The Briard!

The Briard or Chien Berger de Brie is a dog of handsome form. It is an old breed, used for guarding and herding stock in France. This was an "all arounder", a farm dog that had multiple tasks to accomplish. The Briard was a partner to the shepherd, relying on intelligence and its independent nature to get those tasks done. He was a family dog as well, going home at night to watch over the family and their household. A big-hearted and a gentle loving dog, the Briard makes a wonderful family pet and an excellent watchdog. His herding instincts are strong and he is happiest leading a busy, active life.

Some Quick Facts:


Life Expectancy:
14-16 years

Energy Level:
Moderate-Low

Living Conditions:
Flexible; should primarily be indoors as a member of the family

Barking:
Quiet

Exercise Needs:
Daily 15 minute run, 30 minute walk or yard play.

Breed Group:
Herding

Size:
Large

Height:
22-27 inches

Weight:
75-100 pounds

Standard Hair Colors:
All uniform colors except white; includes black, tawny, and gray shades

National breed club:
The Briard Club of America

Briard Skills

The Briard has been used since early times as a guardian of the flocks and a herding dog. He has been the official dog of the French army and is somewhat rare today because so many Briards were lost in both world wars. Briards carried supplies to the front lines and served as sentry dogs due to their keen hearing, reputed to be the most acute of any breed. He was used by the medical corps to search for wounded soldiers. Reports stress the amazing ability of the Briard to lead the corpsmen to those soldiers who still had a spark of life in their bodies. Today, herding instincts and well-balanced temperament make him an ideal family dog and guardian of the home. He is never too old to play, and is especially devoted to the children in his family.

Briard Personality

The Briard is tough, brave, alert, and loyal. They also possess an excellent memory and an ardent desire to please their master. With proper training and socialization, the Briard is a great pet that exists happily with other pets. However, it can be slightly aggressive toward other dogs, and is suspicious of strangers.

Exercise Needs

The Briard needs reasonable amounts of exercise. A companion who loves to heel down a country road, pushing at your knees, then running ahead, checking back constantly, he also has a deep capacity to join in the family rituals, and will follow you from room to room as you go about your business.

Living Conditions

The Briard seems equally at home in the city or the country, providing that he can be with his family. He is quiet in the house and adapts quickly to its emotional climate. Although he has the physique necessary for an outdoor life, the Briard is, at heart, a house dog.

Grooming Requirements

Friends of the Briard call him "a heart wrapped in fur." His picturesque coat is coarse and strong, a true "goat's coat." Dirt and water do not readily cling to it, and if well-groomed it sheds very little. A dog owner has to 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.

Health Issues

With or without torsion, bloat occurs most commonly in the large, deep-chested breeds like the Briard. Do not allow your Briard to exercise strenuously before or after eating, nor after he has had a lot of water to drink. Some studies suggest avoiding dry foods with soybean meal as a main ingredient.

If you liked this dog…

While large, the Briard is agile and active--amazingly fast when he is going places--but has none of the constant motion of smaller breeds or some large breeds. You may also enjoy a Collie as an excellent watchdog, or the long-haired Bouvier. These breeds share the fabulous ability to control the movement of other animals.

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