Guild of Shepherds & Collies

The Berger Picard Will Take Your Breath Away

Meet the Berger Picard, the charismatic, impish herding dog that will take your breath away.

The Berger Picard, also called the Picardy Shepherd, is a rustic sheepdog known throughout northern France since the Middle Ages. Whether the Berger Picard is related to the Briard and Beauceron, two other French herding breeds, remains up for debate. The breed nearly died out following the two World Wars, but in the late 1940s, a few dedicated people made it their mission to restore the breed, rescuing it from extinction.

Today, the Berger Picard (pronounced bare ZHAY pee CAR) is rare in the United States. The breed was admitted into the American Kennel Club Herding Group in 2015. The 2005 movie Because of Winn-Dixie brought the breed into the spotlight when a Berger Picard was cast in the title role.

With its large ears, impish expression and shaggy coat, the Berger Picard has a delightfully clownish appearance and seems to smile. Alert and lively, this confident dog is even-tempered and might be aloof with strangers.

Herding and Activities
The Berger Picard’s herding style is known as tending. By patrolling the outer perimeter of a herd, they act as a living fence, keeping the herd in one general area.

Berger Picard - Jackie Brown 2

Like most herding breeds, the Picard is athletic and needs daily exercise. They will go, go, go for as long as you let them. In addition to herding, try swimming, running, hiking or long walks, or consider training for another performance sport like agility or flyball. Just be sure to keep training sessions positive and varied to encourage the sometimes-stubborn but sensitive Picard.

The Berger Picard needs abundant socialization as a puppy to help it grow into a confident dog. Too cute for their own good, Berger Picards will try to manipulate you into giving them what you want with a pleading look from those beautiful eyes.

Size, Coat and Colors
The rough coat is neither flat nor curly, but it might have a subtle wave. It forms a beard, mustache and eyebrows on the head, with a slight ruff on the neck. Berger Picards may be fawn (tan) or brindle (a tiger-striped pattern). The low-maintenance coat needs only to be combed a few times a week and the occasional bath. They shed minimally when the coat is combed out regularly.

Berger Picard - Jackie Brown 3

The Berger Picard is sturdy and muscular, but not bulky or massive. They range in height from 21½ to 25½ inches tall at the shoulder, and weigh an average of 50 to 70 pounds. Males are slightly larger than females.

Article By:
Jackie Brown

<< Back