The Berger Picard, popularly called the Picardy Shepherd, is a breed of French sheepdogs known for their shaggy and unkempt physical appearance as well as lively personality. These medium-sized dogs are sturdily built with a square head, oval shaped eyes, erect ears, deep chest, straight forelegs, and a moderately long tail shaped like a J-hook at the tip.
|Pronunciation||Bare ZHAY Pee CARR|
|Alternative Names||Picard, Picardy Sheepdog, Berger de Picardie, Bacardi Shepherd, Berger de Picard|
|Coat||Harsh, crisp, wiry outer coat; soft, dense, short undercoat|
|Color||Light/dark fawn, blue-gray, brindle, gray red, gray and black|
|Height||Female: 22-24 inches
Male: 24-26 inches
|Size of Litter||2-10 puppies|
|Temperament||Observant, intelligent, loyal, good-natured|
|Good with Children||Yes|
|Country Originated in||France|
|Competitive Registration/Qualification Information||DRA, UKC, ACR, NKC, FCI, NAPR, CKC, ACA, AKC, APRI|
Believed to be an ancient breed of sheepdogs, the Berger Picard was imported to France by the Celts during the 5th century BC. Several illustrations of Berger Picard-like sheepdogs in woodcuts, engravings, and tapestries that are hundreds of years old have been recovered.Some experts considered that the Picardy Shepherd was related to other herding breeds like the Beauceron, Briard, as well as Belgian and Dutch Shepherds.
While it made its appearance at the first dog show held in France in 1863, the Picardy Shepherd did not become popular as a show dog because of its rustic looks. Over the years, it had participated in dog shows and herding trials but received its first recognition from the French Shepherd Club in 1925.
The breed was nearly wiped out by the devastations caused during the World Wars. Today the Berger Picard population has increased slightly with approximately 3500 dogs in France, 500 in Germany, and 400 in Canada and the US.To preserve thePicardy Shepherds in the US, the Berger Picard Club of America was set up in 2006. It received its recognition from the AKC in 2015.
These sheepdogs with their smart, sensitive, and assertive nature are considered a delightful companion. Thanks to their cheerful and devoted personality, they make wonderful playmates for kids in the family.
Although they are reserved towards strangers, they get along well with small pets and cats in the household. Alert to their surroundings, these dogs can be trained to be a good watchdog.
Being an enthusiastic working dog, the Picardy Shepherds love doing jobs all day without which they might grow bored or become destructive.
Since they can endure pain and stress without complaining, make sure not to overly exercise the puppies, as it could cause injury to their growing joints.
Since Berger Picards can be independent and headstrong, but at the same time sensitive, they should be trained early by a firm handler. If training is harsh or inconsistent, your Picardy Shepherd will not respond to your commands.
Training on livestock: Always keep a watchful eye and avoid contact between your dog and the farm animals. If you are not paying attention, your dog might think it is fine to harass your stock. Use calm, young livestock when introducing your Picard to the farm, because an older cow or sheep might be too excited and make your dog fearful. Have a stern recall command that it has been trained to obey.
Obedience: Teaching the recall or come command is a useful tool for controlling your puppy’s annoying behavior. Attach a leash to its collar and let your pup get used to the line. Keep some treats in your hand and walk your dog in the yard. After moving a few paces, start walking backward and encourage it to follow you by uttering the word come. Praise and give it the treats once it twirls around and moves toward you.
Whether you feed your Picard a natural or a commercial diet, it should consist of carbohydrates (fruits and vegetables), fats, protein (fish, eggs, and meat), vitamins, and minerals. Commercial food such as dry kibble is a healthy option for your pet.