Berger Picard: A Comprehensive Guide to the Rare French Herding Dog

Welcome to my comprehensive guide on the Berger Picard, a rare and unique breed of French herding dog. In this article, I will provide you with detailed information about the Berger Picard’s characteristics, temperament, history, health, training, and more. Whether you are considering adding a Berger Picard to your family or simply want to learn more about this fascinating breed, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways:

  • The Berger Picard is a rare breed of French herding dog known for its intelligence and versatility.
  • With approximately 3500 Berger Picards in France and 400 in the United States and Canada, breeders play a crucial role in preserving and promoting this unique breed.
  • The Berger Picard has a distinctive appearance, with a well-muscled body, tousled coat, and almond-shaped eyes.
  • This breed is known for its lively and intelligent personality, requiring early socialization and plenty of human companionship.
  • Although generally a healthy breed, Berger Picards can be prone to certain genetic conditions such as hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).

Berger Picard Characteristics and Appearance

The Berger Picard is a medium-sized dog with a distinctive appearance and unique characteristics. This breed has a well-muscled body and a slightly longer than tall frame, giving it a sturdy yet elegant look. With naturally erect ears and expressive almond-shaped eyes, the Berger Picard has a tousled yet charming appearance that captures the attention of dog enthusiasts.

One of the standout features of the Berger Picard is its rough and weather-proof coat. This coat comes in various colors, ranging from fawn to brindle, and requires minimal grooming to maintain its rustic appearance. The Berger Picard has a minimal undercoat, which means shedding is minimal, making it an ideal choice for individuals who prefer a low-maintenance coat.

The tail of the Berger Picard is distinct, with a slight J-curve at the tip. This unique tail adds to the breed’s overall appeal and highlights its individuality. Whether it’s walking, running, or herding, the tail of a Berger Picard is always on the move, showcasing the breed’s active nature.

Characteristics Appearance
Medium-sized Well-muscled body
Tousled coat Naturally erect ears
Almond-shaped eyes Colors: fawn to brindle
Minimal undercoat Distinct J-curved tail

The Berger Picard’s unique characteristics and appealing appearance make it a breed that stands out from the crowd. Its rough coat, distinctive tail, and expressive eyes are just a few of the features that make this breed truly captivating.

Berger Picard Temperament and Personality

The Berger Picard is renowned for its lively and intelligent temperament. This breed is known for its sensitivity and assertiveness, making it highly responsive to obedience training. Although they have an easygoing and mellow nature, Picards can be reserved towards strangers. Early socialization is crucial to ensure they become well-rounded dogs, comfortable around different people and animals. These dogs crave human companionship and thrive in households where they are given plenty of love and attention.

Picards are energetic, hardworking, and alert, which makes them exceptional herders. They possess a well-developed sense of humor, and their playful nature makes them endearing companions. With their intelligence and quick problem-solving skills, they excel in various tasks and enjoy mental stimulation. These qualities, combined with their loyalty and affectionate nature towards their families, make them highly desirable pets.

To fully appreciate the Berger Picard’s temperament and personality, it is important to understand their working heritage. They are an active breed that requires regular exercise to maintain their overall well-being. Mental stimulation is equally important to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Owners who can provide a structured and stimulating environment will find that the Berger Picard thrives and brings immense joy to their lives.

Training and Socialization

Training and socialization play a vital role in shaping the Berger Picard’s behavior and ensuring they become well-behaved and balanced companions. These dogs respond best to positive reinforcement training methods that focus on clear communication and consistency. Due to their intelligent and independent nature, they require an owner who can establish strong leadership while maintaining a fair and patient approach.

Early socialization is crucial for Picards to develop good manners and overcome any shyness towards strangers. This includes exposing them to various environments, people, and animals from a young age. Obedience training is essential to establish boundaries and reinforce their place within the family unit. Mental stimulation, such as puzzle toys or obedience exercises, helps keep their minds engaged and prevents boredom-induced behavioral issues. With the right training and socialization, Berger Picards become well-rounded, obedient, and delightful companions.

Table: Berger Picard Temperament Traits

Trait Description
Lively Picards have a spirited and energetic nature.
Intelligent These dogs are quick learners and possess problem-solving skills.
Affectionate Picards are deeply loyal and form strong bonds with their families.
Hardworking They have a strong work ethic and excel in various tasks.
Affable Picards have a friendly and amiable nature.
Alert They are highly observant and alert to their surroundings.
Sensitive Picards have a sensitive disposition and respond well to positive reinforcement training methods.

Overall, the Berger Picard is a breed that combines intelligence, loyalty, and a playful temperament. With proper training, socialization, and an active lifestyle, they make wonderful companions for individuals and families who appreciate their unique qualities and are willing to invest time and effort into their care.

Berger Picard History and Breeding

The Berger Picard has a rich history that dates back to the middle ages. This rare breed is believed to have originated from dogs brought to France by the Celtic tribes. They were commonly used as herding dogs in the Picardy region of France, where they earned the name “Picard.” However, the breed faced near extinction after the two world wars, with only a few remaining individuals.

Thanks to the dedication and efforts of passionate breeders, the Berger Picard was saved from the brink of extinction. These breeders worked tirelessly to revive the breed and preserve its unique qualities. Through careful breeding practices and the establishment of breed standards, they ensured that the breed stayed true to its original characteristics.

“The Berger Picard is a testament to the passion and commitment of breeders who worked tirelessly to preserve this rare and remarkable breed.” – Berger Picard enthusiast

Today, the Berger Picard is recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) and has been fully recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) since 2015. This recognition not only validates the breed’s heritage but also serves as a testament to the dedication and hard work of the breeders who have championed the Berger Picard.

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Year Event
1800s Celtic tribes bring herding dogs to France
World Wars Berger Picard breed nearly becomes extinct
1925 First Berger Picard breed standard established
1994 Berger Picard Club of America founded
2015 Full recognition by the AKC

Breeders continue to play a crucial role in the future of the Berger Picard. They are dedicated to ensuring the health, temperament, and overall well-being of the breed. Responsible breeders prioritize genetic health testing to minimize the risk of hereditary diseases and maintain the breed’s quality.

Thanks to the dedication and passion of breeders, the Berger Picard has a bright future ahead. It is a testament to the resilience and determination of both the breed and the individuals who have worked tirelessly to preserve and promote this remarkable French herding dog.

Berger Picard Health and Care

Ensuring the health and well-being of your Berger Picard is essential for a happy and thriving companion. Like any breed, Berger Picards are prone to certain genetic conditions, so it’s important to be aware of potential health issues and take proactive measures to prevent them. Here are some key aspects to consider regarding Berger Picard health and care.


The Berger Picard has a low-maintenance coat that requires minimal grooming. Their rough and tousled appearance may give the impression of regular grooming needs, but in reality, occasional brushing is sufficient to keep their coats looking neat and to prevent matting. Bathing is rarely necessary unless they get dirty, as their coat naturally repels dirt. Regular nail trims and ear checks are also part of a good grooming routine for Berger Picards.

Genetic Health Conditions

While Berger Picards are generally a healthy breed, they can be prone to certain genetic conditions such as hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). These conditions can affect the quality of life for your dog if not detected and managed properly. Reputable breeders will have their breeding dogs tested for these conditions and should provide certification of the results. When considering adding a Berger Picard to your family, it’s important to select a responsible breeder who prioritizes the health of their dogs.

Exercise and Nutrition

Regular exercise is crucial for maintaining the health and well-being of Berger Picards. These energetic dogs require a minimum of 1-2 hours of exercise each day to stay happy and healthy. Daily walks, runs, and engaging playtime will help satisfy their exercise needs and prevent boredom. Additionally, a balanced diet tailored to their specific needs is essential for optimal health. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate diet and portion sizes for your Berger Picard.

Health Considerations Recommended Care
Hip Dysplasia Regular exercise to maintain muscle tone, weight management, and joint supplements if recommended by a veterinarian.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) Regular eye exams by a veterinarian to monitor any changes in vision. Some cases may require specialized treatment or supportive care.
Overall Health Maintenance Annual veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, parasite prevention, dental care, and a nutritious diet.

“By prioritizing proper grooming, genetic health testing, regular exercise, and a balanced diet, you can help ensure that your Berger Picard thrives and enjoys a long, healthy life by your side.”

Berger Picard Training and Socialization

Training and socialization are crucial for ensuring that Berger Picards develop into well-behaved and balanced dogs. Their intelligent and independent nature requires positive reinforcement training methods that focus on clear communication and consistency. Early socialization plays a vital role in helping them develop good manners and become comfortable around strangers and other animals.

When it comes to training, Berger Picards respond best to positive reinforcement techniques such as rewards, praise, and treats. Harsh or punitive methods can cause them to become stubborn or fearful. Consistency is key, as they can be independent thinkers and may test boundaries if they sense inconsistency.

