Dog breeds: Berger Picard dog temperament and personality

Dog breeds: Berger Picard dog temperament and personality

Berger Picard dog

The Berger Picard, also known as the Picardy Shepherd, is a French breed of sheepdogs, the oldest one according to some. He is a dog that you will love by just looking at him and then when you test his intelligence. Easy to train but with a stubborn attitude sometimes, the Berger Picard dog has won the heart of many over the centuries.


The Franks brought the Berger Picard dog to France and Pais de Calais in the 9th century. He was not very popular as a show dog due to his rustic appearance. 

The population of the Berger Picard dog was seriously decimated due to WWI and WWII. The could only be found in the French north-eastern farms. But then warfare in Somme brought him almost to extinction. Even today, there are not many specimens of this dog in the world. There are approximately 3500 dogs in France and around 400 in the United States and Canada. The AKC officially recognized it a breed in 2015.

Physical Characteristics

This dog has an elegant appearance, a sturdy body, and is only slightly larger than tall. The waterproof coat is thick and rough to touch. Males can be 23.5 to 25.5 inches and females 21.5 to 23. 5 inches. Their weight can be anywhere between 50 and 70 pounds.


This dog is described as good-natured, loyal, and observant. They are intelligent and lovely dogs that have some stubbornness streak. They have a characteristics smile and a sense of humor. This makes them great companions. They are still used as sheep and cattle herd dogs everywhere, though.  

Caring for a Berger Picard dog

The Berger Picard dog was bred to live in the open land, he is therefore very energetic and built for any job, which he will happily as long as there are reward and praise involved. Provide lots of physical and mental activity, otherwise, he will get bored which can result in destructive behavior

He can do surprisingly well in the city if you provide him with enough activities to exercise. He will always try to stay close to you, as he sees you as his shepherd. 


Due to their intelligence, these dogs respond pretty well to training. Use a firm hand and showing yourself jolly at all times will help. They can be stubborn sometimes, so be patient. 

Fun facts

  • Despite being considered the oldest French sheepdog, it was not recognized a breed in France until 1925.
  • Thanks to their crispy coats, these dogs were reportedly used to smuggle tobacco and matches across the Franco-Belgian border. 
  • They have featured in some movies including Daniel and the Superdogs (2004) and Are We Done Yet? (2007).