Briard Dog Breed Information and Personality Traits

A large, active dog, the briard is ideal for owners who want an intelligent dog for herding, hiking and other outdoor activities.

Briard at a glance
The Briard Dog Breed

Briards are highly intelligent and need activities to keep them occupied to prevent destructive behavior such as chewing and digging.

Size:

Weight Range:

Male: 60-100 lbs.
Female: 50-80 lbs.

Height at Withers:

Male: 26 in.
Female: 24 in.

Features:

Floppy ears (naturally)

Expectations:

Exercise Requirements: >40 minutes/day
Energy Level: high
Longevity Range: 10-12 yrs.
Tendency to Drool: Low
Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: Moderate
Tendency to Dig: High
Social/Attention Needs: Moderate

Bred for:

Herding, guarding sheep

Coat:

Length: Long
Characteristics: Double coat, straight, coarse
Colors: All uniform colors except white
Overall Grooming Needs: High

Club recognition:

AKC Classification: Herding
UKC Classification: Herding Dog
Prevalence: So-so

Briards are large-sized dogs weighing between 50 and 100 pounds (22 to 45 kilograms).

A male is 23 to 27 inches at the shoulder; females are smaller at 22 to 25 1/2 inches tall. The body is well-muscled and built for work. The head is long and wide with high-set hanging or cropped ears. Briards generally mature at one to two years, although they reach their full size around six to eight months.

The coat is slightly wavy and at least six inches long. They have long hair on the ears, giving a sail-like appearance when pricked. All uniform colors are allowable except white. These colors include black, gray and various shades of tawny. The coat, which sheds dirt and water, still requires brushing and combing at least once a week for two hours to prevent mats, and more frequently if the briard has been out in the field.

Personality:

Briards are active dogs that require a high level of physical activity. Although these dogs are independent in nature, they do not make good kennel dogs and prefer being with their owners. They are highly intelligent and need activities to keep them occupied to prevent destructive behavior such as chewing and digging. They need to be kept in a large fenced-in backyard to prevent them from roaming.

Living With:

Briards consider their owners to be equal companions. Although they can be aggressive toward other dogs, if properly socialized they can learn to co-exist with dogs or cats. Other pets, such as rodents, birds or reptiles, should be kept away.

Given their independent nature, briards may question or refuse their owner's commands. They do not respond well to heavy-handed punishment but respect authority. You must first earn a briard's respect through consistent obedience training.

Briards are ideal for owners who want a large, intelligent, active dog for herding, hiking and other outdoor activities. They make good watchdogs and good guard dogs. They are mistrustful of strangers. Briards typically live from 10 to 15 years.

History:

The briard is an ancient French breed dating back to the 8th century or earlier. The briard was bred for guarding and herding sheep and other livestock. The dog kept illustrious company including Emperor Charlemagne, Napoleon, and Lafayette. Thomas Jefferson, once a dog hater, was quickly turned into a dog lover when Lafayette sent briards over to the newly formed United States to guard the livestock of the author of the Declaration of Independence.

During World Wars I and II, the French used briards as guard dogs and search-and-rescue dogs. The breed suffered with the deaths of many dogs in both wars. The first litter of briards registered with the American Kennel Club was in 1922.

The briard excels in herding and guarding livestock and is a member of the herding group. He makes a delightful, active companion.

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