Early socialization is crucial for Berger Picards to learn how to behave in different situations and interact with various types of people and animals. Exposing them to different environments, noises, and experiences at a young age helps them build confidence and adaptability. It also helps prevent potential behavior problems that could arise from fear or anxiety.

Training Tips for Berger Picards:

  • Start training and socialization as early as possible, ideally in puppyhood.
  • Use positive reinforcement techniques, such as rewards and praise, to motivate and encourage desired behaviors.
  • Be consistent with your training methods and expectations to avoid confusion.
  • Provide mental stimulation through interactive toys, puzzle games, and obedience training exercises to keep them engaged and prevent boredom.
  • Enroll in obedience classes or seek professional training for guidance and support.

Remember that every Berger Picard is unique, and training methods may need to be tailored to their individual personalities and learning styles. Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are the keys to successfully training and socializing a Berger Picard.

Training Tips Benefits
Start training and socialization as early as possible Builds a strong foundation for good behavior and social skills
Use positive reinforcement techniques Motivates and encourages desired behaviors, strengthens the bond between dog and owner
Be consistent with training methods and expectations Reduces confusion and promotes quicker learning
Provide mental stimulation Keeps the dog engaged, prevents boredom, and channels their energy
Enroll in obedience classes or seek professional training Provides guidance, structure, and support for effective training

Proper training and socialization set the foundation for a well-behaved and happy Berger Picard. With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you can help your Berger Picard become a wonderful companion and a well-rounded member of your family.

Berger Picard as a Family Pet

Berger Picard as a family pet

The Berger Picard is not only a reliable working dog but also a wonderful addition to any family. Their loyal and protective nature make them perfect for active and involved families who are looking for a companion that can keep up with their adventures. Whether it’s hiking, camping, or playing in the backyard, the Berger Picard will thrive in an environment that provides plenty of physical and mental stimulation.

When properly socialized from an early age, Berger Picards get along well with children and other pets. They are known for their gentle and patient temperament, making them suitable for households with young kids. However, due to their herding instincts, they may try to control and herd family members, which is why consistent leadership and training are essential.

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As a family pet, the Berger Picard requires ample exercise, mental stimulation, and companionship. They enjoy being part of the family activities and are happiest when they have a job to do. Regular exercise such as walks, runs, and playtime will not only keep them physically fit but also help prevent behavioral issues that may arise from boredom or pent-up energy.

Why Choose a Berger Picard as a Family Pet?

“Having a Berger Picard as a family pet brings a sense of adventure and companionship. They are not only loyal and protective but also get along well with children and other pets. Their intelligent and versatile nature makes them an excellent choice for families who lead active lifestyles and are looking for a dog that can keep up with their adventures.”


Pros Cons
Excellent family pet May try to control and herd family members
Loyal and protective Requires ample exercise and mental stimulation
Gets along well with children and other pets Needs consistent leadership and training
Thrives in active households May exhibit behavioral issues if not properly exercised

With the right training, socialization, and care, the Berger Picard can bring endless joy, love, and adventure to your family. They are truly a remarkable breed that will enhance your family dynamic and create lasting memories for years to come.

Berger Picard Exercise and Activities

The Berger Picard is a highly active and energetic breed that requires regular exercise and mental stimulation to thrive. Providing them with plenty of physical activities not only keeps them physically fit but also helps maintain their mental well-being.

When it comes to exercise, Berger Picards excel in a variety of activities. They enjoy long walks, jogs, and runs, and will happily accompany their owners on outdoor adventures. These dogs have a strong herding instinct and can be trained for agility, obedience, and herding trials. They also excel in activities like tracking, flyball, and lure coursing. The versatility of the Berger Picard allows them to adapt to various sports and activities, making them the perfect partner for an active lifestyle.

To ensure their exercise needs are met, a minimum of 1-2 hours of physical activity per day is recommended. This can be divided into multiple sessions throughout the day, including walks, playtime, and training sessions. Mental stimulation is equally important and can be achieved through puzzle toys, interactive games, and obedience training. Providing both physical and mental exercise helps prevent boredom and destructive behavior in Berger Picards.

