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Rich with experience and knowledge, France remains an undisputed resource, their experts respected worldwide.

A few interviews are with people who are French in origin but moved to the USA and continued their involvement. The balance is with breeders from the authors home country, the USA. She acknowledges other countries with excellent breeders. She regrets she could not include all the existing talent. Neither will he promise you an easy road to success. All he can ever give you is the chance to learn and the admonition that having perseverence, perspective and purpose, will give you a fifty-fifty chance.

Did You Know?

Ellen Myers has been a devoted Fancier and breeder of briards since She is a breeder of Merit with the American Kennel Club. She has published previous articles about the breed in major Show Dog publications. She has published e-book series on aspects helpful to dog owners in general.


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Her breeding has also made contributions to kennel lines in Australia and New Zealand. How did you get into breeding? Formats Softcover. Other Books By Author. Mingling About. Book Details. Language : English. Format : Softcover. Dimensions : 8. Some breeds are not tolerant of children at all, whilst other are exceptionally good around children of all ages and will tolerate being pulled about, they put up with noisy environments when kids shout, scream and chase around like toddlers and younger children often do. However, all children need to be taught how to behave around dogs, how to handle them and when it is time to leave a dog alone which is especially true when it's meal time.

Pets4homes always recommends that any interaction between toddlers and younger children be supervised by an adult to make sure playtime stays calm and things never get too rough. We recommend that you never leave any child alone with your dog, even for a few minutes, no matter what breed of dog you have. If you do have younger children and are looking to buy or adopt a dog, we advise against larger or strong dog breeds. For further advice please read the following article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs. A few breeds are known to suffer from specific hereditary and congenital health issues, although good breeding practices go a long way in reducing the risk of a dog developing a genetic disorder.

With this said, not all dogs will develop a hereditary disorder during the course of their lives, but the risk is greatly increased if they are not bred responsibly. Pets4homes always recommends that potential owners ask breeders about any genetic diseases that are known to affect a breed and to see all the results of DNA and other tests carried out on parent dogs before they commit to buying a puppy from them.

Apart from purchasing a puppy or dog, there are other expenses that need to be factored into owning and caring for them correctly. This includes the cost of vaccinating, neutering and spaying a dog when the time is right. Other costs include investing in good quality collars, leads and coats which many smaller breeds need to wear during the colder months.

Old English Sheepdog

Apart from these expenses, there's pet insurance to consider which lots of owners choose to take out just in case their dogs fall sick or get injured. Vet bills include things like regular check-ups and annual boosters which help reduce the risk of dogs catching any nasty diseases. Frequent visits to the vet also helps catch any health issues earlier rather than later which often means the prognosis is a lot better for a dog.

Pets4homes always recommends that potential dog owners calculate just how much it would cost to keep and care for a dog making sure they are fed the right kind of food to suit the different stages of their lives which helps ensure they stay healthy right through to their golden years. A lot of breeds form extremely strong ties with their owners which means they stress out when they are left on their own which includes for short periods of time.

As a result of being left alone dogs can become destructive around the house which is their way of relieving the anxiety they may be experiencing and not necessarily because they are being naughty. Breeds that form strong bonds with their families are best suited to households where at least one person stays at home when everyone else is out because they are at greater risk of developing separation anxiety.

Pets4homes always recommends that potential owners check out just how tolerant a breed is of being left on their own before making the final decision on which breed would best suit their lifestyle. A lot of working breeds were bred to be independent thinkers capable of doing their job on their own when needed. These dogs have evolved to be highly intelligent with some breeds being more than capable of working for extremely long periods of time. Just because a dog is extremely intelligent does not mean they are easy to live with because like the Border Collie, they can be very demanding when it comes to the amount of exercise and mental stimulation they need to be truly well-balanced, happy dogs when they live in a home environment.

Highly intelligent dogs do well when they take part in "obedience training" and other canine activities where they get to use their brains while at the same time having a great workout. Pets4homes always recommends that potential owners check out a breed's intelligence and their specific energy needs before making their final decision so their dog's needs fit in well with their lifestyle.

Pets4Homes rates the " Briard " breed as 4 out of 5 for " Intelligence ". Briards are handsome, large dogs with their striking, long, flowing coats. They were originally bred as working dogs, herding and guarding flocks of sheep in France where they were highly valued for their alert, kind and loyal natures. They are known to be extremely courageous, but rarely would a Briard show any sort of aggressive behaviour unless they feel threatened in any way.

They thrive in a home environment being especially patient and tolerant around children of all ages. However, Briards must be trained with a gentle yet firm hand because these large dogs are not aware of their size or their strength. With this said, the Briard is not the best choice for first time dog owners, being better suited to people who are familiar with the needs of such a large and extrovert dog.

The origins of the Briard remain a bit of a mystery, but there are many legends about the breed. With this said, it is thought that they are one of the oldest French breeds that could well date back to Charlemagne with similar looking dogs being portrayed in tapestries. There are some people who believe very similar dogs were around in the Middle Ages when dogs that arrived in Europe from the Orient were crossed with local herding dogs.

