Briards are fearless and intelligent despite their shaggy coats. True to their French ancestry, they’re reserved with strangers yet affectionate with their group.
These herding and security dogs were deployed as sentries, ammunition haulers, messengers, and medic dogs during World War I. In obedience, agility, conformation, herding, carting, and tracking contests, Briards exhibit their adaptability and working disposition. Briard characteristics and facts are listed below.
- Groom Briard regularly. His low-to-non-shedding coat tangles and mats readily. Consider another breed if you don’t have time to groom.
- The Briard is naturally independent, which is great if properly trained. Without training, that confident puppy can become uncontrolled.
- Socialize the Briard early to prevent hostility toward strangers or animals. Briards were bred to be guard dogs and still are.
- Briard loves his owner. He’s happiest when he’s around his friends.
- Why For a healthy dog, avoid irresponsible breeders, puppy mills, and pet stores. Find a trustworthy breeder who evaluates her dogs for hereditary disorders and temperament.
It’s a common misconception that a little dog is better suited to living in a limited space. Many tiny dogs have too much energy and are too yappy to live in an apartment building. An apartment dog’s best attributes include being quiet, low energy, somewhat peaceful indoors, and respectful to the other inhabitants. Your dog’s personal space in your apartment can be improved by purchasing one of these fantastic dog cages.
Depending on the dog, a strong rebuke can be taken in stride by some, while others regard even the tiniest hint of disapproval as a personal attack. If you have a loud or pushy owner, a chaotic home, or a routine that is unpredictable or variable, your low-sensitivity dog, often known as “easy-going,” “tolerant,” “resilient,” or even “thick-skinned,” will be able to handle it better. Do you have young children, host a lot of parties, or have a hectic lifestyle? Choose a dog that isn’t overly sensitive.
You can’t tell from looking at them whether or not they’re hyperactive, but when they do anything, they do it vigorously. They tug at their leashes (unless you teach them not to), they push their way through barriers, and they down their meals in huge, gobbling gulps. A home with young children or an elderly or feeble person may not be the best place for these dynamos to learn proper etiquette. On the other side, a dog with poor vitality adopts a more reserved demeanor.
Potential for Playfulness
The playful nature of certain dogs never fades away, and they’re always ready for a game, whereas the reserved and serious tendencies of other dogs develop through time. Think about how many times a day you want to play fetch or tag with your dog, and whether or not you have children or other dogs who can act as substitutes.
In the same way as working dogs, such as those that herd sheep, are bred for intelligence and decision-making, working dogs like those who run all day need to exercise their bodies. The two most common activities that a bored pet engages in are digging and chewing, both of which require mental stimulation. There are several ways to keep a dog’s brain active, including obedience training, interactive dog toys like tug of war, and dog sports like agility and search and rescue.
Energy-draining dogs are always on the lookout for a new activity. There are several jobs that require a lot of stamina from dogs, such as herding livestock or recovering prey for hunters. Children are more likely to engage in activities such as jumping, playing and exploring new sights and smells as a result of this change in their environment
A low-energy dog is more like a couch potato than a dog that needs a lot of exercise. Think about your level of physical activity and whether or not you find a hyperactive dog irritating before making your final choice.
Easy To Train
Easy to train dogs can more easily form associations between a cue (like “sit”), an action (like sitting), and a reward than dogs that are more difficult to train. Dogs that require more time, patience, and repetition are more difficult to train.
Getting your dog interested in training will require incentives and games because many breeds are intelligent but have a “What’s in it for me?” mentality when it comes to learning new things.
Family Affection Level
Affectionate With Family
Since puppyhood, some breeds remain aloof and independent; others form deep bonds with one individual but are uninterested in the rest of the family; still other types shower their entire family with affection. Canines raised in homes with people tend to be more open to human interaction and develop stronger ties, regardless of their breed or upbringing.
Kids-friendly dogs are calm, strong enough to bear the hefty hugs and pets kids can dish out, and have an unfazed attitude about rushing, scream-inducing children. There are several names you may not expect to see on the list: Fierce-looking Both Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers are regarded as family dogs (which are considered Pit Bulls). Chihuahuas, which are small, sensitive, and potentially sharp, are not always family-friendly.
Dog friendship and human friendship are two entirely different things. The fact that a dog is friendly with humans doesn’t mean it’s immune to aggression or aggression from other dogs; some canines choose to play rather than fight; others will just run away. The type of animal isn’t the only consideration. Dogs who have spent a lot of time playing with their littermates and their mother at the age of six to eight weeks are more likely to be socially competent.
Amount of Shedding
Having a dog in the house means that you’ll have to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothing and in the home. It’s worth noting, however, that shedding varies widely among breeds. Some dogs shed all year long, while others “blow” just during specific times of the year, and still others don’t shed at all. If you’re a stickler for cleanliness, you’ll need to choose a breed that sheds less or lower your expectations. You can use a de-shedding tool to keep your house a little cleaner.
