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Breeds 101

Briard

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Named after the province of Brie, the watchful Briard has been a popular sheepherder's guardian throughout France.

American soldiers introduced this ruggedly muscular breed to the United States after World War I, but it took 50 years to gain a solid foothold.

Today, this is one of France’s most popular dogs, although it was only in the 1970s that breeders addressed the problem of shyness and nervous aggression in breed. Whit careful selection, it is well mannered with its human family, yet retains superb guarding instincts.

It is also an excellent herding dog, well insulated by its thick coat against harsh weather conditions.

The Briard’s ancient origins are unknown, but it was once classified as the goat-haired variety of the Beauceron.

It has been suggested that it was developed by crossing that breed with the French Barbet (a possible forerunner of the poodle).

Though the Briard originally defended estates and flocks against wolves and human intruders, its role developed into more of a peaceful herder.

Size:
Large; females 22 to 251/2 inches, 50 to 65 pounds; males 23 to 27 inches, 75 to 100 pounds.

Color: Black, gray, and tawny.

Temperament:
Naturally protective, fearless, reserved with strangers; loyal, loving, gentle with friends and family. Intelligent and independent, easily trained. May try to herd children.

Energy level: Medium.

Best Owner: Firm, confident owner.

Needs:
Daily exercise (long walk or jog, play session) and interaction (training), early training and socialization, frequent brushing to prevent matting.

Life expectancy: 10 to 12 years.