Berger Picard Breed Magazine - Showsight


length should be about 10 percent more than the height with the distance from the withers to elbow equaling the distance from the elbow to the ground. Th e dog should have a strong, level topline with a slight descent from the withers and a slightly-sloping croup. One of the areas of improvement for the breed would be their topline. Every so often, you will find a weak back or topline that rises in the rear which is incorrect. Th e tail is set at the bottom of the slightly-sloping croup and is thicker at the base, and tapers to a “J” hook at the end, similar to the Briard. Th e carriage should be an extension of the topline with carriage higher than the level of the back being acceptable. Th e tail should not curl over the back although sometimes this could be caused by excite- ment versus bad carriage. At rest, the tail should fall down past the hock. Th e Berger Picard is to be a light-footed, free flowing mover so the angulation of the

dog is important for appropriate locomo- tion. As Margo Brady states, “Angulation is judged both front and rear with the dogs self-stacked. Th e angulation should be moderate and balanced with the scapulo- humoral angulation similar to that of the stifle (femoral-tibial). Straightness of legs is important however, the breed tends to be cow-hocked. Th ere are many specimens who are also turned out or “east-west” in their fronts. It was explained that the most important aspect about judging the Berger Picard is taking in the “whole dog” and not pulling out certain faults that seem fairly obvious while judging the dog standing. In fact, many of these dogs would “fix them- selves” when moving, in other words, their static conformation did not detrimentally a ff ect their dynamic conformation.” Th e smaller All-Breed rings do not do the Berger Picard’s movement justice given their fluid, ground-covering gait. In order to get the dog to move out, it might be

necessary to have the dog and handler take a couple laps around the ring. Th e dog should not be raced but rather move at a rather moderate pace to show o ff its movement. One must keep in mind that this breed was reconstructed from two individual dogs after World War II. Th is means that the entire breed is more than inbred and the gene pool is small. Of course, only the best individuals should be chosen for a breeding program and it is the job of the judge to help the breeders define what the breed will become in the US. Keeping this in mind, qualities always come first and faults should only be taken into consid- eration to the degree that they a ff ect the working ability of the dog. Margo Brady advises, “Judging the Berg- er Picard takes patience, time and soft hands. Given that, the rewards of judging this breed are beyond comparison as their scru ff y look and sweet gaze will win you over before you have a chance to pick the winner!”


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