Species group: Herding Group dogs
Other name(s): Berger de Brie; Berger Briard
The Briard is a shaggy dog with hair in its eyes that makes it look like the proverbial sheepdog. If you expect a confident, somewhat pushy herding dog capable of making its own decisions and sometimes attempting to nudge or herd its people, you probably have the right idea. This breed probably isn't right for fragile or inexperienced dog owners, but it can be a rewarding choice if you're willing to invest time in training, socializing, exercising, and-- of course-- grooming the long hair.
Oddly enough, this ancient breed may have first been developed in eighth century France as a hunting dog before it eventually became a protector and herder of flocks. Still the official dog of the French Army, the Briard was used extensively in the World War I to carry messages, search for wounded soldiers, pull carts and wagons, and defend posts. Their reputation as fearless war dogs is well known.
Appearance / health:
The Briard is a big, muscular dog covered with a long wavy hair. The most distinguishing aspects are their eyebrows and beard. It has a rectangular head with a short square muzzle. The ears may be natural or cropped. The eyes are large and slightly slanted and the coat hair falling across from the ears covers the eyes most of the times.
The neck is long, strong, and shaped like a truncated cone. The chest is broad and deep, and the back slopes from the head to the croup forming a concave arch. The tail is long, feathered and carried low. The tail has a small hook at the end called a crochet. Viewed from the sides, the forelegs are straight and the hind legs are angular. All the legs are strong and muscular making the Briard a good working dog.
The Briard sheds little, especially if it is groomed well. The coat's texture repels dirt and water. However, the coat needs regular brushing and combing to prevent matt formation and frequent shedding. Owners may need to regularly clean their dog's ears, and also remove any excessive hair in the ears or between the pads of the feet.
Briards enjoy long walks with their owners, and make excellent companions. Regular exercise is necessary to keep them healthy and happy.
The Briard is generally healthy, but some may be prone to progressive retinal atrophy (hereditary degeneration of the retinal cells of the eyes causing blindness), cataracts (blinding of the eyes caused due to the formation of a thin membrane over the eyes) and hip dysplasia (an inherent disorder of the hip joints leading to lameness and crippling). The breed, like other large-chested breeds, is also prone to bloat and stomach torsion (a condition in which the stomach fills with gas and flips over cutting off the blood supply to the lungs, heart, and disgestive system leading to fatal consequences).
Behavior / temperament:
The Briard is naturally suspicious of strangers. The herding instinct is strong and it tends to herd people or other smaller animals by nipping at their heels. It does not like to be left unattended and needs a lot of entertainment and activity to be happy.
The Briard has a good memory and learns quickly. It requires early training and responds best to consistent, firm, patient, and gentle training on a regular basis. The Briard does not appreciate harsh training and may even become reserved and aggressive, if trained with severity.
The Briard is generally quiet and calm. However, some dogs may bark excessively due to anxiety or frustration.
gorgeous breed, intelligent herding breed, beautiful coats, fun loving animals
tangles, herd children, strangers, long hair, high maintenance
enormous animals, 100lbs, therapy dogs
Briards, particularly ours though I'm sure we are biased, are beautiful loving pets. Ours, like all, require a lot of attention. We have a large fenced in yard and he would just herd the birds around all day, and chase deer and other wildlife back and forth along the fence. We were also active in lots of outside play. Ours was not well socialized as he was more of a guard dog for us. He was lovely with all of our family, but was not keen on any strangers until we proved to him any particular new person was ok with us, and even then he would be hesitant. He was also very territorial, and he knew the physical boundaries of our yard. He never tried to escape or run away. Our house was broken into in 2010 when we were out at the store, the robbers left our fence gate open, and our faithful Briard was sitting there waiting for us to get home, he did not leave. Briards have beautiful coats but they are high maintenance, and even though we tried persistently since he was a pup, he did not like being groomed so we spent a lot of money maintaining that professionally. He was no doubt the smartest dog we have ever had. This particular Briard has passed this spring, but we just got a new Briard pup. We're sure this new one is the second smartest dog we've had, though his personality is much different. This is a much calmer dog in general, and sweet as pie. Because of the personality difference, we have been socializing him more, and is primarily an indoor dog rather than the last that had more of an outside life..
From iammarshall Aug 7 2014 11:18PM
Water therapy is excellent for orthopedic disease. The buoyancy decreases the stress on joints and encourages mobility that may be normally inhibited by pain. As dogs move with less pain then get better range and better muscle tone. Good muscle tone helps to protect joints. It's important to do water therapy in a properly run rehabilitation facility if you want to get the best results. Water contamination of wounds is important to consider for post surgery patients. For chronic care arthritis patients gentle swimming in a lake or river can be very helpful. It's important when swimming a dog on your own to make sure they are not pushed to the point of exhaustion because that can result in new injuries. There are quite a few options available, consult your veterinarian as to what might most benefit your pet and work for you. .
From Jennifer Peters DVM DABVP canine and feline 161 days ago
It is very important to socialize puppies by exposing or introducing them to members of the family and friends, other pets, from even other species, different environments, noises, etc., so he will not be fearful of people in general, other dogs, and everyday sounds, objects, and enclosures. Sharing with other pets and people will teach your dog how to behave. Dog parks tend to be safe places to socialize. Just make sure your dog has the vaccination program up-to-date, is periodically dewormed, and checked by the vet at least once a year. .
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