Briard

Briard is large and protective, he’s an excellent watchdog and will guard his family and property just as carefully as he guarded his flocks.

Briard
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Overall Status

Height 22 to 27 inches at the shoulder
Temperament Confident, Smart, Faithful
Weight 70 to 90 pounds
Life Expectancy 10 to 12 years
Coat Color Black, Gray
Barking Level Medium

Quick Factors

Playfulness
Dog Friendly
Exercise Need
Grooming Needs
Strangers Friendly
Family Affectionate
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Daily Care

Grooming Tips Exercise Tips Feeding Tips Health Tips Trainability

The Briard's coat is long and very high-maintenance. While no stripping is required, two to three hours per week of brushing is required in order to keep their thick coats from matting.

Briards need to be bathed about once every six weeks. Over-bathing this breed can lead to natural oils in the hair and skin being stripped away, causing skin irritation and even infection. The Briard's face and rear end may need to be washed more often, as their beards can hang into their food and water dishes, and their long hair can trap debris when the dog eliminates.

In addition to brushing and bathing, Briards should have their ears cleaned on a weekly basis with a veterinarian-approved cleanser to keep harmful bacteria at bay. Weekly tooth brushing will keep teeth and gums healthy, and prevent bad breath.

Briardneeds plenty of activity to keep him occupied – both physical and mental. Farms make an ideal environment for this breed, where he can herd sheep and protect against predators.

If you don’t live on a farm, a large, fenced-in yard is necessary. Children will help tire him out, but playtime should always be supervised as he might herd the kids.

Because they need a large area in which to move around, apartments and condos are not good living quarters for the Briard. They just won’t get the exercise they need in that small amount of space.

The Briard is a highly active, deep-chested dog. This means you not only have to give your dog enough food, but also break up feeding times in order to prevent bloat. You should never free feed a Briard for this reason. Feed multiple smaller daily meals, rather than one larger single feeding.

A high-quality dry dog kibble that has meat and fruits included is a smart choice. Stay away from foods that contain a large portion of grain and gluten.

With such a large breed, you can expect hip dysplasia and bloat to be an issue with the Briard. As well, they may also suffer from cataracts, central progressive retinal atrophy, congenital stationary night blindness, hereditary retinal dystrophy of Briards, hypothyroidism and lymphoma.

The Briard is always up to learn a new trick or task. If you’re taking on training, be gentle, as these dogs are known to be sensitive. If you are harsh, he won’t soon forget and will be hesitant with you.

Establish your leadership as early as possible, as a Briard will become dominant and take on the pack leader role. Training can go on for longer periods of time – he loves to work and boasts plenty of versatility, trainability and endurance.

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History

The Briard has a long history in France as a herding breed and guard dog, protecting flocks from wolves and poachers. The breed probably descends from rough-coated sheepdogs that came to Europe in the Middle Ages.

Dogs that resemble the Briard are depicted in eighth-century tapestries, and the dogs are mentioned in 12th-century records. A breed standard was written for the dogs in 1867, and a French breed club was formed in 1909.

Both Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette brought Briards to the United States, but it wasn’t until 1922 that a litter of Briards was registered with the American Kennel Club. The AKC recognized the breed in 1928. The breed currently ranks 125thamong the breeds registered by the AKC, down from 110thin 2000.

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Picture & Video

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