Briard Dog Breed Introduction | Briard Dogs
Briard is a large-sized dog from Brie, France traditionally used for herding and defending sheep. Previously, it was known as Chien de Berger français de Plaine. These dogs have double dewclaws on the hind legs that is the characteristic of the breed. Absent or single dewclaw is a disqualifying fault according to the breed standard.
The Briards may either have a black, tawny, or gray wavy coat that is longer on the head parting naturally on the middle. The Briads are independent, bold, protective, intelligent, and trainable dogs that are wary of strangers. This breed is also energetic and tireless greatly discouraged for novice owners who might be overwhelmed by their zest for life and work drive. Although, the dogs are affectionate, loyal and sweet which has made them popular companion dogs.
Briard History | Origin
The Briards were created in the eighth century by farmers in Brie, France for herding and defending the sheep. Large shaggy dogs that resemble the Briards were depicted in ancient tapestries with Emperor Charlemagne. This breed was also kept by Napoleon.
These dogs were used in both world wars for carrying supplies to the front lines. They also had a reputation of being the most keen of the breeds with keen hearing hence they were used as sentry dogs. The Medical corps used Briard Dogs when searching for the wounded soldiers.
Reportedly, this breed had an amazing ability of leading the corpsmen to soldiers who had a spark of life in their bodies. The first Briard was brought to the USA in 1789 by Thomas Jefferson who brought a pregnant bitch to Monticello from France where he was an ambassador. The Briards have been AKC recognized since 1928.
The Briards have a lifespan of 10 to 12 years.
The Briard puppies should be introduced to grooming from an early age long before it is needed. Introduce them to grooming by gently brushing the coat with lots of rewards. Ensure grooming time is a time used to bond with your pet so that it may look forward to the practice. Get the pet accustomed to touch on the ears, toes, and mouth which also come in handy while cleaning the ears, nail clipping, and teeth brushing. The wavy coat needs brushing several times a week using a pin brush and an undercoat rake to remove the dead hair and lessen shedding.
The number of baths for your pet may range from weekly to monthly or even less depending on her lifestyle. Although, frequent baths strip the natural oils from the coat hence softening the texture. Therefore, the coat will tend to matt easily and will be prone to collecting dirt. Use a hypoallergenic shampoo and conditioner to bath your pooch. Thoroughly clean off the grooming products from the coat following a bath to prevent skin irritation.
Clip the nails every 3 to 5 weeks using nail grinder or clipper to prevent splitting, overgrowth, and cracking. Clean the ears on a weekly basis using an ear cleanser solution and cotton balls to remove dirt and excess wax. Brush the teeth of a Briard at least twice a week if not daily to remove tartar buildup using a tasty canine toothpaste and toothbrush.
Show cut – A Briard that participates in conformation shows should have a long and slightly wavy locks. On the shoulders, the length of the coat is about 6 or more inches. Although, the hair on the feet is trimmed in a circular shape for a neater appearance. The hair between the eyes is also trimmed to prevent blocking the vision of the dog.
Short cut – This is a short hair cut for Briards that are primarily kept as pets or senior dogs that prefer to skip the hassle of grooming. Although, the coat should not be trimmed to a length of 1 or 2 inches since it will loose its insulating properties against extreme heat or cold.
The Briards have a non-to low shedding coat. Although, the undercoat is periodically shed.
Although the Briards have a non to low-shedding coat, they are not considered hypoallergenic. Apart from fur, dogs produce dander which contain a protein allergen that triggers an allergic reaction. The same goes to dog’s urine, mucus, and saliva.
Bred to independently herd and defend the sheep, the Briards are independent thinkers. This trait may make training a bit challenging. Parents should establish pack leadership from an early age before the dog assumes this role. Although, the Briards are eager to please and when positive training methods are utilized, this breed will respond well to training. Some of the positive reinforcement methods include petting, toys, playtime, verbal praise, and treats.
When the training sessions are kept short, upbeat, and energetic, the natural intelligence of a Briard will have him responding to all the taught cues. This breed also learns quickly and has an excellent memory which is a plus when training. The Briards are protective dogs that are reserved with strangers. Therefore, they need socialization training so that they may understand that not all strangers are a threat.
