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Showing posts with label herding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label herding. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Common Collie types and breeds

Common Collie types and breeds
  The collie is a distinctive type of herding dog, including many related landraces and standardised breeds. The type originated in Scotland and Northern England. The collie is a medium-sized, fairly lightly built dog, with a pointed snout. Many types have a distinctive white pattern over the shoulders. Collies are very active and agile, and most types of collies have a very strong herding instinct. Collie breeds have spread through many parts of the world  and have diversified into many varieties, sometimes with mixture from other dog types.
  Some collie breeds have remained as working dogs, used for herding cattle, sheep and other livestock, while others are kept as pets, show dogs or for dog sports, in which they display great agility, stamina and trainability. While the AKC has a breed they call "Collie", in fact collie dogs are a distinctive type of herding dog including many related landraces and formal breeds. There are usually major distinctions between show dogs and those bred for herding trials or dog sports. They typically display great agility, stamina and trainability and more importantly sagacity.
  Common use of the name "collie" in some areas is limited largely to certain breeds – such as to the Rough Collie in parts of the United States, or to the Border Collie in many rural parts of Great Britain. Many collie types do not actually include "collie" in their name.
  Herding dogs of collie type have long been widespread in Britain, and these can be regarded as a landrace from which a number of other landraces, types, and formal breeds have been derived, both in Britain and elsewhere. Many of them are working herding dogs, but some have been bred for conformation showing and as pets, sometimes losing their working instincts in the course of selection for appearance or for a more subdued temperament.
  Herding types tend to vary in appearance more than conformation and pet types, as they are bred primarily for their working ability, and appearance is thus of lower importance.

1. Border Collie
The most well known breed for herding sheep throughout the world. Originally developed in Scotland and Northern England. Not always suitable for herding cattle. Ears semi-erect or floppy, fur silky or fairly long, but short on face and legs; red, black, black-and-tan or merle, all usually with white over shoulders, alternatively mostly white with coloured patches on head. Coat can be either long or short.
  The Border Collie breed boasts two varieties of coat: rough and smooth. Both are double coats, with a coarser outer coat and soft undercoat. The rough variety is medium length with feathering on the legs, chest, and belly. The smooth variety is short all over, usually coarser in texture than the rough variety, and feathering is minimal. His coat is most often black with a white blaze on the face, neck, feet, legs, and tail tip, with or without tan. However, he may be any bicolor, tricolor, merle, or solid color except white.

2. Bearded Collie
  Now largely a pet and show breed, but still of collie type, and some are used as working dogs. The Beardie has a flat, harsh, strong and shaggy outer coat and a soft, furry undercoat. The coat falls naturally to either side without need of a part. Long hair on the cheeks, lower lips, and under the chin forms the beard for which he is known. All Bearded Collies are born black, blue, brown, or fawn, with or without white markings. Some carry a fading gene, and as they mature, the coat lightens, darkening again slightly after one year of age. A puppy born black may become any shade of gray from black to slate to silver. 
  The dogs that are born brown will lighten from chocolate to sandy, and the blues and fawns show shades from dark to light. Dogs without the fading gene stay the color they were when they were born. The white only occurs as a blaze on the face, on the head, on the tip of the tail, on the chest, legs, feet, and around the neck. Tan markings occasionally appear on the eyebrows, inside the ears, on the cheeks, under the root of the tail and on the legs where the white joins the main color.

3. Shetland Sheepdog
  A small show and pet breed developed in England partly from herding dogs originating in Shetland. The Shetland dogs were originally working herding dogs, not collies but of Spitz type . However, in the development of the modern breed these Spitz-type dogs were heavily mixed with the Rough Collie and toy breeds, and are now similar in appearance to a miniature Rough Collie. Very small, nearly erect ears, long silky fur on body, most commonly sable or merle, with white over shoulders.
  Shelties have a double coat. The undercoat is short and dense, causing the longer, harsher topcoat to stand out from the body. The hair on the head, ears, and feet is smooth, but the mane and frill are abundant. The legs and tail are furry as well.

4. Australian Cattle Dog
  Dog used in Australia for herding cattle, one of several Australian dogs interbred with the wild Dingo. Dogs of this type are also known as Queensland Heeler, Blue Heeler and Red Heeler. Powerful build, erect ears, short-haired, mottled grey or red with solid colour patches on head, and no white.
  The Australian Cattle Dog's coloring is blue or red speckle. Blue or blue-mottled includes black, blue, or tan markings on the head; partially tan on the forelegs, chest, and throat; and tan on the jaw and hind legs. Sometimes the undercoat is tan with a blue outer coat. Red speckle means red all over, including the undercoat, and sometimes including dark red markings on the head.

