Berger Picard Breed Magazine - Showsight

hand stripped to remove the fringe obscuring the outline, never scissored or shaved. COAT The coat is a crisp, harsh outer coat that naturally falls in flames down the dog’s sides. Picard should be present- ed clean, but NOT fluffed and buffed, blown dry and sprayed, with not a hair out of place. They should NEVER be scissored or sculpted. Judges are strongly discouraged from rewarding dogs that are over groomed. A Picard may be brushed before entering the ring, but one shake and that bed head look should be back—just the way they are supposed to look! TAIL The tail is long, always reaching the hock and ending in a J-shaped hook. Tail carriage should be a natural exten- sion of the toppling and used as a rud- der when herding. When standing, the tail drops to the level of the hock, end- ing in a J-hook, as with the Briards. Tail carriage when moving should remain a natural extension of the topline, carried at about the same level with the J-hook end slightly higher or below. No por- tion of the tail should be carried over the back or touching the topline. If a tail is set high, with a flattened croup, not only tail carriage but rear movement and stride length will be affected, decreasing the dog’s ability to do its job efficiently. J-hook tails car- ried over the back, touching the back, too short to reach the hock, a saber or straight tail without a J, are all incorrect and should not be rewarded. The breed in this country has had an issue with incorrect tails—breed- ers should be aware of this and work at correcting it. When judges reward dogs with incorrect tails, it sends breeders as well as exhibitors the wrong message. TEMPERAMENT Temperament is also very important. The breed in general is described as “aloof with strangers”. As a rule, Picards are extremely bonded to their owner, or their “shepherd”. Adult Picards should exude a quiet confidence, an “I’ve got this” attitude. Most are not initially out- wardly friendly to strangers, but that does not mean they should be afraid. It should just mean the dog is sizing things up. They should be approached with the first contact under the chin, never over the head, and never directly looking into their eyes for too long, and with a calm manner. Most owners and exhibitors are aware of this and have worked very hard to socialize their dogs, but it is still

something to be aware of, especially with young dogs and novice exhibitors. Picards are extremely lovable, easy dogs to have around the house as long as owners train and, again, socialize them so that they are confident. Most breeders in the US work hard at this with baby puppies, which seems to have made a huge difference, but own- ers need to continue this during a young Picard’s life, They are somewhat stubborn with basic obedience and while they truly never forget what they learn, they may not care to repeat a task. Picards really do have a sense of humor and as long as their owners do as well, things will work out just fine! Some Picards have been successful with

obedience competition,rally and agility, as well as dock diving and barn hunt, but they truly excel at what they were bred to do—herding sheep. They are beauty in motion when that natural talent is brought out. More and more owners are taking the time to work with their dogs at herding sheep, competing and just for fun. Once again, I would like to stress, the Berger Picard Club of America, and I daresay most owners of this breed, do not want to lose what our dogs were bred to do, or bred to BE, which is a naturally rustic herding dog—even in the conformation show ring. We continue to implore those evalu- ating our breed to understand this an enjoy them as we do. S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A PRIL 2019 • 281

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