Briard is in the Herding Group
The Briard is a dedicated and intelligent Herding Group member. This dog breed is more stretched than tall, with a powerful physique and a height range of 22 to 27 inches. They have a handsome overall appearance, with a coat that features long, wavy strands of hair. The Briard dog’s weight ranges from 75 to 100 pounds for males and 50 to 65 pounds for females.
They are loyal and devoted, and they are constantly eager to please. They are incredibly clever and have a self-assured demeanor. This breed is friendly with other household pets but reserved and distrustful of strangers and other dogs, making it an excellent watchdog and family defender.
The Briard’s History
The breed dates back to the 1300s in France. Its initial purpose was for herding and as a dependable livestock guardian. They are one of four similar French breeds, along with the Pyrenean, Beauceron, and Picardy. It is the oldest of these four breeds and appears in artwork dating back to the eighth century.
The Briard is named after the historic Brie area of north-central France, where it was historically employed for the herding and defense of sheep.
Briard was not the name of these canines until the early 1800s. They were initially dubbed the Chien Berger de Brie, or “Shepherd Dog of Brie” by some. These early canines’ mission was to defend herds and, if necessary, fight against (and defeat) wolves. When confronted by a Briard dog guarding its sheep, human invaders received the same penalty.
The First World War saw a decline in breed numbers as any dog deemed adequate for military purposes was shipped to the front. The breed society started operations in 1923, and at around the same time, a competing breed association was established.
Numbers once more dropped precipitously after Nazi Germany occupied France during the Second World War. The two breed groups amalgamated following the war and used Club des Amis du Briard.
They were brought to America by Thomas Jefferson, one of the breed’s earliest American owners. After the French Revolution, the breed was used more as a sheep herder than a guard dog. Around 1900, the dogs made their debut in the show ring, and the first breed standard was published in 1897. In 1909, new standards replaced the previous ones.
The Briard was initially displayed in 1863 at the inaugural Paris dog show, where a female named Charmant won first place.
Taking Care of The Briard
The Briard, like all members of the Herding Group, requires strenuous daily exercise. When given the opportunity, they like herding and may attempt to herd small children if left unattended. Several brisk walks on the leash and extensive outside play sessions will be enough to accomplish these criteria.
Long, thick, and rough like a goat’s coat, it can be fully black, grey, blue, fawn, or fawn layered with black. Greying is seen to varying degrees.
This breed can withstand cold temperatures but struggles in hotter settings. Brushing its long coat three to four times per week is required for grooming. If needed, Briard dogs can live outside, but the ideal situation is for them to sleep indoors with the family at night and have access to a safe, fenced-in yard during the day.
Their average lifespan is ten to twelve years. At any time, CHD and stomach torsion are serious health concerns for the breed. Night blindness is a minor health concern. Heart issues and PRA are uncommon in these dogs. According to veterinarians, briards you should evaluate your dog for cardiac, hip, and eye disorders.