Origins of the breed
For many enthusiasts, the Labrador Retriever remains one of the most popular all-round dogs worldwide. It’s thought that Labrador Retrievers originated from the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, where fishermen used dogs of this appearance to retrieve fish. The breed as we know it today, however, was established by the British in the early 1800’s.
The Labrador Retriever Club was founded in 1916 and the first standard followed soon after, predominantly tailored to working Labrador Retrievers who found early fame, having been originally introduced to the U.K. in the late 1800’s by Col Peter Hawker and the Earl of Malmesbury.
2 facts about Briards
Things to look out for
From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Briard
Beware of (possible) blindness
Nocturnal blindness, also known as retinal dystrophy, is a disease that is mainly found in the Briard dog. The condition is hereditary, and both parents must carry the gene to pass it on to offspring. Using a reputable breeder can of course reassure any potential owner that a Briard doesn’t carry the gene. This condition is often diagnosed late, so get your puppy’s eyes tested as early as when they are four to six weeks of age with a simple blood or saliva sample.
Brush them at least once a week
Although they are known to be a low-shedding breed, because of their long shaggy double coats, Briard dogs will still need a good deal of regular grooming. The thicker coarser (think goat hair) outer coat typically grows about six inches long so it will need to be brushed at least a few times a week to remove dead hair and to prevent matting and tangles. Grooming your Briard daily will need to be a definite in the spring and autumn, the two times a year when shedding happens profusely as a natural course of the dog’s adjusting to a new season.
Training day comes early
Briards are very smart dogs, but you’ll need to get in there early to establish pack leadership. They were bred to be independent and one to make decisions on their own, so they’ll need committed training with positive reinforcement. Briard puppy training, then, cannot be emphasized enough. Encourage them to act in a friendly manner when strangers come into the mix; they’ll understand with repetition and your communicating that new people and animals are compatriots rather than adversaries.