Picardy Shepherds, known in France as Berger Picards (bare ZHAY pee CARRS), are lively, intelligent dogs with a naturally sensitive and loving disposition. They are generally sweet-tempered and good with children and can be endearing, loyal family companions; however, they are not the dog for an inexperienced owner. Like with most herding breeds, socialization and formal obedience training are extremely important at the puppy stage. Picards must be exposed to a variety of situations, people, and places when young.
Most Picards are quiet and mellow indoors but very active and playful when outdoors. They are energetic and hard-working and are happiest when they have a job to do. Picards require plenty of human companionship, and are unhappy when left alone. They also have a protective nature, making them good guard dogs. Bred to work the fields, Picards are very athletic, so a good deal of exercise is a must for this breed. Otherwise, boredom may give way to destructive behavior.
Otherwise, the Picardy Shepherd is a low-maintenance dog. The crisp, tousled coat does not require special care to yield its rustic appearance. Bathing is done infrequently. Their fur should not be trimmed except around the ear edges. They are not profuse shedders and have very little doggie odor. Some Picards are notoriously picky eaters, and it may be difficult to decide on a diet that you and the dog agree on.