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Picardy Shepherd Dog:

The Berger Picard dog, also known as the Picardy Shepherd, is a rare breed of French herding dog that is thought to have existed for centuries.



The Picardie region of France is where it became popular and was refined into its modern form, but the breed is thought to have been brought here by the Celts many centuries earlier. The Berger Picard has a rather scruffy, rustic, and mutt-like appearance, which is perhaps the reason why it never became popular and in fact almost became extinct. However, many people find it to be an extremely attractive and unique dog.



Even with regard to its temperament, the Berger Picard is a loyal, affectionate, and fun dog, making it an excellent pet.

This is a medium sized dog, approximately 25 inches in height and 30 kilograms in weight. The dog has a lean but muscular frame, and a rough, stiff coat that is rather long and shaggy.



Unlike many other such long haired dogs, the Picard’s fur is not soft and silky, and does not cover the eyes. The ears are triangular and long, but erect, giving the dog a rather alert and playful expression. This breed comes in rather wide range of colors – gray, black, red, shades of fawn, and several mixes of two of these colors.

As mentioned earlier, Picards are lively and affectionate dogs. They are generally good with children, and can be trained quite easily. Of course, as with any other breed, training must begin early in life, and must be conducted with patience and consistency, while maintain a firm but gentle approach. Picards can sometimes be stubborn, and only patience and leadership will overcome this trait. The dog must be motivated to perform and to learn, and cannot be forced into doing so. Berger Picard puppies must also be well socialized, as these dogs have a tendency towards protectiveness. While this trait makes them good guard dogs, it should not be allowed to get out of hand. In order to avoid behavioral problems, it is also important to give this dog sufficient exercise, preferably including the opportunity to engage in some sport.

In spite of its shaggy coat, the Berger Picard dog does not require much grooming. These dogs do not shed much, and brushing once a month is usually enough. Trimming the fur and washing regularly is also not recommended. With regard to health, the two common problems are progressive retina atrophy and retina dysplasia, for which the dog should be tested yearly.

 
  Submitted on January 27, 2010