Catalan Sheepdog vs Berger Picard - Breed Comparison

Catalan Sheepdog vs Berger PicardCatalan Sheepdog is originated from Spain but Berger Picard is originated from France. Catalan Sheepdog may grow 10 cm / 3 inches shorter than Berger Picard. Catalan Sheepdog may weigh 7 kg / 15 pounds lesser than Berger Picard. Both Catalan Sheepdog and Berger Picard has same life span. Catalan Sheepdog may have less litter size than Berger Picard. Catalan Sheepdog requires Moderate maintenance. But Berger Picard requires Low maintenance

Basic Information

Herding dogs
Herding dogs
Height Male:
47 - 55 cm
18 - 22 inches
55 - 65 cm
21 - 26 inches
Height Female:
45 - 53 cm
17 - 21 inches
53 - 64 cm
20 - 26 inches
Weight Male:
16 - 25 kg
35 - 56 pounds
23 - 32 kg
50 - 71 pounds
Weight Female:
15 - 25 kg
33 - 56 pounds
21 - 31 kg
46 - 69 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 14 Years
13 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
4 - 6
2 - 10
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Gos d'Atura Català, Catalan shepherd
Picardy Shepherd • Berger de Picard • Bacardi Shepherd • Berger de Picardie Picard
Colors Available:
Fawn, brownish, dark grey, black
grey, grey-black, blue-grey, red-grey, and light or darker fawn brindle
Long coat - fairly wavy
harsh, waterproof, tough, tusseled
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Docile, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Sweet, Territorial
Alert, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Outgoing, Playful, Quiet, Stubborn
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


catalan sheepdogThe Catalan Sheepdog, known also as the Gos d’Atura, hails from Catalonia, Spain. It is believed that the dog is related to the Portuguese- and Pyrenean Sheepdogs.

The standard for this breed was formulated in 1929. The sheepdog developed during Roman Empire times between 200 and 100 BC already, being used as livestock guard dogs. With the breed dwindling in the 1970s, Catalonian Sheepdog lovers started promoting it, but it remains a rare breed.

berger picardIn the Picardie region of northeastern France saw visiting Celts/Franks enter the region along with a shepherd dog. They arrived in the Pas de Calais in 800 AD and might be the oldest shepherd dog of France. Named for Pacardy, the Berger Picard is certainly one of the most ancient of today’s French breeds. Some believe this shepherd comes from the lines of Dutch and Belgian Shepherds, while other insist he is related to the Beauceron and Briard.

Never popular as a show dog due to its shaggy appearance, even though it was entered in Frances first dog show in 1863, the breed was almost extinct following the second World War. Currently there are a little under 5000 left in the world with most of them, 3000, in France. The Picard is a good herding dog and loved by the shepherds of the Picardy region. The United Kennel Club recognized the rare breed in 1994, but the AKC did not recognize it until 2016.

The Berger Picard is a loyal, people-oriented dog, good with children and families if socialized as a puppy. In 2006 the Berger Picard Club of America was formed as more and more dogs are being imported from France. There was a genetic study done this year that proposes that 7 breeds of shepherd all descended from a European herding dog that was all over Europe before 1859. This dog was the father of the Berger Picard, the German Shepherd, The Bergamaso Shepherd, the Lupino de Gigante, the Cane Paratore, the Cane da pasore della Lessinia e del Lagorai , and the Pastore d”oropa. After recognition, the Picard was shown for the first time at Krufts in March 2016. They followed that with a best of breed win by Gabby, Guess V.D. Benedicks


catalan sheepdog puppyThe Catalan is a medium sized dog but gives the impression of being bigger than he actually is. He stands from 45 – 55cm in height and weighs between 20 to 25kg.

This breed also has double dew claws on the hind feet. He has a long coat which is slightly wavy and available in different shades such as fawn to brownish to dark grey to black. He has floppy, feathery ears and a fairly long, feathery tail. He has quite a bit of hair on he face too, so you’ll notice a beard, moustache as well as hair which covers the eyes somewhat.


Brave and courageous, the Catalan Sheepdog is also intelligent, active and hardy. He has a round face with a friendly, amicable expression. He is totally pleasant and sweet natured. However, in his role as guardian of sheep he took his role seriously, forming a strong relationship with both shepherd and sheep.

He is wary of strangers. Early socialization and training is always important, and while he makes a wonderful family pet, this training and socialization makes him more relaxed and obedient and he gets on well with children in the home as well as with other pets. While he is a placid, docile and gentle pet, he is also looked upon as a protector, and will defend his family.

berger picard puppyThe Berger Picard is a muscular, medium sized, faithful companion. He is especially great with an owner who is athletic and energetic. They have a rugged constitution, slightly longer back, and full tail. The coat is thick, strong and harsh. They are never overweight or bulky. This gives the Berger Picard the look of a mixed breed dog. They have erect ears and thick eyebrows. This lanky looking dog is alert and lively. Movement is efficient, free and tireless. They have strong bones with a sturdy build and a take charge personality.

