Fun Berger Picard Facts For Kids

Joan Agie
Nov 01, 2022 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Berger Picard facts to help you befriend a friendly little companion.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 16.4 Min

Have you watched the movies from the early 2000's 'Daniel and the Superdogs,' 'Because of Winn-Dixie' and 'Are We Done Yet? 'and any guesses on the common factor among the three movies? Yeah? Your guess is right! We are talking about the scruffy-looking, lively and intelligent dog. The famous dog breed from all these movies is the Berger Picard, also known as Picardy Shepherd. The Berger Picard is slightly longer than it is tall, and is the oldest and one of the most popular French sheepdogs, hence they often landed movie roles. Despite making an appearance at the first French dog show in 1863, the Berger Picard's rustic appearance did not help the breed gain prominence as a show dog.

With their human-like gaze and silly grins, Berger Picards endear themselves to children and stand out as dependable playmates. A Berger Picard is usually pronounced as 'bare-ZHAY pee-CARR.'

Keep on reading for more exciting facts on Berger Picards. You may also check our articles on the Kunming wolfdog and the Australian retriever.

Berger Picard Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Berger Picard?

The Berger Picard is the oldest herding dog breed from France. They are described as amusing, intelligent, and athletic dogs. Picard is a sturdy, medium-sized well-muscled dog slightly longer than taller with no bulkiness signs. He's been perceived as having a human-like gaze as if he's saying, 'I love you.' With his shaggy coat, rough look, bearded face, and Groucho Marx eyebrows, the French sheepdog looks like a mixed breed. The Berger Picard made an appearance as a lovable mutt in the 2005 film 'Because of Winn-Dixie.'

Picards are active, hardworking, alert, trustworthy, and patient with children. They enjoy work and do their best when they have work to complete. Although they do not bark excessively, they make excellent watchdogs. This breed of dog is known to make an appearance at any French dog show.

What class of animal does a Berger Picard belong to?

The Berger Picard, or Picardy Shepherd, scientifically known as Canis lupus familiarise, is a member of the Canidae family and Mammalia class. On their bodies, all mammals have hair. A backbone exists in any mammal. Mammals are usually warm-blooded, and their bodies are warm and maintain a consistent temperature. Females from the Mammalia class produce milk and feed their babies with milk.

How many Berger Picards are there in the world?

There are approximately 3,500 Picardy Shepherd dogs in France. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) approved the Berger Picard in 1955. Together, Canada and the United States are estimated to have around 400 Berger Picards, and Germany is estimated to have 500 Picards. On July 1, 2015, the American Kennel Club completely accepted the Berger Picard in the group herding category. It's also in the Canadian Kennel Club's herding community division. The breed is only allowed to compete in import classes, and the Picardy Sheepdog Club has yet to officially register the breed in the United Kingdom Kennel Club. The World Wars ravaged the Berger Picard's population, and sadly they are now scarce.

Where does a Berger Picard live?

Picard breed lives in a house with its owners. This breed of dogs is well suited to an active family. A Berger Picard's temperament is assertive, friendly, lively, intelligent, stubborn, and energetic. These dogs are known for being self-sufficient problem solvers with a deep stubborn streak. They are both loyal and caring companions. When meeting new people, this dog breed may be cautious, but it isn't shy or anxious.

Like their herding ancestors, Berger Picards needs a lot of exercise and training and is ideal for active families. These dogs enjoy going for long walks, hiking, swimming, or playing fetch to burn off their excess energy. These dogs are intelligent and stubborn, which means they can quickly learn new concepts but can continue to disregard orders. Avoid harsh penalties and reprimands while training, as they may cause the sensitive breed to shut down. Socialization is also crucial for a Picard. To promote their good-natured, observant personalities, introduce Berger Picards to new people, pets, and locations.

What is a Berger Picard's habitat?

A Berger Picard is capable of adapting to any environment. Although Picard can adapt to any climatic condition, these breeds can adapt well to cold weather conditions; some dogs even can be good mountain dogs. If given proper exercise and training, the Berger Picard would do well in an apartment or a house. Like any other dogs, Berger Picards were bred to do a physically demanding job like herding sheep and cattle, and hence they need regular exercise to avoid being bored or destructive. They are best-suited countryside and in a farmers family.

Who do Berger Picards live with?

