The Briard is not for everyone; they do best in an environment with strong assertive leadership and ongoing training.
The Briard originated in France and is known for their strong herding capability. They're a diverse working breed, not only on farms, but for the military too. They can be very protective of their family.
Did you know? It is believed that Thomas Jefferson was one of the first Americans to have a Briard.
The Briard is extremely protective of their family and can have aggression issues toward strangers. Because of this, early training and socialization around people of all ages is imperative. Consideration of this breed’s strong watchdog instincts is important to make sure they are the right fit.
Briards are very loyal, loving, and gentle with their family. They are also highly sensitive and will not do well in an environment that uses harsh training methods. Working with positive reinforcement methods is the best option for the Briard.
Active All Day
They are an excellent running, walking, hiking, swimming, and biking partner. The Briard loves a job, so using a backpack on this breed will help meet their need to work for you. If a family can make time for a dog to be part of their active lifestyle, the Briard will be a perfect fit!
A daily 45-minute exercise program is a must for this breed. When not exercised properly, the Briard is known to become dangerously aggressive, dominant, or fearful.
Herding Dog Thru-N-Thru
Herding is a natural trait in this breed and can be difficult to "un-train." The Briard's strong natural herding instincts aren't limited to livestock. They will happily nip at the ankles and feet of running and screaming children. However, with patience and consistency over-time, the Briard will learn this trait is unacceptable.
Socially, the Briard is good with other dogs when raised around them. Consider active outings to the Dog Park, but monitor them closely, as they even enjoy herding other dogs.
If you live on a farm or in the country, the Briard may be the perfect companion for that lifestyle. They enjoy working alongside you and will eagerly be ready to go at a moments notice.
Adorable and Easy Grooming
The Briard has a beautiful double coat that is coarse and shaggy but does not shed heavily, nor does it require a lot of upkeep. A daily brushing will help keep their coat free of matting. Their ears can be either erect or naturally dropped, and the insides will require weekly cleaning. Regular nail trimmings should be done every 10-12 weeks.
The Briard can have cataracts, hip dysplasia, and bloat. Their average lifespan is 10 -12 years.
Consider looking for a Briard through rescue organizations first. Every year, there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!
At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.
On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!
Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe