Let's talk Picardy Shepherds

The Picardy Shepherd is a sturdy, medium-size dog with a lively temperament and elegant gait, despite their scruffy appearance. Bred to be a herding dog, the Picardy Shepherd will be content in a countryside setting but can also adapt well to urban life—so long as they get enough exercise. Appreciated for their intelligence and loyal nature, Picardy Shepherds can make great playmates for young children once trained. They also get on well with cats and smaller household pets, with the help of training and early socialisation.

Official name: Picardy Shepherd

Other names: Picardy Sheepdog, Berger de Picardie, Berger Picard

Origins: France

Side view of Picardy Shepherd in black and white
 Drooling tendencies

Very low

Warm weather? Medium
 Shedding level Medium
Suited to apartment living?  Medium
 Energy level (high, low, medium)*: Moderate Family pet? 
 Compatibility with other pets Medium
Can stay alone?* Medium

*We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches.
Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.
Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed’s specifics should be taken as an indication.
For a happy, healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socialising your pet as well as covering their basic welfare, social and behavioural needs.
Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.
Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.
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Illustration of Picardy Shepherd
60 - 65 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
22.5 - 32 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
55 - 60 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
22.5 - 32 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight


 Baby age:  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age:  2 to 12 months
 Adult age:  1 to 7 years
 Mature age:  7 to 10 years
 Senior age:  From 10 years

Close up of Picardy Shepherd in front of trees


Get to know the Picardy Shepherd

All you need to know about the breed

The lively and athletic Picardy Shepherd sure packs a big personality into their medium-sized frame. Originally created as herding dogs, they have an impressive stamina that requires an active owner and prefer to have something to do, in order to keep boredom at bay.

Your Picardy Shepherd will be most content when outdoors – and it will keep them in good health – but they have evolved into great family pets, known for their steady and affectionate temperament. While independent in nature, the Picardy Shepherd will not do well when left alone for long stretches of time: This may lead to destructive behaviour, such as teeth marks in your furniture. Present and energetic owners only need apply!

Once trained, Picardy Shepherds make a lively playmate for children–however, like most dog breeds, supervision is always sensible. Training a Picardy Shepherd should be straightforward thanks to their intelligence and eagerness to please, although first time dog owners should be aware of their stubborn streak. Any kibble-based treats should be included in their daily ration, which will keep your Picardy Shepherd in peak shape for all those outdoor adventures.

Black Picardy Shepherd leaning over tree stump covered in moss


2 facts about Picardy Shepherds

1. An old timer

The Picardy Shepherd is one of the oldest French sheepdog breeds, which first appeared in northern France around 400 B.C. Experts believe that the breed’s ancestors were present outside of the Picardy region, despite their name.

2. A stubborn streak

While the Picardy Shepherd can be well suited to first time dog owners of an active nature, watch out for their stubborn streak during training. A confident and firm approach will quickly show who’s boss, but there’s no need to raise your voice with the gentle-natured Picardy Shepherd.


History of the breed

The Picardy Shepherd takes its name from the northern region of France that remains proud of its agricultural roots. Rich in green pastures that are still filled with livestock today and a thriving dairy industry, Picardy has bred several French sheepdogs throughout history.

Experts believe that the Picardy Shepherd was introduced to France around 4 B.C. by Central-European Celts who invaded the north of France, then known as “Gaul”. While their canine ancestors are likely to have come from all over Europe, the Picardy Shepherd is closely linked to the Briard and Beauceron sheepdog breeds.

The two world wars turned bucolic Picardy into a battleground, with the Picardy Shepherd coming close to extinction. Thankfully the breed survived but it remains rare both at home and abroad. Their first dog show appearance was in 1863 but the breed was not formally recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale until 1955 and the American Kennel Club in 2015.

Close-up of Picardy Shepherd looking towards camera in black and white


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Picardy Shepherds

1. Body

A sturdy body and athletic build with an elegant gait.

2. Ears

Medium sized ears that sit high with slightly curved tips.

3. Coat

Medium length waterproof coat, with a wiry texture.

Side view of Picardy Shepherd standing in front of trees


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Picardy Shepherd
Picardy Shepherd lying on grass in front of yellow bush


Caring for your Picardy Shepherd

Grooming, training and exercise tips

The Picardy Shepherd has a double waterproof coat that only requires one monthly brush outside of shedding season. When your Picardy Shepherd is shedding, increase brushing to every second day to remove dead hair and prevent it from getting all over your furniture. Trim their nails regularly and brush their teeth daily (if they’ll let you). Baths should be kept to a minimum. This is a working dog breed, which means that Picardy Shepherds have plenty of energy to burn off on a daily basis. One long walk per day is the minimum and they will also be content to play fetch, join you on a hike or bike ride, and go for the occasional swim! Like any dog breed, your Picardy Shepherd will benefit from early training and socialisation. Their stubborn streak may provide first time dog owners with a slight challenge, but the breed’s intelligence and people-pleasing temperament makes training a straightforward process. Use positive reinforcement as opposed to raising your voice, and any treat based rewards should be counted as part of their daily kibble ration.


All about Picardy Shepherds

When it comes to grooming, the Picardy Shepherd is low maintenance. Their waterproof double coat needs one monthly brush to keep it clean and prevent matting, even with all the time they spend outdoors. During shedding season, brushing will need to be increased to every second day, to prevent a fluff breakout in your living space.

Yes, Picardy Shepherds can form a bond with every family member. With the right training and early socialisation, Picardy Shepherds make a great playmate for young children. Like with all breeds, supervision is required.



1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/