While greeting you, some dogs may cover their arms with ropes of drool and create large, wet patches on your clothing. If you don’t mind a little drool, go for it; but if you’re a stickler for cleanliness, you may want to look for a dog with a low drool rating.
Easy To Groom
Some breeds of dogs can simply be brushed and left alone, while others require frequent washing, trimming, and other grooming in order to maintain their health and appearance. If you don’t have the time or money to take care of a dog that requires a lot of grooming, you may want to look into hiring a professional.
Evening walks around the neighbourhood are perfectly acceptable for some breeds. Others, particularly those trained for physically demanding vocations like herding or hunting, require regular, rigorous exercise.
They can gain weight and release their pent-up energy in ways you don’t like, including barking, chewing, and digging, if not given enough exercise. Those looking to train their dog for an energetic canine activity, such as agility, should consider getting a dog that needs a lot of exercise.
Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed
70 to 100 pounds
10 to 12 years
22 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder
Learn: How to Measure Dog Height
Ancient French breeds like the Briard date as far back as the 8th century. Originally, the briard’s purpose was to protect and herd flocks of sheep. Admirable company included the likes of Napoleon, Lafayette, and Emperor Charlemagne. When Lafayette transported Briards to the newly created United States to protect the livestock of the author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson became a dog enthusiast.
French briards were utilised in World War I and II as guard dogs and search-and-rescue dogs by the country’s military. Both world wars took their toll on the breed. In 1922, the American Kennel Club registered their first litter of briards.
The briard is a member of the herding group and excels in herding and protecting animals. He’s a joy to spend time with.
Personality and Temperament
Briards are known for their high level of energy and self-reliance. In order to prevent destructive behaviours like gnawing and digging, they require mental simulation and stimulation through play. Dogs should be maintained in an enclosed backyard so that they don’t get loose.
When left alone, these dogs, despite their independence, are prone to developing separation anxiety. Spending time with loved ones is a favourite pastime for them.
Their loyalty and intelligence make Briards a great companion and they are particularly protective of their families. Lack of socialisation may result in them becoming frightened and reserved. Because of their herding instincts and tendency to be aggressive toward strangers, they can become destructive if not properly trained.
Despite the fact that Briards are wonderful with their families, they may become hostile when confronted by another animal. They make excellent watchdogs and are sure to get the attention of your next-door neighbour.
Despite the fact that Briards make wonderful pets, they do require a certain amount of attention in order to survive. Preparation for daily exercise and considerable grooming is essential for new owners. In terms of training, Briards are normally intelligent dogs who can pick up new abilities and behaviours rapidly.
Like any other breed, Briards are susceptible to a number of health issues. These ailments may not affect every Briard, but you should be aware of them if you’re thinking about getting one.
The thigh bone does not fit tightly into the hip joint due to a hereditary problem. Some dogs have obvious indicators of pain and disability in their hind legs, whereas others don’t. To be sure, an X-ray screening is the most reliable method of diagnosis. Arthritis might occur in any case as the dog gets older. You should not breed dogs with hip dysplasia, so if you plan to acquire a puppy, make sure the breeder can provide confirmation that the parents have been examined and found to be healthy.
Congenital Stationary Night Blindness (CSNB)
CNSB has a wide range of effects on dogs. Irritation in bad light might be as minor as having trouble moving or as severe as utter blindness in any light. Genetic testing is in the works.
It’s a condition of the thyroid gland. Epilepsy, alopecia (hair loss), obesity, lethargy, hyperpigmentation, pyoderma, and other skin problems are all thought to be caused by it. Medication and a healthy diet are used to treat it.
This is a degenerative illness, like hip dysplasia. Because of aberrant growth and development, a joint that is deformed and weak is thought to be the cause. The degree of the disease varies from dog to dog; a dog may only acquire arthritis or he may become completely crippled. Surgery, diet and exercise, medical supervision, and anti-inflammatory medication are among options for treatment of this condition.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
The retina gradually deteriorates as a result of this family of eye illnesses. As the condition develops, affected dogs become night-blind and lose their ability to see during the day. As long as their surroundings don’t change, many visually impaired dogs function just fine.
An abnormally large sore or hump, a wound that does not heal, bleeding from any orifice in the body, and trouble breathing or excreting are all signs of canine cancer. Chemotherapy, surgery, and medicine are all options for cancer patients.
Von Willebrand’s Disease
This is a blood clotting condition that can affect both dogs and people. These include nosebleeds, bleeding gums, prolonged bleeding following surgery, and occasionally blood in the faeces in dogs that are susceptible. This disease can only be diagnosed in children between the ages of three and five, and there is no known treatment. In the meanwhile, procedures including cauterising or suturing wounds, transfusions before surgery, and avoiding certain drugs can be used to keep it under control.
