The Berger de Savoie is a dog breed from Southeast France and from local Savoie Alps, where it was used for centuries as a skilled all around farm dog, good at guarding the cows, shepherding, as draft dog or as search dog. It is a very versatile dog breed.
There is not much documentation about the origin and ancestry of the breed, but it is mostly believed, that the breed evolved as a result of natural selection and by adapting to local mountainous envirnoment and lately to its guarding utilization. It evolved in very isolated geographical region and different types of this breed evolved over the time, based on a mountain valley, where they lived.
The breed was virtually unknown outside the Savoie region for a very long time and the breed was rediscovered in 1940s. Sadly, the numbers of the breed declined a lot in 20th century due to different reasons, such as decline in farming, import of foreign breeds or crossbreeding with other breeds.
Since 2002 group of fanciers, dog enthusiasts, farmers and veterinarians are working together to restore the population of this breed. But today, it is still a very very rare breed.
The Berger de Savoie is a medium to large sized dog breed with height around 21 inch, which is 53 cm and weight around 60 lbs, which is 27 kg. It is a muscular and athletic dog breed, typically with half-perked ears, broad head and tapered and longer muzzle.
The breed evolved in mountainous environment, so it is not surprising that it has a very dense doublecoat, which is providing good protection against cold and bad weather. The coat does not need any special maintenance, but it does shed some deal of fur all year long, so regular brushing is recommended to minimize the shedding. No other grooming is required.
The Berger de Savoie is known for its beautiful mottled color. The breed can be either merle, black and tan, sable and tricolor, all with with or without white markings and patches.
And what about the temperament of this breed? It is a hardy working, endurant and energetic dog breed that needs a lot of daily exercise to stay in good shape, healthy and happy.
The breed creates extremely strong bond with its owner and family. It is very loyal and sensitive breed, affectionate and attached to its master.
On the other hand, it is also pretty protective, alert, vigilant and tough dog. They must be like this, to be good at their original purpose. But they should never be agressive without a reason. It is also a very intelligent breed that can easily learn all the basic obedience commands.
These dogs should not have higher prey drive, so they can typically live with other household pets. They can also be good playful and loyal partners for kids, but of course, you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised.
The average lifespan of this breed is around 13 or 14 years, but because of its rarity, there are no studies and reports about the breeds health. It should usually be hard and healthy dog, which does not suffer much from any hereditary health issues.