Table: Recommended Activities for Berger Picards

Activity Description
Hiking Exploring nature trails and challenging terrains
Agility Participating in obstacle courses and timed challenges
Herding Trials Demonstrating herding capabilities and instincts
Obedience Training for obedience commands and competitions
Tracking Following scent trails to find hidden objects or people
Flyball Racing and retrieving balls in a relay format
Lure Coursing Chasing an artificial lure around a course

Engaging in these activities not only provides physical exercise but also strengthens the bond between the Berger Picard and their owner. It allows them to use their natural instincts and intelligence in a productive and enjoyable way. Remember to always monitor their exercise and avoid overexertion, especially in extreme weather conditions. With the right amount of exercise and mental stimulation, Berger Picards can lead happy, active lives.

Berger Picard as a Working Dog

Berger Picard as a working dog

The Berger Picard is renowned for its exceptional working abilities and is highly valued in various working roles. These intelligent and versatile dogs excel in tasks that require high levels of focus, strength, and agility. From herding livestock to guarding properties, these dogs are capable of fulfilling a wide range of working responsibilities.

One of the primary roles of the Berger Picard is as a tending dog, herding and driving livestock such as sheep and cattle. Their natural herding instincts and quick response to obedience training make them well-suited for this demanding job. With their endurance and intelligence, they can effectively navigate challenging terrains and work long hours.

“The Berger Picard’s strong working drive and adaptability make them valuable assets in various working environments.” – Professional Dog Trainer

In addition to herding, Berger Picards are also employed as guard dogs, vermin exterminators, and protectors on farms. Their alertness, loyalty, and protective nature make them excellent at detecting and deterring potential threats. These dogs are always vigilant and respond swiftly and courageously when their owners or territories are in danger.

Working Role Description
Herding Exceptional at herding and driving livestock, such as sheep and cattle.
Guarding Effective in protecting properties and alerting owners to potential threats.
Vermin Extermination Skilled in hunting and eliminating pests, providing a pest-free environment.
Farm Protection Devoted guardians who protect the farm, its inhabitants, and valuable assets.

Training and Working Partnership

Training and establishing a strong working partnership with a Berger Picard is essential for harnessing their full potential. These dogs require clear communication, consistency, and positive reinforcement methods to excel in their working roles. Obedience training, mental stimulation, and regular exercise are crucial to keep them engaged, focused, and satisfied.

When given a job to do, whether it’s herding livestock, guarding a property, or exterminating vermin, Berger Picards are happiest. They thrive in environments where their skills are utilized, and they feel valued and fulfilled. Working alongside their human partners, they form strong bonds and become trusted and reliable workers.

  • Clear communication and consistency are crucial in training Berger Picards for their working roles.
  • Obedience training and mental stimulation are essential to keep them engaged and focused.
  • Regular exercise is necessary to maintain their physical and mental well-being.

With their remarkable working abilities and unwavering commitment, Berger Picards continue to prove themselves as valuable assets in various working fields. Whether tending livestock, protecting properties, or fulfilling other working responsibilities, these dogs demonstrate their intelligence, endurance, and adaptability. Their dedication to their tasks, coupled with their loyalty and companionship, make them exceptional working partners.

Berger Picard as a Watchdog

The Berger Picard is not only a loyal and affectionate companion but also a reliable watchdog. With their natural protective instincts, they are always on alert, making them highly aware of their surroundings. This breed’s keen sense of hearing and acute observation skills enable them to detect unusual sounds or activities, quickly identifying potential threats or intruders.

While not excessive barkers, Berger Picards will vocalize to alert their owners if they sense any suspicious or concerning behavior. Their deep and commanding bark serves as a deterrent, capable of warding off potential intruders. With their protective nature and strong bond with their families, Picards will not hesitate to defend their loved ones and their homes if needed.

It is important to note that proper socialization and training are crucial for Berger Picards to become well-rounded watchdogs. Early socialization helps them develop good manners and become comfortable around strangers, while obedience training ensures they respond appropriately to commands. With consistent guidance and positive reinforcement training methods, Picards can strike the perfect balance between being loyal and protective without becoming overly aggressive.

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The Berger Picard’s loyalty, protective nature, and watchful instincts make them the ideal choice for individuals and families seeking a reliable and trustworthy watchdog. Their presence alone can provide a sense of security, and their unwavering loyalty will make them a cherished member of any household.

Pros Cons
Alert and observant Requires proper socialization and training
Loyal and protective May try to control and herd family members
Natural deterrent with a strong bark Can become overly protective if not properly trained
Will defend their loved ones and property May not get along well with unfamiliar people or animals

Berger Picard Grooming Needs

Grooming a Berger Picard is relatively easy thanks to their low-maintenance coat. These dogs have a rough, tousled outer coat that naturally repels dirt and water, making them well-suited for outdoor activities. Occasional brushing is sufficient to keep their coat looking neat and to prevent matting. With their minimal undercoat, they shed moderately, making them suitable for individuals with mild allergies.