Large, deep-chested breeds like Briards are at risk for a potentially fatal illness known as bloat. A heavy meal, eaten quickly, followed by a lot of water and hard exercise are all factors that contribute to this. Older dogs are more likely to suffer from bloat than younger ones. When the stomach is filled with gas or air and then twists, it’s known as gastric dysmotility (GDV) (torsion).
Without belching or vomiting, the dog can’t expel the gas in his stomach, causing a disruption in the flow of blood to the heart. The dog’s heart rate lowers and it enters a state of shock. The dog could die if not given quick medical assistance. If your dog has a bloated tummy, increased salivation, and retching without vomiting, you should be on the lookout for bloat.
His heart rate may be high and he may be restless or depressed or lethargic or weak. If you see any of these symptoms, you should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.
Recommended Health Test
- Eye Examination
- Physical Examination
At least twice a day, feed your Briard a high-quality dog food. Due to its size, it’s recommended to feed your dog numerous smaller meals per day rather than one huge one. The best way to ensure your dog’s nutritional needs are satisfied is to feed them protein-rich foods according to their age, weight, activity level, and health problems.
The amount of exercise required by Briards necessitates the addition of goodies, but monitor your dog’s weight and modify the daily caloric intake accordingly. For dogs of various ages, your vet can recommend a nutritious diet.
In order to keep Briard’s long hair from becoming matted, it is essential for Briard owners to stick to a tight maintenance routine. In addition to routine oral hygiene such as brushing your teeth, cleaning your ears, and clipping your nails, you should do this several times a week. While Briards are not hypoallergenic, they do leave less hair behind than other large, long-haired breeds, which is a plus.
No one should be surprised that Briards enjoy working. As a herding dog, this breed has a responsibility to use its physical and mental energies effectively. High-intensity sports like biking, hiking, and jogging can offer the activity that these dogs require in the majority of family homes today. Owners can play cognitive games with their Briards for cerebral stimulation. Playing games like hide-and-seek, fetch, and nose work are great methods to keep a smart dog amused. Briards are pleased to curl up with their owners on the couch, but they must be taken out for 30 to 45 minutes every day for exercise.
If it comes to learning new tricks and abilities, the Briard is eager to do so. Due to Briards’ propensity for independent thought and reasoning, this trait can sometimes work against them during training. Even if they don’t always put their owners’ needs first, these canines are guaranteed to thrive at a new talent once they get their bearings on it. It’s the same for anything from dog sports to government duty.
Children and Other Pets
The Briard is a great family dog because of its friendly and playful nature. When parents reprimand their children, he has been known to “defend” them in his own way.
It is important to teach youngsters how to deal with dogs, as well as oversee any interactions between dogs and young people so that there are no incidents of either party biting the other.
You should teach your youngster the importance of respecting dogs’ privacy and not to disturb them while they are having a meal or napping. A youngster should never be left alone with a dog, no matter how friendly it is.
With other dogs and pets, the Briard can get along quite well if he is taught that they are part of his pack from an early age. In spite of this, training him to avoid chasing the household cat or fighting with your Beagle is vital. Outside of his immediate family, animals are more likely to set off his natural desire to chase, so keeping an eye on him is a smart idea. When you’re out in public, put him on a leash.
Briards are great family pets. Before we explain why, here are some facts that may not be in your best interest.
Briards are worker dogs. He’s very motivated and thrives on tasks. Despite his lengthy hair, he doesn’t want to be pampered. He can’t sit still till he expends all that energy.
He can’t be placed with a Netflix-bingeing family. He needs a lot of physical activity whether or not he works on a ranch. Uncontrolled behaviour will make him rowdy, demanding, and destructive.
Herding dog and flock protector. When someone fears strangers, he protects his family. This is a great family watchdog or protector. This protective dog is best for persons with dog experience.
As a tireless herding dog who organises farmer’s fields alone, this man is self-reliant. This person may not want a mentor. You must establish yourself now. Briards aren’t excellent for beginners or people who seek a calm dog.
Respectable breeders charge $1,000 to $1,500 for a Briard puppy. Show-winning or award-winning Briards cost between $2,000 and $5,000.
You want a healthy Briard who has been raised alongside his siblings. Find a trusted breeder. Respectable breeders’ extra fees are worth it.
Buy a Briard from a puppy mill to save money, but you won’t get a happy dog. You’ll adopt a dog who has never been shown affection or taught how to have fun. His parents and he may not have received medical care. Ignore them.
Dog Breeds Similar to Briard
Belgian Shepherd / Malinois
Belgian Shepherd / Sheepdog
Belgian Shepherd / Tervuren
Bouvier des Flandres