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Briard


General Information - Briard


Group:
Working

Size:
Large

Lifespan:
10-12 years

Exercise:
Medium

Grooming:
High

Trainability:
Very high

Watchdog Ability:
Very high

Protection Ability:
Very high

Area of Origin:
France

Date of Origin:
1300s

Other Names:
Chien Berger De Brie

Original Function:
Herding and guarding sheep



History

The Briard has been known for many centuries. Charlemagne, Napoleon and US President Thomas Jefferson all owned Briards. This ancient breed herded and guarded sheep by day, and was a guard for its owner's family and home by night. The Briard has also been used by the French Army as a sentry, a messenger, and to search for wounded soldiers amongst the dead on the battlefield utilising its acute sense of hearing. Present day Briards employ those same skills as search and rescue dogs locating earthquake victims. It became popular only after the Paris dog show of 1863 - largely due to the improvement of the dog's looks achieved by selective breeding. The breed is probably named either for Aubry of Montdidier, a man who was supposed to have owned an early Briard, or possibly for the French province of Brie. The Briard still serves as a herder and flock guardian today, as well as an esteemed guard and companion dog. Numerically, it is one of the most popular breeds in France.

Temperament

The Briard is an intelligent amiable dog that will protect its family with great loyalty. Because of the strong guarding traits early training and socialisation are essential. If trained in a firm and consistent manner it will learn easily and is a patient dog. Briards are a spirited breed, especially during puppy-hood, and this exuberance, combined with their size and strength, may cause difficulties if the household has a combination of pre school-age children and the steep learning curve of first-time dog ownership.

Upkeep

This is a dog that needs a good amount of activity and interaction every day. Its exercise requirements can be satisfied by a long walk or jog, or a long play session coupled with a little training. One of the greatest joys in a Briard's life is to be with its owner, so although it can sleep outside at night if required, it needs to be indoors as part of the family whenever they are home. Its long coat needs thorough brushing and combing every week or mats will form.