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The Briard Dog Breed Vital Tips

Jun 15, 2008
The Briard traces its ancestry back to the days of Charlemagne. Known for centuries as a herding dog, it probably also fits into the category of "working dogs" as described in the American Kennel Club, for it also performs well as a guard dog and a selfless protector. In French folklore there are legends which tell of the dog's heroism and courageous acts of protection in the face of danger. The Briard was also used extensively during both World Wars as a messenger dog.

The Briard was admitted into the French Kennel Club in 1909, although the dog was first entered into French Expositions as early as 1863. The breed did not appear in Great Britain until 1960 and was not admitted into the American Kennel Club until 1975. It has gradually gained a group of admirers.

The Briard has a majestic appearance, standing tall between 23 and 27 inches at the shoulder. His coat is long and double in nature, requiring regular brushing. The coat falls in waves along the sides and covers the entire body, even the fronts of the legs. The ears can be either cropped, in which case they stand erect, or they are folded. In either case the ears are also covered with long hair.

Typically the hair falls over the face and the eyes will not be seen. The tail should have a distinctive "crochet hook" at the tip. The coloring is usually a tan or fawn although it may be black or gray. The coat should always be of one color, not bi-colored, although there may be black tips to the hairs in a fawn colored dog there should never be a distinct "pattern" of black. The over all appearance of the dog should be one of strength and the stride should be ground covering, evidence of this will be that the rear should be well angulated and there should be good "layback" of the front shoulders.

The Briard is essentially a healthy dog which has few genetic disorders. There is as usual in larger dogs a tendency for hip dysplasia to be present and the dog should be x-rayed before being used for breeding. Also Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is present in some instances so this should also be tested.

This is not a breed for everyone, for it is an extremely loyal dog who shows affection only for its owner, a true "one-man" or "one-family" " dog who will be suspicious of strangers and will protect his owners with his life if necessary. He is not and should not be aggressive without provocation, it is simply that this is a breed that does not care to show any notice of anyone besides his own immediate family.

He is generally a happy dog, never roaming far from home. This is a breed that will put his mind and body to any task that is asked of him, although he is known as an independent thinker, he is also extremely devoted to his owner and will not sway from his devotion.
About the Author
For more facts and info on the Briard or a full list of dog breeds take a look at this Dog Training website.
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