Briard

Breed Details

Size:

Exercise Requirements:

Grooming Requirements:

Weight:

23-41 kg (approx)

Life Span:

10-12 years (approx)

Appearance

Briards are quite large, covered in a long flowing slightly shaggy coat, the Briard can be found in a variety of colors. They are usually tan, gray or black, but the coat can be any combination of these.

While the Briard does not shed, it does have a double coat that requires significant upkeep and grooming. Their locks are very prone to matting and collecting debris and mud. The Briard is tall with an upright posture. High-set ears, their front legs are straight and well muscled, while their back legs slope gently backward, giving them a quite forward and alert appearance.

History

In 1863 a man named Pierre Megnin differentiated two types of sheepdogs, one with a long coat, which became known as the Briard, and the other with a short coat, which became the Beauceron, to improve the dog's look. The Briard became popular only after the Paris dog show of 1863.

In 1897 the first shepherd dog club was founded and both the Beauceron and the Briard were accepted into it. Prior to 1889 the Beauceron and Briard had a reputation of being a flock guard who was brave but one who was more incline to snap and bite in defense of its flock. Both breed's temperaments were softened through selective breeding. Centuries ago the Briard was used to defend its charges against poachers and wolves and by the French army, ignoring exploding bombs and artillery fire. The dogs were used to run messages, detect mines, pick up trails, support commando actions, find the wounded, and carry food and ammunition to the front lines.

Temperament

The Briard is a farm worker by nature and lives to herd anything, possessing an exceptional hearing ability. It is kind, but with a strong protective instinct. The Briard makes a wonderful, alert watchdog. Sensitive, playful and obedient, but with a definite mind of its own. A long history of working with humans has left it gentle and sweet-natured, as well as loyal, brave and fearless. This breed has a fine memory and is intelligent with a lot of ambition. Too often they wind up in shelters because people don't realize what a challenge they can be to raise and live with. If they sense the owner is letting up on the authority at all they will become very stubborn and can be fearful, extremely unfriendly, or both, if not treated like a dog. They not only need a lot of leadership, but they need entertainment and

Care/Grooming

The Briard's coat is coarse and strong, similar to a goat's coat. Dirt and water do not readily cling to it, and if well-groomed it sheds very little. Take time for grooming to have an attractive and healthy dog. Expect the minimum time required to be two hours a week and much longer if you have been remiss. The well-groomed Briard is a beautiful animal, and, more important, a comfortable one. The Briard's coat can become matted if not groomed often. The inside of the ears must be kept clean and any excessive hair in the ears or between the pads of the feet should be removed.

Breeders