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Briard Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I buy a Briard puppy ?
    Firstly check the puppy page on this site to see if there are any pups available. If there are no pups available look at the breeders page and contact the breeders to see what litters are planned. To get your ideal puppy, you must be prepared to wait, it is not very often that you will find a pup exactly when you want one! Contact the breeders and see if they are prepared to 'book' you a puppy. Don't hesitate to contact a breeder in another state, most are familiar with transporting pups and will happily assist in sending the pup interstate - usually by air.
  • How much does a Briard puppy cost ?
    Costs vary from breeder to breeder. Some breeders charge different rates for puppies on the 'Main Register' as opposed to the 'Limited Register'. Some classify their puppies as 'pet' or 'show' and price accordingly. Others have a flat rate for all puppies in the litter as they believe it costs the same in time, money and love to raise each and every pup. As a general rule expect to pay no less than $3000 and no more than $4500 for a well bred puppy with health certified parents.
  • How long does a Briard live ?
    It is not unusual for Briards to live until 13 or 14 yrs of age, there have even been some reaching the grand old age of 16. However, a reasonable average would be around 12 years of age. It is a good idea to ask the breeder what the longevity is in their bloodlines.
  • What should I feed my puppy ?
    There are many different diets suitable for feeding puppies. The breeder of your puppy should provide you with a recommended feeding program (diet chart) at the time you buy the puppy. Some breeders feed a raw diet (BARF), others will feed a kibble & meat diet, others just kibble. If you want to change the diet of your new puppy, do it slowly, over a period of a week or two weeks.
  • How much should I exercise my puppy ... ?
    There is a mistaken belief that a young puppy (up to 12 months of age) should have “plenty” of exercise. This is incorrect, as a general rule up to 12 months of age “on lead” exercise should be very limited. Natural free running is the best form of exercise for a youngster, because when they tire they can easily stop. Briards are a fast growing breed and over exercising a young pup can lead to irreversible damage to the skeletal make up.
  • Should I take my puppy to Puppy Pre School ?
    Most definitely!! Many vets clinics now run puppy pre schools and will take pups from as young as 8 weeks. A Briard puppy can never get enough socialisation!!
  • From what age can I take my puppy to obedience classes ?
    Check with your local obedience club. Ideally obedience classes should follow on as soon as possible after the completion of puppy pre school. It is your responsibility as a dog owner, to ensure that your dog is a well behaved, accepted member of the community. Obedience Training will assist in teaching you how to work with your dog, and teaching him good habits, and if necessary, overcoming undesirable behaviour. A well trained dog is a pleasure to own, and please always remember to be considerate of other people who may not be dog lovers like us.
  • What is the correct weight for my Briard?
    This depends on many factors such as the sex of the dog, the age, the height, etc. As a guide an adult male should weigh between 30 and 40 kgs, whilst adult females should weigh between 22 and 35 kgs. Please do not let your Briard get fat - especially a puppy!!!
  • When should I vaccinate my puppy / dog ?
    Your puppy will have been vaccinated at between 6 - 8 weeks of age, and you will receive advice from the Breeder on further vaccination. As a guide your puppy will require the next vaccination at 12 weeks, with a “booster” at 16 weeks. After this your dog must be vaccinated every 12 months.
  • Why is it important for me to socialise my Briard puppy ?
    A well bred puppy will have all the basics for the making of a sound, well adjusted puppy and adult dog, however this is just the foundation for the future. Once you take the puppy home it then becomes your responsibility to continue the development of the puppy. This means exposing and reassuring the puppy to and around people, other dogs, the home environment, and the community environment, so as it learns to be confident in all circumstances. Puppy pre school is a great continuance of the breeders work. Briards are naturally aloof with strangers ( although there are a LOT of Briards around who would deny this!!) and need as much socialising as possible. Take your puppy as many places as you can, and the work you put in to your pup will mean that you will end up with a confident, well adjusted member of today's society.
  • What should I look for when purchasing a Briard puppy ?
    The most important thing when purchasing a puppy is that you get a puppy that is healthy, physically sound, and of good temperament. A guide to assessing these things is that: - the puppies must be clean, healthy, active, bright and outgoing (happy to see you), - ask to see the mother, she should be in good condition and have a good stable temperament, if at all possible see the father of the pups as well (often this is not possible - the stud could be in another state or even in another country!!) - the environment must be clean and tidy. Be direct with the breeder with your requirements, especially if you want your pups to do something specific ie a dog sport, showing, etc. Most breeders will be happy to select the right pup for you. Be wary of a breeder who designates pups from the day they are born. Good breeders will watch pups develop and match pups with families, usually at ariund 6 weeks of age.
  • What is Hip Dysplasia ?
    This is an abnormal formation of the hip joint. The hip joint is a ball and socket joint. There should be a nice, neat and snug fit between the head of the femur (the “ball”) and the acetabulum (the “socket”). Where this fit is loose, the subsequent wear and tear through normal use can result in a range of attendant problems, including the development of arthritis. There can be numerous causes for this “loose-fitting”, and there are infinite levels of dysplasia, ranging from very slight variations from “perfect” to complete joint dislocation. These levels are measured via x-rays of the joint and a score provided, and most breeders will have their breeding stock “hip scored” prior to breeding. Hip Dysplasia can only be diagnosed by X-Ray. The breeder should be able to provide you with copies of hip xray results for BOTH parents. The AVA / CHEDS hip scheme is used in Australia, and the UK (BVA). The hips are xrayed and then 9 different areas of the hip are scored. Each hip is then given a total score, then these are added together to give the final result. Most hip results are presented as 4:5=9 the 4 being the score for 1 hip and the 5 for the other. The max possible score is 106. The lower the score the better. It is important to realise that the breed average is often very unrealistic. Very few pet owners have their dogs x-rayed and scored, it is usually only the breeders who score their dogs. In every litter of 10 puppies, maybe only 1 of those is scored. The breed average can obviously only be a guideline to good breeding practices. While it is generally recognized that there is a strong genetic predisposition to hip dysplasia (hence the removal of “bad” hips from breeding lines), the genetics are not generally understood. Bad (and good) surprises frequently occur, and almost every breeder has a story of a breeding with many generations of good hips behind it that ended in puppies with hip dysplasia. Whether this is a result of a genetic “throw-back” within the lines somewhere, a combination of two lines that just didn’t work, or one of those freaks of nature is a matter of sheer speculation. Factors other than genetics also play a big part, and it is important that diet and exercise is appropriate for a growing pup, in order to avoid malformation and injury. With hip dysplasia there are no guarantees. Breeders work as hard as they can, but occasionally there are negative results. That being said, for the main part Briards have healthy hips with few problems. In addition, even those Briards with less than good results, seem to have relatively few mobility problems, even late in age. No breeder can guarantee that a pup will be free of dysplasia. If they could - that crystal ball would be worth a fortune!!!
  • What is CSNB ?
    Congenital Stationary Night Blindness. This is an eye disease that affects only Briards. Breeders can now utilise genetic testing to ascertain the CSNB status of their dogs. At least ONE parent in a breeding pair must be CLEAR. The following two tables outline the 3 test outcomes and the results for breeding Genotype of Briard Tested Significance For Breeding Risk For Developing CSNB N Normal Can be bred to any Briard Will never develop CSNB C Carrier Carrier of CSNB Will never develop CSNB A Affected Homozygous for CSNB Will develop CSNB CSNB is a recessive gene, 'normals' & 'carriers' can be safely bred. Typically in small breed populations it is more detrimental to the breed to totally eliminate carriers from the gene pool.
  • What other health problems should I ask a breeder about ?
    Compared to many breeds, the Briard is a relatively healthy breed, however other health concerns have cropped up over the years. Heart, circulatory, auto immune and thyroid problems are not unknown in the Briard. Many breeders are now doing cardiac clearances and most will have a DNA profile on their breeding dogs. The DNA profile is also used to verify parentage by some breeders 100% guaranteeing the pedigree. Ask breeders if bloat has been an issue in their dogs or dogs they have bred.
  • What is the difference between 'Main Register' and 'Limited Register' ?
    Dogs registered on the “Limited Register” may not be exhibited in conformation shows, nor can they be bred with, but can still be entered in Obedience Trials or any other ANKC dog sport. Whilst dogs registered on the “Main Register” are eligible to participate in all of the above areas.
  • Should my bitch have a litter before she is speyed ?
    NO - It is a fallacy that a bitch should have a litter before they are speyed Breeding is a serious responsibility, it is not simply a case of producing puppies. Breeders have a responsibility to breed quality, healthy puppies and to ensure all puppies can be found loving and suitable homes. Most serious breeders will take back dogs that they have bred to rehome if needed and will also rescue their breeding from pounds. It is not 'breed and forget'.
  • Should I have my male puppy neutered ?
    YES!! Neutered males are much less prone to wander. They do not mark, and contrary to popular opinion, do NOT put on weight just because they have been neutered! The risk of prostate cancer is far less in neutered males. Responsible breeders will expect you to neuter your male if you are not interested in showing. It is generally accepted that a male (or female) of large breeds should be 2 years of age prior to desexing. This allows correct growth of the long bones.
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