Pyrenean Sheepdog (Smooth Faced) (Imp)

Compact, active, intelligent herders from the Pyrenees

Breed characteristics

Up to 1 hour per day
Size of home
Small house
More than once a week
Coat length
Under 10 years
Vulnerable native breed
Town or country
Size of garden
Small/ medium garden

About this breed

The Pyrenean Sheepdog (Smooth Faced) is known in French as the face rase (shaved face) variety of Pyrenean Sheepdog.  The origins of the face rase are closely intertwined with those of the long haired variety, the different types being used in different terrains. The nimbler and lighter long haired variety is valued in  high mountain work, and the heavier, slightly larger face rase is used for horse and cattle herding in the lower foothills. Both types can be traced back to the late 18th and 19th centuries.

The long haired variety has always been more numerous and when the first breed standard was published by the French kennel club in 1926, an appendix detailed the differences between the two types. This was developed into the breed standard for the face rase which had been adopted by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale  (FCI). 

After the two world wars the gene pool for both types was very low, especially for the face rase. In the post-world war 2 years, there was a period of planned interbreeding of the two types to strengthen the gene pool.

Apart from the main difference in the coat type, there are significant differences to note in the slightly more compact square body of the face rase, the shorter muzzle, the heavier bone and tighter feet, and the more moderate angulation resulting in a shorter striding movement. Both breeds share the traits of intelligence, herding instinct, energy and stamina. However, the face rase is also a little more settled and biddable in its temperament.

Read the breed standard

Images for this breed

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.

Breed standard colours

Breed standard colour means that the colour is accepted within the breed standard and is a traditional and well-known colour in this breed.

Breed standard colours in this breed include:

  • Black
  • Brindle
  • Blue merle
  • Dark grey
  • Fawn
  • Fawn black overlay
  • Grey with white patches/markings
  • Light grey

Other colour/s

'Other' means you consider your puppy to be a colour not currently known within the breed and one that does not appear on either the breed standard or non-breed standard list. In this instance you would be directed through our registrations process to contact a breed club and/or council to support you on identifying and correctly listing the new colour.

Non-breed-standard colours

Non-breed-standard colour means that the colour is not accepted within the breed standard and whilst some dogs within the breed may be this colour it is advised to only select a dog that fits within the breed standards for all points.

Colour is only one consideration when picking a breed or individual dog, health and temperament should always be a priority over colour.


Whether you’re thinking of buying a puppy, or breeding from your dog, it’s essential that you know what health issues may be found in your breed. To tackle these issues we advise that breeders use DNA tests, screening schemes and inbreeding coefficient calculators to help breed the healthiest dogs possible.

More about health

Important health schemes and tests

We strongly recommend that all breeders, both assured breeders (ABs) and non ABs, use the following (or equivalent) schemes, tests and advice.

Find out about a particular dog's results

Please visit our Health Test Results Finder to discover the DNA or screening scheme test results for any dog on The Kennel Club's Breed Register.

You can also view the inbreeding coefficient calculation for a puppy's parents, or for a dog you're thinking of breeding from.

Have any questions about health in your breed?

If you have any concerns about a particular health condition in your breed then you may wish to speak to your vet or you could contact your breed health co-ordinator.

Breed health co-ordinators are individuals working on behalf of breed clubs and councils who are advocates for the health and welfare of their chosen breed. They acts as a spokesperson on matters of health and will collaborate with The Kennel Club on any health concerns the breed may have.

To contact your breed health co-ordinator please email 

Health (The Kennel Club)


Breed watch

Category 1        

Currently no points of concern specific to this breed have been identified for special attention by judges, other than those covered routinely by The Kennel Club's breed standard.

Read more about Breed Watch

Breeding restrictions

There are a number of The Kennel Club's rules and regulations that may prevent a litter from being registered, find out about our general and breed specific breeding restrictions below.

More about breeding

With effect from 1 January 2013, The Kennel Club will not register puppies whelped from a merle to merle mating born on or after this date. This is due to associated health risks of impaired vision and hearing associated with the merle gene in this breed.

Looking for a puppy?

Looking for a Pyrenean Sheepdog (Smooth Faced)? Explore our list of puppies and rescue dogs for sale near you.

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