Berger Picard Dog: The Best Information For You

berger picard dog

Berger Picards are beloved for their rugged charm, scruffy good looks, and engaging personalities.

This breed is among France’s oldest herding breeds, tracing its roots back hundreds of years to the Picardy region north of Paris.

Characterized by their lanky, powerful build, Berger Picards sports a rustic, wiry coat and distinctive ears that stand tall and erect.

They require gentle, consistent training to manage their high energy levels and prevent out-of-control behavior.

While they may be wary and aloof with strangers, Berger Picards warm up quickly when unfamiliar people are welcomed into their homes.

They are known to be loving and playful with their families, displaying a deep devotion to their human pack.


The Berger Picard dog, or Picardy Shepherd, derives its name from its historical role and region of origin.

These dogs once freely roamed the pastures of northern France, where they diligently herded and protected flocks of sheep and herds of cattle for shepherds and cowherds.

  • size: large
  • life span: 12–14 years
  • weight: Average Weight: 50-70 pounds


Choosing a reputable dog breeder is a crucial decision when welcoming a new furry friend into your life.

Reputable breeders prioritize breeding healthy, well-socialized puppies that will become wonderful companions.

They rigorously screen their breeding stock for health issues, begin socializing their puppies early on, and offer ongoing support throughout the dog’s life.

In contrast, backyard breeders prioritize profit over the well-being of the dogs. They often fail to screen their breeding stock for health problems and may not properly socialize their puppies.

Consequently, puppies from backyard breeders are at a higher risk of health and behavioral problems.

Breed characters

The Berger Picard is a strikingly beautiful, medium-sized breed, known for its well-muscled build and slightly longer-than-tall frame, giving it a tousled yet elegant appearance.

Characteristic features include naturally erect ears that are high set and wide at the base, thick eyebrows that do not obscure their dark, frank eyes, and a distinctive smile.

The tail is naturally long, reaching to the hock, and typically carried with a slight J-curve at the tip.

Their weather-proof coat is another hallmark, being harsh, crisp to the touch, and not overly long, with a minimal undercoat. Common coat colors include fawn and brindle, with various shade variations.

In terms of size, Berger Picards are medium-sized dogs, typically standing between 22 and 26 inches at the withers and weighing between 23 and 32 kilograms when fully grown.


The Berger Picard’s roots are deeply embedded in the Picardy region of northern France.

This sturdy and versatile breed has been a faithful companion and indispensable herding assistant for many generations.

Initially developed for herding, the Berger Picard played a vital role in aiding shepherds in managing their livestock, including sheep and cattle.

With a history spanning centuries, the Berger Picard is among France’s oldest herding breeds. Valued for their intelligence, agility, and adaptability, these dogs were highly esteemed by farmers and shepherds for their exceptional working skills.

Over time, they became an integral part of rural life, known for their reliability and proficiency as herders.

Despite their long-standing history, the Berger Picard faced a severe decline during the tumultuous periods of the two World Wars, nearly leading to the breed’s extinction.

Fortunately, dedicated enthusiasts of the breed worked diligently to revive and preserve its heritage.

Today, the Berger Picard is revered not only for its herding abilities but also for its affectionate nature and adaptability, participating in various canine activities and even appearing in films and television shows.

Read more on Wikipedia


Picards come in both colors. The Berger Picard is a medium-sized, well-muscled dog, slightly longer than tall, with a charmingly tousled yet elegant appearance.

Their ears are naturally erect, high-set, and broad at the base.

Their eyebrows are thick, framing their dark, frank eyes. Known for their endearing smile, Picards have a natural tail that typically reaches the hock and is carried with a slight J-curve at the tip. Their weather-resistant coat is harsh and crisp to the touch, not overly long, and with a minimal undercoat. They are predominantly found in two colors: fawn and brindle, with various shades within these hues.


Picards have a sensitive yet assertive disposition, making them quick learners in obedience training. They are generally easygoing and calm but may be reserved with strangers, requiring extensive socialization during their early years.

Energetic and hardworking, Picards’ dogs are also alert and moderate barkers. However, they can be particular about their food choices.

These dogs have a lively and intelligent personality, coupled with a well-developed sense of humor, making them delightful companions. They are still utilized effectively as herders in their homeland and elsewhere.

Similar to other herding breeds, Picards thrive on human companionship. Their affectionate nature towards their owners and enthusiastic attitude towards other animals highlight the importance of formal obedience training and positive socialization.


The Berger Picard personality is exceptionally intelligent, demonstrating quick learning abilities and adept problem-solving skills. They enthusiastically participate in training and mental challenges. Known for their loyalty, Berger Picards form deep bonds with their families and exhibit affection and devotion towards their owners.

While they are reserved and cautious with strangers, Berger Picards naturally excel as watchdogs, showing protective instincts towards their loved ones. Their independent nature can sometimes manifest as stubbornness, but with consistent and patient training, this trait can be positively directed. They are adaptable dogs, thriving in various environments, whether urban or rural, as long as they receive sufficient exercise and mental stimulation.

With a history of herding dogs, Berger Picards often retain strong herding instincts, occasionally attempting to herd family members or other pets. Despite their shaggy appearance, their coat is relatively low-maintenance, making them an appealing choice for families seeking a breed that requires less grooming. Through early socialization and proper training, Berger Picards make wonderful family pets, valued for their unique combination of intelligence, loyalty, and independent spirit.

