Friday, September 05, 2008

Pyrenean Sheep Dog (Pyrenean Mountain Dog)

Pyrenean Sheep Dog (Pyrenean Mountain Dog) One of the most beautiful dogs in the world is the Pyrenean sheep-dog, but, alas! the breed is almost extinct. Technically speaking, this animated snowdrift is not a sheep-dog at all, but closely related to the mastiffs.

From The Book of Dogs: An Intimate Study of Mankind's Best Friend By National Geographic Society (U.S.), Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Ernest Harold Baynes Published 1919. 109 pages Original from Harvard University.

In form of body and texture of coat he greatly resembles the Tibet mastiff, though the latter is not so tall on the legs and is quite different in color, being velvety black, with rich tan markings.

Had the Pyrenean dog been a herder of sheep like the collie, no doubt his tribe would have been as numerous as ever; but the Spanish, and later the French, shepherds used him chiefly to guard their flocks against the ravages of the wolves and bears.

When wolves and bears became scarce in the Pyrenean Mountains, the need of this valiant defender grew less and the breed was neglected, until now but a few specimens remain.

Pyrenean Sheep Dog

The Pyrenean sheep-dog is one of the finest dogs that has been used in the manufacture of the present-day St. Bernard. It is quite possible that the old hospice-dog (which died out when roads and railways cut hither and thither through the Alps) was more of this type than is generally supposed.

The Pyrenean dog is one of the large dogs, but by no means so immense as the St. Bernard. A good male dog would probably weigh about loo to 1 10 pounds, as against 250 pounds for the St. Bernard.

He is usually pure white or cream-colored and bears a coat much like that of a Newfoundland, only with more underfur and of a more woolly texture.

He has seldom been brought to this country or even to England. He is preeminently a guardian dog, used to insure safety to the flock from the attack of wolves, smaller and nimbler dogs being used for the purpose of driving and herding.

The type is easier to conceive from the picture than by a written description. Like all dogs bred for utility, and not yet taken up by "the fancy," he is bound by no standard of perfection and is subject to considerable variation. The best dog is the one that does his work best, which is as it should be.

From The Book of Dogs: An Intimate Study of Mankind's Best Friend By National Geographic Society (U.S.), Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Ernest Harold Baynes Published 1919. 109 pages Original from Harvard University.

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See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" from the U.S. Copyright Office. Works published before 1923 are now in the public domain In the United States,

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Pyrenean Sheep Dog (Pyrenean Mountain Dog)

This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Cerie at the Finnish Wikipedia project. This applies worldwide. In case this is not legally possible: Cerie grants anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

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Edward M. Corpus said...

The pic and your description portrays a Great Pyrenean Mountain Dog, of which I had pleasure and joy of owning two. The Pyrenean Sheep Dog, AKA Berger de Pyrenees and Pyrenean Shepherd is a smaller, more agile breed different in appearance. Functionally and historically they worked together -- the Sheepdog energetically herding sheep and the massive Mountain Dog as livestock protector. The Pyr Sheepdog is one of the breeds I'm considering for when I retire.

sookietex said...

Hi Edward, thanks for the info. All the best to you and your pups :-)

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