Updated 01-08-2023

Berger Picard Characteristics, Facts & Traits

The Berger Picard dog breed, also known as the Picardy Shepherd, is claimed to be one of the earliest French sheepdogs. Throughout the ages, they've gained a cult following because of their unkempt appearances and vivid intelligence.

Berger Picards are easy to teach, but they may also be stubborn. Aside from that, they have a lot of drive and require a lot of physical activity to keep them in shape. You'll have a devoted, affectionate family member if you can match the needs of the breed.

Berger Picards are a breed of dog that has a wide range of characteristics and facts.


  • Strong and well-muscled, the Berger Picard shows no symptoms of heaviness.
  • This breed has a keen sense of awareness, a self-assured presence, and a lively, watchful gaze.
  • Robust, level-backed Berger Picards have muscular shoulders and hindquarters; strong loins; and deep chest cavities.
  • It is said that Berger Picards have a keen eye, a kind heart, and an even temperament. Despite Berger Picards' reputation as independent problem solvers with a strong sense of stubbornness, they are affectionate and loyal companions. The breed can be apprehensive when meeting new people, but it should not be afraid or frightened.
  • While at repose, they have tails that are long, strong at the base, and taper toward the tip; the tail hangs straight and extends past their hocks, culminating in a slight "J" or bend.
  • High-set, broad at the base and tapering to a slightly rounded tip, the ears of these dogs are medium to dark brown in colour and communicate an alert, observant, confident look.


Social Appearance 


It's a common misconception that a little dog is better suited to living in a limited space. Many tiny dogs have too much energy and are too yappy to live in an apartment building. An apartment dog's best attributes include being quiet, low energy, somewhat peaceful indoors, and respectful to the other inhabitants. Your dog's personal space in your apartment can be improved by purchasing one of these fantastic dog cages.

Sensitivity Level

Depending on the dog, a strong rebuke can be taken in stride by some, while others regard even the tiniest hint of disapproval as a personal attack. If you have a loud or pushy owner, a chaotic home, or a routine that is unpredictable or variable, your low-sensitivity dog, often known as "easygoing," "tolerant," "resilient," or even "thick-skinned," will be able to handle it better. Do you have young children, host a lot of parties, or have a hectic lifestyle? Choose a dog that isn't overly sensitive.


You can't tell from looking at them whether or not they're hyperactive, but when they do anything, they do it vigorously. They tug at their leashes (unless you teach them not to), they push their way through barriers, and they down their meals in huge, gobbling gulps. A home with young children or an elderly or feeble person may not be the best place for these dynamos to learn proper etiquette. On the other hand, a dog with poor vitality adopts a more reserved demeanor.

Potential for Playfulness

Some dogs never grow out of their puppyhood and are always looking for a game to play, while other dogs are more reserved and serious. Consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and if you have children or other canines who can stand in as playmates for the dog.

Personality Appearance


In the same way that dogs who were raised to run all day need to work out their bodies, so too do dogs who were bred for professions that involve decision making and intelligence, like herding sheep. Digging and chewing are two examples of activities that a bored pet will engage in if they don't obtain the mental stimulation they need. Obedience training and interactive dog toys, as well as dog sports and occupations like agility and search and rescue, are wonderful ways to keep a dog's brain engaged.

Energy Level

Dogs with a lot of energy are continuously on the lookout for something to do. A canine job, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding animals requires a lot of stamina; these dogs were originally designed for that purpose. As a result, they're more inclined to engage in activities such as jumping, playing, and exploring new sights and smells.

The canine version of a couch potato, a low-energy dog is satisfied to lounge around all day. Consider your own level of activity and lifestyle when choosing a breed, and whether or not you'll find a rambunctious, excitable dog energising or irritating.

Easy To Train

It is easier for dogs that are easy to train to build associations between a cue (like "sit"), an action (like sitting), and a reward (like a treat) than it is for dogs that are difficult to train. Other dogs require a greater investment of time, patience, and repetition.

You'll need to utilize incentives and games to get your dog excited about training because many breeds are intelligent but have a "What's in it for me?" training mentality.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

Even if they've been nurtured by the same person since puppyhood, some breeds remain aloof and independent; others bond strongly with one person and are indifferent to others; and yet others shower the entire family with love. Not only does the dog's breed influence its level of attachment, but so does the dog's upbringing, as canines raised in homes with people tend to be more open to human interaction and form stronger bonds.


Kids-friendly dogs are calm, strong enough to bear the hefty hugs and pets kids can dish out, and have an unfazed attitude about rushing, scream-inducing children. There are several names you may not expect to see on the list: Fierce-looking Both Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers are regarded as family dogs (which are considered Pit Bulls). Chihuahuas, which are small, sensitive, and potentially sharp, are not always family-friendly.

