It is a dog that stands out for its straight coat and erect ears. It is very large and very eye-catching.
Its origin goes back to the year thousand. It was spreading throughout France, with hardly any changes over the centuries, until it was presented publicly in the Paris exhibition. After the “Paris Dog Show” of 1863, its popularity increased, mostly due to the improvement in the appearance of animal achieved by crosses with the Beauceron and the Barbet.
This former keeper of sheep and Shepherd has also been used by the French Navy as Sentinel, Messenger and in the search for wounded soldiers because of his fine sense of hearing and his sixth sense for which he gave priority to the most serious. They were used in the First World War until they approached extinction. This breed is still used as a keeper and shepherdess of flocks, as well as as a companion animal.
Currently, the population of Briard is slowly recovering. It is believed that this breed is related to the Berger Picard.
The Briard is a muscular dog, rustic and of good bone. It has a long head and erected ears, well separated and covered with long hair. The tail is low-set, very hairy and creates a hook on the tip. The outer coat is wavy and long and the under coat thin and thick. The color of the coat should be uniform and white, brown, mahogany and inaccurate shades are not accepted. It measures about 55 to 65 centimeters of height up to the withers. Its coat must not be washed or sheared, being brushed with a hard brush is the only maintenance it needs.
The dog of this breed is basically a working dog, although currently it is also a dog of company. The Briard has been used as a sheepdog as well as as a guardian and defense dog, and even, although much less frequently, as a guide dog. As an example of its capacity to work, it suffices to mention its efficiency for herding: those who use it claim that two or three Briards reach to control between 500 and 700 animals.
As a guardian and defense dog, the copies of the Briard breed tend to always be alert to what happens around it and willing to go into action in case the home under its care is invaded by strangers.
These dogs have a balanced temperament, never aggressive or shy. They’re safe and intrepid. While these dogs need a systematic education to achieve harmonious coexistence they also have a great need to live in a family environment with an adequate dose of affection.
The teenage Briard may be a bit dominant and love to test the authority of its owners, so it is important to educate it since puppy with firmness and tenderness. If the task of socialization is carried out satisfactorily, the dog will become a manageable and obedient companion. It needs the company of the owners and to do a lot of exercise to quench all its energy.
As it is a long-haired dog the owner should devote a part of his time to brushing, to keep a coat clean and untangled.
The Briard is a breed that enjoys good health, infrequent cases of hip dysplasia or progressive retinal atrophy. The most serious problem you could suffer from is gastric dilatation volvulus.
You can download the FCI (International Cinological Federation) standard at the following link: http://www.fci.be/Pastor-de-Brie.pdf