A Berger Picard lives in a house with its owners like a pet. They are very friendly and affectionate and share a close bonding with their owners. When raised or trained to socialize with children, most Berger Picards do exceptionally well and form tight bonds with kids. When these dog breeds are raised with cats and other small pets, they normally get along well with them in the home. However, this dog breed's herding instinct is still intact, and erratic movements can evoke herding, or even predatory, responses. Children must learn how to interact with this dog.

The average cost of Berger Picard puppy is $2000 - $2500 USD, and you may find them from good breeders or shelter homes.

How long does a Berger Picard mix live?

A Berger Picard dog has a life expectancy of around 12 - 15 years, a good life span for a purebred dog.

One question that worries most owners before adopting a Picard or any breed is: 'Is a Berger Picard hypoallergenic?'. They are not hypoallergenic. Like every other breed, the Picard is susceptible to few health issues. The most common health problems in Picards are hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and other cataract issues. However, proper grooming, exercise, and care can help them live longer.

How do they reproduce?

To reproduce, the male and female Picards mate. During copulation, the male mounts over the female Picard dog. The female experiences a 63-day gestation period and delivers up to 10 puppies in a single litter. Berger Picard puppies are first fed their mother's milk for a few months before being introduced to solid food, and the Picard puppy takes two years to mature. Puppies are cared for by their mothers.

Although these are purebred dogs, they can be found in shelters or rescue organizations.  If you are looking for one of these puppies, you may adopt them. Or if you are looking to buy your Picards, choose a reputable breeder who follows responsible breeding practices and screening for common diseases and conditions, you will reduce serious health problems and increase your Berger Picard life span.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of Berger Picard is not listed. Despite French farmers' affection for the native sheepdog, the Berger Picard was nearly extinct during both World War I and II. The two World Wars affected the population a lot and made it a rare breed. In France today, there are only around 3,500 Berger Picards.

However, The Berger Picard Club of America was admitted to the American Kennel Club in 2015, bringing the breed's recognition to a new level. In the United States and Canada, there are roughly 400 Berger Picards. The Berger Picard Club of America and the Berger Picard Club of Canada were created to help promote and protect this breed.

Berger Picard Mix Fun facts

What do Berger Picards look like?

Berger Picard puppy is a delight to any pet owner.

A Berger Picard is a medium-sized, well-muscled dog that is slightly longer than it is tall. This dog breed has erect ears, a distinctive rough coat, and a natural tail. The Picard's natural tail typically reaches the hock and is borne with a slight J-curve at the tip. Picards look like mixed-breed dogs at first glance. A Berger Picard Dog has muscular shoulders and hindquarters, sturdy loins, and deep chests.

Berger Picard dogs have a double coat with a soft and dense undercoat and a shaggy, rough outer coat that is harsh and crisp to the touch. Fawn and brindle are the two colors available for the Berger Picard. Various shades of grey, light or dark fawn, brindle, or any combination of these colors are available as coat colors. The hairs on its outer coat are usually two to three inches long, have a gentle wave, and are curly, woolly, and fuzzy. Only a little white color on the chest and toes is permitted. Berger Picard coats must not be sculpted, molded, or scissored; they must be displayed in their natural state.

Picard dogs have oval-shaped eyes that are medium to dark brown and convey an alert, observant, confident look. The eye color should match the coat color but not be lighter than hazel. Their ears are triangular and have pointed tops.

However, there has been a drawback to this appearance of the Picard. Smugglers used the Berger Picard to conceal their contraband in plain sight because of its laid-back look. Tobacco and matches were allegedly stuffed into their fur pouches and tied to a dog's shaved back, which blended well into the course coat and made them undetectable.

How cute are they?

Of course they are cute. Berger Picards have become a popular household pet and companion with their sweet, cute, and scruffy appearance. The Picard has also made appearances in major Hollywood films.

Rough eyebrows, a moderate beard, and mustache, and a slight ruff on the front and sides of the neck, known as griffonage, give this breed its distinct appearance. With its erect ears, a Berger Picard can be identified from a mile away. These are alert, self-assured dogs with fast, efficient movements and a spirited, observant gaze. The breed's rustic appearance did not translate into success in a show dog. Apart from all other features, a Berger Picard smile is the cutest that we cannot take a chance to miss. Even if some people still have no idea what breed it is, the ruggedly attractive Berger Picard can't help but turn heads, whether on-screen or off-screen.

How do they communicate?

