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Raising a Briard

To develop the many remarkable qualities of the Briard character, his owner must be willing to devote time and affection to the dog’s early training. Each Briard has an individual personality, different from all others. Some love to tease, some are dignified, some are show-offs, some love cats, some enjoy parties, most are clowns, and occasionally one seems to develop the attitude of a reserved philosopher. You may not see these traits in the young puppy, but you may be confident that attention and love will bring unexpected rewards.


Although he has the physique necessary for an outdoor life, the Briard is, at heart, a house dog. He is happiest when he can be at his master’s side, and this devotion should dictate whether he is indoors or out. A companion who loves to heel down a country road, pushing at your knees, then running ahead, checking back constantly, he also has a deep capacity to join in the family rituals, and will follow you from room to room as you go about your business.


The Briard is one of the few dogs that lives life with an air of independence and is apt to look on you more as a companion than a master. Like all companions, there will be times when you will have different opinions. On these occasions, the Briard can be quite stubborn. As a sheepdog, he was relied on to make decisions… and he still does. You cannot successfully convince a Briard of your superiority with a thrashing or harsh treatment any more than you could successfully use such methods with a friend. 


Consistent, gentle persuasion and praise are advisable, and much more effective. Intelligent and obedient, the Briard learns quickly, has an excellent memory and an ardent desire to please those he loves. He can understand an enormous range of commands (a 200-word vocabulary is not unusual) as well as tonal qualities and body language.

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