Australian Cattle Dog
Now we have here a large dog breed known as the Briard. Once again like the other dogs we have heard about this one is also a herder. Actually this breed of dog has been around for hundreds of years. Many world famous people have owned this breed of dog over the years including such notables as Lafayette, Charlemagne, Thomas Jefferson and Napoleon.
Although the animal has gained its reputation as a sheep herder this particular dog was once used by the French Army in several different capacities such as sentry, as a messenger and for searching for wounded soldiers. It has an exceptionally sensitive ability to hear the slightest sounds. The Briard was used for military purposes so much during World War I that it was feared it was on the verge of extinction.
It was not until 1863 that the dogs become popular as a result of its appearance at the Paris dog show. To this day the Briard is still found serving as herding animal and guarding the flock but modern day popularity has also transformed him into a pet and companion dog. They have shown great strives in areas of search and rescue, military work, police work, herding and as a guard dog.
There are several prominent colors that are associated with the breed including both solid colors and multicolor. The dogs generally are about 27 inches tall. Briard, are a medium sized, very rugged but agile dog which has an extremely harsh type of coat. Since they are another of the long coated animals it is imperative that they have extensive amounts of brushing and grooming.
It is known for the double dewclaws on its rear legs which resemble an additional toe. This additional digit provides the dog with the ability to pivot quickly on one foot for added benefits in herding their flock. When protecting their flock they are not held back in any way towards attacking and fending off predators such as fox or wolves who may be after their sheep.
When originally accomplishing their job of herding sheep these dogs would require no human intervention what so ever. They could successfully take care of the flock of sheep without a human present to accomplish the assigned task.
These are very loyal and protective dogs. Once they have successfully bonded with a human they become extremely protective of them and are actually very aloof towards strangers. They are a very good dog for children of any age.
When initially socializing the animal it becomes very important that they be introduced to people of all ages and types as part of their training process. This phase of training should be started as soon as possible and while they are still in the puppy stage. One excellent way of socializing them is to walk them as much as possible. These walks to the pet stores or to the parks help greatly in their ability to gain social abilities.