The Briard (sometimes called the “Berger Briard” or “Berger de Brie”) is among the oldest French herding breeds. They feature a shaggy black, grey or tawny coat that can often lead to them being mistaken for a haystack. The Briard is often chosen for family protection, herding and guarding sheep, military or police work and search and rescue.
Origins Of The Briard
The Briard is known to have first appeared in France during the 1300s and was bred for the initial goal of guarding homes and flocks of sheep from wolves and human intruders but later was primarily used for herding sheep. In World War I they were used for delivering messages and locating wounded soldiers, and during this time they nearly became extinct. They are alleged to be a descendant of the Berger Picard with later cross-breeding occurring with the Beauceron and Barbet.
Average Size Of The Briard
Briards are classed as a large-sized dog. The suggested standard size for the Briard male is 23-27 inches high from paw to shoulder and a weight of 75-100 pounds, while the suggested size for female Briards is 22-25.5 inches high from paw to shoulder with a weight of 50-65 pounds.
Temperament Of The Briard
The Briard is legendary for their protective, fearless and loyal manner. They are typically reserved with visitors, which can make them highly suitable as a guard dog.
The Briard is also demonstrated to be quite intelligent – scoring equal 30th in comparison with other dogs when taking into account their capacity to be trained obedience instructions.
They are also well-known to be gentle with children but may try to herd them without proper training – making them fairly suitable as a family pet. The Briard is not always well-matched with other dogs and may become aggressive due to their protective nature but when socialized properly they can learn to get along well with other pets.
Living Requirements Of The Briard
The Briard loves to have at least an average-sized yard to give them room to run, but they can be somewhat suitable for apartment life just as long as they are exercised enough. They love the outdoors but feel most at home wherever their family is.
Health & Life Expectancy Of The Briard
Similar to lots of large-sized dogs, the Briard is normally slightly shorter-lived having a life expectancy of 10-12 years. The greatest health problem for Briards is frequently known to be hip and elbow dysplasia. They can also be prone to conditions like eye problems such as cataracts or Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), bloat, hypothyroidism or Von Willebrand’s disease.
Exercise Needs Of The Briard
The Briard takes pleasure in pastimes like agility, flyball, herding, tracking, swimming or going for a jog alongside a bicycle. They have a medium amount of energy and need exercise each day in the shape of long walks or jogs to keep them in good physical and mental health.