Dog Friendly

Friendship with dogs and friendship with people are two distinct concepts. Even though they're good with people, some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs; some would prefer play than fight; and yet others will turn tail and flee. It's not just the animal's breed that matters. At six to eight weeks of age, puppies should have spent a lot of time playing with their littermates and their mother, and they are more likely to have good social skills.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

Having a dog in the house means that you'll have to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothing and in the home. It's worth noting, however, that shedding varies widely among breeds. Some dogs shed all year long, while others ``blow" just during specific times of the year, and still others don't shed at all. If you're a stickler for cleanliness, you'll need to choose a breed that sheds less or lower your expectations. You can use a de-shedding tool to keep your house a little cleaner.

Drooling Potential

While greeting you, some dogs may cover their arms with ropes of drool and create large, wet patches on your clothing. If you don't mind a little drool, go for it; but if you're a stickler for cleanliness, you may want to look for a dog with a low drool rating.

Easy To Groom

Some breeds of dogs can simply be brushed and left alone, while others require frequent washing, trimming, and other grooming in order to maintain their health and appearance. If you don't have the time or money to take care of a dog that requires a lot of grooming, you may want to look into hiring a professional.

Exercise Needs

Evening walks around the neighbourhood are perfectly acceptable for some breeds. Others, particularly those trained for physically demanding vocations like herding or hunting, require regular, rigorous exercise.

They can gain weight and release their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, including as barking, chewing, and digging, if not given enough exercise. Those looking to train their dog for an energetic canine activity, such as agility, should consider getting a dog that needs a lot of exercise.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


50 to 70 pounds


13 to 14 years


1 foot, 9 inches to 2 feet, 1 inch tall at the shoulder


The Berger Picard is a long-extinct breed whose ancestry is unknown. As far back as the Middle Ages, it is believed to have had forebears in France. Also, it could be a descendant of dogs brought to France by Central European Celts. Like other French herding dogs like the Briard and Beauceron, it is believed to be the oldest of its ilk.

These dogs hail from the Picardy region of France, where they were prized for their stamina and tenacity in herding sheep. In 1863, they were entered in the same class as the Briard and Beauceron at France's inaugural dog exhibition. Only in 1925 was the Berger Picard recognised by the French government as a unique breed.

The population of the breed was decimated during World War I and II, and it was close to becoming extinct. Despite its rarity, it has been kept alive by breeders. In 2015, the Berger Picard was given official recognition for the first time by the AKC. The movie "Because of Winn-Dixie," which made the breed famous in 2005, did not hurt either.

Personality and Temperament 

The Berger Picard is a classic example of a clever and self-reliant herding dog. But, as it turns out, these are emotionally complicated animals.

They can be a bit of a handful, and they need a lot of attention from their owners. They may also be a bit of a jerk, so expect an emotional roller coaster as they demand your attention while also disobeying your commands.

Unusual for an animal of their stature and independence, they are also capable of great emotional vulnerability. Your communication and interactions with them are critical.

They're extremely intelligent, so they'll quickly learn new commands. As opposed to teaching someone how to do something, training is an exercise in persuading them to do something.

If they don't get enough exercise, their shrewdness might lead them into mischief as well.


If you're a novice or just starting out, the Berger Picard is probably not the best option. It will necessitate meticulous instruction, a lot of movement, and a lot of focus. This breed was initially bred to work in rural surroundings, but it may perform well in smaller urban houses if it gets enough exercise each day.

Health Problems

For the most part, the Berger Picard is a healthy dog throughout its lifespan. As a result, hip dysplasia and eye abnormalities such as progressive retinal atrophy may be hereditary.

Hip dysplasia

There are two types of hip dysplasia in dogs: juvenile and adolescent. It causes the hip joint to relax, resulting in pain and dysfunction. The hip cartilage and bone begin to degrade as the dog ages. Arthritis, muscle atrophy, and decreased mobility are all long-term effects of this.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Atrophy refers to the loss of a physical part, either partially or completely. These photoreceptor cells are affected by progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), a category of degenerative disorders. As the condition progresses, the dog's cells degenerate, eventually leading to blindness.

Recommended Health Tests 

  1. Hip Evaluation
  2. Ophthalmologist Evaluation


If you want to keep your Berger Picard healthy, you'll need to feed it the best food you can afford.

Pets need high-protein food since it burns more slowly than carbs and keeps them going for the duration of the day. In addition, this will discourage them from gaining too much weight, which is bad for these canines.

Consider purchasing kibble produced from high-quality materials. Corn, wheat, and soy are cheap fillers that should be avoided at all costs. These aren't something you want your dog to eat because they're produced from cheap cuts of beef that were rejected for other uses.