This training starts from the age of 7 or 8 weeks when the pup joins you home and should be a life long process to ensure Briards mature to have a well-rounded temperament and personality. To socialize a Briard, expose it to a wide variety of places like grocery parking lots, school grounds, soccer games, and going over at a friend’s house, surfaces, people, animals, smell, situations, and sounds such as a door bells, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, sirens, whistles, and lawn mowers.
Enrolling a Briard in a puppy class will also serve as a form of socialization. Teach basic command words such as sit, lie down, come, heel, drop it, etc. one at a time from the age of 2 months( 8 weeks). Effectively housebreak Briards by creating a feeding schedule, potty training, and crate training.
Briard Personality | Temperament
- Wary with strangers.
- Eager to please.
These are energetic dogs with a work drive and a zest for life which makes great companions for joggers, bicyclers, and hikers. The Briards also need a large fence-in yard where they can run freely. Chasing after a tennis ball thrown by the parent will help burn the excess energy.
The female Briards have a height of 22 to 25.5 inches ( approx. 56 to 65 cm ) while male Briards have a height of 23 to 27 inches ( approx. 58 to 69 cm).
Mature Briards have a weight of 55 to 100 pounds ( approx. 25 to 45 cm ).
The Briards are large sized dogs with a weight of 55 to 100 pounds ( approx. 25 to 45 cm ) and a height of 22 to 27 cm ( approx. 56 to 69 cm ).
Briard Health Issues
The Briard is a healthy dog with a lifespan of 10 to 12 years but it may suffer from certain health issues such as hip dysplasia, gastric torsion, ear infections, hypothyroidism, cancer, Von Willebrand’s Disease, elbow dysplasia, and eye issues such as progressive retinal atrophy and Congenital Stationary Night Blindness.
Other dog breeds include:
The Briard parents may decide to get a name for the pet before it joins them home or days after the dog has settled to understand better the personality of a particular dog. Owners may get name inspirations from the French heritage of the breed, the wavy coat, celebrity Briards, movies, food, songs, books, nature, and historical people.
Regardless of where you source the name, ensure it won’t be a source of embarrassment when uttered out loud. Briards and other dog breeds better understand names that have vowels. Avoid giving your pooch a name that rhymes with the command words to prevent confusion. Some of the names that Briard parents give to their pets include:
- Annie, etc.
Briard Food | Dog Food
The Briards should feed on food formulated for large-sized animals that is appropriate for their age i.e. puppy, adults, and seniors. The amount of food that dogs feed on depend on their metabolism, activity level, body build, and size.
The Briards are also prone to gastric torsion, the swelling of the stock. Therefore, they should not feed one large meal a day, exercise vigorously one hour before or after eating, and they should neither drink large volumes of water after eating.
This breed will thrive on either home-made food, raw food, or commercial dry or wet food. However, a parent should ensure the dog has access to clean water at all times. Some Briards may be susceptible to overfeeding. Check the weight level, treats given as aids in training, and calorie consumption.
Briard Black | White | Colors
A Briard may have a uniform color of Black, various shade of tawny, and various shades of gray. However, a white coat color is not permitted.
Briard Ears | Cropped Ears
The Briards have high-set ears that are firm at the base with a thick leather. The ears are always straight and covered with hair. The cropped ears should be upright and parallel (emphasizing the parallel lines of the head).
Briard Dog Price | Briard Puppies Cost | Price
The price of Briard Puppies in the United States range between $1200 to $3000.
Do Briards Shed
Yes. Although, the coat sheds at low to non-levels throughout the year. Briards also shed their undercoat periodically.
Are Briards Hypoallergenic
No. Although Briads have a low-shedding coat, they are not regarded hypoallergenic. This is because they also produce dander that contain a protein allergen that triggers an allergic reaction. Apart from dander, urine, mucus, and saliva also aggravate allergies.
How Much Are Briard Puppies
The average cost of Briard puppies in the USA ranges from $1200 to $3000.
Briard Quick Facts
- The Briards have a long, thick, and harsh like coat similar to that of a goat.
- History credits both Thomas Jefferson and Marquis De Lafayette for introducing the breed in the USA.
- The Briards are often described as ‘heart wrapped in fur’ due to the love, loyalty, and the spirit of the breed.