Dog Breeds - Briard

Breed :     Herding
Weight:     75-100 lbs
Height:     Male: 23-27; Female: 22-25.5 inches
Color(s):     all uniform colors except white (includes black, tawny, and gray shades)

The Briard is a large breed of dogs, this breed was originally used to guard and herd and is there fore a herding dog breed. The Briard, known for centuries, have been owned by such historical figures as Napoleon, Thomas Jefferson, Lafayette, and Charlemagne. With its heightened sense of hearing, this breed was often used by the French Army to search for wounded soldiers. Today, the Briard is an esteemed companion dog and continues to serve as a guardian and herder.

The Briard is named either for Aubry of Montdidier, a man who was supposed to have owned an early Briard, or for the French province of Brie, although the dog probably does not originate in that area. The Briard still serves as a herder and flock guardian today, as well as an esteemed companion dog. Some of the Briard's talents are search and rescue, police work, military work, herding, watchdogging and guarding. Currently the population of Briards is slowly recovering. Experts state they are related to the Berger Picard.

Briard Health and Diseases:
This is a generally healthy, long-lived breed, often living to 13 or 14 years. As with most breeds, Briards used for breeding should have their hips x-rayed for hip dysplasia, a sometimes crippling disease of one or both hips.

Both parents should also have their eyes checked each year or should have their eyes cleared for life. Eye problems in American Briards are not common, but there have been some cases of disease in English Briards.

Probably the most serious and most common health problem in Briards is bloat or gastric torsion. This is a life-threatening condition in which the stomach fills with gas and flips over, strangling the blood supply to the lungs, heart, and digestive system. Many Briards die from bloat if the condition is not diagnosed and treated quickly.