Briard Dog Breed
- General Appearance:
- Briards are medium sized with a rugged appearance, mainly due to their coat. They are supple and agile. The outer coat is often described as goat-like. It is slightly wavy and is dry and harsh in texture. They have a distinctive beard, moustache, and eyebrows. Briards are sizeable attractive dogs with distinctive long coats. Their muscular necks carry their heads with pride. The ears are set on high and covered with long hair. The back should be firm and level and the body very slightly longer than the height at the shoulders. The tail should be long and well-covered with hair with an upward hook and carried low. They were originally bred to herd and guard sheep combining the qualities that both tasks needed.
- Other Names:Berger de Brie
- Country Of Origin:France
- Dog Group Kennel Club:Pastoral
- Black with or without white hairs, fawn and slate grey.
- Briards are loyal and protective at the same time as being lively and intelligent. They see their family as their flock and for this reason socialisation is important to teach the dog that not all members of the public are potential predators. Human contact is essential, and they are happiest in the home as part of the family. They do not respond readily or easily to any type of change unless they are assured that the change is for the good. They are good-natured and get along well with children they are raised with provided they are not teased. This breed may be aggressive toward other dogs without proper introduction. They will accept other household pets if introduced properly at a young age.
- Briards can cover a great deal of ground with strong and smooth steps.
- Care and training:
- The Briard's coat is dirt and water shedding, and if groomed well shed very little. A good brushing daily is sufficient and bathing when absolutely necessary. Frequent bathing will harm the coat and make it more difficult to groom so will matt more easily. The inside of the ears must be kept clean and any excessive hair removed.
The Briard has an excellent memory and is very trainable. They require a firm owner that is able to take charge. They will not respond to severe, unfair, or heavy-handed training otherwise they can become extremely unfriendly, fearful, or both. The combination of consistency, patience, love and a firm hand will all help achieve success.
- Overall Exercise:
- 2 hours per day. Exercise requirements are high to satisfy the energy levels of this breed. They love swimming and running along side a bicycle is an excellent form of exercise for them.
- Feeding Requirements:
- It will cost approximately £5 per week to feed a Briard.
- Personal Protection:High
- Suitability As Guard Dog:Medium
- Level of Aggression:Medium
- Compatibility With Other Animals:Medium
- Suitability for Children:High
- Often Docked?No
- Average Litter Size:6
- Life Expectancy (yrs):11
- Health issues:
- Occasionally PRA (progressive retinal atrophy), gastric torsion, hip dysplasia, and bloat. Bloat is a health issue to most dogs, being the second largest killer of dogs other than cancer, but Briards can be particularly susceptible to it because of their deep chests.
- Lineage goes back to even the 8th century. They claim their ancestry to the rough-coated sheepdogs which were brought to Europe accompanying Asian invaders in the Middle Ages. In native France Briards have long been regarded as one of the four shepherd dogs, consisting of the Briard, Beauceron, Berger Picardy, and Pyrenean. The name Briard came to be used in 1809 when people started calling him the chien berger de Brie (shepherd dog of Brie). Brie was a region in France, supposedly where this breed lived. They were developed in France for the reason of herding and guarding, and still retain these attributes today. The Briard was used in both World Wars, serving as a military dog that would carry ammunition and supplies to soldiers. The breed was also used to find and help wounded soldiers. It was said that if you were a wounded soldier and the Briard passed you by you were beyond help. Briards were known to be able to distinguish whether a person was going to live or not with their wounds.