5. Old English Sheepdog
  Derived from "Shags", hairy herding dogs, themselves derived from "Beards", the ancestors of the Bearded Collie. Modern dogs larger than most collies, no tail, floppy ears, long silky hair , usually grey and white. Not to be confused with the English Shepherd.
  If you want a dog with big hair, the Old English Sheepdog is the one for you. This breed has hair galore: a profuse, shaggy coat that is neither straight nor curly. The breed has a double coat, with a textured outer coat and soft undercoat. Colors include gray, grizzle, blue or blue merle, brown, and fawn, usually mixed with white markings. 
He's certainly a large dog at 60 to 100 pounds, but his profuse coat of blue-gray and white makes him appear even larger. Known for his wonderful temperament, he's powerful, sturdy, and hardworking. Those who know and love him are familiar with his sense of humor. He can be playful and comical, although he is also the guardian and protector of his family.
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Friday, December 22, 2017

Everything about your Beauceron

Everything about your Beauceron
  Expect to be herded by this stubborn French beauty. Highly versatile and intelligent, the protective Beauceron is an excellent watchdog for his family and home, but he's not for first-time dog owners. He is an athlete and will make sure you get outside for exercise and fun. His short coat is easy to groom.

  The Beauceron, also known as the Bas Rouge, the Beauce Shepherd, the Berger de Beauce and the French Shorthaired Shepherd, is the largest of the French sheepherding dogs. It is closely related to the longhaired Briard (Berger de Brie) and has been controlling flocks of sheep and herds of cattle since at least the 16th century. The Beauceron is a muscular, deep-chested and imposing dog with a short coat and a long tail, somewhat resembling a cross between a Doberman Pinscher and a German Shepherd Dog. This is a potentially aggressive breed, always ready to attack if it deems it necessary to protect its people, property or livestock. However, if gently and consistently trained and socialized, thye Beauceron can make a loyal and trusted companion. One of the more unusual features of the breed is the required presence of double dewclaws on its rear legs. The Beauceron was only recently recognized by the American Kennel Club, becoming a member of the Herding Group in 2007.

Other Quick Facts
  The Beauceron is a “mouthy” dog. Be sure you have plenty of tough toys on hand for him to carry around and chew on. Don’t let him gnaw on your hands, feet, or other body parts.

Breed standards
AKC group: Herding
UKC group: Herding dog
Average lifespan: 10-12 years
Average size: 80 to 110 pounds
Coat appearance: Harsh outer coat with woolly, fluffy undercoat
Coloration: Black with tan markings, or black and mottled grey with tan markings
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Families with older children, active singles and seniors, houses with yards, farms
Temperament: Calm, reliable loyal, devoted
Comparable Breeds: Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd

  A French herding breed known for centuries in western Europe, the Beauceron is noted as one of the breeds used to create the Doberman Pinscher. The regional name is somewhat misleading: the breed was found throughout northern France, rather than just in the Beauce region. Although quite different in appearance, the Beauceron and the long-haired sheep dog, the Briard, stem from similar ancestral stock, sharing the trait of double dewclaws on the hind legs. Both were used to herd sheep and cattle. Like the Beauceron, the Briard is found throughout northern France, and despite implications from its name, also did not come exclusively from the Brie region.
  In 1809, Abbé Rozier wrote an article on these French herding dogs, in which he described the differences in type and used the terms Berger de Brie and Berger de Beauce.
  In 1893, the veterinarian Paul Megnin differentiated between the long-haired Berger de la Brie and the short-haired Berger de Beauce. He defined the standard of the breed, with the assistance of M. Emmanuel Ball. In 1922, the Club des Amis du Beauceron was formed under the guidance of Dr. Megnin.
  In 2008, the Beauceron made its debut in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

  The Beauceron is known as a calm, intelligent and gentle dog and one that enjoys being in a family environment. They are agile, athletic and brave becoming totally devoted to their families and children. They can be a little wary and aloof around people they don’t already know, but rarely would a Beauceron show any sort of aggression towards strangers, preferring to just keep their distance until they get to know someone.
  Beaucerons mature slowly which has to be taken into account during their training. These handsome dogs don't really reach their full mental maturity until they are around 3 years old. With this said, they are intelligent dogs and therefore in the right hands and in the right environment, they are easy to train, but because they mature so slowly, it's important that their education not be rushed, but rather broken down into shorter sessions that are fun and which keep a Beauceron focused. Long, repetitive training sessions do not suit these dogs because they would not only find them tiring, but boring too.
  They are not the best choice for first time owners, unless the person is prepared to dedicate a lot of time to satisfy the needs of such a high energy, intelligent dog. However, they make wonderful family pets for people who lead active, outdoor lives and in households where at least one person remains at home when everyone else is out. They do not answer well to any sort of harsh correction or heavy handed training methods, however, they do respond well to positive reinforcement which gets the best results from these sensitive, intelligent dogs.

