coat varieties are low maintenance, too, requiring only weekly brushing. In addition, the Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherd is known to be a very trainable dog.

The Smooth-Faced Pyrenean Shepherd is one dog that requires a lot – repeat, a lot – of exercise in order to feel their best, so being outside suits this breed best. This is a highly active breed who functions optimally in a rural environment or one with a sizable outdoor space.



1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/