The profuse coat is a low shedder but needs lots of brushing to avoid tangles.
The Briard is happiest leading a busy, active life. This breed is an independent thinker, so patience is necessary when training. Like many sheepdogs, this breed may be wary of strangers. However, the Briard is very sensitive to his family’s feelings and makes an excellent pet if time and effort is put in to raising him. Grooming wise, the breed’s coat needs brushing every day to prevent mats.
Depending on the size of your dog as an adult you are going to want to feed them a formula that will cater to their unique digestive needs through the various phases of their life. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and giant breeds. The Briard is a large breed and has a lifespan of 10 to 12 years.
What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
Grooming sessions are also a good way to bond with your new puppy. Their nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth and cracking. Their high hair-covered ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.
Briards pack so much loyalty, love, and spirit into their ample frames that they’re often described as a “heart wrapped in fur.” They possess traits common to many other herders: trainability, brains, a protective eye toward family (especially kids, whom they regard as their flock), and wariness with outsiders. These are large, tireless dogs—it’s said that just two or three Briards can handle 700 head of sheep—and novice owners might be overwhelmed by their work drive and zest for life.
Like all breeds there may be some health issues. Some dogs may be faced with these health challenges in their lives, but the majority of Briards are healthy dogs. They may however, be affected by bloat, a digestive disorder of the stomach. Make sure to educate yourself about this potentially fatal condition by learning the symptoms of bloat. Call your veterinarian immediately if you see any symptoms.
Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing to own a Briard can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.