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The Berger Picard is a truly unique and wonderful breed. However, just like any breed of dog, it might not be the right breed for everyone and we at the UBPA want everyone to have as much information as possible before making the decision to get a Picard

The Berger Picard was developed in the Picardie region of France as a herder and guardian of sheep. And those instincts run deep.  It is still very much a working breed and requires a life-long commitment to training and activity to keep their minds and bodies stimulatedThey are very intelligent dogs, and often can have a strong will and mind of their own, which can lead to problems if left to their own devices.   They can also be very sensitive and do not respond well to physical corrections.  As a herding breed they have a strong prey drive and WILL often try to herd moving objects; whether it be a child, another pet, bicyclists, or vehicle.  

Why do I want a Berger Picard?  
If you saw a Picard in a movie or commercial and fell in love because you never saw such a beautiful creature, please understand that movie animals are highly trained and have years invested in their abilitiesAlthough they share innate qualities, most Picards are NOT like the dogs in “Because of Winn-Dixie”. If you've researched a number of breeds and learned about their temperament, activity requirements, original purpose, care and training requirements, and believe that a Picard meets your needs and you are able to meet those of the dog, then that is the reason to get a Picard.

I've never had a dog before; should I get a Picard
As wonderful as these dogs are, they might not be the right choice for a novice, first-time dog owner.  It requires some experience to properly raise and train this breed, due to their unique minds and the potential for difficulty if not appropriately socializedSomeone who has experience with herding, working, or guardian-type breeds is probably better equipped than a novice.  A highly motivated individual with many good resources such as an experienced trainer or animal behaviorist may do very well with a Picard as their first dog.

Are they intelligent? 
Berger Picards are a very intelligent breed and have the ability to think for themselves; a trait that was required of them as herding and guardian animals in FranceBecause most Picards go into pet homes, they do require a strong leader who they can look to for answers on how to behave. They typically dislike repetition, and a creative approach to training along with patience and positive methods (such as clicker training, operant conditioning, etc.) go a long way in eliciting the response an owner desires

What kind of activity level does a Berger Picard have?  
These are first and foremost working dogs.  As such, they do need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation to avoid destructive, boredbehavior.   On the other hand, they are patient and generally able to restrain their natural goofy exuberance until cued that it's TIME TO PLAY.   Several sessions of fetch/frisbee, a nice long jog or walk, and space to run around each day make for a happy Picard

Do they shed
This is one of the most commonly asked questionsYes, they do!  However, Berger Picards have a crisp outer coat and soft undercoat that requires infrequent grooming to minimize the shedding.  And their tosseled, carefree coat is one of the things that people are most attracted to. The hair is much easier to clean up than some of the shorter-haired breeds.  Picards also have very little "dog odor" and rarely require a bath
I've heard they can be aggressive--is this true?  
While no breed is without its faults, a well-bred and well-socialized Picard should absolutely NOT be aggressive.  They can be somewhat distrustful of strangers and may approach with caution and do bark and can be quite protective of their territory and familyBecause of this a young Picard MUST be heavily socialized.  This means exposing and introducing the pup to a wide variety of people of all ages, sizes, and sexes as well as places, sounds, smells and other animals .  A happy, even-tempered, well-adjusted Picard continues to receive socialization throughout its life.

Are they good with kids?  
Most Berger Picards if raised withexposed to and socialized with children do very well and form a very close life-long bondHowever, the herding instinct of this breed runs deep and strong, and the rapid, erratic movement of children can sometimes elicit a herding or even a prey responseIt's important that not only the dog, but also the children learn how to behave around each other.

What can I do with my Berger Picard?  
These are very versatile dogs, capable of just about any task or skill set to themThere are Picards in North America currently competing in Flyball, Agility, formal Obedience, Rally Obedience, Lure Coursing, Weight Pull, Herding, Dock Diving and ConformationThey can be trained in Schutzhund and Ring Sport. There are Picardy therapy dogsPicards who act in movies and onstage (they arefavorite for portraying "Sandy" in "Annie"), and wonderful Picardy family pets

Things to ask yourself:
Do I really want a dog?  All dogs deserve a lifetime of caring commitment from their people.  This requires time, energy, and anywhere from 6-20 years of dedication. A Picard typically lives 12-14 yearsTraining, veterinary visits (and bills), and routine maintenance (feeding, grooming, cleaning up after them) is an investment.  Be sure a dog is the right pet for you.