Fun Picard Facts
The correct French pronunciation of Berger Picard is bare ZHAY pee CARR. Berger is the French word for Shepard and Picard is the region in France where they are from. Fanciers call the breed Picards.
Sheepdogs resembling Berger picards have been depicted for centuries in tapestries, engraving and woodcuts. One renowned painting, in the Bergerie Nationale at Rambouillet, the National Sheepfold of France, dating to the start of the 19th centruy, shows the 1st Master Shepard, Clément Delorme, in the company of a medium-sized, strong boned dog with mid-length crisp coat and naturally upright ears, resembling in many ways a Berger Picard today.
Berger Picards, with their crisp coats, were reportedly used to smuggle tobacoo and matches across the Franco-Belgian boarder. The tobacco would be put in goatskin pouches, hairy side up. and attached to the dogs shaved back. From a distance, dogs carrying such loads would not draw attention, particularly at dusk or at night.
There have been several unsuccessful attempts in the past 20 years to establish the Berger Picard in North America. The currently influx of Picards is greatly attributed to the use of the Internet, which provided the means of communication between European breeders and American buyers.
Berger Picards can be seen in three current movies., "Because of Winn Dixie", "Daniel and the Superdogs", and "Are We Done Yet?", but Picards are often mistaken for another canine actor, the Wirehaired Portuguese Podengo Medio, another scruffy looking rare breed.
Long time herding instructor, Michele McGuire has written a loving tribute to her Berger Picard entitled, "Xelie's Gift". Check out this amazing video!
AKC News featured Berger Picards in the following stories: