The Briard is an old breed of dog, well known for its look and its personality. Yet, what many do not know about this loving animal is that it is very much a dog with fierce hunting abilities and incredible instincts. Today's Briard is quite a bit different from the one of its past. Nevertheless, when put to the test, these dogs will always outperform others in hunting skills, in defending his owner and in keeping his herd safe. For this reason, they are still used for herding today. Those that want to own this breed should not be overly concerned about these characteristics because the dogs are loyal to the end.
A History Of Working
The Briard is a French working dog. It is one of the oldest known breeds as well. You can learn a lot about them by studying the way that they were used in early times. While other breeds are not seen as much during these time periods, the Briard is and with good reason. Scholars have learned a lot about this breed through its depiction in various historic elements. For example, they are found on 8th century tapestries standing next to their owners, loyally. They are also talked about in records dating back to the 12th century as well as the 14th and 16th.
Their first duty was to defend. This is where their strong herding abilities have come from today. During these early times, the breed was used to defend other animals or property (or even their owners) from wolves and poachers. Through time, and through a changing landscape, the Briard quickly began working in other capacities including herding of flocks of sheep. During the time of the French Revolution, the Briard was used to divide up and manage herds where there were no boundaries in the form of fences. Yet, they managed to keep the sheep on their master's property every time.
The Briard today is often a friendly pet, without harsh tendencies or aggressive behavior that once must have been used to guard their charges. These dogs are still used for herding and sometimes hunting as well. They enjoy the work that they are given by their masters and serve them well for years. They are found on farms around the world. Each learns their duty and will carry it out as long as their master likes.
The Briard's history with guarding and defending is somewhat evident in these dogs, yet through the passage of time they have mellowed quite a bit becoming much more family friendly and welcoming in the home. Yet, even with that consideration, these dogs do like to be physically active and they would love to live with you on open lands.