The Berger Picard is an ancient breed developed by the farmers and sheep herders of the Picardy region of northern France. They are medium-sized, sturdily built & well-muscled without being bulky, slightly longer than tall, with distinctive erect natural ears, wiry coat of moderate length, and a tail reaching to the hock and ending in a J-hook. Movement is free and easy, efficient, and tireless to allow them to work all day on the farm and in the fields. They are lively and alert, observant, quietly confident, and can be aloof with strangers, but should not be timid or nervous. This is a rustic, working shepherd's dog, without exaggeration or refinement.
Strong, without being massive; rectangular overall and narrowing slightly from ears to the eyes, and again from eyes to nose when viewed from above. The correct length of head, measured from occiput to nose, should be about the same length as the neck. Expression - Alert and observant, spirited, confident, pleasant. Eyes - Medium size, oval shaped and turned forward; neither round nor protruding. Eye color is medium to dark brown, but never lighter than hazel. Darker eye color is preferred. Eye rims are tight-fitting and fully pigmented. Disqualification - Yellow eyes. Ears - Moderately large (4 to 5 inches long), broad at the base, tapering to a slightly rounded tip, and set rather high on the skull. Always carried naturally erect, and turned forward.
Chest deep but not exaggerated, reaching to the level of the elbow but not beyond. Prominent prosternum blends smoothly into the sternum. The lowest point of the sternum is at the level of the elbow, and from that point, the sternum slopes gradually up towards the loin to give good depth and length to the ribcage. Ribs are well sprung from the spine for the upper one-third, then flattening as they approach the sternum, neither slab-sided nor barrel-shaped. Belly slightly tucked up. Loin strong but not overly long.
Shoulder blades are long and well laid back, covered by lean and strong muscle. The length of the upper arm balances the shoulder blade, placing the elbow well under and close in to the body. Forelegs are straight and strong, without being bulky. Viewed from the front, legs are parallel to each other with toes pointing straight forward. Pasterns slope slightly to a compact, rounded foot with well arched toes and strong, black nails. Pads are strong and supple. Dewclaws may be removed or left on.
Angulation of the thigh and stifle balance the front assembly, and are well muscled, providing powerful, tireless, and effortless movement. Rear pasterns are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground. With a correctly angulated rear, the toes of the hind foot land just behind a perpendicular line dropped from the point of rump. Feet are rounded with well arched toes and strong black nails, as in front. There should be no dewclaws on the rear legs.
Harsh and crisp to the touch, neither flat nor curly, often with a slight wave. Undercoat is soft, short, and dense. The shaggy, rough coat of the Picard is distinctive, and should never be wooly, soft, or so profuse that it hides the outline of the dog. Ideal length is 2 to 3 inches over the entire dog, with coat naturally somewhat shorter on the top of the head. The coat accents on the head and neck which give the Picard its distinct look, known as "griffonage", include rough eyebrows, moderate beard and moustache, and a slight ruff on the front and sides of the neck, framing the head, all of moderate length.