Breed Group: Herding
Weight: 75-100 lbs
Height: Male: 23-27; Female: 22-25.5 inches
Color(s): all uniform colors except white (includes black, tawny, and gray shades)
This breed was originally used to guard and herd flocks of sheep. The Briard, known for centuries, have been owned by such historical figures as Napoleon, Thomas Jefferson, Lafayette, and Charlemagne. With its heightened sense of hearing, this breed was often used by the French Army to search for wounded soldiers. Today, the Briard is an esteemed companion dog and continues to serve as a guardian and herder.
The Briard is a rugged and agile medium sized dog. They are unique in appearance and possess an almost human-like quality. This breed is exceptionally powerful and has a commanding presence. They are commonly referred to as "a heart wrapped in fur".
A protective, smart, loving and loyal breed, the Briard makes a wonderful family pet. Once they have bonded with their family they become totally committed for their entire lifespan. Human contact is essential, and they are happiest in the home as part of the family. They are aloof with strangers, and do not respond readily or easily to any type of change unless they are assured that the change is for the good. The Briard is sensitive and obedient, but definitely have a mind of its own. 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. It is important to remember that the Briard's nature is that of a herder and they will attempt to perform
this task on anything and everything that moves.
The Briard's coat is dirt and water shedding, and if groomed well shed very little. They require daily brushing and combing to prevent matting. Bathing should only be done when absolutely necessary. Frequent bathing will harm the coat and make it more difficult to groom. Their ears must be kept clean. They are generally healthy, but may have a tendency to develop PRA, hip dysplasia, and cataracts.
The Briard has a long double coat. The outer coat is often described as goat-like. It is slightly wavy and is dry and harsh in texture. This breed has long hair that covers the eyes and is usually pinned up. They have a distinctive beard, mustache, and eyebrows. The under coat is fine in texture and provides insulation from the harsh and
cold climates this breed once worked in. The color of the coat comes in gray, black, or multiple variations of fawn.
Intense and extensive socialization beginning at an early age is absolutely mandatory for this breed. The Briard has an excellent memory and is very trainable. They require a firm owner that is able to take charge. If this breed is not raised properly they can be extremely unfriendly, fearful, or both. They will not respond to severe, unfair, or heavy-handed training. These methods will cause the Briard to become
withdrawn and aggressive. Training must be done with consistency, firmness, patience, and love. They excel at search and rescue, police training, and protection work.
Briards have a high energy level and are natural athletes. They require daily exercise and will become restless without it. This breed loves to swim and are ideal walking and jogging companions. They will do okay in an apartment if they are sufficiently exercised. They are moderately active indoors and do best with an average sized yard. This breed needs a great deal of activity, entertainment, and interaction. The
Briard will not allow themselves to be ignored.
Help reduce the number of dogs in shelters by doing your due diligence. Many puppies are often purchased with little or no knowledge of what goes into parenting one. Uneducated decisions often leave the puppy in need of adoption and in the care of rescue groups. Bringing home a puppy into your family has many benefits but we first implore you to educate yourself. An informed decision will take into account the characteristics of the breed, your lifestyle, expected veterinary care, the demands and limitations of owning one, their activity requirements and levels of companionship required.
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