Fun Facts about Picards:
- The correct French pronunciation of Berger Picard is bare ZHAY pee CARR. Berger is the French word for shepherd and Picard is the region in France where they are from. Fanciers call the breed: Picards.
- Sheepdogs resembling Berger Picards have been depicted for centuries in tapestries, engravings and woodcuts. One renowned painting, in the Bergerie Nationale at Rambouillet, the National Sheepfold of France, dating to the start of the 19th century, shows the 1st Master Shepherd, Clément Delorme, in the company of a medium-sized, strong-boned dog with mid-length crisp coat and naturally upright ears, resembling in many ways a Berger Picard of today.
- Berger Picards, with their crisp coats, were reportedly used to smuggle tobacco and matches across the Franco-Belgian border. The tobacco would be put in goatskin pouches, hairy side up, and attached to the dog’s shaved back. From a distance, dogs carrying such loads would not draw attention, particularly at dusk or at night.
- There have been several unsuccessful attempts in the past 20 years to establish the Berger Picard in North America. The current influx of Picards is greatly attributed to the use of the Internet, which provided the means of communication between European breeders and American buyers.
- Berger Picards can be seen in three current movies, “Because of Winn Dixie,” “Daniel and the Superdogs,” and “Are We Done Yet?” but Picards are often mistaken for another canine actor, the Wirehaired Portuguese Podengo Medio, another scruffy looking rare breed.
- In 2012, BPCA member and Picard owner, Christina Potter wrote a book entitled Chester Gigolo: Diary of a Dog Star (Aperture Press) based on her weekly blog about the antics of Chester’s life and ambitions. Chester is on his way to be a dog star of sorts; he has appeared in advertisements for Company Store and a Verizon commercial. Christina proudly donates 10% of royalties to Picard DNA collection and health projects. For more about the book see here: http://www.aperturepress.net/books/chester-gigolo
- Long time herding instructor, Michele McGuire has written a loving tribute to her Berger Picard entitled, “Xelie’s Gift.” Check out this amazing video from Amazon!
- AKC News featured a Berger Picard who is an instinctive diabetic alert dog in this story: http://www.akc.org/news/berger-picard-loupy/