Health Problems
  The Beauceron is generally a healthy, hardy breed. Some lines are prone to bloat and like any breed over 40 pounds, Beaucerons are prone to hip dysplasia. Ninety-five percent of all breeders in the U.S. breed only hip certified stock.

  The Beauceron loves spending time with its human family and performs best when kept inside the house with access to the outdoors. It is highly active and enthusiastic in nature. Exercise on a regular basis is essential, otherwise they tend to get bored and frustrated. But exercise does not mean only physical exercise, a great deal of mental exercise is also required to keep them absolutely fit and fine.

Living Conditions
  The Beauceron will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. They are moderately active indoors and will do best with at least a large yard.

  Even though this is a highly trainable breed, the Beauceron is not the dog for first-time owners or timid trainers. With its high intelligence, this breed is also known as being independent. You should take on training responsibilities seriously, as you’ll need to be consistent and confident. If you don’t prove that you are in charge, the Beauceron will quite willingly take that position.
  Once you’ve proven who is in charge, you’ll find that your Beaucerons will flourish when it comes to basic obedience. In no time at all, you can move onto more advanced training with tricks, tracking or agility lessons. Not only does this dog need lots of exercise, it also needs plenty of mental stimulation, as boredom leads to destructive behaviors.

Exercise Requirements
  Get ready to move – the Beauceron loves its exercise. You’ll need a lot of room for this dog, so stay away from this breed if you live in an apartment or want a dog that’s laid back. The Beauceron is not your typical family dog, but it will keep an eye out for children when playing outdoors.
  Because Beaucerons were bred for herding and guarding duty, this breed needs to be active. A walk around the block just won’t do. Active owners will love this breed, as this dog can keep up with hikes, bikes, jogs, runs and swims. If you have a farm or a lot of room to roam, the Beauceron is the right dog for you.

  When it comes to grooming, the Beauceron is an easy keeper thanks to his short, double coat. A bath every three to four months with a mild shampoo is all that is needed. Brush his sleek coat with a natural bristle brush or rubber hound mitt several times a week to remove dead hair.
  The Beauceron sheds small amounts year-round and more heavily in spring and fall. He will need more frequent brushing during seasonal shedding periods to control the amount of loose hair floating around your house.
  The rest is basic care. His ears need to be checked every week and cleaned if needed. Trim his toenails once a month. Brush the teeth frequently for good overall health and fresh breath.

Children And Other Pets
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Is the Beauceron the Right Breed for you?
Low Maintenance: Infrequent grooming is required to maintain upkeep.
Moderate Shedding: Routine brushing will help. Be prepared to vacuum often!
Difficult Training: The Beauceron isn't deal for a first time dog owner. Patience and perseverance are required to adequately train it.
Very Active: It will need daily exercise to maintain its shape. Committed and active owners will enjoy performing fitness activities with this breed.
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Did You Know?
  The Beauceron is a French herding breed used on sheep. In his home country he is known as the Berger (bair-zhay) de Beauce (bohs). The name means “shepherd of the Beauce.”

Popular culture
  • There is a Beauceron named Bosco in the film Marmaduke.
  • A dog of the same breed is also in the film Hotel for Dogs. His name is Henry.
  • A pack of hunting Beaucerons appeared in the 1988 movie The Bear.
  • A Beauceron was also seen in the film The Wild Child.
  • Two Beauce Shepherds appear in the James Bond movie Moonraker.
  • There was a Beauceron used extensively in the search and rescue efforts in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001.
  • There was a Beauceron in a brief scene in the Martin Scorcese directed movie Gangs of New York.

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Everything about your Finnish Lapphund

Everything about your Finnish Lapphund
  Believe it or not, this hard-working dog breed earned his keep herding reindeer in his native Lapland, in the far north of Finland. Friendly and gentle, the Finnish Lapphund retains a strong herding instinct.

  The Finnish Lapphund, also known as the Lapinkoira, Lapponian Shepherd Dog, Finish Lapland Dog, Suomenlapinkoira or Lappy, is a medium-sized dog that has the dense double coat typical of northern breeds combined with the temperament of a herding dog.
  The original Finnish Lapphunds were used for hunting and protection by the Sami, a tribe of semi-nomadic people who lived in Lapland, which is the northern region of Norway, Finland, Sweden and Russia. Eventually, the Lapphund transitioned to a herding dog, as the Sami settled into a more sedentary life of breeding reindeer.

