Does the cute scruffy, shaggy look turn you onto this breed? Check out the wonderful qualities a Berger Picard offers in a breed. The Berger Picard could be your next dog!
Berger Picard Country of Origin
France is the official country of this breed. The Berger Picard is considered to be one of the oldest herding breeds. They work diligently maintaining perimeters to protect sheep, as well as keeping a lookout for predators. The Berger Picard is considered a "rare" breed and was almost extinct after both World Wars.
The Berger Picard became famous and is most notably known for its role in the 2005 film "Because of Winn-Dixie." Many people thought the dog in the movie was a generic mutt, and this helped prevent the breed from becoming overly-popularized.
A Very Active, Intelligent, and Loyal Breed
The Berger Picard is a very active dog. Being a hard working breed, they require a busy environment that gives them a job or someone that will exercise them daily. They make an excellent running partner and can run along a bicycle, or take long hikes. Consider Doggy Daycare if you work all day and do not have the option to bring your Berger Picard to work with you. Doggy Daycare offers a way for a dog to drain their energy by playing with other dogs.
If their high energy is not channeled correctly, the Berger Picard can become a difficult breed to live with.
They are a very intelligent breed that requires a family to work hard at training them. They are known to have a strong stubborn streak, with an independent mind.
They are extremely loyal to their family, and although Berger Picard's love being outdoors, they don't adjust to being left alone very well and are known to have separation anxiety issues. Their need to be with their family is very high. Dogs in general, are pack animals, meaning they relish and thrive by being with others; no dog should be kenneled or left outside alone.
Because of the Berger Picard's loyalty to their family, they are known to be excellent guard dogs. They will bark to notify strangers at the home, and their barking can become excessive if training to teach them when "enough is enough" is not done properly. Because they can be wary of strangers, reserved and guarded, early socialization and throughout the first few years of their life is imperative to make sure the Berger Picard does not develop serious behavioral problems.
Kid Tested and Approved
This breed is an excellent companion for families with children! They enjoy being around kids (reference the film "Because of Winn-Dixie," and you will see exactly what I am talking about), and their energy level is no problem for keeping up with an active family. A fenced in-yard would be great for this breed, but not required; with proper training they can learn their boundaries very quickly.
The Berger Picard loves water too! Do you live near water, or have a pool? Perfect, this breed will most likely join in on the water fun!
Berger Picards have a silly disposition and know when to have fun, they can be mischievous, but in a goofy sort of way, looking for ways to entertain themselves and others around them. This makes them a perfect playmate for kids.
The Berger Picard gets along fine with small animals. Although they have a hunting instinct, if raised with other animals, they tend not to have any issues with them. They tend to have an easy and mellow attitude around other animals.
They enjoy being around other dogs too, seeking out a neighborhood doggy friend to play with.
The Berger Picard is at its happiest when on a farm, herding sheep or cows. As long as they are working with their pet-parent, it really doesn't matter the job, the Berger Picard wants to please you, and will work hard doing so.
Scruffy and Shaggy Means Minimal Grooming Needs
The Berger Picard is the perfect breed for a family that wants to deal with the bare minimal in the grooming department. Their waterproof scruffy and shaggy looking coat, sheds very little, and they don't even require a regular bath as they typically are not a dirty dog, nor do they carry a "doggy odor." Brushing once a week and hand stripping around the ears by a professional groomer will be needed every now and then.
A Rare Breed with Wonderful Disposition Qualities
Loyal, intelligent, great with kids, likes other animals, a guard dog, and minimal grooming needs make this rare breed a wonderful companion and working dog!
Because this breed has not been over bred, they are a very healthy breed.
The typical life span of the Berger Picard is 13-14 years.
As you begin looking for a Berger Picard, please check with rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!
At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.
On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!
Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe