The Very Versatile Briard
Briard can be many things, a herding dog, tending dog, guard dog, family dog, a farm dog, a search & rescue dog, a military dog.
At Cacharel we breed for the all round Briard. A Briard who can compete with honours in the show ring, who can work sheep all day, compete in agility, obedience or be a fabulous family companion. We have also started to train in Dogsport which is a combination of Tracking Obedience and Character testing. Some of our pups sold to other homes are Assistance Dogs, Search & Rescue dogs. We are extremely proud of the very stable temperaments that we produce.
There is a reason behind every requirement in a breed standard. Descriptive statements were put into the standard by the founding fathers of the breed so that future generations of breeders could understand the form that was required to produce the function that the Briard had been created to fulfill.
Before you can build a successful breeding program, you must be able to ask yourself why each requirement in your Breed standard exists and know exactly the reason behind it. And in most breeds, the answers always come from the original function of the breed. Words like "cute” and "pretty” and "gorgeous” and "beautiful” are thrown around incessantly, but they are really useless when describing breed type unless followed by a descriptive statement about a particular feature of the dog as it relates to a requirement in the breed standard. Many of today’s breeders (not just with Briards)ignore basic requirements of their breed standard in favor of producing dogs with faults and failings "because we like them like that.” It makes me cringe. As breeders and owners our primary responsibility to the Briard is is to be a caretaker of the breed, and to educate and ensure that people who are interested in the Briard buy one for the right reasons.
The future of any breed rests with breeders. We need to keep Briards capable of easily performing the functions for which they were originally developed, not change them into caricatures that exude some sort of beauty but are riddled with failings when compared to their breed standard.
To watch a Briard work sheep is a beautiful thing. To think that 200 years ago a Briard was performing the same work, and to watch that instinct come through is always humbling.