Briard Breeders, Breed Clubs and Breed Rescue
A French herding and guarding dog, the Briard (Berger de Brie – Shepherd of Brie) comes from the Province of Brie where he has a long history as guardian of the flocks and homestead as well as his herding job. He is a substantial dog measuring up to 27″ and 35kg or more is not unusual. He is intelligent and biddable and eager to please but like so many dogs of the Working and Pastoral Groups needs his energies focused and to be clear about his place in the pecking order; bitches are much readier to accept their subservient role in the family.
The Briard is an adorable looking youngster with his wide smile which means that it is all too easy to let him get away with behaviour that will not be acceptable in an adult; given a firm hand and dominant owner he will make a wonderful housedog, but too much of a free rein and he will be a difficult adult.
The Briard’s virtues are such that during both World Wars he was used by the French Army, both as messenger dogs and for sentry duties which, in common with so many other breeds in Europe, meant that numbers were badly depleted by the end of hostilities.
He first appeared in the UK in 1966, and although not achieving huge numbers has become a popular and well-established breed here. Apart from establishing who is in charge, the real challenge for the Briard owner is the coat. It is quite glorious when properly cared for, but is quite heavy with a dense undercoat and long wavy topcoat and needs regular grooming to make him look his best – and it’s a good idea to give his beard a regular wash in a jug of soapy water to prevent it becoming antisocial!
The Briard is a lovely breed, the dogs are certainly not for novices – the bitches are much easier – but make sure to talk to breeders and be sure they are the breed for you.
Rescue and Rehoming
In the unfortunate event you need to re-home your dog, or you are looking to give a home to an older dog, contact the Breed Clubs for their assistance. It is always wise to speak to people who are expert in the breed so you can get the best possible help.