About the Picardy Sheepdog / Berger Picard

Thought to be the oldest of the French Sheepdogs, the Picardy Sheepdog also known as the Berger Picard was brought to northern France and the Pas de Calais, in the 9th century by the Franks.

Some experts insist that this breed is related to the more well-known Briard & Beauceron, while others believe it shares a common origin with Dutch and Belgian Shepherds.

Although the Picardy Sheepdog 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 breeding stock of the Picardy Sheepdog, was decimated by the ravages of World War I and World War II. With its population concentrated on the farms of north-eastern France, trench warfare in the Somme reduced the breed to near extinction.

The Picards easy care and mellow, yet mischievous, temperament have started the breed back on the road to recovery. Nevertheless its numbers are still limited, even in its native country.

As mentioned previously, today in France there are approximately 3500 dogs and in Germany approximately 500 of this breed. At present there are approximately 400 in the United States and Canada.

Currently there are just under 40 Picardy Sheepdogs registered in the UK.

Breed Information

Country of Origin: France

Original Function: Sheepdog

Approximate Height:

Males –  59 – 65 cm

Females – 54 – 59 cm

Weight: Between 24 – 35 kilos (52 – 77b)

Age at Maturity: 2 years

Litter size: 2-10 pups

Average life span: 12 – 14 years

Coat type: Rustic, natural looking, with a soft, dense undercoat and shaggy, rough top coat that is harsh.

Coat length: 2-2.5 inches (5-6cm)

Coat Colour: fawn or brindle

Coat care: Weekly brush. Coat will mat if neglected

Exercise: Anything from a half hour daily walk to a whole day out hiking. He’s adaptable.

Training: Easy with correct handling and motivation.

Temperament: Good with children, dogs and cats if socialised correctly. Can be aloof with strangers

Special considerations: Not ideal for first-timers, the Picardy Sheepdog can have strong hunting instincts and needs experienced handling – but has all the makings to be the dog of a lifetime.

Character-sketch: A devoted, loyal, mellow, ‘thinking’ dog, the Picardy Sheepdog thrives on the companionship of his human family.