The goal, it is said, was to create a larger, more fearless dog that was capable of guarding and herding flocks of sheep and a dog that boasted enough courage to take on wolves and other large predators without hesitation. The breed is thought to be a descendant of Aubry's dog and were given their name from the region of France known as Brie where they were developed. It was the French who developed the Briard and in ancient times, these dogs were highly prized for their intelligence, courage yet kind natures which led to many legends being told about them.

They not only worked as herding and guard dogs, but the Briard also worked with the military. Napoleon took Briards with his armies on his many campaigns. Thomas Jefferson was so impressed with the breed he took several back to the States where they were to work with American farmers. Lafayette had some dogs sent to his estate and pretty soon they were to become highly prized not only in their native France, but in America too.

The Briard was so highly thought of, the breed was made the French army's official dog and during the wars they would carry supplies to soldiers on the front lines, they tracked wounded soldiers and even worked as sentries. On the battlefield, Briards appeared to know which wounded soldiers needed help and who were beyond help which can be put down to their superb hearing and superior intelligence. Sadly, breed numbers were drastically depleted at the end of the war.

Briard Health & Welfare

The British Briard Club was established in and a year later the Kennel Club granted the breed full championship status. Today, these magnificent, large dogs are still highly prized in France, but they have become sought after in other parts of the world, including here in the UK thanks to their handsome looks and their kind, loyal natures. These large dogs have an unusual physical trait in that they have double dewclaws on their back legs as well as single ones on their front ones.

The Briard stands out in the crowd thanks to their long flowing coats, their charming moustaches, beards and bushy eyebrows. With this said, they are well-proportioned boasting a rugged, yet athletic and supple appearance. Their head is ever so slightly rounded with a nice square, strong looking muzzle and clearly defined stop.

They boast large dark brown eyes with black rims that always have a very intelligent and gentle expression in them. The Briard has a very strong mouth with a perfect scissor bite where their upper teeth neatly overlap their lower ones all set on a nice, square jaw and their lips are always black in colour. They have moderately long and well-muscled necks that dogs carry arched adding to their proud appearance.

Shoulders are well laid back and set at a nice angle with dogs boasting strong, well-muscled front legs. Chests are broad with dogs having a strong, level back and medium spring ribcage that drops well down.

These dogs boast a slight slope at their croup where their tail is set. Hindquarters are well angulated with dogs boasting strong, well developed back legs and double dewclaws which are set low. Nails are black with dogs having hard pads and well closed toes all of which are profusely covered in hair. When it comes to their coat, the Briard has a long and slightly wavy coat with a very fine and dense undercoat that covers their entire body. They have a moustache, beard and eyebrows that slightly veil their eyes. Accepted colours for Kennel Club registration are as follows:.

Breed Characteristics:

Briards with fawn coloured coats can have darker markings on their muzzles, ears, backs and on their tails, which is acceptable with the proviso that colours blend in nicely in with the rest of their coat colour. It is worth noting that acceptable colours for Kennel Club registration can differ from the colours set out in the Breed Standard.

When a Briard moves, they do so with an effortless gait taking long strides and covering a lot of ground when they do. They are also extremely adept at turning on a sixpence showing a tremendous amount of drive while remaining well balanced, strong, smooth and firm. The Kennel Club frowns on any exaggerations or departures from the breed standard and would judge the faults on how much they affect a dog's overall health and wellbeing as well as their ability to perform.

Males should have both testicles fully descended into their scrotums and it is worth noting that a dog can be a little lighter or heavier as well as slightly taller or shorter than set out in the Kennel Club breed standard which is only given as a guideline. The Briard is a highly intelligent dog and one that boasts having a tremendous amount of courage, yet they never show any signs of aggressive behaviour but rather a gay, energetic and lively nature which are just some of the reasons why they are so highly thought of not only in their native France, but in other regions of the world too.

Because they are fun-loving, energetic by nature, they adapt tremendously well to family life. They literally don't have a nasty bone in their body and adore taking part in any sort of interactive game. However, they do need to be kept busy and their education needs to start early for them to grow up to be well-rounded adult dogs.

Briard puppies need to be well socialised from a young age which means introducing them to new situations, people and animals too. Briards are not the best choice for first time owners because they need to be correctly handled and trained right from the word go. They are happy when they know their place in the pack and who is alpha dog in a household. Their training always has to be consistent and fair with dogs needing to be handled with a firm yet gentle hand.

They also need to be given a ton of daily exercise which has to include lots of mental stimulation for them to be truly happy, obedient dogs. Briards are not the best choice for first time dog owners because they need to be socialised, handled and trained by people who are familiar with the needs of such large, intelligent and often boisterous and stubborn dogs that can often show a more dominant side to their natures.

Briards were bred to guard and herd large flocks and as such they do have a high prey drive and like nothing better than to chase anything that moves or tries to run away. As such, care must always be taken as to where and when a Briard can run off the lead, more especially if there is livestock and wildlife close by. They also like to nip at the heels of whatever they are trying to move along which includes children.