One of the key ways these intelligent and friendly dogs communicate is by holding eye contact. The Berger Picard may be an aggressive dog for the uninitiated people. Their prolonged eye contact may be taken as a sign of aggressive behavior, whereas what your furry buddy is actually trying to do is have a word with the master. They are also very sensitive to their owner's tone of voice. A harsh tone does not go well with them, which may affect them. With the hunting instincts in them, they tend to bark a lot. The frequent barking can be arrested by establishing the dog's rules early on, that barking is unnecessary behavior. They are meek, alert, and very loyal to their masters.

These dogs are known for having a great sense of humor and are extremely demonstrative in their behavior to their masters. They will make their intentions very clear with their vocal or non-vocal communication modes. They need to warm up with the strangers and may exhibit a lot of barking to express their lack of interest in newcomers. They can wag their tails or jump on their masters to show enthusiasm and excitement. The Berger Picard owner's narratives help us understand that they are blessed with a great memory. Even with a single interaction with these doggies, one might leave a memory imprint on them, and they are sure to recognize the person later. They do not mind being cuddled, and they love the attention and time from their masters.

How big is a Berger Picard?

The Berger Picard is a French dog breed that ranges from medium to large. The height of a male Berger Picard ranges 24 - 26 in (61 - 66 cm), and the height of a female Picard ranges 22 - 24 in (56 - 61 cm). Whereas the average height of this male dog breed is 25 inches (63.5 cm), and the female dog breed is 23 inches (58.5 cm). Proper training and exercise helps this breed maintaining its height, weight, health, and overall life span.

How fast can a Berger Picard run?

Originally, the Berger Picard was a herding dog. Picard's exact running speed is uncertain, but they travel rapidly and efficiently. Regardless of the weather, Picards should spend most of their time outdoors playing, hiking, or running. In addition to their free runs, they need at least an hour of vigorous exercise. To satisfy their gallop, you must provide them with a large, safe, and fenced enclosure. Every day, a healthy adult Berger Picard needs to be given two to three hours of physical activity and preparation to keep them healthy and increase their life span. Most dog sports and obedience exercise, as well as herding, are their strong suits. If you enjoy jogging over long distances, this breed is ideal for you.

How much does a Berger Picard weigh?

A Picardy dog's weight ranges between 51 - 71 lb (23 - 32 kg). The average weight of a six-month-old Berger Picard puppy is 17.5 lb. By 12 months, it normally reaches a weight of 30 lb, and by 18 months, they weigh on average 51 lb.

Like many dogs, obesity is one of the common problems for the Berger Picard. A regular walk is a must for these breeds. Feeding your dog high-quality dry dog food and leading an active lifestyle together will make him healthy, fit and increased his life span. Reduce the number of unhealthy foods and snacks consumed, and weigh your pet on a regular basis.

What are their male and female names of the species?

In general, the male dog is called a dog and the female is called a bitch. While breeding, breeders use the specific terms 'stud' and 'bitch' to refer to the male and female dogs. Once the breeders breed the dogs, the pedigree of the dog is listed with respect to 'sire' and 'dam' as the father and mother of the puppy.

What would you call a baby Berger Picard?

The baby of a dog is generally referred to as a puppy or a pup. The earliest term to refer to a puppy is whelp. They are an expensive breed of dogs as the breeders charge more than $2000 for a Picard puppy.

What do they eat?

The Berger Picard is one of the active dog breeds. Like all active dog breeds, this breed needs a good amount of nutrition to be added to its diet. Your Berger Picard needs premium dog food formulated especially for active breeds. Meat and vegetables, and plant products form an essential part of this breed's diet. Bison, beef, chicken, lamb, bison, or turkey are few foods that can add protein to their diet. Corn, wheat, or soy to be avoided to this dog breed. Clean water is a must, and giving food twice a day is recommended. Berger Picards are athletic, healthy dogs, so make sure he gets enough good nutrition to fulfill his requirements. Conversely, certain dogs are susceptible to being overweight, so keep an eye on their calorie intake and weight. For a longer lifespan, a proper feeding schedule should be adjusted to your pet's height, weight, and age (puppy, adult, senior) based on a veterinarian's recommendation.

Are they slobbery?

The Berger Picard is an excellent example of a dog with a low drooling proclivity. Saliva flowing unconsciously outside of a dog's mouth is known as drooling or slobbery nature. Picard dogs are the right dogs for you if slobber stains on your clothes disgust you. Certain dog breeds, such as the Berger Picard, drool less than others.

