Greg Terra Photo Artisanat Les Carlines 2Greg Terra Photo Artisanat Les Carlines 2
©Greg Terra Photo Artisanat Les Carlines 2|gregory cremades

The Pyrenean Patoo

More than a dog, a symbol

A Pyrenean emblem par excellence, it embodies the beauty of the Pyrenean fauna.

The protection dog‘s function is to deter any intruders from approaching the herd. It is neither a driving dog, nor a companion dog, and certainly not an attack dog.

The herdsman

The Patou, or Pyrenean dog, some will find him handsome, imposing, gentle… but others, will say he’s mean…

On the contrary, this animal’s primary function is to defend his herd in the mountains against predators. That’s why it can be “grumpy” towards you.

With the sharp increase in predator numbers (wild fauna, strengthening of the Bear in the Pyrenees, roaming dogs…), such dogs once again represent, for breeders and shepherds, a precious help in protecting their herds.

We’ve been discovering this lately as we walk or transhumance along the roads and paths of our valley accompanying our beloved ewes to the high pastures.

Herd life
Keep your distance!
Station emblem

To learn a little more, “Le Patou”, is an ancient breed of sheepdog. It is characterized by its imposing size and white coat. It is also an excellent companion dog. Females give birth to between 2 and 12 puppies per litter. At adulthood, a Patou can weigh up to 75kg for the male and around 65kg for the female.

In the mountains, unlike the Border Collie or Labri, the Patou won’t be working with the herd (rounding them up, etc.), but will be there as a protector. For this reason, from a very early age, puppies are placed with the sheep so that they can become accustomed to their “family” until they are fully accepted by both parties. The dog will then live permanently with the flock: summer in the mountains and winter in the sheepfold.


To know more

A shepherd will tell you, for a dog to be good, you mustn’t socialize him too much, stroke him, he socializes with the sheep!!

So if you’re roaming the pastures of our valley don’t be afraid to cross his path, to find out more read below about how to behave.

And above all, admire him, the Patou is an animal that respects itself and, has for years been the symbol of Saint Lary…hence the resort’s logo.

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