The Picardy Sheepdog
Thought to be the oldest of the French Sheepdogs, the Picardy Sheepdog also known as the Berger Picard was brought to northern France and the Pas de Calais, in the 9th century by the Franks.
Some experts insist that this breed is related to the more well-known Briard & Beauceron, while others believe it shares a common origin with Dutch and Belgian Shepherds.
Although the Picardy Sheepdog made an appearance at the first French dog show in 1863, the breed’s rustic appearance did not lead to popularity as a show dog.
The breeding stock of the Picardy Sheepdog, was decimated by the ravages of World War I and World War II. With its population concentrated on the farms of north-eastern France, trench warfare in the Somme reduced the breed to near extinction.
The Picards easy care and mellow, yet mischievous, temperament have started the breed back on the road to recovery. Nevertheless its numbers are still limited, even in its native country.
Today in France there are approximately 3500 dogs and in Germany approximately 500 of this breed. At present there are approximately 1000 in the United States and Canada.
Currently there are just around 90 Picardy Sheepdogs in the UK.
Country of Origin: France
Original Function: Sheepdog
Males 59 – 65 cm
Females 54 – 59 cm
24 – 35 kilos (52 – 77b)
Age at Maturity: 2 years
Litter size: 2-7 pups
Average life span: 12 – 15 years
Coat type: Rustic, natural looking, with a soft, dense undercoat and shaggy, rough top coat that is harsh.
Coat length: 2-2.5 inches (5-6cm)
Coat Colour: fawn or brindle
Coat care: Weekly brush. Coat will mat if neglected
Exercise: Anything from a half hour daily walk to a whole day out hiking, they are highly adaptable.
Training: Easy with correct handling and motivation.
Temperament: Good with children, dogs and cats if socialised correctly. Can be aloof and mildly suspicious of strangers.
Special considerations: Not ideal for first-timers, the Picardy Sheepdog can have strong hunting instincts and needs experienced handling – but has all the makings to be the dog of a lifetime.
Charactersketch: A devoted, loyal, mellow, ‘thinking’ dog, the Picardy Sheepdog thrives on the companionship of his human family.