Briard is a large French sheepdog that was originally used for the purpose of herding and guarding sheep from wild animals and poachers. Later on, these diligent dogs were also used as hunting dogs, tracking dogs, war dogs etc. The Briard dog breed is also known as Berger de Brie in French.
These herding dogs are extremely loyal as well as protective. These cheerful dogs prove as excellent companions for kids. The Briard breed is characterized by a long and luxurious hair coat. These vigorous and alert dogs make for good watchdogs too.
Briard dogs are heavy boned sturdy dogs. They are powerful and muscular in build. The breed is characterized by a comparatively large head covered with hair. The long hair coat covers the eyes as well and tends to form a full beard and mustache.
They have large, wide set eyes that are black or dark brown in color. Their high set ears are either cropped to make them erect or are left natural. Ear cropping is considered illegal in certain countries. The long and well feathered tail has a typical J-shaped crook at the end.
Color: Briard dog breed comes in all colors except white. Black, grey and certain shades of tawny are most common.
Height: The average height of a male Briard is 23 to 27 inches. Female Briards, on the other hand are a bit shorter, that is, 22 to 25 inches in height.
Weight: Depending on the height both male as well as female Briard can weigh up to 75 to 100 pounds in weight.
Bloating is one of the most common and bothersome problem in these dogs. Plus, like other large dogs, even Briard dogs are prone to joint problems, especially Hip Dysplasia. They are also susceptible to eye diseases like Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Cataract.
Other health issues in Briard breed dogs include bleeding disorders, thyroid disorders, allergies and skin problems. These dogs are believed to be at an increased risk of developing Lymphosarcoma, a malignant cancer occurring in the lymphoid tissues.
Life Expectancy: The average lifespan of a Briard dog is 10 to 12 years.
Litter Size: The average litter size of this breed is 8 to 10 puppies.
Briard dogs have a rich double coat consisting of a dry, coarse outercoat and a dense and tight undercoat that protects the dog from extremely cold temperatures. The long hair coat can be slightly wavy. Consequently the luxurious hair coat of a Briard requires equally extensive maintenance. It should be done almost on a daily basis.
They tend to shed less, especially when the coat is taken care of regularly. The hair around the eyes can be pinned up to make the dog comfortable. In addition, the hair between the pads of the feet should also be trimmed from time to time. Their ear and ears should be cleaned regularly to avoid infections. Briard dogs should be bathed only when necessary.
These high spirited dogs are characterized by intelligence, boldness, initiative, playfulness, loyalty and sensitivity. They are slow learners but still they make up for this weakness by their hardworking and obedient temperament. These delightful dogs are usually reserved with strangers but friendly with the family members.
Your inventive Briard will leave no stone unturned in seeking your attention with the help of his lively and amusing behavior. They are usually neither shy nor aggressive but can be slightly aggressive towards other dogs.
Briard dogs can be quite calm and moderately active indoors. Therefore, it is necessary to take them out for daily walks. They should also be given access to at least an average sized yard to meet their physical activity needs. In fact, they can become bored and restless in the absence of adequate physical exercise.
These highly energetic dogs love utilize their energy by running and swimming. However, Briard dogs crave human attention. Thus, they should not be kept outdoors for a long time. These dogs work according to their own minds and hence may act independently.
Hence, they require experienced owners to control these dogs in a firm yet gentle manner. Consequently, proper training and socialization play an important role in keeping Briard dogs in control.