Berger Picard Breed Magazine - Showsight


S ince entering the Herding group in July 2015, Picards have received attention, inter- est, and accolades from judges we well as onlookers. Their numbers continue to increase slowly in the US. The Berger Picard Club of America was formed to preserve and protect the breed as the French intended. It is important to know at least some of the history of this rustic breed in order to appreciate how they should be present- ed in the show ring. For centuries Picards were a utilitar- ian shepherd’s dog, an all around farm dog, with the duty of moving large flocks of sheep from place to place and patrolling the perimeter. Thought to be the oldest French herding breed, they were never a fancy, groomed dog, in fact in the late 1880’s several Picards were turned away from a dog show as they appeared too rustic! The club has fought to maintain that rustic, tousled appearance as well as the function of this wonderful breed. HALLMARKS OF THE BREED BUILD This is an athletically built dog of rustic appearance. This means dogs should be in good physical condition, naturally muscular, strong appearing, but slim, who look ready to work all day without tiring. GAIT The gait should be efficient, dem- onstrating effortless, fluid movement. These dogs must be sound and solid, built to work all day. They should be just slightly longer than tall, measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of the rump (10% longer at most) with smooth, effortless movement, each long stride covering maximum distance in an easy, smooth gait. They are shown on a loose lead with the head carried at or only slightly above the topline in movement. The head should not be held high when moving, as it alters the gait

hair of the muzzle. The length of the top skull and length of the muzzle should be equal. The Picard has a griffonage, including both the beard as well as nat- ural eyebrows, which should not be so thick as to obscure the eyes. Eyes are almond shaped, lined with dark pigment and a rich dark brown, with slightly lighter shades of hazel and medium brown acceptable—but never yellow. The naturally erect ears are a striking and important feature of the breed, ideally set at 11 o’clock and 1 o’clock, giving the dog an alert, intel- ligent expression. Ears should only be

and interferes with stride length. There are still Picards being shown this way, and while it is flashy it is not correct, and should not be rewarded. With smaller ring sizes, it is encour- aged that the examiner move the dogs around the ring more than once to dem- onstrate this easy, lovely motion. HEAD Heads are strong, without being bulky, with parallel planes formed by the top skull and muzzle. Roman or down turned noses are not correct, which at times can be obscured by the


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