The precise history of this breed is unclear as no records appear to have been kept during the period of its long nomadic existence following the herdsmen across the countryside.
Personality and Traits
Briards are protective and naturally suspicious of strangers or unusual situations making them good watchdogs. At the same time, this natural reserve can be detrimental as they grow up. For this reason, it is very important that they are well-socialized for the first two years of their life beginning at puppyhood. This should include not only puppy classes, or different people, but to a wide variety of situations and every day events.
A dog of this size needs an experienced owner who is familiar with sound training methods and who is able to exhibit strong leadership without harshness. The domesticated Briard dog is clever and still retains a degree of independence, carried over from his herding heritage. This can translate into a bit of stubbornness and dominance which the owner must counter with on-going and consistent training that includes rewards for good results. One thing about Briards is that they have fantastic hearing, so you won't need to shout your training commands!
Among the facts a prospective owner must
consider before getting a Briard dog is that they require a lot of your time - as a companion, as a dedicated groomer, and as
a dedicated trainer. If you are happy to fulfill all these roles, then you'll have a wonderful relationship with your dog.
Appearance, Coat and Care
Weight: 74-76 pounds
Color Variations: Black, grays, an tawny, but not white, although some white on the chest is permitted.
The Briard dog has a lot of coat! It is rough, dry-textured, slightly wavy, with both an outer and under coat and is about 4-6 long. It has been referred to as goat-haired.
Maintenance is considerable - at least a couple of hours per week to get rid of loose hair, keep mats and tangles from taking over and keep the coat looking its best. Hair should also be kept trimmed on the feet and inside the ear flaps.
In addition to the specific coat maintenance,
this dog needs daily clean up of their facial hair which gets messy and wet from eating, as
well as the rest of the coat which has a tendency to pick up every bit of foliage and dirt
when they are outside.
An invaluable grooming tool, that gets high praise from dog owners, is the FURminator DeShedding Tool.
They can do okay in smaller accommodations providing they get sufficient exercise.
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