Other Quick Facts
  • The medium-size Finnish Lapphund has a soft, sweet expression and a coat that comes in black, blond, brown, tan, and other colors and combinations.
  • The Lapphund’s habit of barking harks back to his heritage as a herding dog. If you don’t keep reindeer, though, he can learn to moderate his barking, becoming instead a good watchdog and family companion.
Breed standards
AKC group: Herding
UKC group: Northern Breed
Average lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Average size: 33 to 53 pounds
Coat appearance: A long, coarse outer coat tops a soft, thick undercoat. 
Coloration: white, black, red, and brown, as well as combinations of colors such as black and tan. 
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Families with children, active singles, active seniors, houses with yards
Temperament: Faithful, friendly, calm, courageous
Comparable Breeds: Japanese Spitz, Keeshond

  The Finnish Lapphund was kept by the Sami, a semi-nomadic people inhabiting the far reaches of the Arctic north, Lapland, which comprises the northern regions of Finland, Sweden and part of Russia. The Lapphund’s job was to help to herd reindeer, but when snowmobiles came along his job went away.
  In the 1940s, interest in preserving the breed led to the writing of a breed standard, which was accepted by the Finnish Kennel Club in 1945, and establishment of a breeding program. At first, the dogs were called Lapponian Shepherd Dogs and included a shorthaired variety and a longhaired variety, both of which might be born in the same litter. In 1967, the two types were declared separate breeds, with the longhaired dogs becoming known as the Finnish Lapphund. The dogs are popular pets in Finland.
  Finnish immigrants probably brought Lapphunds with them when they came to the United States, but it wasn’t until 1987 that interest began in achieving American Kennel Club recognition for the dogs. The Lapphund will became a member of the AKC’s Herding Group on June 30, 2011.

  The Finnish Lapphund is a very intelligent and active breed. Finnish Lapphunds take well to training due to their intelligence. Some owners and fanciers claim that "Lappies" even have the ability to think through actions first. Although small in number worldwide, a noticeable number of Finnish Lapphunds have excelled in activities such as obedience trials, agility, herding trials, and pet therapy.
  The breed is friendly and alert, and makes a good watch dog, due to its tendency to bark at unfamiliar things. The breed was originally used to herd reindeer by droving, and barking helped it to be distinguished from wolves. Even when not herding, the Finnish Lapphund tends to bark with a purpose, and more rare cases of problem barking can normally be controlled by training.
  The breed makes the ideal outdoor companion. It is active, coldproof, and waterproof, and will gladly accompany people on walking or running trips. A slight independent streak is common, though with training Finnish Lapphunds can have excellent recall and obedience skills.
  Lappies are ideal choice for a family with small children. The breed adapts well to family life, including being responsive to children. Finnish Lapphunds have a gentle nature with children, people with disabilities, and the elderly. This is a very friendly breed and it normally avoids and flees from threatening situations. The breed is very curious, so some supervision is recommended.
  In Finland, many Finnish Lapphunds have won national championships for obedience and lappies are also suitable for agility.

Health Problems
  Finnish Lapphunds are generally a very healthy breed of dog and do not suffer from a great number of hereditary ailments. They are however prone to eye problems like cataracts and GPRA, the latter which can cause permanent blindness.

  In addition to physical activity, the Finnish Lapphund needs a healthy dose of mental stimulation. As a herding dog, this breed will analyze a situation before deciding how to handle it. Fortunately, the Finnish Lapphund enjoys training and working with people. This breed is relatively easy to train and enjoys using its finely-tuned observational skills to learn what is asked of it. These are fairly “soft” dogs. They respond best to positive reinforcement and reward-based training, using praise rather than punishment. Finnish Lapphunds have strong noses and excel at scent-related activities, such as tracking, scent discrimination work and search and rescue.

Activity Requirements
  Finnish Lapphunds are extremely active, alert and ready to be part of whatever action is going on. They were bred for outdoor work around reindeer, cattle and horses, and they appreciate the opportunity to run and explore outside. Because they hail from frigid arctic areas, these dogs do quite well living in cold climates. They enjoy going for long walks with their owners and engaging in all sorts of active canine sports. Like many other herding breeds, the Finnish Lapphund has tremendous strength and stamina. This dog is perfectly suited for people who enjoy hiking, mountain biking, backpacking and other outdoor activities. The Finnish Lapphund wants and needs lots of exercise and may become restless and destructive if its energy needs are not met.

  Like all spitz breeds, the Lapphund has a thick, profuse coat that sheds seasonally and requires regular brushing to keep flying fur under control. Brush his double coat weekly to keep it clean and remove dead hair. During spring and fall shedding seasons, daily brushing will help to keep excess hair under control.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every few weeks. Keep the ears clean and dry to prevent infections. Check them weekly for redness or a bad odor that might indicate infection. If the ears look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball moistened with a mild cleanser recommended by your veterinarian. Brush the teeth frequently for good overall health and fresh breath.
  It is important to begin grooming the Lappie when he is very young. An early introduction teaches him that grooming is a normal part of his life and to patiently accept the handling and fuss of the grooming process.

