Berger Picard

This French shaggy-coated herding breed is usually referred to as "Picardie".


The origin of the Berger Picard is supposed to be closely linked with that of the two other French herding breeds — the Briard and the Beauceron. All three breeds were shown at the first French dog show in 1863- The Picardie was recognized in 1923.

For many years, the breed has been a flock worker in the Pas-de-Calais region by the Somme in the north of France. He is rarely seen outside of France.


The Berger Picard should stand about 22-26 inches/55-65 cm at its withers. It has a decidedly rectangular body and long, rather narrow head with high-set pricked and pointed ears. Its tail is long and its coat should be shaggy, somewhat wiry in texture and about 2 inches/5 cm long.

It should look natural and rustic. The coloring may be any shade of red, with or without black tips. The most common color is fawn grizzle. Grizzle is a description of color and color pattern used for breeds such as the Picardie and Saluki. The same coloring and pattern sometimes is described as wolf or hare colored in other breeds. Grizzle is used to describe hair that has a very light color at the base of the hair, deeper color at the middle and dark or black color at the tip. It describes hair then made up of three different colors or shades of color.

Country of Origin: France

Height: Males 23.5-25.5 in (60-65 cm) / females 21.5-23.5 in (55-60 cm)

Weight: 50-70 lb (22.5-31.5 kg) [est.]

Coat: Double coat with hard, fairly long, shaggy, crisp outercoat and fine, dense undercoat

Colors: Gray, gray-black, gray-red, gray-blue; may have white markings

Other Names: Berger de Picardie; Picardy Sheepdog; Picardy Shepherd

Registries (With Group): AKC (FSS); CKC (Herding); FCI (Sheepdogs); UKC (Herding)


On the whole, the large sheepdog breeds of northern Europe are all similar, as is clearly visible when comparing the Picardie with, for instance, the four varieties of Belgian Shepherd Dogs and the three from the Netherlands. Although the Picardie is mainly used for herding sheep, a task it still performs with skill in the valleys of the River Somme, it is also regarded as a good guard dog. Its temperament is lively, spontaneous and agile. The Picardie can be seen at most large European dog shows, but not in great numbers. It is still considered a rare breed outside France.

The Picard can be moody and difficult to generalize, but he is especially sensitive to the voice and body language of his family and may mirror what's happening with them. He needs lots of human companionship, exercise, and a job to do. Owners soon become smitten with his versatility, good humor, and complicated nature.


The Berger Picard enjoys vigorous activity. He loves to swim and makes a happy biking or jogging companion.


Because he is sensitive, intelligent, and somewhat unpredictable, training should be approached in as positive a manner possible and from an early age.


The Berger Picard's unique coat is a dog owner's dream for ease of care – he sheds only seasonally, has no real doggy odor, and comes clean with a simple wipe. Brushing can be restricted to a couple of times a month, and baths are discouraged.


Breed health concerns may include hip dysplasia and PRA.

Average life span is 13 to 14 years.

Gallery of Berger Picard