Health of Berger Picard Dog

Berger Picards are typically a robust breed, but, like all dogs, they can be susceptible to certain health issues. Responsible breeders strive to minimize these risks through careful breeding practices. Some potential health concerns for Berger Picards include:

Hip Dysplasia: A genetic condition that can lead to hip joint problems and mobility issues, particularly prevalent in larger breeds like Berger Picards.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): An inherited condition causing progressive vision loss and eventual blindness.

Bloat (Gastric Torsion): A life-threatening condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself, requiring immediate veterinary attention.

Allergies: Berger Picards may be prone to skin allergies and food sensitivities, which may necessitate dietary management.

Ear Infections: Their floppy ears can be vulnerable to infections, so regular cleaning and care are vital.

Hypothyroidism: Some individuals may develop an underactive thyroid gland, affecting metabolism and overall health.

Patellar Luxation: This involves the dislocation of the kneecap and may require surgical correction.


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Careing Tips For Berger Picard Dog

While generally low-maintenance, Berger Picards do require essential care to ensure their well-being. Grooming is crucial, as they have a wiry, double coat that needs regular attention to prevent matting and maintain its health. It’s recommended to brush their coat at least once a week and bathe them when necessary, with occasional professional grooming sessions.

These active Berger Picard dogs also need sufficient exercise, ideally around 30 minutes daily, which can include walks, runs, fetching games, or visits to a dog park. Training is essential due to their intelligence, but their stubborn streak necessitates early and consistent efforts.

Regular checkups and vaccinations are a must, and prompt visits to the vet when your Berger Picard is sick or injured ensure their continued well-being.

Feeding of Berger Picard Dog

Berger Picard dog Thrive on a High-quality diet rich in protein. It’s recommended to feed them two meals a day, adjusting their caloric intake based on their activity level and size. For more detailed nutrition guidelines, you can refer to our recommendations here.

Berger Picard Grooming

The Berger Picard is a low-maintenance pet. Their rough, tousled coat does not mat easily, requiring minimal grooming to preserve its natural, rustic appearance. Brushing once a month is typically sufficient, and bathing should be done sparingly.

It’s important not to trim their fur, except for occasional tidying around the ear edges. Berger Picards shed minimally and are not prone to having a strong “doggy odor.”


Join our Free Berger Picard Mini-Course to transform your dog into a housebroken, obedient companion who eagerly responds to your commands.

In this course, you’ll discover effective techniques to housebreak your dog in 6 days or less, along with learning new commands for obedience training.

You’ll also gain insights into eliminating undesirable behaviors such as barking, nipping, biting, jumping, or leash pulling.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

How to establish leadership and think like a pack dog, applying new psychology techniques.
The 3 common mistakes Berger Picard owners make during potty training.

Understanding the root causes of excessive barking and ways to control it.
Obedience training methods to address issues like jumping, aggression, and leash pulling.
Fun tricks to teach your Berger Picard.
Tips for maintaining a healthy diet to improve your dog’s lifespan and prevent obesity.
Access to expert trainers for immediate assistance.

Additionally, you’ll discover a hidden psychological trigger unique to Berger Picards, enabling you to understand and influence your dog’s behavior effectively.

By signing up, you’ll also receive priority access to free online seminars conducted by our training experts. Unlike other generic dog training resources, our course focuses specifically on Berger Picards, providing tailored advice from a team of renowned experts who understand the breed’s distinct training needs.

Exercise of Berger Picard dog

Berger Picards are versatile and can excel in various activities such as agility trials, tracking, obedience, showmanship, Schutzhund, flyball, lure coursing, French ring sport, and herding events. Their herding instincts and trainability can be assessed in noncompetitive herding tests. With proper training, Berger Picards showing basic herding instincts can participate in herding trials.

Rescue & Adoption Center

We are looking for:

Families ready to provide a loving home and a second chance to a Berger Picard.
Families are willing to temporarily host a Berger Picard in transition to its permanent home for a few days or weeks.

Volunteers who can dedicate their time and vehicle to transport dogs between their former and host families.

Qualified veterinarians or groomers are willing to donate their time and services to help our Picards regain health and dignity before finding their permanent homes.

Individuals or businesses can donate items such as crates, bowls, leashes, collars, toys, or food that will be useful in the relocation of dogs.
Financial support to assist us in covering expenses for food, veterinary care, and transportation for Berger Picards in need.

Berger Picard Dog FAQ

What’s Up With the Ears?

The ears of the Berger Picard are a standout feature! Typically, Picards’ ears start standing up between 8 and 10 weeks of age, resulting in incredibly adorable puppies. The ears are a defining characteristic of the breed, as noted in the Breed Standard, which specifies that they are moderately long, measuring between 4 to 5 inches in length, and positioned at 11 and 1 o’clock on the head.

How do I get a Picard Puppy?

Before getting a Berger Picard, ensure it’s the right breed for you. Then, find a reputable breeder. It’s typical to be on a waiting list for a puppy, and the breeder may interview you to ensure the puppy is a good fit for your family.

How Long do Picards Live?

The lifespan of Berger Picards typically ranges from 12 to 15 years.

How Big are Picards?

On average, Berger Picards weigh between 50 and 70 pounds. Females typically stand between 21.5 to 23.5 inches tall, while males are slightly taller, ranging from 23.5 to 25.5 inches.

Do Picards Shed?

Yes, Berger Picards are considered low shedders. They have minimal odor and shed only about twice a year. Additionally, their coat’s low oil content helps repel dirt.

How do you pronounce Berger Picard?

The correct French pronunciation of Berger Picard is “bear-ZHAY pee-CARR.”

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