"Reconstruction" after the 2nd World War

The Second World War and the occupation years 1940-44 then again destroy all the hard "reconstruction work" done so far and almost put an end to the race. Only with great sacrifices can some dogs be left alive during this difficult time.


Now Jean Cotte came on the scene. Even before the war Picardenthusiast and owner of such a dog, he began to search after the end of the war on the farms of Picardy for surviving dogs that corresponded to the type of the Picard. He crossed the most typical dogs with Bouviers des Flandres and thus received RADJAH DE LA BOHEME and WAX DE LA BOHEME, among others, who are considered to be first parents, as Adam and Eve, so to speak, of our present Picards. With "RADJAH" and "WAX", the rebuilding of the breed begins under the kennel name DE LA BOHEME.


Their descendants YUCCA and YASMINA DES HAUTS CHESNEAUX gave birth to BAMBOU, BALSAMINE, BUDLEYA and BRISE. BAMBOU was paired with his three sisters. All Picards living today can be traced back to RADJAH and WAX - at least on paper. For it should not be concealed that there are many doubts about the correctness of the register entry from the early days of the "reconstruction" until the today's dogs.


In 1953 a club of the "Amateurs du chien de berger de Picardie" was founded. In the same year, the first achtzehn Picards were added to the French Masterbook of Dog Family (L.O.F. = Livre des Origines Francais). The newly founded club organized the first special show for Picards in Amiens on June 27, 1954.  


In 1956, the association "Les Amis du Berger Picard" was founded, which was recognized by the S.C.C. (Société Centrale Canine, French national dog breeding umbrella organisation) in 1959.


For a long time the Picard remains in its home country a predominantly regionally known and widespread breed of dog. Between 1970 and 1972, fourteen kennels were registered with the L.O.F. (Livre des Origines Francois, directory of French dogs of the Société Centrale Canine) , and the exhibition in Amiens in 1973 shows 50 Picards, although half of them (24) came from the Somme and Pas de Calais regions, as well as seven other dogs from the neighbouring Paris region.


Whereas in the difficult times of the "rebuilding" and the early years of the club between 1953 and 1957 between two and a maximum of 18 puppies per year were registered, this number increased during the sixties to 36 to 57 puppies per year. In 1971, the hundred was reached or exceeded for the first time. But the Picard is still struggling and, as a stepchild, is still in the shadow of its far more popular and widespread "countrymen" Briard and Beauceron. In 1988, for example, only about 2,000 Picards living in France were registered in the Central Register of the S.C.C.  – compared to almost 30,000 Beaucerons and about 50,000 Briards. Nevertheless, the 280 Picard puppies registered in the same year represented a pleasing increase compared to the early years and gave rise to legitimate hopes.



It should not be concealed that today's Picard is a dog breed was built to a large extent on an inbreeding population, which probably also leads to certain problems, with which the breed has to contend to the present day. Already the first litter registered in the L.O.F. had an inbreeding coefficient of 37.5 percent. They did not shy away from pushing the inbreeding pairings even further, into the third and fourth generation. For example, Christian Janes calculated an inbreeding coefficient of 50 percent for a litter from 1954 and an inbreeding coefficient of 53.12 percent for a litter from 1958! The "ancestor loss coefficient" of the latter litter was 19.35 percent. This means in plain language that in five generations, instead of 62 possible different ancestors, only twelve different ancestors were to be found. 


For the litters made up to 1959, one can assume an average inbreeding coefficient of just over 40 percent (!). This is a gigantic high value that few other dog breeds are likely to reach. Due to the new breeders Sénécat (du Grand Tarsac) and Lampert (de la Franche Pierre), this extremely high value was reduced to around 20 percent from the beginning of the 1960s.


For a long time the Picard remained in his home country a predominantly regionally known breed of dog.



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