These dogs can consume a substantial amount of food, given their high level of activity. But in order to prevent kids from gaining weight, you must tightly restrict the portions they eat at each meal.

Until they reach adulthood, you should feed puppies more food than you would an adult dog. You may wish to feed your puppy up to four meals per day. You can decrease the meals in half at this stage, and if your dog is less active, you can drop it down to a single meal as they become older.


Keep your Berger Picard's coat well cinched with a little elbow grease. You can probably get away with brushing them only once every two weeks or so because of their rough coat. This is an important step, and skipping it can result in knots and matting. However, cutting or trimming it is unnecessary.

Bathing them isn't necessary very often. As agricultural animals, they don't require any pampering, and washing them with soap will just remove the essential oils from their coats. A moist towel should be used once a week to clean out their ears and brush their teeth.

You won't have to worry about trimming your Berger Picard's nails if you let him wander free outside. Nail trimmers should be brought in as needed, which is usually once or twice a month.


A lot of exercise is required for Berger Picards because they spend much of their days chasing livestock around the farm, a long walk is the absolute minimum.

Spend a lot of time outside with them if you want to make sure they get the recommended amount of exercise each day. They'll get bored and bored if they don't have enough stimulus. In the event that you leave important objects lying around, Berger Picards are likely to destroy them.

You might anticipate them to do better when there is plenty of area for movement, but they can thrive in urban environments as well. You'll just have to see to it that they receive as much stimulus as they require, whatever that may be.

They also require a lot of cerebral exercise due to their high intelligence. If you're looking for a way to keep your child's mind occupied, puzzle toys are a great option. They've won agility trials, flyball, lure coursing, and herding competitions thanks to their amazing athleticism (naturally).


These dogs require a lot of training, but it can be a little annoying. However, despite their intelligence, they can be tough to train because of their stubborn nature.

Because they're so sensitive, it can be difficult. You may want to yell at them or punish them in some other way, but this will just cause them to distance themselves from you. Positive reinforcement should be used at all times. They'll do anything for you at the drop of a hat if you can earn their respect. If they don't, they'll happily go about their own business and ignore you.

Make use of the services of an expert if you aren't confident in your abilities. However, they should instead educate you how to train the dog rather than doing it themselves, as dogs prefer to form a close attachment with the person who is in charge of the process.

The importance of socialisation cannot be overstated. There are a number of things that you can do to ensure that your child is exposed to a wide variety of people and circumstances.

Children and other Pets

The Berger Picard gets along with kids of all ages. Playful and friendly with a well-developed sense of humour and personality, it has a lively, affectionate, and playful attitude Because of its strong herding instinct, it may start herding children. It is possible. Ideally, this breed would do best if it were reared with children from an early age and then properly socialised and educated to behave around other children.

However, just because Berger Picards aren't very violent toward other dogs doesn't mean that they're a smart choice for households with multiple dogs. The sensitive nature of these animals causes them to be greatly hurt when they are subjected to hostility from other canines. For the rest of their lives, they could be frightened and apprehensive of every other dog they encounter.

It is also common for Berger Picards to make and maintain eye contact. However, dogs view this as a challenge or a sign of aggression, even if it is considered courteous among humans. If other dogs aren't around, this could lead them into trouble. Even if you know your Berger Picard is nice and well-behaved, you should exercise caution while introducing it to another dog. Protect your dog at all costs since you never know what other canines are capable of doing.

The greatest way to get along with cats is to raise them with them. At the very least, they'll try and herd them rather than fight, but the cat may not appreciate this.


As soon as possible, Berger puppies will need to be trained and socialised. Since these puppies are naturally suspicious of strangers, training and daycare will help them become more comfortable among a wide spectrum of new people and animals. There are many things you may do on your own to help socialise your dog, such as taking him to the park or on a playdate.

While crate training isn't required, it might help your dog overcome behavioural and housebreaking concerns. This is a herding dog, thus it will always have strong herding instincts that training will never be able to completely erase.

Dog breeds Similar to the Berger Picard

The Berger Picard bears a striking resemblance to a number of other smooth- or scruffy-haired dog breeds from the same area.


Despite its diminutive stature, this French herding dog is agile, calm, kind, bright, and brave. Double-coated in black and tan, with occasional blue mottling, it has a dense, silky double coat.


The Brie region of northern France is home to a huge, shaggy and bearded shepherd dog that has many characteristics with the Berger and other scruffy dog breeds. It's pleasant and gentle, yet it's also hard-working and focused. Coat colour can range from black or brown to fawn to grey or blue.

Pyrenean Sheepdog

From the mountainous regions of southern France, this medium-sized herder and livestock protector hails. They have a variety of coats to choose from ranging from long to short to smooth-faced. Dark fawn, brindle, and black are the most popular shades.