Calm, Patient, Watchful
The Briard is a popular French dog breed. It is recognized by the FCI and assigned to group 1 (sheep and cattle dogs). The breed is also known under the name Berger de Brie . The good-natured dogs are extremely talented herding dogs and have a wide range of skills in the field. They have a strong protective instinct and make wonderful family dogs.FCI Group: Herding Dogs – Cattle Dogs
- Size: Large
- Weight: 30-35kg
- Life expectancy: 11-12 years
- Coat type: long hair
- Colours: black, fauve, blue, grey
The Briard is one of the medium to large dog breeds. Adult animals reach an average size of about 60 to 64 cm. The weight of the dogs behaves similarly. This is usually around 30 to 35 kg, which is very light for the size of the dog.
Females are usually a little more delicately built than males.
They still have an impressive appearance. The physique of the dogs is well-proportioned. He looks muscular, extremely supple and is overall very harmonious.
Visually, there is a rare peculiarity in these animals. Today’s breed standard is set in such a way that it gives the Briard a double dewclaw.
The dewclaw is a claw that is attached above the dog’s paw. It has no special function, it is more of a hindrance to the animal than an asset.
Dogs usually have a single dewclaw. This also serves no known purpose. It is not known why the breeding standard requires this identification feature.
Probably the most striking feature of the Briard is its fur. This is very long, dense and slightly twisted all over the body. The fur on the dog’s head also has the same hair structure. Basically, the fur of dogs is very dry. This can be guessed not only by touching it, but also by simply looking at it.
The undercoat of the coat is rather fine and comparatively little for the fullness of the top coat. The Briard’s coat protects the dog from wind and weather.
This was an enormous advantage, since the animals lived largely outside at that time and were used to herd flocks. Both storms and rain showers were better endured thanks to the dense coat of hair. At the same time, the lush fur growth was a suitable protection against wolf attacks.
In an emergency, the teeth of the wolves quickly got caught in the fur of the dogs. Serious injuries could be prevented in this way.
However, excessive hair growth on the dog’s head can lead to possible impairments. The area around the eyes in particular should always be kept short. The dogs must be able to perceive their surroundings at all times.
Disturbing fur near the eyes can not only impede perception, but also lead to inflammation. Unfortunately, today’s breeding standard is aimed at making the dogs’ fur even longer and lusher. That happens, however, to the leadership of the Briards.
Briard coat colors can vary. The most common colors here are black, fauve, blue and grey.
However, there are also animals whose coat color is a mixture of fauve and black. Often the muzzle area or even the entire face of the dog is darker than the rest of the body.
The average life expectancy of the intelligent four-legged friends is around 12 years. This is quite a longevity for dogs of comparable size. At best, the dogs are still in good health in old age.
There are also specimens that can get much older.
The Briard is an old typical herding dog with a strong personality. This is partly reflected in his character. The dogs are considered to be particularly caring and protective. They are fearless and will do whatever is necessary to protect their families from abuse.
This trait stems from the history of dogs as guardians and herd leaders.
The Briard is extremely alert and always aware of its surroundings. He takes care of his family without being intrusive. Also, the dogs usually do not try to take the lead. Instead, they reliably alert their owners to dangers.
The four-legged friends are also considered to be particularly intelligent animals. They are quick learners and therefore learn particularly well. The agile dogs like to be on the move. They like to spend a lot of time in the great outdoors and need a lot of exercise to let off steam. Because dogs have little hunting instinct, they can run around freely in nature without too much worry.
The animals really want to be challenged and kept busy. They are still real workhorses and are happy to take on a task. Since the Briard is only rarely used as a herding dog today, participating in dog sports offers a successful alternative. The Briard masters this with joy and great results. The four-legged friends are persistent, agile and agile.
They like challenges and are very skilled.
The dogs often act a little distant and cool towards strangers. However, they do not show any aggressive behavior. The Briards are also affable when dealing with other dogs. Although he appears confident, he is not a barker and does not push himself to the fore.
When dealing with children, on the other hand, dogs are great companions. They love children and like to run around with them. Because of their body size, the animals are by no means squeamish, but very robust.
The Briard is a very patient dog. He is not easily ruffled and treats his family with gentleness.
This applies in particular to children. The sensitive four-legged friends can and want to actively participate in family life. They form close bonds with their owners and families. This forms the basic building block for a perfectly functioning coexistence.
Dog nutrition is quite simple. Nutritious and varied meals form a solid basis. You are welcome to add treats and chewing bones from time to time. The daily amount of feed should depend on the size, weight and physical activity of the animals.
The dog breed is not particularly prone to allergies.
It should be noted, however, that the Briard eats very little for its size. This is clearly noticeable when compared to other large dog breeds. Nevertheless, care should be taken that the animals do not wolf down their food. This can lead to dangerous stomach torsion, which should be avoided at all costs.
The lovable four-legged friends are generally considered to be a robust and vital dog breed.
For this reason, the animals can remain fit and healthy even in old age. However, there is a genetic predisposition that causes night blindness in many animals. Unfortunately, ureteral problems are also common among Briards. However, reputable breeders do their utmost to contain and rule out these diseases.
The care of the Briard is basically uncomplicated. Even without sound knowledge of dogs, the acquisition of such an animal is quite possible. The dogs are easy to train and want to work with their owners. They show an open and eager to learn manner. A close emotional bond between dog and human forms the basis here.
With the right degree of consistency, the training of the dogs usually succeeds without any problems.
It makes sense to complete further training with the animal. The dogs make excellent therapy or rescue dogs and can benefit from such a task. This fills the animals up and results in a balanced, happy dog.
Briard grooming, on the other hand, is a bit more demanding.
The lush coat of hair needs to be brushed regularly. This is to eliminate contamination and prevent tangles. Bathing or washing should also be avoided as far as possible.
The Briard is a very old breed of dog from the Brie region of France. This is also where the name of the breed comes from. The first Briards are said to have existed as early as the 1380s. In 1809 the breed was designated as such for the first time. For this reason, the Briard is one of the longest-documented dog breeds in the world.
The abilities of the dogs were recognized very early on and used accordingly. The Briard has always been a popular herding dog. But it was also a popular choice for searching for injured people in rubble or avalanches. The versatility and the lovable nature of the dogs impressed people even then. This ensured a growing popularity in society.
In 1896 the Briard was officially recognized as a breed. In Germany, however, the first breed club was not founded until much later, in 1975. Even today, the dog breed is not very widespread in Germany and is largely unknown. Many people have never heard of the Briard as a canine species. Nevertheless, there is a solid fan base of the Briard, which will hopefully continue to grow in the future.
Because of its size, the Briard should be kept in a home in the country. A garden is also an advantage for keeping dogs. There is enough space here and the required space is guaranteed. Keeping them in a small rented apartment, on the other hand, is not advisable. Due to their body size and their nature as a herding dog, the animals do not feel particularly comfortable in a big city.
Otherwise, the Briard makes no great demands on its habitat. He needs to be involved in the household and is by no means suitable for kennel keeping. The friendly dogs require affection so should definitely be kept indoors. If possible, you should occasionally go on excursions into nature with your four-legged friend.
The dogs also need their own retreat in the house.
Dog beds or dog baskets are particularly suitable here. This should be placed in such a way that the dog can calm down but still be able to fulfill its duty as a protector. The animals like to have everything in view. This should be taken into account when choosing where to sleep.
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