Unlike some breeds, Berger Picards do not require frequent bathing. Unless they get particularly dirty or have an unpleasant odor, bathing them every few months is usually enough. Over-bathing can strip their coat of its natural oils and cause skin dryness.

Regular grooming also involves basic care routines. Trimming their nails every few weeks helps prevent overgrowth and discomfort. It’s important to check their ears regularly for any signs of infection or irritation, and gently clean them if necessary. Additionally, dental care is crucial for their overall health. Regular teeth brushing and appropriate dental chews can help maintain good oral hygiene.

Grooming Needs Frequency
Brushing Weekly
Bathing Every 2-3 months
Nail Trimming Every 2-3 weeks
Ear Cleaning Weekly
Dental Care Daily

Overall, Berger Picards are a low-maintenance breed when it comes to grooming. Their rustic appearance and natural resilience make them well-suited for those who prefer a more hands-off approach to grooming.

Keeping Their Coat Healthy

While Berger Picards have a naturally weather-proof coat, it’s important to keep it healthy and free from matting. Regular brushing helps to remove any loose fur and prevents tangles. It also stimulates the skin and distributes natural oils, keeping the coat in optimal condition. During shedding seasons, more frequent brushing may be required to manage the increased amount of loose hair. When brushing, pay extra attention to their feathering, which can be prone to tangling if not properly maintained.

In addition to regular grooming, a healthy diet plays a crucial role in maintaining the coat’s health and appearance. Providing a high-quality, well-balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs will promote a shiny and healthy coat from the inside out. Consult with your veterinarian to ensure you are feeding your Berger Picard a diet that supports their overall well-being.

Overall, with their low-maintenance coat and minimal grooming requirements, Berger Picards are a great choice for those who enjoy the outdoors and prefer a dog with a natural and effortlessly charming appearance.

Berger Picard: The Perfect Adventure Companion

Berger Picard adventure companion

The Berger Picard is not only a loyal and intelligent breed but also an ideal adventure companion. With their energetic nature and love for outdoor activities, they are the perfect four-legged partner for all your adventures. Whether you’re hiking through mountain trails, exploring new camping spots, or taking a refreshing swim in a lake, you can count on your Berger Picard to be right by your side, ready for the next adventure.

These adventurous dogs have a natural athleticism and endurance that allows them to thrive in various outdoor environments. Their adaptable nature enables them to handle different terrains, making them excellent companions for activities like trekking and hiking. Their sturdy build and strong muscles also make them well-suited for more challenging adventures, such as long-distance backpacking trips or even mountaineering.

One of the best things about the Berger Picard as an adventure companion is their versatility in activities. They are always up for trying new sports and challenges. Whether it’s participating in agility competitions, excelling in herding trials, or even engaging in sports like flyball and lure coursing, these dogs are eager to engage both their bodies and minds. Their agility, intelligence, and enthusiasm make them quick learners, and they enjoy the mental stimulation that comes with learning new tasks.

Additionally, their protective and watchful nature adds an extra layer of security to your adventures. While they are not excessive barkers, they will alert you if they sense any potential threats or intruders, making them reliable watchdogs wherever you go. Their loyalty and dedication to their owners make them not only excellent adventure companions but also reliable protectors of their families and homes.


In conclusion, the Berger Picard is a rare and unique breed of French herding dog that possesses a combination of intelligence, athleticism, and loyalty. Whether you’re looking for a working dog, a family pet, or an adventure companion, the Berger Picard can fulfill all these roles with enthusiasm and dedication.

However, it’s important to note that owning a Berger Picard requires commitment and effort. Training and socialization are crucial to ensure they become well-behaved and balanced dogs. They also have high exercise needs and thrive in homes that provide them with plenty of physical and mental activities.

Responsible breeding practices and proper care are essential to maintain the health and integrity of this wonderful breed. By supporting reputable breeders and providing the necessary care, we can contribute to the preservation and promotion of the Berger Picard.

If you’re seeking a dog that will bring joy, companionship, and a sense of adventure to your life, the Berger Picard may be the perfect choice for you. With their lively personality, intelligence, and versatility, they are sure to bring endless happiness and memorable moments to any household.

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