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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
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 abilities. Although 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 socialized. Someone 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
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 questions. Yes, 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 family. Because 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 with, exposed to and socialized with children do very well and form a very close life-long bond. However, 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 response. It'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 them. There are Picards in
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 years. Training, 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.