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Group Pastoral Dogs (KC)

Origin / History The Briard is a large breed of dog that has been in existence for some centuries now. In fact, famous people such as Napoleon, Charlemagne, Lafayette, and Thomas Jefferson owned Briards. These dogs serve as sheep herders and guards. They have also been utilized by the French Army for the purpose of searching for wounded soldiers, and for acting as sentries and messengers.

These dogs became widely known after the 1863 Paris dog show. This was due to the improvements made to the looks of the breed by crossing it with the Barbet and Beauceron. Nowadays, these dogs are still used as flock guardians and herders. They are also great companion dogs and they do well in search and rescue missions, military work, police work, and watchdogging.

Appearance These herding dogs are large, muscular, and have slightly wavy, long double coats that are similar to the coats of goats. They sport shaggy eyebrows, and they have beards and mustaches. Their muzzles are long, square-shaped, and they have black noses. Their ears may be cropped or just left as they are.

Colours These dogs have coats that usually come in colors of gray, black, or tawny. Their ears and faces, though, may be darker or lighter.

Temperament The Briard possesses a very good memory. The lessons these dogs have learned continue to stick with them for long periods of time. They are protective and loyal to their family members. Should there be new additions to their home, be it furniture or a baby, these must be introduced to the dogs and the dogs must be shown that these things/persons are not harmful. It is not advisable to leave these dogs alone for long periods of time, as they may show signs of distress when this happens. Since these dogs are innate herders, even those who dwell in the city will show signs of herding. They might nip at people's heels in order to herd them, and if they are introduced to cattle later on in life, these dogs will immediately herd them.

Height and Weight 58.5 to - 68.5 cm in height and 33.5 to 34.5 Kg in weight. Males are larger than females and at the top end of the size ranges.

Common Health Problems Dogs of this breed are usually healthy, but there are some that are susceptible to getting progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, and cataracts. They are also prone to bloating and being afflicted with stomach torsion.

Living Conditions They can live inside apartments, but owners must make sure that their dogs are getting adequate amounts of exercise. It would also be best if they have an average-sized yard wherein the dogs can play and do some activities. These dogs love being outdoors, but they are also happy living with their family. They should not be put inside kennels.

Exercise Requirements Since they are working dogs, Briards will be restless and may develop some behavioral problems if they do not get enough activity. Owners should make sure that they take their dogs out for long walks daily. These dogs can also be made to run alongside their owner's bicycle, and they can also be good jogging companions. They also enjoy swimming and playing with them can provide them with their much-needed activity.

Training Requirements Training these dogs require the owner to be patient, loving, but firm. Training methods must be consistent and regular, as these dogs require much attention. They won't respond to unjust training. When they are not trained properly, these dogs may turn aggressive or withdrawn.

Life Expectancy These dogs have life spans that range from 10 to 12 years.

Grooming The coats of these dogs should be groomed regularly by combing and brushing for at least two hours every week. Their ears should also be cleaned and excess hair inside their ears and between the pads of their feet must be removed.

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