Briard Dog Breed Profile
by Dr. Chris
AKC Group: Herding Group
The Briard is a great hunting and herding dog who has developed into an excellent family pet when properly trained. Around since the 700's is was being used by used by people in the Middle Ages to protect them from wolves and poachers.
The Briard has been around for over one thousand years. Charlemagne, Lafayette, Thomas Jefferson and Napoleon owned Briards. Remember that it is utilized by the French military as a sentry, messenger, and also to recover battleground injured soldiers. In 1863 it become well-known when it appeared in the Paris Dog Show. This was partly due to improved looks due to crossing it with the with Barbet and Beauceron. The Briard is named because of the area of Aubrey of Montdidier or Brie who allegedly possessed a Briard.
The Briard is really a large, muscular strain of hunting dog. It weighs about 75 lbs and stands 24-27 inches high. It features a long, coarse wavy double coat that is water resistant. The coat is normally tawny, gray or black. Its color grows darker as the dog grows. The coat of a mature dog is bushy, shaggy and long, about 6 inched long. The eyebrows, mustache, and beard are also shaggy.
The ears are often left natural or cropped; trimmed to a circular shape to blend in with the coat. The face is long and square, the nose is black. The lengthy feathered tail features a hook on the tip. Like several other French breeds, these dogs have 2 dewclaws on the hind feet. Its stride is free flowing since it nearly appears to move with feet not reaching the floor as it goes.
Typically unsociable to strangers, but great with family members. Very playful but usually has mind of his own. It'll be a great defender of family and home because of its keen sense of hearing. Fearless.
Common Health Problems
Progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts (eyes); hip dysplasia; bloat and stomach torsion.
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