The First UK Briard Website Forum Index
Home  •  Search  •  Memberlist  •  Usergroups   •  Register  •  Profile  •  Log in to check your private messages  •  Log inFAQ
 Briard advice View next topic
View previous topic
Post new topicReply to topic
Author Message
Kirby
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 10 Jun 2018
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:54 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hello,
We have wanted a dog for a number of years, and feel the time is right (or as good as it’s going to get!)
One of the breeds we are considering, and would probably be our top pick, is a Briard. But I’m looking for advice whether it’s the right breed for us.

We have three boys (one 9-year-old and two 5-year-olds). They can play quietly and are pretty sensible kids, but like many kids they also get boisterous. They enjoy playing in the garden: playing chase and on the trampoline. And they squabble too. Weekends we often go out for walks in different nature reserves, or to the park. (I’m adding all this to give you an idea of our household. Smile )

We have a medium sized garden, plus a medium green in front of the house. We have a park nearby, as well as nature reserve within walking distance, which is mostly open space.

I work part time: I leave at about 8 and arrive home at 1:30. I have all school holidays off.
My husband works shifts: this means he’s home during the week for at least a couple days a week, but because he sometimes works a night shift he’s asleep during the day.

I would really appreciate hearing whether you think a Briard would be happy in a home like ours. Also, whether it would be happy being left alone sometimes during the week, or whether we’d need to ask someone to pop in during the day, or arrange “doggy daycare” sessions

Many thanks!
View user's profileSend private message
maxnick
Friend for Life
Friend for Life


Joined: 16 Aug 2011
Posts: 973
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:02 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Kirby & welcome. I am sure that there are people on here who have brought a Briard into a household like yours Smile I can't advise on that, as I don't have children( or a Briard anymore Sad ) I would say if you are going to leave them for longer than 5 hours, get a neighbour/dog sitter to look in on them. Of course if it is a puppy then I wouldn't leave them that long. They are a wonderful breed, but need 'guidance' from you or they will be a handful Wink

_________________
Maxine& Nick, Pastou & Lilas the Berger Picards. Always in our hearts, playing together now at Rainbow Bridge, Sally, Barney, Tao, Ina & Rummage.
View user's profileSend private message
Kirby
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 10 Jun 2018
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:40 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hello, thank you for your response. That is very good advice about having someone to look in on them. I’ll speak with friends locally to see if they have any recommendations. ... Well at times my boys are a handful, and remind me of puppies! So adding one more to the pack should go well Very Happy Wink
View user's profileSend private message
kathy morgan
Friend
Friend


Joined: 25 Jan 2012
Posts: 58
Location: blandford, dorset

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:06 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Kirby - first I will say what a wonderful breed the Briard is, I would never swap for another. BUT have you ever had a dog before or a puppy? As the Briard is very high maintenance, fun loving and boisterous it needs strict rules and plenty of training, plus time to sleep as a puppy and no strenuous exercise for at least 8 or 9 months!!! I personally would not recommend one to a first time home (many out there might disagree) My first one after several other breeds was an eye opener, but living on a smallholding had plenty of room and time. You must check on the breeder carefully and tell them you have young children!!

I am now on my fifth puppy who is 5 months old, he chooses to crate himself overnight and for a couple of hours in the day and has always been clean and never a peep out of him but once awake that is a different matter! They need constant supervision and have to be 'doing something' or get bored easily. My garden plants have all been 'deadheaded' the potted plants have been depotted and yesterday while my back was turned the little darling (who is the sweetest tempered ever) got into my just ripe strawberry and helped himself. The juice dripping from his beard gave him away. He helps me weed and loves pulling up grass he also eats everything he can find, I am forever fishing stones and snails out of his mouth!

So if you think you and your family can cope go for it but it won't be easy.

Kathy and JET
View user's profileSend private message
Amanda Elsdon-Dew
Master Friend
Master Friend


Joined: 10 Sep 2014
Posts: 412
Location: Ockley,

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi, I think it is very sensible of you to ask for advice on a forum such as this, on which I have received lots of really helpful uncritical advice. I can only speak from our experience of three Briards, the first of whom, a boy puppy, we got when our three sons were 10, 12 and 14. We had had another dog, indeed had her before we had children, a rescue dog who had fitted very easily in with our growing family. I had also grown up with dogs, first Poodles and then Springer spaniels. Our boys utterly adored Bertie, that first Briard, who also adored them, indeed would pine when they went off to school. He died tragically young before his second birthday and we were all devastated. Our subsequent dogs have been/are much loved but have definitely been much more my dogs than family dogs but that is likely because the boys were then more interested in other things. I don't have experience of a Briard puppy and young children although I remember meeting up with a family with a young Briard and young children, and thinking what a brilliant family they were for this dog because they were all so calm and sensible. So I think it can be done, but not honestly in my experience. The words that spring to mind for me as I type are a need for 'calm', 'structure', 'experience', 'energy'. To be honest, I think my children were fun loving and lively and energetic (we had huge fun with our dog playing 'hunt the boy' in the woods for the example) but I don't think I was experienced enough with strong, guarding herding dogs and I think our children were over boisterous with our young dog too because although he was always very obedient with us and never nipped, did brilliant things like herding our hens etc and putting them to bed for us, he was I now realise - after making many mistakes with subsequent Briards - allowed to be too boisterous, eg he would nip the boys' friends in play (who were very brave about that). I remember talking this over at the time with several other mothers with dogs and children like ours and we all agreed that the hardest thing with training a young, strong dog was training our children too - who so very much want to play with the dog, and also want their friends to join in the games, as indeed do the friends. Bertie was a great hit with the other children when I picked our boys up from school. That would be my biggest reservation for you. They are wonderful dogs and super, super responsive and teachable, but they can also be super, super reactive, nippy and guardy and it is hard to be consistent and to have the time to make sure that the dog learns the right lessons in a busy family. Talk to lots of wise Briard owners, I would say, also German Shepherd owners, and especially ones who have children under ten. Amanda