Drooling is perfectly normal with dogs and, in few cases, a symptom of a health condition. However, after exercising, playing, or eating, they can get a little slobbery. They will occasionally slobber if their stomach is upset. Because of the vehicle's motion, these dogs slobber while moving by car. If your dog's drooling pattern or frequency changes, you should call a veterinarian right away.

Would they make a good pet?

Picards, without a doubt, have an excellent character and can be great pets. You can't help but chuckle as he cocks his head and smiles at you. A Berger Picard is a dog that enjoys himself. Picards are comedic characters that can go to great lengths to make you laugh. A Picard puppy smile and hug can melt your heart.

A Picard is friendly, loving, and is very close to its owners. A Berger Picard dog is an extremely vocally sensitive dog. The first step in bringing your Picard puppy home is to love and bond with it. The puppy will establish your credibility with them. The next step is to obtain respect, which begins with gaining confidence and establishing boundaries. This will help the puppy gain confidence in you. Since they are self-sufficient, establishing authority is also important. When training your dog, you must be consistent and optimistic. Socialize your Picard puppy early to ensure that he is comfortable and friendly with strangers, other pets, and children. Early on, train these dog breeds to avoid nipping at anyone's heels out of herding instinct.

Berger Picards don't require a lot of rest. They are vivacious and want to live an adventurous lifestyle. This breed could be the best option for you if you believe naps are overrated.

Did you know...

Did you know that these dogs are highly adaptable, capable of performing almost any activity or skill set? Picards compete in agility, flyball, rally obedience, barn hunts, lure coursing, formal obedience, weight pull, dock diving, herding, and scent work conformation throughout North America. Schutzhund and ring sport also can be taught to them.

Teaching this breed some tricks or commands requires patience, but it is well worth the effort. In 25-40 repetitions, these dogs or puppies comprehend and remember new commands. For the first command, this breed obeys 50% or more of the time. However, these dogs can be difficult at times, but they will undoubtedly obey if you are diligent in teaching new commands to them.

Any guesses on how this breed got its name? Picardy is the area in France where the breed originated, and Berger is the French word for shepherd.

A Berger Picard shredding is very mild. It's a part of the hair's normal growth cycle. Brushing your hair on a regular basis decreases the amount of hair that sheds. The Berger Picard deserves a moderate amount of grooming. A professional groomer isn't needed to cut the dog's fur. Brushing the dog's coat will help with shedding. To prevent infections, clean the dogs' ears and eyes on a regular basis.

Finding a reputable breeder is an excellent way to locate the ideal puppy. A good breeder will fit you with the right puppy, have completed all of the requisite health certifications to screen out any potential health issues.

How did the Berger Picard get to France?

The Berger Picard history is lost over time since this breed existed well before keeping written records of dog breeds. Few studies believe, around 400 BC, Berger Picard was brought to northern France and the Pas de Calais during the second Celtic invasion of Gaul. However, few other experts believe it is related to the well-known Briard and Beauceron. In contrast, others believe it is related to Dutch and Belgian Shepherds and brought to northern France around the ninth century. Whatever their history is, these dogs have been portrayed in engravings, tapestries, and woodcuts for decades.

However, according to a 2018 genetic analysis, the Berger Picard is closely related to the German Shepherd Dog and a variety of Italian group herding breeds, including the Bergamasco Sheepdog. Despite the fact that all of those breeds differ greatly in appearance, the study suggests that they all share a common ancestor who lived in Western Europe.

How to say Berger de Picard?

'Bare ZHAY pee-CARR' is how Berger Picard is pronounced. Picardy Shepherd, Picard, and Berger de Picardie are all French names for the breed.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the peekapoo and the Brazilian terrier.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our Berger Picard coloring pages.

Berger Picard Facts

What Did They Prey On?


What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?

2 - 10, Average 6 puppies

How Much Did They Weigh?

51 - 71 lb (23 - 32 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?


Where Do They Live?

mainly europe and north america

How Long Were They?

Medium - Large

How Tall Were They?

Male Picards: 24 - 26 in (61 -66 cm)Female Picards: 22 - 24 in (56 - 61 cm)‍







Scientific Name

Canis lupus familiaris

What Do They Look Like?

Grey, brindle, fawn

Skin Type

Fur, which is wiry and waterproof

What Are Their Main Threats?


What is their Conservation Status?

Not Listed
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Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

Joan Agie picture

Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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