Manche: continental sheepdogs in national selection near Saint-James

A Picard shepherd guides the sheep, as he will do in public, during the selection for the French championship, on August 27 and 28, near Saint-James, in the Manche department. ©Axelle Van Guise

A round of the selection for the French championship of continental sheepdogs will take place on August 27 and 28, 2022 on the property of breeder Benoît Scelles, at Epinay, in Saint-Laurent-de-Terregatte, near Saint -James (Channel).

It will take place under the aegis of the association La bergerie du Petit Louis, a tribute to his son and to Louis Rault, the former owner of these Terregatte lands.

The dog is the mirror of its master.

Benoit Scelles

A customary land for the organization of national and international competitions and internships.

Benoît Scelles is a breeder of desert shepherds, but also canine rehabilitator and pension for all types of dogs, “including Rothweilers”, indicates the one who refuses to hear that there are dangerous dogs. “The dog is the mirror of its master. There is an emotional and physical transfer between one and the other…”

Benoît Scelles, pictured with his son Louis, will welcome around thirty continental French shepherds for the qualifying competitions for the French championship, on August 27 and 28 at Epinay, in Saint-Laurent-de-Terregatte.
Benoît Scelles, pictured with his son Louis, will welcome around thirty continental French shepherds for the qualifying competitions for the French championship, on August 27 and 28. ©Pascale Brassinne

A passion to share

The man is inexhaustible on this animal. The passion is there. And he will share it during these two days of competition, to ask he promises to give many explanations to the people who will travel to attend these selections.

For several years now, he has been a member of a brotherhood that defends the French shepherd at work. “He was dethroned by the border collie, which was quicker to train.

Four breeds of shepherd in France

There are only four races left in France today:

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  1. Beauceron (de la Beauce) with approximately 1,500 births per year,
  2. Briard (de la Brie) 200 births,
  3. Picard (from Picardy) 1,500 births,
  4. Labrit (from the Pyrenees) 200 births.

A century ago, each region had its own sheepdog. In Normandy, we had a mix between the shepherd from Beauce and his cousin from Brie. As we had cows, we needed strong dogs. The Beauceron comes back a lot as a watchdog”.

28 dogs in competition

Every year, the breeders give their prize at stake. “There are five to six competitions a year in France and Belgium. The last one took place three weeks ago, near Ghent, Belgium.

This competition is our comice.

Benoit Scelles

Saturday August 27 and Sunday August 28, a dozen breeders present 28 dogs. “Fourteen individuals will be present. They don’t have a herd, but they have to pull the species up. This gathering is our comice. It’s a matter of exchanges and friends. To discuss. On advice. The selection does not take place by handing over trophies but by identifying future breeders”.


Saturday August 27 and Sunday August 28, 2022 all day at Epinay, in Saint-Laurent-de-Terregatte. Audience welcome. Free.

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