_________________
Brion's Mrs
View user's profileSend private message
Amanda Elsdon-Dew
Master Friend
Master Friend


Joined: 10 Sep 2014
Posts: 412
Location: Ockley,

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:22 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Just re-read your original post, and so I would add that I don't think you would have a problem with leaving your dog, indeed ours have all been quite happy to be left for a reasonable length of time, and from my experience they are absolutely fine with their own children, and calm with them whatever the children do, but they have/are all been less good with non family children, which I think is their guarding, herding origins. Also fine with other dogs in the family and or known friends' dogs but not with unfamiliar dogs. Those have been big issues for us. Amanda

_________________
Brion's Mrs
View user's profileSend private message
Kirby
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 10 Jun 2018
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:29 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thank you both for your thoughtful and considered replies. You’ve given us much to consider in order to make sure we make the right choice for us, as well as the puppy we choose.
This would be the first dog for both of us. Now that the children are all a bit more older and sensible, we feel we have the time and attention to add a dog to the family. My husband has wanted a dog for many years, and I think it will be nice for the children to have a pet.
Amanda, reading your post I’m sure we have structure, and energy. I definitely bring the calm (and patience) but I’m not sure if that is cancelled out by my sons at times! In my mind our dog will be someone they can play a game of fetch with (although ‘find the boy’ sounds like something they would enjoy!) and relax and pet. Although I hasten to add this wouldn’t be unsupervised. As well as a companion for us all.
We have a German Shepard puppy (maybe about 6 months old now) living next door, who also have a young son. They are experienced dog owners and breeders, though not of GS. As well as an older GS cross living a couple doors down. So I will speak to both of them. Unfortunately I’m not aware of any Briards locally - we are in South Essex, so if there are any around we would love the opportunity to meet.
View user's profileSend private message
diberdee
Friend
Friend


Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Posts: 72
Location: Essex

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:19 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Kirby

Not sure where you are in south Essex, but I am in Harlow Smile

Although I don't have any children, I can introduce you to my 2 Briards if you are interested.

Karen
View user's profileSend private message
pippin
Friend in Training
Friend in Training


Joined: 08 Jul 2008
Posts: 15
Location: France

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:01 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Although we were experienced dogs owners we were encouraged to visit briards in their own homes before making any decision. We've had six briards over the years all differing in characters. The most gentle was a big black boy who came to us via Briard rehoming, followed by the other boys, then the two girls. Of course regular grooming is essential and can become a real chore if the coat in neglected. I speak from experience. I now have a Catalan Sheepdog. I call him my half size briard. Good luck with whatever you decide.
View user's profileSend private message
Kirby
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 10 Jun 2018
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:04 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hello Karen and Pippin
Thank you very much for your replies, and thank you Karen for the kind offer to introduce me to your Briards - if we lived a bit closer I would have loved to meet them.
However, having read through the replies from everyone, we have decided that now would not be good time to get a Briard. As first time dog owners, we’ll start with something that hopefully will be a bit “easier” as well as better suited to our household. But hopefully once my sons are a bit older, and I’m more experienced with dogs, then we can consider getting a Briard in the future.
Thank you to everyone for their advice, I have really appreciated it.
View user's profileSend private message
maxnick
Friend for Life
Friend for Life


Joined: 16 Aug 2011
Posts: 973
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:19 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Good luck in your search Smile

_________________
Maxine& Nick, Pastou & Lilas the Berger Picards. Always in our hearts, playing together now at Rainbow Bridge, Sally, Barney, Tao, Ina & Rummage.
View user's profileSend private message
Sarah Dandy
Master Friend
Master Friend


Joined: 19 Oct 2004
Posts: 301
Location: West Yorkshire

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:56 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I cannot specify enough how important it is for you to meet some briards in the own home and chat to the breeder and find out more about the breed. As Briards are not a first time dog at all and many breeders will not sell to someone who has not owned a dog before.

This breed is highly intelligent and can think for themselves, if you do not know what you are doing, they will run rings round you or you may end up with a disruptive, ill mannered uncontrollable dog. Many breeders are happy for you to come and meet their gang as it will give you a much needed insight to how the breed behaves, and an opportunity to ask lots of questions.

They require a lot of grooming too, which is not easy through the puppy stage to adult coat, you blink and there is another felt, which can soon lead to other issues if not groomed correctly, sores and skin problems.

I am in West Yorkshire so may be too far for you to travel, but I am more than happy to introduce my lot to you. Or if you can wait and go to Crufts in March where there is discover dogs, where you can meet the breed and discuss all about it with breeders.

A Briard can be suspicious of strangers, therefore have to be socialized more so than people imagine, training is a must, which I feel is not a good mix if this would be your first time dog, learning from scratch as a first time dog owner is not a good mix.

You have to like grooming as many dog groomers do not know what a Briard is or will refuse to do them, and if you do not want a dog glued to your hip where ever you go, a Briard is not for you.

I do not mean to put you off, but feel it is so extremely important for you to meet some Briards and find out more, so that you both do not end up unhappy or with a uncontrollable Briard in the future. Feel free to give me a call to discuss the breed further I am more than happy to help. 01274 599315

Sarah

_________________
http://stormsmistbriards.weebly.com/

Image
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mailVisit poster's website
Display posts from previous:      
Post new topicReply to topic


 Jump to:   



View next topic
View previous topic
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum