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Briard

The Protector! (other names: Berger de Brie, Chien de Brie)

Briard
origin:France
date origin:Middle Age
life expectancy:10 to 12 years
classification:Working Group
height:58 to 68 cm
weight:33 to 34 kg
exercise: Demandingtraining: Reasonableclimate: Coldin/out: Indoorgrooming: Needs groomingfeeding: Demandingsize: Large
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History [ edit ]

With a rough look, this big ball of fur is one of the most popular dogs in France. No one really knows when his story started, but many fingers point to middle age period and many heads turn to hear the legends that are associated to it´s origin.

This dog´s name has two explications: a more scientific one and a fable. The scientific one says that Briard, also known as Chien de Brie, comes from the region Brie, close to Paris, where it is thought to have it´s roots. However it’s unlikely that the breed does come from that region.
 
Another more exiting explication for this dog’s origin is that his name may come from one of the first owners of these dogs in the Middle Age times: Sir Aubry de Montdidier. Legend has it that in 1371 Sir Aubry de Montdidier was murderer and the only witness to the crime was his dog. The Briard followed to murderer whatever he went and eventually the King ordered a duel between the man and the dog, which wasn´t that uncommon at that time. In that year, on the Isle of Notre Dame, it´s recorded that a duel took place between a man and a dog with a similar description of the Briard. The dog won and might have been known as Chien D´Aubry. With time, it might have easily changed to Chien de Brie.

Legends aside, what we know is that the Briard is a working dog that loves to herd and also makes an excellent guard dog. Some of the breeds that are thought to influence the Briard´s appearance and temperament are the Beauceron and the Barbet. The first standard of this breed was created in France very early in 1897, by a group of sheepdog fanciers. 
editing: History [ close ]
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Temperament [ edit ]

The Briard is lively dog that loves to herd and play with his family. He is extremely protective of them, that´s why he should be properly socialized with another people and animals. If so, they are a great companionship for children. The Briards are gentle, however, due to their big size, the games can get rough, so it´s advisable supervision.

These dogs are fearless and make excellent guard dogs. They’re not shy, but are wary towards strangers.

The Briard has an independent nature, but it is an intelligent dog with a good memory, which makes the trainings a little easier. However this isn’t a dog for the inexperienced owner, because the Briard needs a leader to follow and raising him properly demands a great deal of work.

These dogs are adaptable; they live just as comfortable in the city as in the country, as long as they get sufficient exercise. They only mature at 18 months and until this age you shouldn’t over exercise them. As adults the playtime shouldn’t be neglected. They love to swim and run and need a lot of attention. They need to be indoor and live with the family, they will not get used to life outdoors, although they love to play outside, as long as the nights are slept under the same roof as his family. 
editing: Temperament [ close ]
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General appearance [ edit ]

The Briard is a large, strong and sturdy dog, measuring from 57 to 69 cm and weighting 33,5 to 34,5 Kg.

The coat is responsible for the fluffy appearance. Covering all his body, leaving a little bit of space for the droopy tongue, the hair of the Briard can reach up to 16 cm in adulthood. They also have a mustache and a beard. The outer coat should be hard, long and flat and the inner one should be fine and close to the body. As far as color concerns, all solid colors are allowed except white.

His bone should be heavy and his feet large. Like other French shepherds, the Briards have tow dewclaws on each rear leg that functions as an extra toe.

The chest is well-muscled, broad, deep and proportionate. The tail is curved, long, uncut, well feathered, and carried low.

The Briard's elegant gait seems that his almost floating. Yet, he is a very agile, capable of sudden movements.
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Health [ edit ]

The Briards are a fairly healthy breed living up to 13 years. The major concerns for this breed is bloat, that may appear quickly and is left untreated can be fatal. Less common in the Briards, but still concerning are Progressive Retinal Atrophy, cataracts, hip dysplasia and bloat.

The Briards need a considerable amount of brushing combing, so that their coarse coat doens´t mate. The grooming will help to reduce to very little the amount of shedding. 
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Dog Trivia [ edit ]

It´s believed that Napoleon, Charlemagne, Thomas Jefferson and Lafayette all owned Briards.
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