Temperament: Loyal, Good-Natured, Observant
- Height: 23.5-25.5 inches (male), 21.5-23.5 inches (female)
- Weight: 50-70 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 12-13 years
- Group: Herding Group
The Berger Picard is a lanky herding dog of strong bone and sturdy build. Picards spent centuries as take-charge independent problem-solvers, so early socialization and positive training are necessary to cope with their stubborn streak.
The Berger Pi-card is an ancient breed developed by the farmers and sheep herders of the Picardy region of northern France. They are medium-sized, sturdily built & well-muscled without being bulky, slightly longer than tall, with distinctive erect natural ears, wiry coat of moderate length, and a tail reaching to the hock and ending in a J-hook. Movement is free and easy, efficient, and tireless to allow them to work all day on the farm and in the fields. They are lively and alert, observant, quietly confident, and can be aloof with strangers, but should not be timid or nervous. This is a rustic, working shepherd’s dog, without exaggeration or refinement.
About the Berger Picard
You can spot a Berger Picard a mile away thanks to his erect ears standing 4 to 5 inches high, a wavy fawn or brindle coat, and a strong tail that tapers to a distinctive J-hook. Males stand as high as 26 inches, and females as low as 21 inches. The eyes are dark and glistening, and the rectangular head is furnished with shaggy eyebrows, beard, and mustache— the very image of a sagacious and worldly Frenchman.
The Berger Picard is an ideal companion for athletic owners. Their rugged constitution, agility, and boundless energy make them eager partners in all kinds of sports, games, and outdoor pastimes. Exercise is a must; prolonged idleness and neglect will likely lead these sensitive, super-smart dogs to destructive behaviour.
NUTRITION The Berger Picard should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Berger Picards are athletic, active canines, so be mindful that your dog is getting enough good nutrition to meet his needs. Conversely, some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
GROOMING The Berger Picard’s double coat consists of a soft, dense undercoat for insulation covered by a shaggy, wiry, waterproof topcoat. During shedding season, brushing every day or two with a rake and a slicker brush will remove the dead hair before it ends up on the floor and furniture. The rest of the year, a Picard only needs to be brushed once a month. The breed should be bathed only occasionally, and shampoos formulated for crisp coats are recommended. As with all breeds, the Picard’s nails should be trimmed regularly.
EXERCISE Bred to work in the fields, the Berger Picard is active and athletic, with plenty of stamina and drive. This high-energy breed needs lots of daily exercise and mental stimulation. The Picard must have a good outlet for all his energy, or he may become destructive and unhappy. Owners should expect to go on at least one long walk every day. Picards also make excellent companions on hikes and bike rides, and they enjoy swimming and playing fetch. Many Picards participate in agility, tracking, obedience, Schutzhund (protection), fly-ball, French ring sport, rally, and herding competitions.
TRAINING As with all breeds, early socialisation and puppy training classes are a must. Training should begin as early as possible to prevent bad habits from developing. Picards have a stubborn streak, but they are very intelligent and eager to please, so training is usually fairly easy. They are more likely to respond to praise and affection than to food, and are unlikely to respond to harsh training methods.
Recommended Health Test from the National Breed Club:
- Hip Evaluation
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation