- Canine Head Start
- Animal Behavioral Consulting and Companion Dog Training
A little about Briards
The Briard is an ancient French herding/guarding breed. There are many wonderful stories surrounding the history of the breed, including one Briard who challenged the murderer of his owner to a duel and won! Thomas Jefferson is credited with having brought the first Briards to the United States. The breed is well known for its role in WWI where it played an important part in locating wounded soldiers in the battlefield as well as transporting messages between units.
The original breed looked considerably different from what is seen today. Today’s Briard has a much more profuse coat which would be unrealistic to a sheep farmer. Even today’s Briards with the correct goat like texture often have a much longer coat than one sees in early portraits of the breed.
Although it is stated in most sources that a Briard requires about 1-2 hours of grooming weekly, this certainly does not apply to most dogs between the ages of 9 to 24 months. During this age stage there are two coat changes which can result in many hours of grooming needed to keep the coat mat free. The first is when the puppy coat is dropped and the second is the change from adolescent to adult coat. With good coat texture and quality, once the Briard reaches adulthood, 1/2 hour a week is sufficient.
This is a breed that requires extensive socialization and training. It is important to socialize the Briard puppy to people outside the home as well as visitors to the home. The natural guarding instinct will kick in during adulthood and it behooves the Briard owner to have put in the many hours of early socialization to ensure a pleasant companion. Genetically stable temperaments are to be sought after and timid/shy dogs should not be mistaken for "reserved" as described in our standard.
Below are a few books on the Briard.
The Briard A Collection by Diane McLeroth
Briards by Alice Bixler Clark
Briard by Dr.Desiree Scott
Le Berger de Brie by Joel Herreros
Der Briard by Gabriele Niepel
Der Briard by Karin Wimmer-Kieckbusch