Berger Picard

Home > Dog Breeds > Berger Picard
51-71 lbs
22-24"
France
Picardy Shepherd, Picard, Berger de Picardie, Picardy Sheepdog

The Berger Picard (pronounced bare ZHAY pee CARR) is not a well known dog even though he stared in the 2005 movie Because of Winn-Dixie. Most people who have seen this movie simply assume a mutt was used, but in reality, the producer needed several dogs that looked alike to play this role. The Berger Picard was discovered and used because of his scruffy appearance. He is a very intelligent dog, but he does have a slight stubborn streak that can make living with him interesting. He has a lively expression and does great with children. Although, he is a herding breed and does require a secure fence to keep him safe from trying to herd cars and other vehicles.

Purpose
herding livestock
Date of Origin
800 AD
Ancestry
sheepdog

Berger Picard Health

Average Size
Height: 22-26 inches Weight: 51-71 lbs
Height: 22-24 inches Weight: 51-71 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Hip Dysplasia
Minor Concerns
  • Collie Eye Anomaly
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Hips
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination
  • Physical Examination

Berger Picard Breed History

The Berger Picard is the oldest of the French sheepdogs and is thought to have arrived in northern France and the Pas de Calais around 800 A.D. with the Celts. He is a medium sized dog with thick, bushy eyebrows and an intelligent expression. Some experts believe that the Berger Picard is related to the Briard and the Beauceron. However, others believe he is more closely related to the Dutch Shepherd and the Belgian Shepherd. The Berger Picard was almost brought to extinction during World War I and II. The breed has still not recovered and there are only about 3500 Berger Picard left in France, about 500 in Germany and 400 in the United States and Canada. The Berger Picard Club of America was created in 2006 to promote the breed within the United States. In April 2007, the American Kennel Club (AKC) accepted the Berger Picard into its Foundation Stock Service. The Berger Picard Club of America was accepted as the official parent club by the AKC in 2011. He was accepted into the Miscellaneous Group of the AKC in January 2013 and had the official breed standard recognized in 2014. He was officially recognized as a member of the Herding Group in July 2015 and he is now able to compete in all AKC sanctioned events. The Berger Picard Club of America is diligently working to preserve the breed by researching and recording the known bloodlines. They are also promoting responsible ownership and breeding to ensure that the Berger Picard does not become extinct.

Berger Picard Breed Appearance

The Berger Picard’s coat is medium in length and is weatherproof. His topcoat should be harsh and crisp when touched. It is a double coat that is shaggy in appearance. The undercoat is soft and very dense. His coat is usually between 2 and 2 ½ inches long all over his body, except his head and neck. The hair on his head is slightly shorter but he does have shaggy eyebrows that give him a wizened expression. The hair on his neck can be longer, but not excessive. His coat is straight, but can have a slight wave. A coat that is soft, curly or flat is not desirable. The Berger Picard comes in two basic colors: fawn or gray. Both colors come in a wide array of hues from gray-black, gray-blue, gray-red or brindle. He can have white markings on his chest and toe tips but the white cannot be excessive. There should be no solid white chest or feet. 

Berger Picard Breed Maintenance

This breed is basically a low maintenance dog. Because the Berger Picard has a rough coat that is not overly long, he does not easily mat when his coat is being properly groomed. He should be groomed once a week or at the very least once every other week to prevent tangles. Use a pin brush and a metal comb when grooming. Be sure to pay close attention to the hair behind his ears since this area is the most likely to tangle or mat. Hand-strip his ears when needed. He does not need to be bathed often and has a low smell because he has low oil content to this coat. Nails should be trimmed as needed, usually every two to three weeks. His ears need to be checked for dirt and foul odor every week to ensure that no infection has started. His beard should be combed weekly to remove any food particles. A routine dental plan should also be implemented to keep his teeth and gums healthy.

Berger Picard Temperament

The Berger Picard is a happy, lively dog with a big personality. He is intelligent and loves learn new things. He is considered laid back and easily trainable, however, he does have a stubborn streak. He does require significant exercise and mental stimulation. He loves playing games that make him think. He is distrustful of strangers and will require significant socialization during his first two years of life. Even though he is a herding breed, he is not known to be an excessive barker unless he is left alone for too long. The Berger Picard can easily become a picky eater and it can be difficult to establish a diet that has the proper nutrients he needs. The Berger Picard loves his family and does well with children and other dogs. He does need to be leashed when outside of his yard because his herding instinct is high and he can get into trouble trying to herd traffic or other people.

Berger Picard Owner Experiences