Picardy Shepherd or Berger Picard: dog breed appearance, character, training, care, health

The Picardy Shepherd dog breed is quite large in size, it is strong, resistant and muscular, despite which it gives the impression of lightness and agility of movements. Its large, erect and pointed ears give them a cheerful and affectionate expression. It is an excellent family dog. At Petlifey, we explain the characteristics and character of the Picardy Shepherd.

Character of the breed Picardy Shepherd

It is faithful, cheerful and balanced in temperament, neither shy nor nervous, and at the same time obedient and fearless. It has the demeanour of a tireless worker, it is a great sheepdog, a good guardian of the home and an excellent family dog.

The Picardy Shepherd has the demeanour of an excellent shepherd dog. Control and protect the herd from any potential danger, as it tirelessly runs its domains.

It warns of any strange presence and is suspicious of visitors, even being intimidating towards intruders. But in no case is it an aggressive dog.

It is an extraordinarily sensitive dog. It captures any sound and movement that occurs around it and that circumstance makes it especially sensitive to the different tones of the human voice. This is a great advantage if you know how to take advantage of it for an effective training.

Although the Picardy Shepherd is unknown to many, when it has been seen once, it is impossible to forget them, such is the impact of its strong appearance, its spontaneity and that natural rusticity that constitutes its greatest charm.

  • Energy: high level. It is a true athlete who needs regular and intense exercise.
  • Temperament: balanced, obedient and fearless, and guides and protects the flock of sheep with great efficiency.
  • Adaptability: medium. It is poorly adapted to urban environments and needs ample and free space to move around in order to feel comfortable.
  • Sociability: medium / high. It is suspicious of strangers, but it lives well with its master and its family, especially with children.
  • Health: good. It is not very prone to inherited diseases.
  • Longevity: high. It usually lives between 12 and 14 years if it is well cared for.
  • Use: grazing and storage.
  • Utility: very versatile. Due to its extraordinary character, balanced, faithful and cheerful, it can be used as a herding, tracking and guard and protection dog, but it is also trained with great success as a sports dog, in activities such as obedience or agility  or flyball .

Can you live with other animals?

As a good farm dog, the Picardy shepherd lives well in the company of other dogs and the most diverse animals, provided that such company does not arrive suddenly and at an advanced age.

If it gets used to it from a young age, it assumes the presence of any animal as the most natural thing in the world, and integrates it into its herd. The same happens with your relationship with other people and with your behaviour in unusual situations.

The secret to having a balanced dog is to carry out intense socialization work during the growth stage, a time when not only the dog’s body develops, but also its mind and future habits.

Can you live in an apartment?

This is not the best dog to live in the city, as it needs open spaces and a certain freedom to be able to fully satisfy its needs, since it is a very energetic animal, a true athlete prepared to herd the herds in the open field.

In addition, some Picardy shepherds tend to bark too much , but if they are educated in time and calmly it is possible to correct this natural behavior to warn of possible dangers on the farm.

Characteristics of the Picardy Shepherd

It has a solid, strong and muscular body, it is a rustic dog but it is not sullen but affectionate. Its bearing, both in activity and in movement, is of great plasticity and elegance.

How is the Picardy Shepherd breed physically?

The length of the body is greater than its height at the withers, which is about 63 cm in males and about 58 cm in females.

This breed has a delicately chiselled head, it is very rustic, with well marked eyebrows and the typical beard and moustache. The snout is fine and the nose, well developed and black.

The eyes are horizontally positioned, are of medium size, oval, not very prominent and of a dark color, always darker than the hazel shade.

It has ears of moderate size, set high and quite wide at the base, with a slightly rounded tip. The dog carries them erect naturally.

When the dog is at rest, the tail reaches the hock, and the tip is slightly curved. But in movement it takes it higher, without exceeding the line of the back.

The feet are rounded, short and tight, without additional spurs or toes, they present firm and compact pads. Nails are always dark in color.


The Picardy Shepherd is covered by a characteristic semi-long hair of rough texture, like goat hair. The coat is short on the legs and ears, and longer on the body, as well as on the tail and face.

This distribution underlines its expression, which is extremely representative of the breed, as the semi-long hair on the face forms an irregular beard along the entire muzzle, and, in the eyes, it intensifies the arch of the eyebrows, accentuating its confident gaze. and alert.


The basic colors of the coat are fawn with a dark outer coat, and fawn brindle and grey, generally dark. Some specimens have small spots on the chest and on the edge of the feet.

