Life span: 10-12 Years
Height: 58-69cm (Male); 56-65cm (Female)
Weight: 27-41kg (Male); 23-34kg (Female)
Briard is a smart dog breed which is intelligent, confident, faithful and loyal to pet parents. These Briards are not hypoallergenic, and pet allergies would not restrict you from spending time with wonderful pets. Briard dogs originated from France and had long hairs.
The Briard’s body is strong and well proportioned. Its tail is long and full of hair, curving at the end, and its ears are large and naturally fall down although they can be cropped, in which case they would remain erect, but this is not recommended due to its cruelty. The eyes can be brown or light brown with a black or brown nose. Its double coat is made up of a long and wavy overcoat that is rough to the touch and a fine and small undercoat. Coat colors include black, grey, brown, and cream color. It has a characteristic mustache and beard, as well as hair on top of its head that is parted down the middle and falls in front of its eyes.
The Briard’s history goes as far back as the 8th and 12th centuries, with its ancestors believed to be rough coated sheepdogs and used as working dogs in France, where it is named Berger de Brie. It is believed to have originated in the province of Brie, where it was used to herd sheep and as protectors. During the French Revolution, they were used as war dogs and to find wounded people. The name Briard began being used until 1809. It is debated whether it was Thomas Jefferson or Marquis de Lafayette who introduced the Briard to the United States. Les Amis du Briard, a French Society, was founded in 1909 and established the breed standard for the Briard in 1925. In 1922, the Briard was first registered in the American Kennel Club, but was not officially accepted until 1928.
This friendly family dog is affectionate and loving, especially with children. It will never harm a child, but instead will protect them fiercely, even from their parents if they are punishing the child, as it might think it is in danger. Due to its protective nature, it might also be wary of strangers, and even aggressive towards strange dogs. Since it is also a herder and hunter, it might chase small animals and attempt to herd moving objects or people. It has an independent nature that might make training difficult and they respond extremely bad to negative reinforcement, but with patience and the proper training, your Briard might even get along with other animals!
Although generally healthy, the Briard may suffer from:
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), in which the dogs may become night blind at first and progressively lose their day eyesight as well.
Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.
Hypothyroidism, a disease that affects the thyroid gland, its symptoms are ear infections, skin infections, hair loss, lethargy, and depression.
Gastric dilatation-volvulus, or bloat, is a mortal disease in which large chested dogs are affected by eating quickly, drinking lots of water and exercising after. This causes the stomach to inflate with gas and twist, making the dog unable to get rid of the excess air through vomiting, which impedes the normal blood flow to the heart. Its blood pressure then goes down and the dog goes into shock. Without proper, and immediate, medical attention, this could be fatal. Its symptoms may include: retching without vomiting, bloated abdomen, excessive salivation, restlessness, depression, rapid heart rate, weakness, etc.
Von Willebrand’s Disease, which is a blood disease that affects the clotting process, its symptoms can be nosebleeds, prolonged bleeding from surgery, occasional blood in stools, etc.
Cancer, noticeable through unusually swollen bumps, bleeding from any orifices, or sores that do not heal, along with difficulty breathing.
Congenital Stationary Night Blindness, in which the dog might have trouble moving in low light or even suffer from complete blindness, sometimes only in poor lighting and other times in any lighting.
The Briard’s long coat requires long grooming sessions, with brushing several times a week. Bathing frequency varies depending on the job the dog is doing. Their ears should be checked regularly for dirt to prevent infections, as well as their nails trimmed and teeth brushed. They are highly energetic and need plenty of daily exercise, as well as a wide fenced area where they can run and play freely. Playing sessions with your dog are highly recommended, as the Briard loves to spend time with its owner. Training can be difficult, as they are independent and intolerant of negative reinforcement. They do, however, respond well to positive reinforcement and patience, since they aim to please their owner. Early socialization is a must with this breed.