Children And Other Pets
  Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Is the Finnish Lapphund the Right Breed for you?
High Maintenance: Grooming should be performed often to keep the dog's coat in good shape. No trimming or stripping needed.
Easy Training: The Finnish Lapphund is known to listen to commands and obey its owner. Expect fewer repetitions when training this breed.
Very Active: It will need daily exercise to maintain its shape. Committed and active owners will enjoy performing fitness activities with this breed.
Good for New Owners: This breed is well suited for those who have little experience with dog ownership.
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Did You Know?
  The Finnish Lapphund comes from the far north and is intolerant of heat. Keep him indoors on hot or humid days.
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Friday, November 24, 2017

Everything about your Briard

Everything about your Briard
  Centuries old and beloved by the French since the Middle Ages, the Briard is busy, active dog that loves to protect his flock. And if he doesn’t have a flock to protect, he’ll be content watching over your family. Quite happy to move from the farm to a house, this breed is a wonderful companion for people who like to stay active. Also known as the Berger Briard, the Chien Berger de Brie and the Berger de Brie, the Briard is loyal to a fault and will love you with his whole heart, right from the start.

  Often called "a heart wrapped in fur," the Briard makes a great family dog. He is devoted to his owner, happiest following you around the house while you do chores or watching you watch television on a rainy day.
  With a strong instinct to herd, it's not unusual for him to try to gather or keep the children or adults in his family within certain boundaries. He may nudge, push, or bark at his "flock."
  The Briard is an intelligent breed and a quick study when it comes to training, though he can be stubborn and want to do things his own way. Owners must be prepared to establish pack leadership from an early age or the dog is likely to take a shot at the role himself.
  The Briard is an ideal companion for someone who wants a lovable, but not overly dependent, dog. A member of the Herding Group, he weighs in at around 75 pounds and lives comfortably in the country or city — as long as he's with his family and gets sufficient exercise.

  • The Briard needs daily grooming. Although his coat is considered low- to non-shedding, it tangles and matts easily. If you do not have the time or patience for grooming, consider another breed.
  • The Briard is naturally independent, which is a wonderful quality if your puppy has been trained properly. However, without training, that independent, confident puppy can turn into an unmanageable adult.
  • The Briard must be socialized early to avoid aggression toward people or animals he doesn't know. Briards were bred to be guard dogs and still take this role seriously.
  • The Briard enjoys being with his owner. He does best when he is allowed to hang out with the people he loves.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
Other Quick Facts

  • The Briard’s long coat can be any color except white. It is usually black, gray or tawny.
  • In France, the breed is called the Berger (bair-zhay) de Brie (bree).
  • The Briard’s tail is in the shape of a J, like a shepherd’s crook. It’s known as a crochet hook.
  • Briards can be found participating in herding, agility and obedience trials, as well as flyball competitions.
Breed standards
AKC group: Herding
UKC group: Herding Dog
Average lifespan: 10-12 years
Average size: 70 to 90 pounds
Coat appearance: Long and slightly wavy
Coloration: Uniform black, fawn, grey or blue
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Families with children, active singles, houses with yards, farms/rural areas, watchdog
Temperament: Devoted, intelligent, protective, gentle
Comparable Breeds: Bearded Collie, Barbet

  The Briard has a long history in France as a herding breed and guard dog, protecting flocks from wolves and poachers. His reputation is that of a brave and heroic protector. In addition, the breed has been used to track and hunt game, as a sentinel in war time and as a pack dog to carry items.
  The breed probably descends from rough-coated sheepdogs that came to Europe in the Middle Ages. Dogs that resemble the Briard are depicted in eighth-century tapestries, and the dogs are mentioned in 12th-century records. A breed standard was written for the dogs in 1867, and a French breed club was formed in 1909.
Both Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette brought Briards to the United States, but it wasn’t until 1922 that a litter of Briards was registered with the American Kennel Club.   The AKC recognized the breed in 1928. The breed currently ranks 125th among the breeds registered by the AKC, down from 110th in 2000.

  They can be clowns or be serious, but the one thing in common that all Briards have is they want to please you. Known to have hearts of gold that are wrapped in fur, the Briard makes a perfect family pet for those who like to keep active. If they don’t get enough exercise, this breed can become destructive. To keep your home and garden in one piece, you’ll need to be committed to daily activity.
  Even though he will be generous with his affection with the family, your Briard may be wary of strangers. You can thank their flock-protecting instinct for that. This makes him an excellent watchdog. To keep him from becoming aggressive with strangers, you should start socialization from an early age and keep up this practice throughout his lifetime.
  The Briard will get along with most pets, but can often be aggressive with other dogs. If you already have pets in your house when you bring your Briard puppy home, you should be fine, be avoid adding new animals into the mix once he has been established in the household.

  With such a large breed, you can expect hip dysplasia and bloat to be an issue with the Briard. As well, they may also suffer from cataracts, central progressive retinal atrophy, congenital stationary night blindness, hereditary retinal dystrophy of Briards, hypothyroidism and lymphoma.

