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Briard dogs, breed, temperament, history, health, diet and food

The briard dog breed is considered to be among the gentlest of canines around.

As a result, they are also commonly called "a heart wrapped in fur". The briard temperament or nature is extremely loyal and they are very protective of their families, while they also appear to be rather aloof when dealing with strangers. Briards are part of the herding dog family and were previously employed primarily as sheep herders as well as messenger dogs by the French army.

Some of its other responsibilities when used by the French army included aiding in the search for wounded soldiers as well as acting as sentries and raising an alarm if any enemies were seen. They were so excessively used during the First World War that they almost became extinct. The dogs come in a wide variety of colors ranging from dark shades to rather light hues.

Because of their shaggy and long hair, history shows that Briards with lighter color hair have been often mistaken as haystacks. 
As mentioned previously, these dogs are very loyal. Throughout history they have been charged with the task of protecting their flock. As a result, most domesticated briards will assume the family members to be its flock and any strangers are regarded as predators. While introducing yourself to someone else’s pet, you need to establish that you come in good faith as this will help establish a very strong bond between you and the animal. Briards are well known for their very good memory - thus making them rather easy to train. Unfortunately, this trait is also applicable to any bad habits they may pick up on the way. As a result, any bad habits are also retained. It is important to allow socialization of the animal from a very young age to allow it to adapt to social circles and avoid it becoming a recluse - something that is totally against its natural tendencies.
A substantial number of deaths among brairds are accounted for by the development of cancer. There are no specific types of cancer and the condition, although more prevalent in older dogs, can even affect dogs as young as 4 years of age. Other common medical problems that this breed suffers from include hypothyroidism, eye problems and hip dysplasia. A diet for the animal should contain high amounts of folic acids, a wide range of vitamins and minerals derived from food sources such as oyster shells.
  Submitted on September 5, 2011  

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