Picardy Shepherd breed standard

  • General Appearance: Large in size, solid, strong, very muscular and well built, although not heavy. It is elegant despite its rustic appearance and has a loving and alert expression.
  • Other names: Berger Picard / Berger de Picardie.
  • Origin: France.
  • Size: large.
  • Height at the withers: 60-65 cm (Male) and 55-60 cm (Female).
  • Weight: 20-25 kg (Male) and 19-23 kg (Female).
  • Body: the bone structure is relatively solid and with lean muscles.
  • Back: straight, slightly ascending, with a strong loin and a croup that slopes towards the thigh.
  • Head: delicately chiseled, proportionate to the size of the body. It has a rustic appearance, with well-defined eyebrows, a beard and a mustache.
  • Skull: slightly convex and with a minimal depression in the center.
  • Nose-frontal depression (stop): slightly defined, it is located at the same distance from the occiput and the nose.
  • Muzzle: strong and not too long, it has a straight nasal bridge, and is full of a fine beard and mustaches.
  • Nose: well developed and black.
  • Jaws: they are robust, and with strong white teeth. The bite is complete in scissors.
  • Eyes: horizontal, of medium size and oval, they are not very prominent and dark in color, to a greater or lesser degree depending on the color of the coat.
  • Ears: of moderate size, wide and high when inserted, they have a naturally erect bearing with slightly rounded tips.
  • Neck: strong and muscular, it is of medium length and emerges from the shoulders to allow a high bearing.
  • Chest: reaches the elbow. The ribs are well arched at the top and gradually flatten towards the sternum.
  • Tail: covered with abundant and long hair, it reaches the hock and has a slight curve at the tip. In movement the porta high, without exceeding the back.
  • Forelimbs: they are well poised. The shoulders are long and sloping. The forearms and arms are straight and very muscular.
  • Hind limbs: they are very parallel and plumb. The legs are straight and long, they have good muscles. Your knees are well angled
  • Feet: they are rounded, short and compact, without extra spurs or toes. The pads are firm and the nails are dark in color.
  • Movement: agile and free, the movement is fluid and elegant. It has a moderate reach of the forelimbs, which remain parallel.
  • Skin: it is well attached to the body.
  • Coat: the coat is semi-long, rough and strong, crisp to the touch. It has a fine and dense undercoat.
  • FCI Classification: FCI No. 176. GROUP 1 – Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs). Section 1 – Sheepdogs.

Education and training of the Picardy Shepherd

The Picardy Shepherd is an animal endowed with a special nature, because, despite the fact that its character has been shaped by the needs of its work, it has also turned out to be an extraordinary companion dog.

However, to achieve a balanced specimen it is necessary that its owners also be balanced people, capable of providing it with an adequate and continuous education, since it is with the daily routine that it best learns to carry out its work.

One of the best exercises is to take long regular walks “in packs,” that is, going out into open spaces where you can walk and run in the company of as many family members as possible.

This type of exercise makes the dog feel integrated into the group and helps it learn to identify the roles that each one occupies within it.

Shepherd dogs are gregarious animals and they need to know the hierarchy of the group of individuals with which they live in order to know how to function at all times.

It is a very intelligent dog, and if it notices that its superiors do not perform its role well or do it in a cavalier and unauthorized way, it becomes a stubborn and stubborn dog that tries to impose its own criteria.

Like many other shepherd dogs, it is genetically predisposed to make decisions, as its work with livestock in the open has always required it, exposed as it is to the attacks and stalking of enemies many times stronger than them, but almost never again. ready.

Thus, when educating a Picardy pastor, authority must be exercised naturally, without forcing situations, using force or using a position of superiority to impose action or behaviour.

Working dogs find satisfaction in fulfilling their tasks, and if positive reinforcement methods are used , rewarding the animal when it manages to advance a step in learning its skills, they will be laying a solid foundation for a dedicated, efficient or indefatigable worker .

It is increasingly difficult to find specimens of this breed working with the herds, but there are many other and very good tasks that they can perform.

Due to its morphology, both agile and strong, its speed and endurance, as well as its insight and the speed with which it learns to perform different tasks, it is an ideal dog for practicing the most diverse canine sports, such as agility. or the flyball.

It can even be successfully introduced to disciplines such as obedience, tracking, and guard and protection sports (although very fierce behaviour should never be expected from them).

Health and diseases of the Picardy Shepherd

The mischievous shepherd is a healthy dog, which does not suffer from typical diseases of importance. Therefore, the guidelines to keep it in perfect condition are a balanced diet, correct hygiene, the necessary exercise and adequate veterinary control.

Feeding of the Picardy Shepherd

The food must be of quality to provide the necessary nutrients to a sports dog like this one. It is necessary that the contribution of proteins comes from known sources, as well as fats, which will keep your skin and hair in perfect condition.

It is recommended that you offer them quality dog ​​food. In this way we will avoid possible health problems in the future.

Care and hygiene of the Picardy Shepherd

As for hygiene, as it is the rustic shepherd dog par excellence, it does not require an aesthetic arrangement. However, it does need to be brushed regularly, especially during the shedding season. In this way we eliminate dead hair and prevent unwanted knots from occurring.

As for the bathroom, it is only necessary to do it when the dog is really dirty or smells bad. It should be done with a special shampoo for dogs that does not harm their skin.

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