10-12 Years (approx.)
Briard is a medium to large breed (58-69cm) similar in size and weight to an Old English Sheepdog. They are strong, muscular, extremely agile and supple with a long shaggy coat. Usual colours are black, slate grey or various shades of fawn ranging from a pale cream to a deep rich gold. Fawn Briards may or may not have black muzzles and ear tips. They often have varying amounts of black or grey shading across the neck and shoulders.
Early tapestries of the eighth century depict these large shaggy dogs with the Emperor Charlemagne and in the eighteenth century Napoleon was also reputed to have Briards. In fact, it is from the United States of America that some of the early documentation comes. In 1789 the frenchman, La Fayette, introduced Briards to Thomas Jefferson who became one of the first breeders in the USA. Back in France in 1897 the first official description or "standard" governing the appearance of the Briard was drawn up by Le Club Francaise du Chien de Berger. The work of the herding dogs is so specialised that the work demands specific qualities of the body and spirit and especially attitude. The Briard has been the official dog of the French Army and is somewhat rare today because so many were lost in World War 1. They were used to carry supplies to the front lines and served as a sentry dog. Due to his keen hearing, reputed to be the most acute of any breed, they were used by the medical corps to search for wounded soldiers. The reports stress the amazing ability of the Briard to lead the corpsmen to those men which still had a spark of life in their bodies. It was said that any man a Briard passed by was beyond assistance.
Briards are very intelligent - quick to learn but quick to take advantage of the lack of determination on the part of the owner. Described as 'Gay and lively' - they enjoy life and show it - 'full-on'. They bark only as a warning, but when they do, both bark and growl are fearsome! Because a Briards greatest enjoyment in life is to be with you, sharing in the family activities, they need to be largely an indoor dog. The greatest cruelty you can inflict on a Briard is to keep them shut outside 'missing out' when their family is at home. For such a boisterous dog they make excellent house dogs and are very quickly house trained.
You need to allow 1 or 2 hours once a week. Briards don't have a thick undercoat and the top coat is fairly coarse, so they are easier and quicker to groom than many other long coated breeds.
Currently no Breeders in SA for this Breed