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Briard: Dog Breed Profile

Briard breed

The Berger de Brie, or Briard, is a large, rustic dog, robust and muscular. Powerful and imposing, it is nonetheless endowed with remarkable flexibility and harmonious proportions. Its long, thick coat, slightly wavy, and with hair masking the eyes is a characteristic trait of the breed.

History of the breed

The Berger de Brie was originally known as the French Plain Shepherd Dog. Originally from France, the breed was developed to highlight the Briard’s herding dog capacities. It was also used during the two world wars as an ambulance dog to search for wounded soldiers on the battlefield. Today, the Berger de Brie is used both as a working dog for shepherds and as a companion dog. The FCI officially recognized the breed in 1954.

It seems that the Berger de Brie is the result of crosses between old breeds of sheepdogs and the Barbet. It quickly asserted Its ease in the tasks of driving, guarding, and protecting herds.

Physical features

  • Its hair: long, supple, dry, reminiscent of goat hair. Associated with a slight undercoat.
  • Its color: black, fawn, charred fawn, gray, or blue. Black, gray, blue, and warm fawn dresses may feature tone-on-tone highlights.
  • Its head: long, strong, with hair partially covering the eyes, a beard, and a mustache. Strong and slightly rounded skull, marked stop.
  • Its ears: relatively short, flat, covered with long fringes, set high and not plastered.
  • Its eyes: oval in shape, large, wide open, and dark in color (possibly lighter in blue-coated dogs.
  • Its body: solidly built, with a straight back, a short and firm loins, a slightly sloping and slightly rounded croup, a broad, long chest and slightly lowered to the elbows.
  • Its tail:  carried low, of good length (descending to the point of the hock), never deviated but forming a slight hook. Reach higher when the dog is in action.

Behavior With Others

The Briard is a dog that likes to impose itself and calm at the same time. Its balanced temperament and softness make it an excellent companion at home, especially with children. Loyal and protective, It’s not aggressive without being fearful. All this, combined with Its natural distrust of strangers (its long past as a sheepdog obliges It), gives It the status of an excellent guard dog. The Berger de Brie is also a dog with a strong personality.

Note: the Briard will not have a problem with other animals or its congeners if it benefits from quality socialization from its first months.

Its size can impress, it will nevertheless, in addition to good socialization, know how to control and manage this big guy to avoid any incident. 

Education 

Able to be somewhat stubborn, the Briard must be firmly educated in such a way as to quickly point out the limits not to be exceeded. It must also be properly socialized to prevent unwanted behavior towards its congeners, other animals, and people. The intelligence of Berger de Brie and Its loyalty greatly facilitate its education.

The Briard will not be a difficult dog to train if education is started at an early age and rules of life and limits are set in a firm and consistent manner. Violence will be prohibited and will lead to nothing, it will be necessary to respect the principles of positive education more to obtain results in the long term.

Living Conditions

Even if the Briard is a rather calm and balanced dog, it is not made to live in a small space. It is about a large sheepdog who needs a living environment in line with its specificities: a house with a large fenced garden, ideally. It must remain active, which predestines it to a fairly athletic and available master.

Health & Maintenance

The Briard is a rustic, robust dog, which does not fear the cold and bad weather. However, it should be noted that the breed is one of those predisposed to certain ailments: torsion and dilation of the stomach, hip dysplasia, or even night blindness (reduced visual capacities in low light).

The life expectancy of a Briard is, on average, between 10 years and 12 years.

In general, the Briard does not moult . This is a rustic dog that does not require extensive maintenance, but its coat must be regularly groomed due to the length of its hair.

It is recommended to brush the dog once or twice a week, at a rate of about thirty minutes per session to prevent the hairs from tangling and to keep them clean. On the other hand, it is not recommended to wash it frequently to not alter the rustic character of its coat

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Written by Amanda

Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, canine behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..)

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