THE BRIARD A HEART WRAPPED IN FUR
WITH MERRY MILLNER
3. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? Yes, the long necks and fast moving legs that go nowhere. 4. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are better now than they were when you first started judging/breeding? Why or why not? That is a hard one for me. I would probably say, “No.” I do not think our breed is any worse but I do not feel it is any better. There are still those dogs that catch your eye and then there are those special ones that take your breath away. Over the last few years, there have been national specialties that I began to worry about our breed but then at our last national specialty, it was refreshing to see some really great looking, young dogs. I think our breed has some wonderful breeders who care about bettering the breed and they are main- taining the integrity of what the Briard is to be inside and out. 5. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? Movement, movement, movement; a dog moving rapidly around the ring with the head held high above the shoulders, taking lots of short but equal strides is not the correct way a Briard should move. 6. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate. Our dogs are to have bone, substance and also be light on their feet. When I watch our dogs go around the ring, I want to see effortless movement. The head, neck and back should be a gentle curve, not a head held high that drops down into the back. These dogs were bred to move, be a living fence and they have to be able to move for long periods of time. It is imperative to understand how that works and how it looks. A Briard should take long, even strides and cover the most ground with the least amount of steps.
I live in Monticello, Georgia. Tommy and I are back in the small town I was born in, bringing life full circle! We both love to travel and Tommy is now in retirement so we’re trying to figure that all out! I have to remind him I married him for life—not just for lunch. We bought our first Briard, Churchill, in 1988 and our first show bitch, Gillian, in 1991. Our foundation bitch had our first litter in 1995 that produced our two first Best In Show bitches.
1. Describe the breed in three words. Effortless, stubborn and undeniable.
2. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? I look for the beautiful, quicksilver movement with a breath-taking outline.
“I THINK OUR BREED HAS SOME WONDERFUL BREEDERS WHO CARE ABOUT BETTERING THE BREED AND THEY ARE MAINTAINING THE INTEGRITY OF WHAT THE BRIARD IS TO BE INSIDE AND OUT.”
7. And, for a bit of humor: What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show?
The funniest thing was watching my husband get a dress- ing down from Annie Clark. I will never forget his face as she screamed at him to come back to her and start over. She fixed the collar on Harley’s neck and sent them around again. They won the point but I did not think I would ever get him back in the ring again.
244 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , O CTOBER 2017
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