Dog Breed Profile Of The Week – The Briard
The Briard are a large-sized dogs weighing between 50 and 100 pounds (22 to 45 kilograms).
A male is 23 to 27 inches at the shoulder; females are smaller at 22 to 25 1/2 inches tall. The body is well-muscled and built for work. The head is long and wide with high-set hanging or cropped ears. Briard generally mature at one to two years, although they reach their full size around six to eight months.
The coat is slightly wavy and at least six inches long. They have long hair on the ears, giving a sail-like appearance when pricked. All uniform colors are allowable except white. These colors include black, gray and various shades of tawny. The coat, which sheds dirt and water, still requires brushing and combing at least once a week for two hours to prevent mats, and more frequently if the Briard has been out in the field.
Briard are active dogs that require a high level of physical activity. Although these dogs are independent in nature, they do not make good kennel dogs and prefer being with their owners. They are highly intelligent and need activities to keep them occupied to prevent destructive behavior such as chewing and digging. They need to be kept in a large fenced-in backyard to prevent them from roaming.
Briard consider their owners to be equal companions. Although they can be aggressive toward other dogs, if properly socialized they can learn to co-exist with dogs or cats. Other pets, such as rodents, birds or reptiles, should be kept away.
Given their independent nature, this breed may question or refuse their owner’s commands. They do not respond well to heavy-handed punishment but respect authority. You must first earn a Briard’s respect through consistent obedience training.
This breed is ideal for owners who want a large, intelligent, active dog for herding, hiking and other outdoor activities. They make good watchdogs and good guard dogs. They are mistrustful of strangers. They typically live from 10 to 15 years.
The Briard is an ancient French breed dating back to the 8th century or earlier. The Briard was bred for guarding and herding sheep and other livestock. The dog kept illustrious company including Emperor Charlemagne, Napoleon, and Lafayette. Thomas Jefferson, once a dog hater, was quickly turned into a dog lover when Lafayette sent Briard’s over to the newly formed United States to guard the livestock of the author of the Declaration of Independence.
During World Wars I and II, the French used Briard’s as guard dogs and search-and-rescue dogs. The breed suffered with the deaths of many dogs in both wars. The first litter of Briard’s registered with the American Kennel Club was in 1922.
The Briard excels in herding and guarding livestock and is a member of the herding group. He makes a delightful, active companion.
Please feel free to contact us here at Falls Road Veterinary Hospital with any questions or concerns. (301) 983-8400. http://www.fallsroadvet.com