What is the Élevage?

Held  only once every four years, the American Élevage is a chance to have your Picard evaluated by European experts, who have bred or judged Picards for many years, and to get a detailed written assessment of your Picard in a noncompetitive, learning environment. Any Picard 8 weeks and over may participate. Puppies are rated separately from adults, but the process is the same whether the Picard is a neutered pet, a tops how dog, a veteran, or an 8 week old.

Individual dogs are evaluated by our invited expert, and then assigned an overall rating. The AKC Picard standard is used for evaluation.

At the end of two days of the Élevage, those dogs that received a rating ofExcellent “Pre-select” return to the ring, and the evaluator will “Select” those whose overall high quality is worthy of recognition. During this process, the evaluator explains his reasoning, and points out the strong and weak points of each dog, selected or not. “Selection” is the culmination of the Élevage. 

A pedigree and photo will be included with the entry for each Picard. These are published with the written evaluation by the judge/evaluator in the Élevage book, providing a permanent record. Your Picard must know how to trot on a leash, and stand with all four feet on the ground. During the evaluation, your dog will have a nose to tail, hands-on examination. So, your Picard must be able tolerate this kind of exam by a stranger. You do not have to stack or bait, but you may if you choose. Your Picard should be shown in its most natural state, free stacking and moving on a loose lead. The goal is to present your Picard at its natural best. 

More than one person may handle the dog, in and out of the ring. In fact, it’s easy to find someone to take your dog in the ring for you, if you are not comfortable. Your dog can be shown with a regular or show collar, and you can be as dressy or casual as you like – it’s up to you!

The Élevage is about the qualities of the dog, not the handler. As evaluations are done singly, the evaluator’s attention is focused only on one dog, alone in the ring, at a time.

The Élevage book contains the breed history, club history, dog & breeder advertisements and evaluations of both intact and for exhibition only dogs and bitches.