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Also known as Picardy shepherd, the Berger Picard breed of dog is believed to be the oldest of the French sheepdogs. Their scruffy appearance and lively intelligence have won them many fans over the centuries and, more recently, they have gained film roles. Although they are purebred dogs, you may find them in the care of shelters or rescue groups. Remember to adopt. Don’t go shopping if you want to take one of these dogs home. Berger Picards take to training easily, but they can be very stubborn. They also have a lot of energy and need a lot of exercise. However, if you can meet the breed’s needs, you will have a loyal and loving family member who even adores children.
The Berger Picard, the oldest of the French sheepdogs, is believed to have arrived in France with the Celts around 800 AD. The breed has been depicted for centuries in tapestries, engravings and woodcuts, but today it is a movie star, appearing in films such as “Because of Winn Dixie”, “Daniel and the Superdogs” and “Are We Done Yet? “This medium-sized dog with pointed ears and thick eyebrows has a lively, intelligent personality. They endear themselves with their human looks and silly smiles and stand out as resilient playmates for children. Thanks to their intelligence, they respond well to training, although they can be stubborn at times. They are sensitive to tone of voice, so even if you are impatient, try to give commands cheerfully – it tends to work best. They tend to get along well with cats and other small animals in the house if they have been raised with them. Some Berger Picards can be barky, something to be aware of if you have close neighbours. Like other dogs bred for physically demanding work – in this case, herding sheep and cattle – the Berger Picard needs daily exercise and may become bored or destructive without it. The population of Berger Picards was devastated by World Wars I and II, and they remain rare. Today, there are only about 3,500 Berger Picards in France.
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