They have a strong rectangular head that is not massive. His eyes are oval and medium sized, never round or protruding. Eye color should be dark and never yellow. Cheek muscles are strong, and muzzle is smooth, ending abruptly at the nose. Scissors bite, deep chest and round feet. There should not be any dewclaws on the back legs.

Health Problems

catalan sheepdog dogThe Catalan Sheepdog is a fairly healthy breed and has a life expectancy of 12, 13 or 14 years. Nonetheless you will still need to watch out with common dog ailments with him, particularly hip dysplasia.

Hyp Dysplasia:

This is a joint and hip disease which can start with symptoms from 6 months of age already. Your dog will be hesitant to play and jump, doesn’t like to go upstairs, tires easily during a walk and develops a hop-like way to walk. You’ll notice that when he lies down, he battles to- or is reluctant to get up again.

X-rays may be required to confirm the diagnosis of hip dysplasia. There are different treatment options, all with the wellbeing of your pet in mind. You don’t want him to have a life of pain and lameness.

berger picard dogThe Berger Picard is not a heavy or extra-large dog, but they still can have hip dysplasia, though it is not nearly as prevalent as it is in larger breeds. Eye infections can present in puppies more than adults and hereditary eye issues such as PRA and RD are all too common. (Progressive Retina Atrophy and Retinal Dysplasia)

Caring The Pet


catalan sheepdog puppiesThe Catalan Sheepdog is a working breed, so he is going to need plenty of exercise. While he adapts easily to city- or country life, it will be to his benefit to have a garden to romp in. You will still need to take him for walks and play ball- and rope games with him. This will prevent boredom and destructive behavior from him.


The Catalan Sheepdog has long hair so he will need to be brushed twice a week to avoid matting. This will help to remove loose hair too, but also distribute natural oils through his coat, keeping his hair and skin healthy and free from skin rashes and itchiness.

This brushing ensures other benefits as you can simultaneously check him for parasites such as fleas and ticks.


If you feed him commercial dog food, make sure its a high quality one. He is an active breed so will require high protein. Give him some homemade rice, vegetables and meat, and include raw meat in his food from time to time too. Always ensure that there is fresh, cool water constantly within reach.


berger picard puppiesThis is an athletic and active breed with a lot of energy. They need a high-quality food that is full of nutrients and not empty calories. Don’t overfeed him as some will have a tendency to become obese. They should be fed twice a day in equal proportions. Treats are good when training but don’t overdo it.

Health issues

Since the Berger Picard has not been overbred, there are not a lot of genetic disorders in the breed. They do have some

  1. Hip Dysplasia
  2. Eye Infections
  3. Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  4. Retinal Dysplasia

You should have your puppy certified by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and then the Canine Eye Research Foundation that they do not have these issues and if they do, resolve them. The results of these tests should be published in the OFA registry. This breed is also a participant in the Canine Health Information Center. This means their eyes and hips have been checked and the results published. Their blood is being stored for DNA purposes and one of the following have been evaluated: heart, elbows or thyroid. There is an OFA Berger Picard health survey whose results are available to anyone who asks. This does not track individual dogs but the breed as a whole.

Exercise and games

This is a breed that needs a lot of exercise. She likes to swim, take long walks, take runs with you on your bike. They love to jog with you as well. Agility, obedience and any other type of competition will appeal to your Picard. However, don’t expect them to excel at competition because they are not consistent performers. But if they don’t get enough exercise and fun they will become very destructive. Barn hunt and non-competitive herding activities are perfect for the Picard.


catalan sheepdog dogsThe Catalan Sheepdog is such an amicable character – he is going to make an awesome pet. He is an intelligent and obedient dog and is easily trained.

He has been used for guarding- and herding work and as a family pet makes a excellent guard dog as well. Capable of being gentle too, he is everything his human family wants him to be and just becomes a regular member of the family.

berger picard dogsThe Berger Picard needs to be a part of a pack with an owner who is clearly the pack leader. This is an intelligent, friendly, and sensitive to harsh voice scolding. They are not easy to train, and you need to be calm and patient when working with him. The Picard has a tendency to be stubborn with an owner who appears to be weak. If raised with or socialized to children and other animals, they will live fine with them. They are best in a rural environment rather than a close neighborhood. They are very quiet dogs, but they need a job and they excel at work.

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