  The Briard's coat must be brushed regularly to prevent the hair from tangling. Herding is its favorite activity, but it can also be taken for long walks or jogs in order to meet its exercise requirements. And though it is adaptable to outdoor living, it is most often considered an indoor dog. Just make sure you take it to large fields and let it play frequently.

Living Conditions

  The Briard will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. They are moderately active indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard. This dog is totally not suited for life in a kennel. They are happiest in the home as part of the family, but they do love to be outdoors.

  Briards are highly trainable dogs and thrive on mastering new tasks. Training should always be done with a confident but gentle hand, as this breed is highly sensitive and boasts a long memory. A Briard isn't easy to forgive someone who treats him harshly. Establishing leadership should be done as early as possible, because Briards are dominant and will move quickly to take over the role of “pack leader” in the home, unless otherwise put in his place.
  This breed is fearless boasts excellent stamina. They can work all day alongside a farmer without losing steam and because of their versatility, trainability and endurance, Troops in WWI used Briards for a variety of tasks including, sentries, messengers and medic dogs.


  This is no dog for the lazy. This dog needs plenty of activity to keep him occupied – both physical and mental. Farms make an ideal environment for this breed, where he can herd sheep and protect against predators. If you don’t live on a farm, a large, fenced-in yard is necessary. Children will help tire him out, but playtime should always be supervised as he might herd the kids.
  Because they need a large area in which to move around, apartments and condos are not good living quarters for the Briard. They just won’t get the exercise they need in that small amount of space.

  The Briard's coat is long and very high-maintenance. While no stripping is required, two to three hours per week of brushing is required in order to keep their thick coats from matting.  When brushed properly, dirt and debris is easily removed from the coat. They shed lightly year round, but will blow their entire coat twice per year. The coat of a Briard can grow to about five inches in length, which is the acceptable standard, and in fact, clipping can lead to disqualification in the show ring. Retired Briards, or dogs who will not be shown, can have their coats trimmed in order to pear down the weekly maintenance schedule.
  As the Briard sheds, if the undercoat is not properly removed from the body, it will form mats.
  Briards need to be bathed about once every six weeks. Over-bathing this breed can lead to natural oils in the hair and skin being stripped away, causing skin irritation and even infection. The Briard's face and rear end may need to be washed more often, as their beards can hang into their food and water dishes, and their long hair can trap debris when the dog eliminates.
  In addition to brushing and bathing, Briards should have their ears cleaned on a weekly basis with a veterinarian-approved cleanser to keep harmful bacteria at bay. Weekly tooth brushing will keep teeth and gums healthy, and prevent bad breath.

Children And Other Pets
  A loving and playful companion, the Briard makes an excellent family dog. He is protective of the children in his family, and has been known to "defend" them when parents discipline.
  As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party.
  Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  If the Briard is raised with other dogs and pets, and learns they are members of his pack, he gets along fairly well. However, his prey drive is strong, so training is necessary for him to learn not to chase the family cat or quarrel with your Beagle. Supervision is a good idea, as animals outside his immediate family are likely to trigger his instinct to give chase. Keep him on a leash when you are in public.

Is the Briard the Right Breed for you?

High Maintenance: Grooming should be performed often to keep the dog's coat in good shape. No trimming or stripping needed.
Moderate Shedding: Routine brushing will help. Be prepared to vacuum often!
Moderately Easy Training: The Briard is average when it comes to training. Results will come gradually.
Very Active: It will need daily exercise to maintain its shape. Committed and active owners will enjoy performing fitness activities with this breed.
Good for New Owners: This breed is well suited for those who have little experience with dog ownership.
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Did You Know?
Sam and Ralph clock

  Briards have made a variety of big and small-screen appearances, most notably in the series “Married With Children” and the soap opera “All My Children,” as well as the movies “Top Dog” and “Dennis the Menace.”

Briards in popular culture

  • Dennis the Menace - "Ruff"
  • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - "Stevie"
  • Bachelor Father - "Jasper
  • Get Smart - Agent K-13 "Fang
  • Dharma & Greg - "Stinky"
  • Addams Family - "Them" 
  • Top Dog - "Reno"
  • Dennis the Menace (1993) - "Rosie"
  • The Karate Dog 2004
  • Tell No One 2006
  • Sam Sheepdog of Looney Tunes fame

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Everything about your Berger Picard

Everything about your Berger Picard
  The Berger Picard (pronounced ‘Bare-zhay Pee-carr’) also known as the Picardy Shepherd, is considered to be France’s oldest sheepdog. In fact, its scraggly, mutt-like appearance hides a rich and storied history that dates back to the 9th century. It is a medium-sized, well-muscled dog with a slightly elongated body. Its ears are pointy and erect, and its eyebrows are bushy, but not excessively so that they cover the dog’s eyes.   The Berger Picard’s outer coat is rough and scraggly to the touch and covers a soft, dense undercoat.

