Description: The Briard is a powerful dog, for herding. The males are the same length as they are high, but with females the length may be slightly greater. They have a large rectangular shaped head. The muzzle has a beard and moustache, and is wide, this ends in a square shaped nose. That is black in colour, with open nostrils. Their teeth meet in a scissor bite. The eyes are black or brown, and wide apart. The eyes are covered in hair, which falls to join the rest of the body. The ears are set high, and do not lie flat to the head, they can either be cropped or left natural. The legs have strong bones that are powerful. The tail, has a J. shape, and is well feathered.
This breed has large round and compact feet. Their coats are double thickness with the outer being course hard and dry, lying in long straight wavy locks. The undercoat is fine and tight over the entire body. The coat can come in all colours except for white. The most common colours are various shades of grey, black, and tawny. This breeds coat is 6 inches long or more, giving this breed its shaggy beard and bushy look.
History: The Briard became popular after the Paris show of 1863. This breed had a reputation of being brave, as the flock guard. It was more inclined to snap and bite than to defend its flock, and this breed's temperament was softened through selective breeding. Thomas Jefferson was a recorded owner of a Briard. This dog has been used by the French army in the past to run messages, as the dog did not fear exploding bombs and artillery fire. This dog would find wounded and seek help in the front lines of battle. It is thought the name comes from the French province of Brie. This dog still serves as a flock Guardian and herder, but also makes a great family pet. Some of their talents are search and rescue, military work, herding and guarding the flock.
Temperament: This dog has exceptional hearing, and has a strong protective instinct, they also are incredibly kind. This is a wonderful alert watchdog, but is playful and obedient, this breed definetly has a mind of its own. This is an intelligent breed of dog with an outstanding memory, and they are exceptionally trainable, willing, and eager to please. This breed needs good leadership, with gentle but firm guidelines of what is, and is not acceptable. This is a challenging breed and is unsuitable for everybody, as this dog can become very stubborn and extremely unfriendly, if not given firm, fair leadership and guidelines. This dog also needs lots of entertainment and activities to be happy. These dogs bond exceptionally well with their family, and at best are just interested in other people. Therefore, socialising is essential. This dog is good with children if they have been raised together. You need to give this dog exercise first, and lots of it before affection. This will help the dog to be well balanced. Training should start young, and be firm and consistent. This breed does not respond to harshness. Be sure to really look into all areas of this breed before considering it as a family pet.
Health issues: This breed is generally in good health, with some lines suffering cataracts and hip dysplacia. They can experience bloat. So several smaller meals a day is recommended.
Grooming: This breeds coat is similar to a goat's coat, and if well groomed it sheds little. The coat needs grooming for the minimum of two hours a week, with more time spent if possible.
Living conditions: This dog does best in a large sized garden, but is not suited to kennel life. This breed can live in an apartment, bearing in mind the levels of activities and exercises the breed requires. This dog needs to be part of your family and is only suited to an active family that is willing to spend the time, this breed requires on exercise.
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