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|Picardy Shepherd Kennel
The Picardy Shepherd throughout time
The origin of the Berger Picard
The existence of the Berger Picard, although only formally recognised recently, has its origins in France in the
early medieval period in the second Iron Age. Everything suggests that a dog with the same characteristics as
the Berger Picard was introduced by the Celts during the great invasions around 400 B.C. Various sources
agree to admit that these dogs are the origin of many current herding breeds. On many engravings and
paintings of the Middle Ages we can see representations of a sheepdog of medium size, with strong bones,
naturally upright ears and mid length crisp coats. At the Bergerie Nationale de Rambouillet is a nineteenth
century painting representing a shepherd with a dog resembling in many ways today’s Berger Picard.
The evolution of the Berger Picard was marked by several events of importance. Here are some dates that
have marked its progress in time leading us to this proud and faithful Picard.
In 1863 the first Picards were shown in the same class as the Beaucerons and the Briards
In 1898 people are now convinced of a the existence of the Picard breed. At that time it’s tricolour, ie pie
black, with red brown markings
in 1899 15 Picards are shown in Amiens but Mr. E Boulet, president of the French sheepdog club refuses to
recognize the breed.
In 1912 to 1914 during the First World War the Berger Picard disappears almost completely
In 1922 a standard of the breed is developed by Mr. Paul Megnin.
In 1925 the breed is officially recognized by the Société Centrale Canine
In 1940 to 1944 the privations of war decimated the breed leading almost to its extinction
In 1945 and beyond Mr. M. Cotté former owner of Berger Picard searches the farms in the Picardie region
looking for the last Picards in order to save the breed
In 1953 is created the L.O.F. Berger Picard (book of origins of French breeds, Berger Picard), Caroline du
Hauts Chesneaux, fawn female Berger Picard is the first to be registered.
In 1955 the current French breed club "Les Amis du Berger Picard" is founded by Robert Montenot
In 1964 a new standard for the breed for the Berger Picard is approved by the Société Centrale Canine
In 1973 twenty years after the creation of the L.O.F. Berger Picard, 944 Picardy shepherds puppies have
In 1992 the Berger Picard is officially recognised by the Canadian Kennel Club
In 1994 the Berger Picard is officially recognised by the United Kennel club
In 2008 a new breed standard is established by Mr. J.C. Larive president of Les amis du Berger Picard and is
Survival in versatility
The shepherds and farmers of the last century called this dog a "Pik-haar" which meant hard hair, then the
name became Berger Picard most likely associated with his region of origin. This medium size dog with
naturally erect ears and griffon type coat retains in his genes the entire genetic background of a good
sheepdog. The qualities of the Berger Picard make it a multi-talented dog, he still has his herding instincts but
faced with the lack of work on herds, he finds his rightful place as a watchdog and companion dog in many
peoples lives . Endurance and flexibility allow him to perform well in agility sport. His sweetness and
intelligence are the qualities for which he is known as a good therapy dog. In spite of a difficult start, the
Berger Picard’s versatility is probably the best guarantee that he is now with us to stay. He is recognised by
dog associations in several countries and his popularity has now exceeded the borders of his country of
origin. The breeding stock of the Berger Picard is now large enough to ensure the survival of the breed.
According to some sources there are about 3500 berger Picard on the European continent and some 250 in
North America. I hope that all Picardy shepherd breeders and lovers recognise the work of their predecessors
who have passed on this magnificent herding breed to us and respectfully continue to preserve the qualities
of this amazing dog .
Source : Les Amis du Berger Picard breed club affiliated to the Société Centrale Canine, Club Belge du Berger Picard, L.O.F