  The breed’s appearance in the film catapulted it to, well, not stardom, but it did put it on the path to American citizenship. In the nine years since the movie’s release, fans of the Picard imported dogs for themselves, formed a breed club, and began breeding and exhibiting the dogs. The Berger Picard achieved AKC recognition in 2015.
  If the Picard looks familiar and you haven't watched "Winn-Dixie," it may be because you've seen the breed in the Animal Planet show “Treehouse Masters,” the movies “Daniel and the Superdogs” or “Are We Done Yet?” or in J. Crew advertisements or a Verizon commercial.
  People who live with the Picard describe him as comical, smart and athletic. He’s often described as having a humanlike gaze — one that says “I love you.”
  These active dogs tend to have lots of stamina. Once you get the go-ahead from your veterinarian, this dog may be the ideal companion for jogging, hiking or running alongside your bicycle. Many love to swim and can hardly be dragged out of the water. At a minimum, the Berger Picard needs several brisk walks daily. He does have an "off switch," though, and will lie quietly in the house once you’re back from your outing.

Quick Facts
  • Berger is the French word for shepherd, and Picardy is the region in France where the breed originated.
  • One of the Picard’s distinctive characteristics is his J-shaped tail, reminiscent of a shepherd’s crook.
  • Picard puppies typically go to their new homes at 12 weeks of age, but breeders may place them earlier depending on the individual puppy and family situation.
  • The Berger Picard’s coat may be fawn or brindle. Some fawn-colored dogs have charcoal-gray trim on the outer edges of the ears and gray shading, or underlay, on the head and body. Brindle dogs can be any base color, ranging from light gray or fawn to black, with stripes or small patches of black, brown, red, gray or fawn.

Breed standards
AKC group: Herding

UKC group: Herding Dog
Average lifespan: 12-14 years
Average size: 55 to 70 pounds
Coat appearance: Dense, Double layer, Harsh and Rough, Long, Shaggy, Short, Soft, and Wire
Coloration: fawn or brindle
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Families with children, houses with yards, farms/rural areas
Temperament: Vigilant, assertive, lively, energetic, intelligent
Comparable Breeds: Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Pyrenean Shepherd

  Imagine going to a movie theater and falling in love with Brad Pitt, then going home and finding out that you can actually buy Brad Pitt. That’s how Betsy Richards, president of the Berger Picard Club of America, describes her introduction to the breed, which first came to her attention when she saw the movie “Because of Winn-Dixie.
A woodcut of a Berger Picard.
  Using the Internet, she tracked down a breeder in France and flew there in September 2005 to pick up her new dog. Almost as soon as she arrived home, she realized she needed a second one because her three sons monopolized the new puppy. That was the beginning of the breed’s formal history in this country. Although some Picards had been imported earlier, no one had ever made a successful effort to establish them here.
  But long before the Picard immigrated to America, he herded sheep in northern France and is thought to be the oldest of the French sheepdogs. The concept of pure breeds didn’t exist until the mid-19th century, but dogs resembling the Picard have been depicted for centuries in tapestries, engravings and woodcuts.
  The Berger Picard made an appearance in a French dog show in 1863 and participated in herding trials but was not especially popular. The French Shepherd Club did not officially recognize the breed until 1925. The American Kennel Club began registering the breed with its Foundation Stock Service in 2007 and recognized the Picard as a member of the Herding Group in July 2015.
  Many of the dogs did not survive the ravages of two World Wars and approached extinction, but dog lovers in the 1950s worked to bring them back. Picards are now found not only in their native France but also in other European countries, Canada and the United States.

  The Berger Picard's attributes include a lively, intelligent personality and a sensitive and assertive disposition that responds quickly to obedience training. By and large, Picards are laid back and mellow but they are known for having a stubborn streak and being reserved towards strangers. They require a lot of socialization during the first two years of their lives.
  Picards are energetic and hard working, alert and are not excessive barkers. Some Picards are notoriously picky eaters, and it may be difficult to decide on a diet that you and the dog agree on.
  The breed also has a well-developed sense of humor, making them an endearing companion, and they continue to be used very effectively as both sheep and cattle herder in their native land and elsewhere.
  Like many herding breeds, Picards require human companionship and lots of it. Since they can be demonstrative to their owners and enthusiastic friends towards other animals, formal obedience training and plenty of positive socialization is a must. Athletic, loyal and filled with a desire to work a long day, the breed excels in any "job" as long as enthusiasm and praise is a part of the task.

  Berger Picards are generally a very healthy breed of dog. They can sometimes have problems with hip dysplasia. Certain hereditary ailments such as progressive retina atrophy and retinal dysplasia can occur in certain lines.
  The breed's life expectancy is 12 to 14 years.

