Berger Picard Facts
- UKC, CKC
- 21" - 26" (53.3 - 66cm)
- 50 - 70lbs (22.7 - 31.7kg)
- 14 years | Add yours
- Exercise Requirement
- Training Requirement
- Grooming Requirement
- Breed Characteristics
The Berger Picard is also known as Berger de Picard, Picardy Shepherd, Picardy sheepdog.
The Berger Picard breed originated in Picardie region of northeastern France.
Date Of Origin
It is believed that the Berger Picard breed arrived in Picardy and Pas de Calais with the Celts in year 800.
The Berger Picard, one of the oldest French herding dogs, was used for sheep-herding and guarding. Although the Berger Picard made an appearance at the first French dog show in 1863, the breed's rustic appearance did not lead to popularity as a show dog.
The two world wars pushed the Berger Picard breed to extinction. With its population concentrated on the farms of northeastern France, trench warfare in the Somme reduced the breed to limited numbers. This solid, dependable breed has still not recovered from the ravages of World War I. Since then, the Berger Picard has been intermittently bred by isolated farmers and breeders, never really gaining popularity on the show circuit.
The producers of the 2005 American movie Because of Winn-Dixie brought five Picards over from Europe ("Scott", "Lyco" and "Tasha" performed in the movie). The trainer, Mark Forbes, wanted a dog that resembled the scruffy mutt on the original book's cover but needed several that looked alike so that production could continue smoothly, thus he decided on this rare purebred dog from France.
It is this breed's rustic mutt-like appearance that has prevented it from being rapidly popularized and exploited in the United States by the movie release, as has been the fate of some other breeds. People are often fooled into thinking "Winn-Dixie" is a mixed breed.
The Berger Picard was recognized by the UKC in 1994.
The Berger Picard is a medium sized, muscular and rectangular shaped dog. It has a broad head with a skull that is equal in length to the slightly tapered muzzle. There is a large, black nose, brown eyes and large ears that are naturally erect. The long tail curves slightly at the tip. The double coat has a soft, dense undercoat and a medium length, rough, terrier like outer coat. It has eyebrows, a mustache and a beard.
The Berger Picard is known to be active, friendly and to enjoy children. It is intelligent and independent-minded with a strong work drive. Due to the French practice of grazing in unenclosed areas, the Berger Picard developed a herding style referred to as "boundary" or "tending". They will run the perimeter of the area in which the sheep are grazing.
The Berger Picard has a strong protective instinct and, although not a viciously aggressive dog, it stands up to its enemies courageously, snarling ferociously and showing it's powerful teeth.
The Berger Picard is a very active dog that loves to run. He will need vigorous daily exercise such as running along side a bicicle, jogging, or herding training. The Berger Picard will thrive in agility, flyball, or flying disc. Early and continuous training and socialization is important as the breed tends to be weary of strangers.
The Berger Picard is protective of it's family and property, but is very affectionate and loyal. They are great with children and good with smaller pets in the household. This breed tends to be very vocal (barking) and may cause problems in suburban neighborhoods.
The Berger Picard is a lively, energetic, affectionate dog that is still primarily used in France for herding and livestock guarding. Their intelligence and protective instincts make them suitable as guard dogs as well. They are excellent family companions and very good with children.
The Berger Picard does best with an active, dog-experienced owner in a rural setting. This dog tends to be very vocal.
Show Sources & Contributors +
The New Encyclopedia of the Dog
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000
Author: Bruce Fogle
Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs
Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980
Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler
Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005
Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein
The Howell Book Of Dogs
Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007
Author: Liz Palika
Publisher: WikiMedia Foundation, On Going