Picards have a low-oil coat that is easy to keep clean. They do shed, so occasional brushing helps.
The Berger Picard is truly a low maintenance breed. The rough, double coat does not mat or require special care to yield its rustic, tousled appearance. This is due to the Picard having a low oil content in its coat, and why the outer layer is crunchy or crisp to the touch. It is also why Picards don’t have a doggie odor and why dirt does not stick to them.
Double coats in dog breeds are common, especially in breeds having to stay outdoors all of the time. On the Berger Picard, the bottom layer of the coat is soft, dense and keeps the dog warm. The top layer is harsh and longer to help water roll off of the dog and not soak through the bottom layer. The result is a well-insulated dog that sheds only twice a year. The coat may vary slightly in length from one individual to another.
Brushing should be done about once a month. During the spring and summer extra brushing will help remove the winter coat and reduce shedding. A coat rake will help remove the undercoat. No trimming is necessary. Long fringe on the ears should be removed by hand plucking or hand stripping, never by shaving or cutting. Ears on a puppy may fall while pup is teething due to the overused jaw muscles. Once teething is completed the ears should be upright again.
Bathing, believe it or not, is rarely done. Shampoos formulated for crisp coats are recommended. Avoid use of conditioners as this makes the coat too soft and reduces the weatherproofing properties.
Just like any breed of dog, general dog maintenance is required such as trimming the nails, cleaning inside of ears and teeth, and if needed, expressing of the anal glands.
The rough, tousled coat is a breed hallmark. Medium length and harsh texture is functional for their original job. The French do not allow trimming or alteration of the coat, with one exception—ears should not be fringed, resembling a Briard. Any long hair obscuring the outline of the ear is to be removed, preferably by plucking. The coat is crisp and dry to the touch, with a softer undercoat. In the show ring, the dogs should never be presented blown out, sculpted, and scissored.