Briard

Briard

The Briard is a large herding dog that was developed in France to herd and guard flocks of sheep. Fondly called "a heart of gold wrapped in fur", this loyal dog is known by three different names: the Briard, the Berger Briard, and the Berger de Brie. If you have been looking for a pet to suit your home, read on to find out if the Briard could be the dog for you. The Briard is the oldest of the four French sheepdog breeds. In fact, Briards were often depicted in art from as far back as the eighth century. These early representatives of the breed were known as Chiens de Brie, which translates to Shepherd Dogs of Brie. They were given this name because they were often found working in the province of Brie. It was in about 1809 that the dog's name was changed to Briard. The reason for this change is not clear. However, it is known that throughout time, the Briard's main jobs were to herd sheep and protect them from wolves. While the first breed standard for the Briard was written in 1897, it was revised in 1909 to the standard we know today.

The Briard is a large dog that is strong, agile and build for endurance. Like most herding dogs, he is able to quickly stop and start and make sharp turns. The Briard has a fine undercoat with a coarse, long, wavy outer coat. It has long hair and therefore needs to be groomed regularly otherwise the hair can become tangled. Briards are large herding dogs that typically weigh about 55 to 90 pounds fully grown. They have long flowing hair that can come in several colors including black, fawn, gray, cream and red. Light colors often have black or gray ears. The tail is long and heavily plumed with hair. The small rounded ears are also heavily feathered and drop down towards the cheeks. The eyes can be dark brown or black, and there should be cascades of hair falling over them. The nose is typically black. The legs of the Briard should be thick and muscular, and it is quite common for this breed to have double dewclaws on the rear legs.

Personality

The Briard is a loyal, affectionate and protective dog breed. They are playful and need daily exercise in the form of a long walk or a jog. They also love to play games. It is an intelligent and independent dog that is reserved with strangers. They can get aggressive towards other dogs and feel the need to protect their family no matter what. Briards love people, and they form strong bonds with their owners. They are known as some of the most loyal and brave dogs known today. They are also very intelligent and easy to train. While Briards are fully capable of working independently, they love participating in fun family activities. This breed can be extremely aloof with strangers, and will protect you when necessary. While they are great with children, they may view newborns as strangers. As such, you will need to introduce new babies to them slowly. They also get along quite well with other household pets including cats, rabbits and birds.

Breed Characteristics

Type:Pure
Family:Herders
Origin:Europe
Preferred Climate:Any Climate
Group:Herding
Life Span:10-12 Years
Nicknames:The Briard, The Berger Briard, The Berger de Brie
Hypoallergenic:No

Briard Build Information

The Briard is a large dog that is strong, agile and build for endurance. Like most herding dogs, he is able to quickly stop and start and make sharp turns. The Briard has a fine undercoat with a coarse, long, wavy outer coat. It has long hair and therefore needs to be groomed regularly otherwise the hair can become tangled. Briards are large herding dogs that typically weigh about 55 to 90 pounds fully grown. They have long flowing hair that can come in several colors including black, fawn, gray, cream and red. Light colors often have black or gray ears. The tail is long and heavily plumed with hair. The small rounded ears are also heavily feathered and drop down towards the cheeks. The eyes can be dark brown or black, and there should be cascades of hair falling over them. The nose is typically black. The legs of the Briard should be thick and muscular, and it is quite common for this breed to have double dewclaws on the rear legs.

Size:Large
Length (Male):22-27 in.
Length (Female):22-24 in.
Weight:> 65 lbs
Litter Size:5 - 10 Puppies
Tail Dock or Crop:Cropped

Behaviour and Personality

The Briard is a loyal, affectionate and protective dog breed. They are playful and need daily exercise in the form of a long walk or a jog. They also love to play games. It is an intelligent and independent dog that is reserved with strangers. They can get aggressive towards other dogs and feel the need to protect their family no matter what. Briards love people, and they form strong bonds with their owners. They are known as some of the most loyal and brave dogs known today. They are also very intelligent and easy to train. While Briards are fully capable of working independently, they love participating in fun family activities. This breed can be extremely aloof with strangers, and will protect you when necessary. While they are great with children, they may view newborns as strangers. As such, you will need to introduce new babies to them slowly. They also get along quite well with other household pets including cats, rabbits and birds.

Activity Level:Very Active
Affection Level:Very Affectionate
Aggressiveness Level:Easy
Barking:Moderate
Dominating or Submissive?:None
Energy Level:Very Active
Good to Other Pets:Very Friendly
Guardian Skills:Yes
Independant:Yes
Kid Friendliness:Very Friendly

Appearance

Due to the nature of the Briard's coat, you will need to brush your pet two or three times a week to prevent mats from developing in the hair. During shedding season, it is best to brush your dog every day. You should only need to give your dog a bath once or twice a month if needed. It is important to check inside the ears and clean out any excess wax buildup. When cleaning ears, just clean the visible parts and use the tip of a damp, clean cloth. If you need to clip your Briard's nails, you can do so with a pliers-type nail clipper made for pets, but be careful not to cut into the veins of each nail.

Colors:Black, Gray
Shedding:Moderate
Grooming:High Maintenance
Coat Type:Fine

Briard Common Health Conditions

The Briard is generally a healthy and hardy breed that can live anywhere between 10 and 12 years or longer. However, there are some lines that have been known to suffer from various genetic health issues. Some of the most common of these problems can be found listed here: Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, Cataracts, Bloat, Night Blindness, Hypothyroidism and Von Willebrand's Disease.

Briard Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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Breed Talents and Facts

Briards are ancient herding dogs that make great family pets today. With their gentle nature and protective demeanor, Briards can fit into most any household. Furthermore, not only are they excellent with children, but they interact quite well with other types of household pets as well. Dennis the Menace's dog Ruff was a Briard. The dog that played in "Married with Children" was a Briard. Briards excel in many arenas including herding, search and rescue, tracking, agility, obedience, flyball and therapy work.

Training:Very easy to train
Hunting Companion:No
Jolly for Jogging:Yes
Sighting Capabilities:No
Ideal for Tracking:No
Retrieving Skills:No
Pointing Breed:No
Herding Skills:Yes
Dutiful Watchdog:Yes
Security Guard Capable:Yes
Police Performer:Yes
Wet Water rescues:No
Assist Disable Owners:No
Dog Sledding:No
Able to Perform Dog Carting:No
Agile/Zippy:No
Fun with Lure Coursing:No
Obedient:No
Possible Schutzhund Work:No
Trainable for Tricks:No