FCI-Standard N° 137
CHIEN DE MONTAGNE DES PYRÉNÉES
(Pyrenean Mountain Dog)
TRANSLATION: Mrs Pamela Jeans-Brown, revised by Raymond
Triquet and Alain Pécoult). Official language (FR).
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE OFFICIAL VALID
UTILIZATION: Pastoral guardian in the mountains.
FCI-CLASSIFICATION: Group 2. Pinscher and Schnauzer
type dogs, Molossoids
and mountain dogs and
Swiss mountain dogs.
Section 2.2 Molossoids, mountain
Without working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: Present in the Pyrenees from
time immemorial, known in the Middle Ages and used as a guardian
of castles, it is mentioned by Gaston Phoebus in the 14th century.
Already appreciated as a companion dog in the 17th century, it
reached glorious heights at the court of Louis XIV. The first detailed
description of this breed dates from 1897 in the book by Count de
Bylandt. Ten years later the first breed clubs were set up and in 1923
the Réunion of Pyrenean Dog Fanciers ( Réunion des Amateurs de
Chiens Pyrénées – R.A.C.P.), at the instigation of Mr Bernard SénacLagrange, registered the official standard with the SCC (Société
Centrale Canine, French K.C.) the current standard is still very close
to the standard worked out in 1923, only a few clarifying
amendments having been made.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: Dog of great size, imposing and
strongly built, but not without a certain elegance.
• The widest part of the skull is equal to its length.
• The muzzle is slightly Shorter than the skull.
• The length of the body from the point of the shoulder to the
point of the buttock is slightly greater than the height of the
dog at the withers.
• The depth of the chest is equal to, or slightly less than, half
the height at the withers.
BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT: Used on its own to guarantee
the protection of flocks from attacks by predators, its selection
depended on its aptitude for guarding and dissuading as much as on
its attachment to the flock. The resulting main qualities are strength
and agility, allied to gentleness and attachment to those it is
protecting. This protecting dog has a propensity for independence
and a sense of initiative which demand a certain degree of authority
from its owner.
HEAD: Not too large in comparison with the size of the dog. Its
sides are fairly flat.
Skull: The widest part of the skull is equal to its length. It is slightly
rounded due to the sagittal crest being perceptible to the touch.
Because the occipital protuberance is apparent, the back of the skull
has on ogival shape. Superciliary ridges are not pronounced. The
median furrow is scarcely perceptible to the touch between the eyes.
Stop: Gentle slope.
Nose: Totally black.
Muzzle: Broad, slightly shorter than the skull, narrowing
progressively towards the tip. Seen from above it forms a blunt “V”.
Well filled below the eyes.
Lips: Not very droopy, just enough to cover the lower jaw. Black or
heavily marked with black, as is the palate.
Jaws/Teeth: Complete dentition with healthy, white teeth. Scissors
bite (upper incisors overlapping lower incisors without losing
contact). Pincer bite tolerated as are the two lower pincers tipping
EYES: Rather small, almond-shaped, set slightly obliquely, with
intelligent and contemplative expression, of amber-brown colour.
Eyelids never loose. Gentle, dreamy look.
EARS: Set on level with the eye, fairly small, triangular in shape and
rounded at the tip. They fall flat against the head and are carried
slightly raised when the dog is alert.
NECK: Strong, relatively short, with very little dewlap
BODY: The length of the body from the point of the shoulder
to the point of the buttock is slightly greater than the height of the
dog at the withers. The distance between the sternum and the ground
is approximately half the height at the withers, never less.
Back: Of good length and strong.
Loin: Of moderate length.
Croup: Slightly oblique with fairly prominent haunches.
Flank: Scarcely pronounced.
Chest: Not too low, but broad and long. Let down as far as the
elbow but not lower. Its height is equal to or slightly less than half
the height of the dog at the withers. The ribs are slightly rounded.
TAIL: It reaches at least as far as the point of the hock. It is bushy
and forms a plume. Carried low in repose with its tip forming a hook
for preference. When the dog is alert, the tail rises towards the back,
forming a strong circle with only the tip touching the loins (making
the wheel “arroundera” to quote the expression used by the people of
General appearance: Upright, strong.
Shoulders: Moderately oblique.
Upper arm: Well muscled and moderately long.
Forearm: Straight, strong and well-fringed.
Carpal joint (Carpus): The wrist is in line with the forearm.
Pasterns (Metacarpus): Slightly oglique.
Forefeet: Not long, compact, with slightly arched toes.
General appearance: The hind legs have long, more abundant fringes
than the forelegs. Seen from behind, they are perpendicular to the
Thigh: Well muscled, not very long and moderately oblique, welldefined muscle.
Stifle (knee): Moderately angulated and parallel to the body.
Lower thigh: Of moderate length, strong.
Hock: Broad, lean, moderately angulated.
Hind feet: Not long, compact, with slightly arched toes.
Dewclaws: The hind legs cach have double well-formed dewclaws.
The front legs sometimes have single or double dewclaws.
GAIT / MOVEMENT: The movement of the Pyrenean Mountain
Dog is powerful and free, it is never ponderous, the movement is
extended rather than fast, and not without a certain suppleness and
elegance. The angulation of the dogs permits an unflagging gait.
SKIN: Thick and supple, often showing patches of pigmentation
over the whole body.
Hair: Well-furnished, flat, quite long and supple, rather crisp on the
shoulders and back, longer on the tail and around the neck where it
can be slightly wavy. The trouser hair, finer and woollier, is very
thick. The undercoat is also thick.
Colour: White or white with patches appearing grey (badger or wolf)
or pale yellow or orange (arrouye) on the head, ears, base of the tail
and sometimes on the body. The most appreciated are badger grey
Height at withers: Males: from 70 cm to 80 cm.
Females: from 65 cm to 75 cm.
A tolerance of + 2 cm is allowed for perfectly typed specimens.
FAULTS: Any departure from the foregoing points should be
considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be
regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect
upon the health and welfare of the dog.
• General appearance giving the impression of heaviness,
without distinction. Flat, flabby, sluggish dog.
• Too heavy, rectangular in shape.
• Skull too broad, bulging forehead.
• Stop too pronounced or non-existent.
• Lips too pendulous forming flews.
• Insufficient pigmentation on the nose; eye-rims and lips.
• Round, light, deep-set or prominent, too large or too small,
set too close together or too far apart. Third eyelid visible.
• Broad, long, curled, folded, carried too far back, set high.
• Slender, a little long or on the contrary, too short, giving the
impression that the head is sunk into the shoulders. Too
• Sway or roach-backed dipping, whippety or drooping belly.
• Too broad or too narrow, slab-sided or, on the contrary,
• Not enough furnishing or carried badly, too short or too long,
without a plume, not “making the wheel” in action, or
making it continuously, even in repose.
• Turning out or turning in.
• Too open a scapulo-humeral angle.
• Turning out or in.
• Hock too straight or too angulated.
• Long or splayed.
• Short or curly, silky, soft or lack of undercoat.
• Aggressive or overly shy.
• Any dog clearly showing physical of behavioural
• Not completely black.
• Over or undershot, or any malformation of the jaws.
• Flesh colour on the eye-rims. Yellow eyes.
• No dewclaws or single dewclaw or atrophied double
dewclaws on hind feet.
• Any colour not specified in the standard.
• Outside the limits.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles
fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed
typical conformation should be used for breeding.