Where Do Berger Picards Come From?

The Berger Picard’s name comes from Picardy, a region in the northwest of France.   The Berger Picard is also known as the Picardy Shepherd. Picardy is an agricultural region and has plentiful rich pastureland. The breed was used to guard and herd livestock. The farmers and cattlemen of the region take pride in their home-grown sheepdog.

The Berger Picard is a medium-sized dog weighing between 50 to 70 pounds, 18 to 32 kilograms, or 3.5 to 5 stones.  Depends on which scale you have in your bathroom.  (Does anyone have a scale that weighs in stones?)  They are very active dogs that enjoy all kinds of sports, games, and outdoor fun.

Picard derives its name from “pic” or “pike” which was a long thrusting spear used in battle up until the medieval period.  Apparently, the farmers and ranchers didn’t always just tend to their sheep and ranches but were also ready to fight to protect themselves.

These dogs nearly became extinct after both the World Wars and are still a rare breed.   They rank 144 of 197 in AKC popularly. There are only about 400 Berger Picards in the United States so you are unlikely to see one on your street.

The Berger Picard regained some of its popularity when it starred in a 2005 movie “Because of Winn Dixie.”  Don’t you just love dog movies?  There should be a law that every movie must have a dog in it!

What Does Berger Picard Look Like?

Berger Picard dogs are long-legged herding dogs with strong bones and sturdy build.  They have long, 4 to 5-inch ears that stand erect. Their coats are fawn or brindle with wavy hair. They shed moderately so are not a hypoallergenic breed.


Their eyebrows are long and thick but do not shield their eyes. They are known for their engaging smile and sense of humor.

Are Berger Picard Good Family Dogs?

Early socialization and positive training are necessary to cope with their stubborn personalities. Without proper exercise, they may become bored and exhibit destructive behavior.  Even though they are active dogs, they do well in the city if they get enough exercise.  Long romps in the park will do the trick.  They are very loyal dogs and may suffer from separation anxiety if left alone even for short periods.

They are clean animals and only need an occasional bath. Their thick double coat will need frequent brushing during shedding season. During the rest of the year, a weekly brushing will do.

A Berger Picard puppy will cost between $2,000 to $2,500 from a breeder. If you are looking for a rescue dog, you might start with the Berger Picard Club of America Rehome.

Are Berger Picard Healthy Dogs?

They are generally healthy dogs with some genetic medical conditions. Hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) are known to occur in the breed.

Berger’s life expectancy ranges between 12 to 13 years.

For More On The Berger Picard

American Kennel Club (AKC)
The Berger Picard Club of America