Living Conditions

Picard outside in a city neighborhoodDespite being more suited for the outdoors, Picards can do surprisingly well in city life, provided they are given enough energy releasing exercise. However, the Picard always tries to stay close to its owner and family, so even if you have a big yard and give the dog the choice of where it wants to be, it will prefer to stay inside with you, rather than alone outside. Inside the house, the Picard is usually a very quiet dog, waiting for its time to go out to run, play and sniff around.

While the Picard has a double coat that allows it to tolerate extreme cold, they do not have the body fat for prolonged exposure. They love the snow but it is not recommended to leave them out for long periods.

In any situation, a wise Picard owner will crate train their puppy. A crate provides security and comfort for the puppy, a place of its own when feeling overwhelmed, much like a den. Crate training is also the best way to house train a puppy and helps to ensure your dog’s safety when you are not present.

As with all dogs, a physically fenced in yard is ideal. Electric fences, while aesthetically pleasing, do not protect your dog from what can come INTO your yard. Some dogs will ignore the mild electric shock to investigate and/or chase whatever they find interesting.

Picards tend to have a high prey drive. This is the instinct that is harnessed for herding. But prey drive also means that a Picard will chase whatever moves. They will chase squirrels, rabbits, cats, deer and just about anything else. Care needs to be taken to protect your Picard and your other animals.