Briard (French Shepherd Dog)
One of the oldest and well-known breeds both in France and abroad is the Briard breed. These dogs are known as very soulful and kind, and their thick, long coat is a hallmark by which briar is so recognizable.
The appearance of the breed dates from the eighth century. Despite the fact that the briard was distributed almost throughout France, the Brie region is considered to be its homeland (and yes – you correctly understood, the name of the region is not without reason consonant with the name of Brie cheese). And the breed itself in the Middle Ages has long been known as Chien Berger De Bree.
On the other hand, there is another story explaining the name of the breed (because we remember that it was distributed everywhere, not only in the Bri region). This second version sounds like this: a 14th-century legend tells that Aubrey de Montdidier, the court king of Charles V, erected a cathedral in memory of the brave dog of the Briard breed, who saved the life of his son Aubrey. Chien d’Aubry eventually evolved into the name of the Briard breed. Which version to believe – you choose.
Be that as it may, the French monarchs really loved these dogs, and Charlemagne was no exception. He kept several such dogs, and they often accompanied him on trips around the country, moreover, they lived in the palace. This is confirmed by tapestries and other works of art left over from which the emperor is often depicted with his dogs.
In addition, the dog of the Briard breed was an honorary breed of French troops during the reign of Napoleon. The emperor loved these dogs for their loyalty and courage.
One of the well-known and in its own way surprising facts is that this breed was brought to America by Thomas Jefferson himself – one of the fathers of the founders of the United States and one of the authors of the constitution of this country. The American Kennel Club recognized this breed in 1928. But in England, these dogs were only seen in the 60s of the 20th century, which is quite unusual, given that in France the breed has existed since the eighth century.
Briard is a strong, muscular and slender dog of medium size. The head is quite wide, covered with long hair, forming a beard. The limbs are medium in size, but due to the amount of coat appear short. Muzzle slightly flattened, ears folded. The tail is medium, the coat is long. Color can have any color except white, but most often it is black, fawn, gray.
The Briard dog breed combines many wonderful qualities, however, the most characteristic features are courage, devotion and a huge, kind dog heart. So kind that in France there is a saying – “Briard, this is a heart wrapped with wool.”
Briard is very attached to his family and master, and loves being around no matter what you do. Here it is more important for the dog to feel contact and interaction with the owner than to distinguish between any particular type of activity. Although, of course, the dog has his favorite activities – and this, of course, walks, games, exercises, and even household chores, if the dog has the opportunity to help them. For example – to drag a garden cart for an elderly housewife who lives in a private house or gets out to the cottage.
Briard is a shepherd breed of dog, and this is reflected in everyday life within the family. A pet may try to control its family like a herd, pushing you or floating its voice. But these animals are very affectionate and love their people forever, although they can be stubborn and at some point they can even try to put themselves in the role of leader. This quality partly comes, again, from the shepherd’s past. It is quite possible to work with this, but you need to start from a very early age, showing your dog who, so to speak, is the owner and leader in the house.
This is a wonderful dog for the family, a great companion with whom is always interesting and fun. They have an energy level above the average, they need daily walks, active games and physical exercises, as in the absence of activity they can gain excess weight, in addition, this negatively affects the character of the dog.
Strangers are taken with restraint, with disbelief, although if they are friends of your family and they often visit your house, the dog will get used to them and be friendly. They treat children very well, but there is one subtle point. If you get a dog, but you don’t have children yet and they will appear a little later, then you will need to introduce your pet to the children. This will expand his horizons and give him an idea of this, so to speak, slightly different variety of human beings.
The Briard breed has excellent intelligence, perfectly understands everything that is happening around them, understands the person and knows how to recognize various behavioral hints. The dog, among other things, feels the emotional state of the owner, and is always happy to provide support with its presence. But why, this dog is more likely to be a homebody, and even if you have a private house with your own yard, your pet will rather choose your company inside the house than loneliness outside.