The Berger Picard was originally a working dog in small French farms, who guarded the family property (farmyard, sheep, goats, possibly cattle). He was also known as a smuggling dog between France and Belgium (tobacco, matches, small haberdashery). Thanks to his size, he can carry big loads over relatively long distances. His natural distrust of strangers helps him escape the border police officers.
In contrast to English or German shepherds, already “specialists” in many activities, the Berger Picard is primarily the "humble people" dog, ready for all kind of work.
The breed was almost extinct during World War II. Between 1947 and 1949 a couple of amateur breeders combine their efforts to reconstruct it, thanks to few living representatives. A breed club was founded in 1955.
Although the morphology and looks have changed much in 60 years, the Berger Picard resemble a lot of the sheepdog breeds in the vast area between France and the Benelux countries (Bouvier des Flandres and des Ardennes, Dutch Shepherd etc.). Their common features are hardiness, versatility to work, strong attachment to the master, ability to protect and guard the family.
The Berger Picard is a rare breed. However, it is appreciated and recognized by the FCI under№176.
Medium sized, rustic looking, but elegant in form, the Berger Picard is muscular and robust. He hasintelligent face, lively and alert. He is the only French shepherd with naturally straight ears.
The average height of this dogs is between 55 and 65 cm and the weight is between 23 and 32 kg.
Character and behavior
He is primarily a sheepdog but is very good in agility courses, tracking and all kind of sports. He often causes the laughter of the audience with his attitude.
Excellent guard, he protects the property of his owners. He is very happy when living outside and has no problems with the weather. This dog likes to be center of attention, because he is curious and enjoy the company of his family. This tireless shepherd is happy to run alongside joggers, horse riders and cyclists.
Training and education
The dog is a social animal. His ancestors were not solitary beings, but instead were organized in groups. Your brave Berger Picard has the same ancestral features, even if they are diluted with time.
You and your family will be his "pack" , where he will need a "leader" and "elementary rules of living in society". It is imperative that you are the "head of the pack ", fair and unambiguous in communication. It is essential to be consistent in the given order and behavior - do not tolerate today what you will ban tomorrow.
Do not ask the impossible from your Berger Picard, try to put yourself in the place of your dog to try to understand.
Always use the same commands, the same intonations. Reward a well-made action or exercise by a caress, a smiling face, a nice voice or a croquette. And always punish a mistake, because sometimes, like many shepherd dogs, the Berger Picard can be stubborn.
The Berger Picard is a strong and robust dog that doesn't have any particular health problems. His average life expectancy is about 12 years.
Grooming and care
This dog can't "rot" in an apartment. He needs a lot of exercise in the open air and space to run freely.
Brush the coat once a week to clean it and to remove the old hair. Regular bathing is not necessary,but if you do, use a shampoo made especially for a harsh coat.
Children and other pets
The Berger Picard is very cheerful and playful in the family, especially with children, but isreserved towards strangers. Very loyal to his master, he will show his affection in all possible ways. This shepherd is less nervous than other sheepdogs and can grow alongside other pets.
The Berger Picard is still an unknown dog. Despite all the good qualities of the breed, puppies for sale are hard to find outside France.