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Briards &                                              by Terry Miller
             Dog Parks

The Briard temperament is a surprise to many at first contact        Likewise in doggy day care settings, if rigidly clear
with the breed. They are intensely affectionate to their loved       management is not applied and half attention paid...BBB, “bad
ones, devoted to a fault and exclusive in their loyalty. Most        Briard behavior” can rear its ugly head. The more
Briards have strong opinions and are fairly assertive about their    sophisticated and educated of dog people avoid such dog/
needs and expectations, requiring a clear and constant leader        dog/dog settings to limit exposure to bad behavior learning
with unwaivering boundaries. As expected when categorized as         opportunities and the liability of the blame.
a herding/ guarding breed, the Briard is selective, discriminant,
aware, reserved
with strangers, job oriented and high drive . The breed is high
maintenance by their basic grooming needs as any coated dog,
but even higher maintenance because of their
socialization needs. This is a breed whose default setting is to
know and love the familiar-their family, their friends...and no
one and nothing else. The needs of the average urban lifestyle
demand a more extroverted and social animal, making the
socializing process a necessity to developing a dog who is a
good citizen in the world. Good Briard raising practices include
constant exposure out of the home and away from the familiar
surroundings to create contact with constantly changing situ-
ations and new people. This is a process which needs constant
reinforcement for the first year or more of a Briard's life.

Briard social behavior is fraught with potential for wonderfully     In their best form, the Briard is a remarkably easy and quiet
positive things and equally negative things. Briards are warm        house dog with a keen and developed sense of
kind and fuzzy therapy dogs for the needs of hospitalized and        humor all evident from an early age. They are smart and en-
shut in individuals. The breed’s natural touchy/feely tendencies     gaged, busy and involved when appropriate and quietly content
provide soothing tactile therapy to those in need of a good dose     to lay in a heap on their loved one's feet for the rest of their day.
of affection.

However, the flip side can be coupling a dog with a
discriminant nature and high prey drive, and exposing that
individual to dog parks or doggy day care. The recipe for a
bad reputation is waiting to happen. Add in a dose of an
owner or handler not paying attention or exercising clear cut
impulse control fight, or dog chase...or bully-
ing...or recipient of bullying reacting extremely
emotional....sometimes igniting the prey reaction of the Briard
even more.

Here is where the subjects of dog parks and doggy day care enter
the picture. A relatively new subject for dog owners, but of real-
istic concerns to Briard owners in keeping their Briards safe and
not adding to the statistics of BBB, “Bad Briard Behavior”. Many
Briard owners recognize that offering their Briard the chance
to run wildly in a dog park with others, can often ad a spark to
the already electric social dynamic of multiple strange canines
gathering to interact while their owners pay half attention. It
becomes a bad habit to introduce and a bad precedent to set.

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