Living conditions
  Despite being able and ready to work outdoors, Picards can do surprisingly well in city life provided they are given enough energy-releasing exercise. However, the Picard always tries to stay close to its owner and family, so when given a choice between being alone in a big yard or inside with its master the Picard would rather be with his "shepherd." Inside the house the Picard is usually a very quiet dog, waiting for its time to go out to run, play and sniff around. They are very loyal and enjoy a lot of attention and may suffer from separation anxiety . This is not a breed created to live outside year round. They lack the layer of body fat that even a lean Livestock Guardian Dog has and their coat is not dense enough to withstand fridge winter conditions of many areas.

  Like most other shepherding breeds Berger Picards are highly intelligent and responsive to obedience training. However, they can be willful and stubborn when faced with a lack of leadership. Therefore it is important that owners display a calm and assertive style of leadership consistently.

Exercise and activities
  Bred to work the fields, Picards are very athletic and revel in exercise. A good deal of exercise is therefore a must for this breed. Otherwise boredom will give way to destructive behavior and rowdy play. They enjoy swimming, running beside a bike, and nice long walks.   The Berger Picard makes an excellent jogging companion. The breed's intelligence and sensitivity have made it increasingly popular in dog sports such as agility trials, Tracking, obedience, showmanship, Schutzhund, Flyball, Lure coursing, French Ring Sport and herding events. Herding instincts and trainability can be measured at noncompetitive herding tests. Berger Picards exhibiting basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in herding trials.

  The Picard’s coat stands out for its tousled appearance and rough texture. It’s 2 to 3 inches long, enough to protect the dog but not so much that it hides the outline of his body. Completing his distinct look are rough eyebrows, a beard and mustache and a slight ruff framing the head. Together, these accents are known as “griffonage.”
  Even a shaggy dog needs grooming. Brush the coat weekly to keep it clean and remove dead hair. You’ll need a coat rake to remove the undercoat during the twice-yearly shedding seasons in the spring and fall. Ask your dog’s breeder to show you how to pluck or strip the long hair edging the ears.
  Frequent baths aren’t necessary unless you show your dog, but if you have a water-loving Picard, give him a thorough freshwater rinse to remove chlorine, algae or salt after a dip in the pool, lake or ocean. When you bathe him, use a dog shampoo formulated for a harsh coat.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails every week or two, and brush the teeth often — with a vet-approved pet toothpaste — for good overall health and fresh breath.

Is the Berger Picard the Right Breed for you?
Moderate Maintenance: Regular grooming is required to keep its fur in good shape. Little to no trimming or stripping needed.
Moderate Shedding: Routine brushing will help. Be prepared to vacuum often!
Moderately Easy Training: The Berger Picard is average when it comes to training. Results will come gradually.
Very Active: It will need daily exercise to maintain its shape. Committed and active owners will enjoy performing fitness activities with this breed.
Good for New Owners: This breed is well suited for those who have little experience with dog ownership.
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Did You Know?
  The Picard has large, naturally upright ears. The ears may droop while a puppy is teething, but they will regain their erect appearance once the permanent teeth are in.

Interesting facts
  • Sheepdogs resembling Berger Picards have been depicted for centuries in tapestries, engravings and woodcuts. One renowned painting, in the Bergerie Nationale at Rambouillet, the National Sheepfold of France, dating to the start of the 19th century, shows the 1st Master Shepherd, Clément Delorme, in the company of a medium-sized, strong-boned dog with mid-length crisp coat and naturally upright ears, resembling in many ways a Berger Picard of today.
  • The first Berger Picards were shown together in the same class with Beaucerons and Briards in 1863 but it was more than 50 years later in 1925 that the Picard was officially recognized as a breed in France.
  • Berger Picards, with their crisp coats, were reportedly used to smuggle tobacco and matches across the Franco-Belgian border. The tobacco would be put in goatskin pouches, hairy side up, and attached to the dog's shaven back. From a distance, dogs carrying such loads would not draw attention, particularly at dusk or at night.
  • Berger Picards can be seen in at least three movies: Daniel and the Superdogs (2004); Because of Winn-Dixie (2005); and Are We Done Yet? (2007). Picards are often mistaken for another canine actor, the wire haired Portuguese Podengo Medio.
  • In 2012, BPCA member and Picard owner Christina Potter wrote a book, Chester Gigolo: Diary of a Dog Star (Aperture Press), based on her weekly blog about the antics of her Picard Chester's life and ambitions. Chester has appeared in advertisements for The Company Store, J. Crew, and Verizon. Potter donates 10% of royalties to Picard DNA collection and health projects.[citation needed]
  • In 2016, Gabby, Guess V.D. Bovendijkse Hoeve, owned by Beverly Conroy and bred by Hanny Terburg of the Netherlands became the first Berger Picard to win best of breed at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
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